Home Water Damage Alert: A Wake-Up Call for Australian Homeowners

Flooded room. Water dripping from ceiling.

Latest research has revealed that Australian homes are at risk of internal water damage. The study found that a staggering 77 percent of people who experienced water damage were actually at home when the incident occurred, debunking the common misconception that flooding due to burst pipes mostly happens while homeowners are away.

One such homeowner who fell victim to this unexpected water damage is Geoffrey Dunning, a policyholder with DSH Insurance. Geoffrey's ordeal began one night when he woke up to grab a glass of water, only to discover a damp sensation beneath his feet. To his surprise, the floor was completely soaked, and the water grew deeper as he approached the kitchen, ‘That's when I knew that this issue was much bigger than I thought’, Geoffrey recalls.

Further search revealed that the water had flooded the entire room, upstairs kitchen, dining room and part of the lounge floor with source traced back to a malfunctioning steel braided flexible hose water connector, under the kitchen sink cupboard. Geoffrey's immediate reaction was to rush outside and turn off the water main, a common response among Australians faced with water damage.

Despite Geoffrey's efforts to stop the burst, the situation only worsened. The water seeped through the floorboards, infiltrating the wall cavity and trickling down into other room downstairs. The ceiling in the lower level collapsed, barely hanging on by a single nail, resulting in the destruction of couches, electronics, and TV sets.

Amidst the chaos, Geoffrey reached out to the DSH Insurance hotline, hoping for a solution. The person on the other end reassured him, ‘a team would be dispatched to ensure their safety.’ Geoffrey exclaims.

Soon after, Geoffrey and his wife were relocated to a nearby motel while the DSH Insurance team diligently worked on repairing the damaged living area. This incident serves as a reminder that the speed of a homeowner's response can make all the difference between minimal damage and severe destruction. Unfortunately, many people remain unaware that much of this damage, along with the associated stress and cost, can often be prevented.

To mitigate the risk of water damage, households are advised to take simple precautions.

  • Keep on top of any wear and tear with a home maintenance checklist.
  • Organise an annual home health check to make sure everything’s in working order.
  • Know where your water mains are and how to turn the water supply off.
  • Turn off the mains before leaving on a holiday.
  • Conduct regular visual inspections of sealants and grout – for example, when cleaning.
  • Check flexi hoses for moisture and signs of damage.
  • Make sure you have adequate home and contents insurance cover.
  • In the event of an incident make sure everyone is safe, turn off water at the mains, and contact a plumber and DSH Insurance as soon as possible.