Does a home warranty cover water damage?
Discovering a leak or flood in your home can be devastating. Repairing the damage caused by water can be both traumatic and extremely costly.
If you are a homeowner, you want to protect what is likely your largest investment: your house. So, it makes sense to purchase a home warranty plan to help cover costly repairs on many of your appliances and home systems.
To avoid expensive repairs on things such as your refrigerator, stove, HVAC system and even your plumbing and electrical systems, a home warranty can provide the peace of mind that you are looking for.
If you are considering a home warranty plan, or if you have recently purchased one, you may be wondering what exactly is covered under a home warranty. Once you enter into a contract with a home warranty company, you will receive a copy of the terms and conditions of your home warranty, which will outline what is covered and what is not covered by the warranty plan.
Even with this documentation, you may be unsure of what is covered until you run into an appliance that is in need of repair and must reach out to your home warranty company to cover the repair cost.
When you experience water damage due to leaks or broken plumbing, you may find yourself wondering whether or not the cost of any of the repairs will be covered.
Here is a quick look into the common causes of water damage, how to compare plans and how a home warranty can help.
The most common causes of water damage to a home
Water damage is not only detrimental to your home but also can present a health risk to you and your family if not managed properly and efficiently.
Water damage is caused when water starts to pool where it should not. Being aware of home systems and appliances as well as the many causes of water damage will help you to perform proper maintenance and potentially avoid the damage in the first place.
The most common causes of water damage are:
- Issues with the plumbing system: Problems with plumbing systems and pipes are harder to discover because they are mostly embedded in your walls. If you see any spots, dripping or softness on your walls or ceilings, you may be dealing with water leakage. Another indicator of plumbing issues may be a higher-than-normal utility bill, as your water is being diverted elsewhere or seeping when you are trying to use it.
- Slab leak: A slab leak is the result of copper pipes that burst under your foundation. A telltale sign of a slab leak is a consistent hot spot underfoot; water coming from underground (under the foundation); stopped toilets, sinks, bathtubs and showers; and a musty odor.
- Burst or leaking pipes: A burst pipe will typically expel a large amount of water and be visibly wet or flooded. Generally, pipes burst after freezing in extremely cold temperatures; however, backed-up toilets can cause pressure in the pipes that can cause them to burst. In colder climates, you can prepare pipes for the temperature by wrapping them in heat tape, leaving any cupboards or closets open that contain pipes, and setting your home thermostat to no colder than 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Leaking pipes may not be as visible but can be detected by paying attention to your water bill and looking for any spots on the ceiling or walls.
- Backed-up sewer: This common cause of water damage is a major health hazard and can be extremely destructive to your home. Sewer backups are usually caused by excessive rainfall wreaking havoc on the main sewer line, and they require professional help for cleanup and repair.
- Debris in gutters: A common cause of flooding in your home or garage is not clearing leaves and other debris from your rain gutters. Failure to clean out your gutters on a regular basis will stop the flow of water away from your foundation, causing it to pool and seep into your home or garage.
- Older water heaters: The older your water heater is, the greater the potential for mold, water buildup and moisture. If your hot water has not been heating quickly, chances are you have an issue. Check around the water heater for the date it was installed, and consider a new water heater if your problem persists.
- HVAC issues: Your heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems can contribute to gradual damage in your home. Air conditioners, especially, can cause excess moisture buildup that can lead to pooled water around your home. Additionally, HVAC issues can cause problems with allergies and mold.
- Basement or crawl space leaks or flooding: Basements and crawl spaces are prone to flooding due to their location. If your sump pump fails, you may have a large flood on your hands. Mold is another issue that can stem from a basement or crawl space leak. Finding and addressing a basement or crawl space issue can alleviate the dampness that causes mold spores to form.
- Roof damage: When you have a roof leak, the wood beneath can sustain structural damage and potentially begin to form mold. Look for damaged or missing shingles and malfunctioning rain gutters and replace them.
How does your home warranty help with water damage?
Your home warranty is put in place to give you peace of mind — especially when you are too busy to repair your appliances or systems. Once your appliance or system breaks down due to normal wear and tear, you want a fix that will leave your home safe, comfortable and in working order.
A home warranty plan typically includes coverage on the plumbing system of your home. That means, if you experience a plumbing problem, your home warranty will typically cover the cost of the repair for a nominal service fee.
Purchasing a home warranty outweighs the price of paying for costly repairs that are unavoidable as your appliances and systems age. For water damage, having warranty coverage for many of your appliances will help alleviate some of the burden.
A good home warranty plan will usually cover your washer and dryer, electrical and plumbing systems, HVAC system, water heater and kitchen appliances plus additional coverage options you may choose to purchase.
How to compare home warranty plans
Finding a home warranty plan that works for you is important to ensure you have exactly what you can afford and the coverage that your home needs.
Look for a home warranty plan that fills in the gaps in your home insurance. A homeowners insurance policy is put in place to protect you against structural damage to your home and loss or damage to your property. Your home warranty should provide you with protection for your appliances and systems.
Check your home insurance policy to see exactly where you may need additional coverage if you are not entirely sure.
When it comes to finding a great home warranty plan, we suggest you look for the following:
- Great customer service: When you are making a service call or run into an issue, it is always great to have a company that will take on your issue as their own.
- A variety of contact options: online submission for service requests, phone requests, etc.
- Coverage on your plumbing system, HVAC, water heater, washing machine or any system that may fail and ultimately leave you with water damage.
- With great home warranty coverage, you can sleep a little bit easier knowing your home appliances and systems can be repaired or replaced (if needed) by a professional technician in a timely manner for a fraction of the actual repair costs.
The best home warranty coverage
When you purchase a home warranty plan, you are choosing to save yourself from the potential of costly repairs on your home appliances and systems.
Finding a company that offers home warranty coverage with straightforward contract terms and conditions, provides ample customer service and has warranty options to fit every budget is the key to finding the best solution for your home.
Get a quote for a home warranty, and start protecting your home today.