The hidden risk seeping into our homes

Internal water damage in Australian homes is now a more common and costly risk than fire and burglary, according to research by insurance provider Chubb.

In fact, water damage claims have risen by 72% in the past five years!

While most homeowners have locks, alarm systems and fire detectors installed, most are unaware of the threat of water damage and therefore largely unprepared for an incident.

Causes of water damage can include plumbed fridges, water filters, dishwashers, washing machines, toilets and hand basins.

Homes that are unattended (like holiday homes) are particularly vulnerable to escaped water damage.

Through its research into the most common causes of water damage to homes, Chubb is able to provide some tips on preventative measures and minimising potential damage.

  • Of greatest importance, know where your shut-off valves are for the main water supply in case of an emergency, and consider shutting off the water supply if you will be away from home for a week or more.
  • Flexi hoses pose a serious risk of bursting. Inspect appliances that use flexi hoses, such as icemakers, washing machines and dishwashers, and replace the flexi hose every 10 years.
  • Inspect your plumbing water lines and waste line for leaks, damage or corrosion. Hot water systems have a lifespan of 7 to 10 years, so keep an eye out for puddles and be ready to replace the system.
  • Check air conditioning units and keep drip trays clean and drain lines unobstructed.
  • Ensure the watertight seal in baths and shower recesses is maintained.
  • Periodically check your home’s foundation walls and floors for cracks that might allow water seepage and check for poor soil drainage.
  • Install water sensing and water shut-off devices to your property