Tips homeowners can take to avoid costly damages in heating, ventilation and air-conditioning units, sewer lines, drains and other areas:

  • Change out washing machine hoses every five years per the manufactures recommendation. When possible, use reinforced steel-braided hoses instead of rubber. Also consider turning off the washing machine water supply if the house will be unoccupied for an extended period.
  • Listen for running water in your bathroom. Toilets with tanks that never stop refilling and become clogged, as toilets sometimes do, will overflow. Be sure the cut-off valves work.
  • Inspect cabinets under sinks at least once annually for drips and larger leaks. Leaks also occur under dishwashers and refrigerators. Leaks get worse with time, so fixing a drip can prevent a big problem later.
  • Check the plastic hose that connects the refrigerator ice maker to the water line. Replace the hose if there is any indication of deterioration. These hoses are inexpensive and can lead to huge problems because they go unnoticed.
  • Install water detection alarms, they are available at most home centers. The alarms alert homeowners to possible leaks in water-prone areas such as bathrooms, kitchens and utility rooms. Some water alarms can send alerts to your cell phone or Alarm Company.
  • Check for condensation and corrosion around pipes. Cracked or warped flooring is also a telltale signs of a leak.
  • Check water heaters annually. Look for corrosion, leaks or a bulging tank. Anode rods — the long metal rods used to attract corrosive elements in the water and prevent rust — eventually succumb to corrosion too. Have them checked by a professional every three years.

If a hurricane should strike Oahu…