Water heater maintenance isn't something most people spend too much time thinking about. However, a quick annual inspection could end up saving your home from a disastrous flood and your wallet from a costly emergency water damage repair bill.
Being a homeowner comes with the responsibility of regularly inspecting and maintaining all of your home's appliances. This includes your washing machine, dishwasher, refrigerator, water heater, sump pump, and more. Appliance failure is a leading cause of water damage and house fires. In this article we will cover the appliances most susceptible to failure and the actions you can take to prevent them.
If you have experienced an appliance failure and need professional restoration services - including water removal, water damage restoration, smoke odor removal, or fire damage restoration - please call us at (720)-720-9594. We have years of experience helping customers recover from water and fire damage resulting from appliance failure. We have technicians on-call 24/7 and can have a crew at your home in 60-minutes or less.
Appliance failure can cause extensive damage
It is easy to overlook your appliances. Most come with a guarantee that they won’t need any repairs or replacements for a number of years. That kind of promise can lead to a false sense of confidence that nothing can go wrong. Unfortunately, there are many factors that can lead to appliance failure and shatter that sense of comfort. And when this happens, the damages can be expensive.
The failure of a water heater or washing machine can lead to extensive flooding and water damage to your home in a very short amount of time. On the other hand, slow leaks that go undiscovered can be equally or even more damaging. Slow leaks can cause an extensive amount of rot and even mold damage. On a national average, as much as 30% of all flood claims are from appliance failures.
Fire, Soot and Smoke Damage
House fires often start from overlooked appliance issues and can lead to extensive fire and smoke damage. In fact, there are nearly 3,000 dryer fires reported each year that cause more $35 million dollars in property damage. Roughly 1/3 of these fires could have been prevented by cleaning out clogged dryer vents and duct work.
The top-7 appliances susceptible to failure
Dishwashers often come with a decade-long warranty. However, these warranties don't cover things like an improperly installed water supply line or a clogged drain. The float switch in your dishwasher can wear down and break or the strainer can become clogged with food debris.
Most water damage claims from washing machines come from broken or damaged water supply hoses. When one of these supply lines breaks it can release up to 500 gallons of water per hour. If you're not home when this happens the damage can be extensive.
The dryer poses an even more dangerous threat when it’s not maintained. Simply cleaning out the lint filter between each load isn’t enough to negate dryer fires. Poor duct work or clogged air vents are a leading cause of dryer fires. If you notice that your dryer is taking longer to dry your clothes, you may have a clogged dryer vent.
Refrigerators and Ice Makers
Refrigerators and ice makers produce a lot of excess moisture and are prone to leaks that can result in flood damage to your home. Common causes are damaged or broken water supply lines as well as frozen or clogged drains.
Toilets have a useful life of 50 years or more and are not likely to fail themselves. However, water supply lines can fail or become damaged. The wax seal can wear out and leak overtime.
Sump pumps have a life expectancy of around 10 years. If a sump pump fails during a storm your basement or crawlspace could flood.
5-steps to prevent appliance failure
Step 1: Check Appliances Regularly
Simply keeping your eyes open and looking at the water connection lines, seals, drains, and other working pieces of your appliances can help you spot potential problems. Any signs of wear and tear, damage, corrosion, or leaks are a warning that your appliance may be about to fail.
Step 2: Clean Drains and Duct Work Regularly
If any of your appliances do not appear to be draining properly inspect the drains or drainage pipes for clogs. Inspect your dishwasher's strainer regularly to make sure it has not become clogged. Pay attention to whether your dryer has stopped worked as well as this could be a sign that your duct work has become clogged with lint.
Step 3: Follow Proper Maintenance Procedures
All of your appliances will have different maintenance requirements. You should check your owner's manuals to know what they are. For example, you should drain your water heater once per year to prevent the build up of any sediment that could cause corrosion.
Step 4: Shut Off Appliances When Not In Use
For example, if you are going to be leaving your house for an extended period of time it is a good idea to turn off the water supply lines to your washing machine. Also, you should never run the washer or dryer when you aren’t home.
Step 5: Schedule Annual Inspections
Having all of your appliances inspected once a year, especially if they are starting to get old, is the best way to avoid fire and flood damages from appliance failure.