Did you know that an estimated 14.6 million properties in the United States are at risk of flood? Interestingly, 41% of those, or six million properties, aren’t on the FEMA standards maps. FEMA stands for Federal Emergency Management Agency.
So, just because your home isn’t in a flood zone doesn’t mean it’s safe from flooding. Remember: One inch of water can cause $25,000 worth of property damage. Aside from inclement weather, indoor flooding can also result from burst plumbing pipes.
A water detection sensor, in turn, is a nifty device that can help protect your home from flood damage.
In this guide, we’ve covered the essential facts you must know about water detectors. Read on to learn what they are, their roles in preventing home flooding damage, and if they are worth it.
What Is a Water Detection Sensor?
A water detection sensor monitors an area that should otherwise be dry for the presence of water. As soon as it senses moisture, it sounds an alarm or sends a notification to a linked device. That then warns users of situations wherein a potential flood may occur.
How Does It Work?
While water detection sensors use varying technologies, most use a similar two-probe mechanism. These probes, made of metal, are sensitive to moisture.
Moisture, in turn, increases the conductivity between the two metal probes. So when water touches them, the sensor immediately knows. And as soon as it detects moisture, it triggers the alarm or sends you a push notification on your phone.
Many modern water detection sensors are easy to integrate with intelligent home systems. These are the same systems with apps that notify you of potential floods through your phone.
Can It Help Prevent Flood Damage?
Yes, by warning you about moisture in an area that should be dry.
An example is a basement wherein you have exposed pipes that are prone to bursting. Placing a water detection sensor here can notify you of a possible burst pipe. Once you receive the alert, you can turn off your main water supply valve.
That can then help prevent your basement from getting flooded. In this case, the warning and your prompt reaction saved you from the cost of having a flooded basement.
Another example is if your clothes washer’s water supply line fails. You may not notice the problem until the water has reached a higher-traffic area of your home. At that point, your carpets or wooden floors may have already absorbed plenty of water.
However, if you have a water sensor by the clothes washer, you get notified immediately. You can turn off its water supply valve before the leak causes extensive damage.
What About Floods Caused by Weather?
Some water detection sensors can also provide some protection against weather-related floods. These devices can integrate with temperature sensors, which monitor sudden and extreme fluctuations. Such temperature changes can indicate inclement weather, which, in turn, can signal floods.
You can’t stop weather-related floods. However, if there’s a chance they may occur, you can get as many valuables as you can to higher ground. Doing so can minimize the damage and losses that weather-related floods can cause.
Is a Water Detection Sensor Worth It?
Yes, especially if your home’s plumbing system is several decades old. Aging pipes are more prone to rust, corrosion, and bursting.
Water detection sensors also make sense in homes connected to aging sewer systems. After all, these public sewers are more susceptible to sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs).
SSOs occur when these systems release raw sewage. They’re prevalent in the U.S, happening about 23,000 to 75,000 times yearly.
Since your basement is the lowest room in your home, it can be at risk of such backups. Having a water detection sensor in this area, therefore, makes sense.
You should also consider installing water detection sensors if you often travel. This way, you’ll know about a potential leak, burst pipe, or flooding, even if you’re hundreds of miles away. You can then have a family member, friend, or trusted neighbor turn off your water supply valve.
Water sensors can also be a wise investment whether you live in a low-risk or high-risk flood zone. After all, 20% of annual U.S. flooding incidents occur in the so-called “low-risk” areas. Here’s a guide where you can learn and read more about this topic on flood risks.
Just remember that water sensors are by no means meant to replace flood insurance. You should only use them as a supplement to prevent plumbing-related flood damage. They can only help minimize but not prevent all weather-related flood damage.
So, you still need insurance to protect you against weather-related flooding damage.
Where Else Should You Install Detectors?
You can also place water sensors by the bathroom’s water supply and drain lines. That way, they can detect leaks, burst pipes, or overflows and notify you immediately.
Your kitchen can also benefit from detectors placed by the water supply and drain lines. Likewise, consider installing sensors by the dishwasher. After all, its pipes can also burst and cause flooding.
You may even want to install water detection sensors in your attic to alert you of possible roof leaks.
It’s also wise to have one by your HVAC system’s drain pan, which may be prone to overflowing.
Consider Investing in Water Detection Sensors
Water damage isn’t the only problem a flood can cause; it can also promote mold damage. Molds, in turn, can take as little as 24 to 48 hours to grow and multiply on damp surfaces.
Since a water detection sensor can notify you of a potential flood, it can also help prevent mold damage. That should be enough reason to invest in these nifty devices that can save you thousands of dollars.
For more savvy tips and tricks like this, check out our latest informative news and blog posts now!