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How to avoid home water leaks while you’re away


Coming home from a holiday to a water leak or burst pipe can really dampen your mood. Yet, according to data from the Head of Consumer Property Claims, Paige Vincent , it happens to six households every day and causes an average of $17,000 worth of damage. In some instances, thousands of litres of water can flood your home.

And, the longer water damage is left, even for a few nights, it can result in mould forming, potentially making your home unliveable when you return. Here’s how you can minimise the risk of leaks and enjoy a worry-free holiday.

Turn off the mains

Pressure can build in your pipes when they haven’t been used for a while, which may cause them to burst. A sure-fire way to avoid this is to turn your water off at the mains before you head off. You’ll find the shut-off valve near your water meter.

If you live in an apartment block, it may not be practical to turn your water off at the mains. Instead, try turning off the stop taps connected to your appliances.

It’s also worth checking the requirements of your hot water system. If it needs water to keep it running, remember to turn that off, too.

Clean out your air conditioner

Dirty air conditioner filters can stop the flow of air and start to freeze. If you leave your air conditioner off for a while, any ice that has formed on the filter can melt, potentially causing a leak.

If you’ve got a split system, aim to clean out the filter every few months to avoid this, especially as the weather warms up. Simply pop the unit open and take the dust filters outside for a good shake. You can also wash them in warm water with mild detergent, then give them a rinse.

Clear your gutters

Leaf litter and other foreign objects can create blockages in your downpipes and gutters, which can cause wateroverflow. This may seep into the foundations of your home.

Before you head away, clear out your gutters and ensure water can flow smoothly through your downpipes.

Consider replacing your flexi-hoses with hard piping

If you go away often, replacing your flexi-hoses with hard piping can help prevent any unexpected leaks. Flexi-hoses are common in Australian households, connecting appliances to a water supply. However, they have a limited lifespan and can corrode easily, causing leaks. Consider replacing them with hard piping to help eliminate the risk. It’s best to chat about your options with a licensed plumber first.

Get your home and contents insurance sorted

If a water leak were to strike while you’re away, having the right level of Home and Contents Insurance can help with repairs and replacements. Apia Home and Contents Insurance covers escape of liquid, which includes liquid overflowing or bursting from drain pipes, gutters, air conditioners, appliances and more.

Just be sure to check in on the condition of these things every now and again. Coverage won’t apply if the leak has occurred slowly over time and you could’ve reasonably been expected to be aware of it.

Take a look at the Product Disclosure Statement for a detailed list of inclusions and exclusions.

Explore Apia Home and Contents Insurance

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Australian Pensioners Insurance Agency Pty Ltd (Apia) ABN 14 099 650 996 AR 239591 is an authorised representative of AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230859 (AAI), the issuer of Home, Landlord, Car, Caravan, Motorhome, Boat, Travel & Compulsory Third Party Personal Injury (CTP) Insurance.

Please consider the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance.

This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.

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