JAM News
Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Educating Customers About Leak Detection — and Why It Matters for Contractors

PHCP PROS - Jeff Long

Tell customers about the likelihood of leaks and the damages they cause, and you’ll be the pro they need.

You know how to spot potential pipe leaks. But do you know how to articulate the warning signs to customers? To help avoid frustration and future water damage costs, educate homeowners about conditions that lead to leaks, signs one may have already occurred and how to automate the leak detection and prevention process to mitigate future crises.

Sharing knowledge will also help position you as an authoritative resource for customers’ plumbing needs. They will be able to catch a leaking pipe sooner, and you will likely be the first pro they call to fix it.

Communicate risks

Why educate customers on common signs of leaks? Because many homeowners aren’t aware leaks are a likely possibility during their ownership journeys. Even if they know someone who had a leak, they may think, “That will never happen to me.”

Help them understand the need for leak detection by sharing helpful information that can convey the prevalence of leaks:

  • Water damage is seven times more likely to happen than fire and five times more likely than theft, according to Investopedia’s article “Water Damage Insurance.”
  • Water damage is the No. 1 cause of damage to luxury homes, and you’re two to three and a half times more likely to have another leak after the first, according to the report “Myths and Misconceptions about Residential Water Damage” from AIG.
  • HomeAdvisor reports that the average homeowner spends up to $4,100 in water remediation services to repair damage and up to $6,000 to remove mold.

In addition to the financial impact, customers need to consider the potential loss of sentimental items — some of which are irreplaceable. Leaks can also disrupt day-to-day life, especially if property damage is significant enough to require displacement while water remediation and repairs are in progress.

The practice of educating customers can also help avoid property damage and emotional distress, and it can position you as a professional who puts their needs first, which can boost your business’ reputation.

What customers should look tor

Now that customers understand the enormity of leaks and the risks that surface without preparation, you can provide insight into the four most common signs a pipe has leaked or will soon leak so customers can be proactive about leak detection.

1. Excessive humidity: High humidity could be an early sign of a pipe leak, and levels more than 60 percent saturation can lead to mold growth. Either way, homeowners need to monitor their humidity levels to prevent expensive damage. 

2. Low water pressure: While low water pressure could be caused by several factors, including water supply issues and clogged pipes, customers need to rule out a leak as soon as possible. Be sure to give a range of the ideal pressure based on their home’s unique needs.

3. Higher-than-normal water bills: A high water bill could simply be a sign a customer’s household water usage has increased. However, it could also be a sign that there’s a leak.

4. Freezing temperatures: While freezing temperatures outside aren’t a sign of a leak, it can cause burst pipes. Explain how customers can insulate pipes and drain outdoor faucets before temperatures drop.

Share these four signs of leaks on your next service call, in an educational email, on your blog and across your social media profiles. Educating customers now could mean fewer emergency service calls and more low-stakes preventative maintenance calls in the future.

Equip customers

Customers may also not have the right tools — like humidity meters and pressure gauges — to check for leak-inducing conditions. Most don’t have the time to check their water bill closely each month or look ahead for freezing weather conditions. And even if they are proactive about prevention and listen to your advice, leaks can still happen.

This is a great opportunity to talk about connecting their plumbing system to a smart home leak detection device that checks for leaks 24/7 and gives them the ability to turn off their water from an app. It will also give your customers peace of mind to have another line of defense against leaks, and it will make your job easier and can help strengthen your relationships with them.

Plus, offering leak detection device installation services is a natural way to add value, and the devices don’t typically take long to install. Plus, if the customer already has smart home products installed, such as doorbells and security systems, they will likely be even more receptive to a smart plumbing product.

Learn more about adding smart home leak detection devices to your list of offerings. 

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