Water infiltration, broken pipes, and excessive temperature changes are some examples of situations that can cause serious and expensive damage to your home.
Unfortunately, water damage is too often neglected, unlike protection against fire and theft.
The amounts reimbursed as a result of this leading type of insurance claim has outnumbered those related to theft and fire in the last 10 years.
For this reason, more and more insurers are advising the installation of water leak detectors and putting in place preventive measures against sewer backup.
Between 1983 and 2008, insurance companies paid an average of less than $400 million a year in weather damage claims.
From 2009 to 2012, they disbursed more than $1 billion a year due to weather-related damage, double what was paid on average each year for the previous 25 years.
Canada now has 20 more days of rain per year than in the 1950s.
Home security systems with water leaks, floods, and overflow detectors are numerous.
They emit not only an audible alarm (about 85 to 100dB) but they can also send an alert to your smartphone, tablet, or personal computer if your alarm system is connected to a central monitoring center.
Below you will find a list of the various water leak detectors available on the market.
This moisture-sensitive detector is designed for devices such as:
If the leak detector detects moisture, it will close the valve to shut off the water supply and activate an alarm.
This type of wired detector has many sensors that are installed, for example, on:
The sensors are connected to a control box (wired system).
As soon as a sensor detects the presence of moisture, it transmits the information to the control box which emits an alarm and closes the main water supply valve.
These wireless detectors connected to your Wi-Fi react to water leaks as well as to the danger of freezing water pipes.
Being equipped with a temperature sensor, as soon as the control box receives a warning indicating that the ambient temperature is below 5oC, a warning is emitted to inform that the pipes are in danger of freezing.
This new electro pneumatic technology is a 100% Quebec innovation.
If the water from the municipal sewer backs up to your sanitary facilities, this type of backflow device equipped with smart sensors automatically engages by inflating a probe balloon to prevent the passage of water.
The balloon will remain inflated until all danger of flooding is gone.
If a water leak is detected, this device sends the information to a receiver-dialer which can store up to five (5) different phone numbers.
Calls will be made continuously and repeatedly up to five (5) times to each pre-established telephone number.
Combine this protection with a carbon monoxide alarm linked up to your mobile device to get help against this silent killer.
This type of water leak detector cannot be connected to your alarm system.
However, an audible alarm quickly alerts you to a water spill, allowing you to respond appropriately to prevent more damage.
Being cheap, you can install it in all places that are at risk for water damage:
Did you know that water damage is the number one cause of home insurance claims in Quebec?
Extreme weather conditions, aging facilities, and poor routine maintenance are some of the causes of water-related claims.
The causes of water leakage can be as varied as they are unpredictable:
An obsolete water heater: the date of manufacture of the water heater is written on the appliance.
After a while, the problems become very predictable.
Frozen water pipes: When a Siberian cold wave hits our land, it is not only municipal aqueducts that are put to the test. The pipes of poorly insulated houses can easily crack.
One solution is needed: act quickly and appropriately!
We need to act quickly because there is a risk of bursting water pipes. If the pipe in question is easily accessible, the situation is less alarming. This is not always the case. Pipes near exterior walls are more likely to freeze, especially for north-facing walls.
A known water leak, and not repaired: An old iron pipe, a kitchen or bath faucet, the tank of the toilet, the connecting pipe of a toilet or an accessory (such as a washbasin) can cause trickling or dripping. It is better to prevent such occurrence with plumbing work.
Pipe failure caused by freezing: This situation occurs in vacant dwellings left unheated or in poorly insulated areas. Over time, the pipes can cause leaks. Hoses used for hot water such as those in the dishwasher and washing machine are more prone to breakage.
Accidents and wear: The main cause of water damage is the breakage of a hot water tank due to rust. Even more than broken sanitary fixtures, municipal infrastructure failures cause the most damage (more than half), says the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). Since 1950, precipitation has increased by 12% and continues to rise due to climate change.
Re-painting, flooring repair, and damage to furniture can all be very costly. The reimbursement of your expenses will depend on the type of insurance contract you have.
Replacement of destroyed or damaged property: Your home insurer will first attempt to clean-up the property and repair damaged property, if possible.
If the property needs to be replaced, your insurer will replace it with new property of the same type and quality if it is the settlement option you chose when you bought your policy. Otherwise, he will reimburse you the value of the property at the time of the loss.
The obligation of your insurer: Your home insurer must return your property in the same state as it was before the loss. If it can be cleaned or repaired, they will be. Were your clothes drenched in water? Your insurer will have them cleaned. Does your floating floor need to be repaired? Your insurer will take care of it, using the same type of materials.
Many insurance companies encourage homeowners to install a water leak detector system by rewarding them with lower premiums (main residences only) by 5% to 10% if you install at least five (5) water leak detectors. They must be connected to a monitoring center or equipped with a valve that will automatically close in case of leaks.
If the situation is not corrected, rot and mildew will set in; adjacent plumbing elements are also damaged. In the worst case, a disaster can ensue – a ceiling sags, a section of the floor collapses. Plumbing repairs are expensive. There is nothing to be gained by putting them off.
The consequences of water damage are often noted only when the item is removed.
Furniture, beds, sofas become soggy and sometimes contaminated. They are not necessarily recoverable. Some may have sentimental value!
Cleaning, furniture replacement costs, repair costs (walls, floors …), the time required, increased humidity, the risks of mold, decontamination, etc. The damage can occur quite fast.
Health problems that occur most often in people exposed to molds are:
To avoid further health risks or hazards, it is important to take certain measures as soon as possible:
Water Leak Detectors to reduce damage: You can have water leak detectors installed on your home appliances that use water. Small sensors are installed at high-risk areas. As soon as they detect a water leak, a signal is sent to enable you to react appropriately.
Depending on the model, the detector may sound an audible alarm, send you an email or text message (SMS), or automatically turn off the main water supply. Other devices are connected to a central office and contact the owner or another person chosen by the latter if a leak is detected.
The techhive has a very interesting list of the best leak detectors for smart homes.
Appliances, never in your absence: Be present when the washer or dishwasher are working. In case there is a problem, you will be able to react quickly. A good habit is to check the condition of the pipes annually. Are there signs of damage? Do not lose time in replacing them.
Extended absence during the cold season: Are you leaving for several weeks? Turn off the water and drain the hoses to prevent them from freezing. For the sake of economy, you can lower the house temperature, but keep it warm enough to avoid freezing. Pour plumbing antifreeze into the toilet bowl, washbasin, tub, shower tub, and the bottom of the dishwasher and washer.
Leaks can cause a 20% increase in the water consumption of a household and, therefore, affect the cost of your water bill.
To detect a leak, follow these steps:
If some figures have changed, it can be deduced that you have a leak. Inspect the pipes to identify any traces of moisture, check the toilet flushing mechanism and the safety valve of the electric water heater.
If you cannot find the origin of the leak, it is advisable to call a plumber.
From the moment that water flows, the water leak detector records the flow and will follow it until the flow stops. If the flow is stable and continues without variation of the flow rate beyond a certain volume of water, a water leak detector detects the existence of an anomaly and shuts down the supply.
Here’s a concrete example: Honeywell’s Lyric W1 Water and Gel Leak Detector
|Description||This device monitors your home or premises and informs you as soon as it detects a water leak, moisture, or a significant change in temperature. Your detector allows you to reset your pipes before being submerged or to be informed of the risk of possible freezing of your pipes.|
|Where should it be placed?||The battery sensor system (additional detector and sensing cable optional to cover a wider area) will be installed against a wall or on the floor where there is a risk of water leakage. Generally, it will be positioned near appliances using water and at the lowest level of your home or commercial space.|
|Remote Access||Access your device and receive alerts from your water leak detector on your mobile device. Just install (from Google Play or the App Store) « Honeywell Lyric ». It’s free.|
|If you want to know more about this product, check the Honeywell user manual where you can find clear instructions.|
|Watch this video from a user who is testing the Lyric W1KS detector in his basement:
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