One of the biggest concerns about homeownership as age starts to set into a home is the chances of water damage occurring. Water is like electricity, thus if it can find a path to travel, it will have no mercy doing so. From leaky pipes in the wall, a leaky shower in the bathroom, or the water heater dumping water all over the garage. So many things can result in small water stains to a fully flooded room or worse.
So how do you stop something that moves so fast? Especially when you can’t always be home and ready to jump to the rescue at the first sign of trouble? A smart home!
There are so many ways now that you can alert yourself at the first sign of a leak. You can notify neighbors and family in case someone else with access is closer. You can even shut everything off instantly without having to be there in person to pull it off. With home automation, relief has never been so easy when it comes to such fears.
Small leaks can be detected quickly, and catastrophic damage can be fully prevented. All by simply being proactive with your smart home. Automated lights, outlets, and door locks are a blast to configure to make each day a little bit easier. However, its security and damage prevention that you should really start with before adding in the extra luxuries.
Moen for example, one of the more popular names behind the faucets and handles you find around the bathroom or kitchen. They have been working to expand into the smart home market, moving past your normal bathroom/kitchen accessories. They have a product called “Flo” that installs to the water main coming into your home. Basically, the shut-off valve between the incoming line and the first thing it runs to (ie, water heater or softener). Moen claims to be able to monitor the water traveling through it and detect leaks as they begin to happen (including slow leaks). It can notify you so that you know that it is happening before it starts to cause any major damage. It won’t tell you where the leak is of course, but you can at least know that troubleshooting is needed. If it detects a burst pipe or other massive flow of water that isn’t supposed to be there, it can completely shut the main off.
It doesn’t just come from Moen. Other companies provide similar solutions, like Elexa with their Guardian setup. This system makes use of sensors you lay around to detect moisture where it shouldn’t be. So behind the toilet, under the water heater, etc. If one of the sensors detect water, it will attempt to shut off the main to protect you. Another option is avaialble from Phyn called the Phyn Plus.
There are also less complex options, like just going with the sensors. This way you are notified when moisture is detected, and then you (or someone close by) can manually shut off the water. One of these solutions can be found from Fibaro, which has water/moisture sensors for both Z-Wave and HomeKit (Apple) setups.
Either way, you can easily arm yourself against water damage of just about any kind in your home. The only thing you can’t is water (where it is supposed to be–such as the shower) getting into tiny crevices and cracks, such as bad caulking jobs. It’s kind of hard to do anything about that outside of always keeping an open eye for any changes to the walls and baseboards nearby.
I, for example, have a smart shut off solution for the main attached to a Z-Wave network of smart devices. I also make use of the Fibaro sensors in various areas, including bathroom floors, under the tankless heater (which is also right next to the softener), and so forth. If one of these sensors detect water, it will trigger the valve to shut off and notify me that it happened. I can then go straight to the area where the water was detected and attempt to troubleshoot what went wrong. I can also manually close or open the valve via an app on my phone. I can also add my neighbor to the notifications.
So as long as you are tech-savvy, there is no reason to suffer from some of the most common causes of water damage in your home. Start building out a solution today and nip it in the bud. Do this and your home insurance company will love you as well.