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Preventative maintenance for water leaks

Source: Wall Street Journal

By AMY HOAK

Left unchecked, water leaks can be a house's worst enemy.

"Water is one of the most destructive things to a house," says David Tamny, president of the American Society of Home Inspectors. "It can account for so many things going wrong in a structure."

Water damage is the second most-common cause of damage in homes, following fires, says Scott Spencer, world-wide appraisal and loss-prevention manager for insurer Chubb Group.

Leaks that aren't obvious often produce the biggest issues. "If your bathtub or shower is leaking, you're going to recognize that quickly and take steps to fix it. The hidden problems, people don't know to fix," Mr. Tamny says. As a result, they tend to worsen over time.

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