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Jean Says What? March 2023

Don’t Count on Luck!

There are two major risks that we can have a big impact on: water damage and distracted driving.

On Christmas day, I was out of town and did not know how cold it was back home. I received a text from a friend and client who was wishing me a Merry Christmas and they sent a photo saying, “this is what we are seeing.” Water was dripping from the 2nd floor. The entire 1st floor and basement all had water damage and had to be gutted. They are still in the process of putting their house back together.

Hopefully, the following information helps prevent others from experiencing the potential devastation that comes with water damage.

Water damage is one of the most common claims.

Because water damage claims from burst pipes are so common, insurance companies have worked with various manufacturers to create an automatic water shut off system. It is a computer that is attached to your main water, at the source of the incoming pipe. It pays attention to water use and if it senses a leak, it shuts down the water, preventing extensive water damage.

These systems can be tied to your monitored alarm system in some cases, so you can receive notifications in the event something happens. It can save you money on your home insurance premium, since insurance companies often offer a nice credit for adding one of these systems to your home.

Several national companies offer these systems, including:

They should be able to connect you to a reputable local plumber who can install the system for you.

To help protect your home from water damage:

  • Make sure everyone in your home knows where the water shut-off is located.
  • Shut off water to the house if you are going away for more than two days.
  • Replace supply lines every 3 years: washing machine, dishwasher, toilet, and sink. Stainless steel braided hoses are recommended and don’t require replacement as often.
  • Monthly: Check the overflow pan and condensation line or overflow valve of your air conditioner and water heater. Also look behind appliances with water lines for leaks or moisture.
  • Quarterly: Check and repair caulking around windows, doors, and water supply lines around appliances, toilets, and sinks. Look for signs of rust or corrosion on water lines and replace if needed.
  • Semi-annually: Check grouting for a proper seal around bathtubs, showers, roofing materials, gutters, flashing, and sump pumps.
  • Annually: Drain your water heater, check the pressure relief valve, and inspect the water heater for signs of rust, corrosion, or excessive wear and tear. Install a drip pan around the base of the water heater to prevent leaks from spreading.

Distracted Driving: Are You Truly Paying Attention?

Some may ask is distracted driving a real thing. Yes, I believe it is a thing!

When we are driving on roads that we are very familiar with, we may not be paying attention to our driving. I am not sure if you have experienced this, but I have. I decided to listen to some audiobooks while driving. I knew where I was going. However, I missed my turn. This scenario has happened three different times recently. This has also happened to me while talking on the phone, even though it was via Bluetooth.

I think I am relatively aware, smart, and do pay attention. So, if it can happen to me, it can happen to all of us. While the numbers have started to decrease over the past decade, in the U.S. in 2020 (Traffic Safety Facts) distracted driving affected:

  • 8% of fatal crashes
  • 14% of injury crashes
  • 13% of all police-reported motor vehicle traffic crashes.

Please pay attention to how well you’re paying attention and drive safely. We all know ”Don’t Text and drive” and to use our technology (voice directions, handsfree Bluetooth, etc.) to do the work for us. Even if we do that, as in my example, our minds can still be distracted without us realizing it in the moment.

If you have kids, then you already know that they are watching what you do and how you drive long before they are even thinking about driving. This means your driving habits have even more of an impact.

We’d love to hear from you -please reach out! We are here to help.

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