MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – When Minnesotans head to the cabin for the weekend, many worry about break-ins.
But it turns out, there’s something more costly to think about.
According to Allstate, the average theft claim is less than $2,000, the average water damage claim is more than $7,000.
And with rains as heavy as they were this summer, many basements have experiences such flooding.
But, protecting your home from major damage while you’re away may be an inexpensive fix.
It’s an all-too familiar sight this summer.
Recent downpours left four feet of water in Bruce Niederkofler’s basement in Blakeley Township, Minn.
He was at work when it happened to him.
If he had been on vacation, hard to imagine what would’ve happened.
“Time is of essence actually. If watch the rivers rise, how they rise, well it does the same thing at a ground level,” Troy Meyers, of Menard’s, said.
Meyers says his Eden Prairie Menard’s has seen a lot of action the past few weeks.
But he says there is preventative equipment too, like a $99 Home Sitter.
Meyers says the device has sensor that detects water on a pump or on the ground then the system calls three phone numbers to notify people who are away from home.
“This sits down on the ground, it can go like or this or it can attach to a sump pump or some basket. And once moisture hits this, it’s gonna call,” Meyers said.
Now, it’s not the call you want to get on your vacation, but if it does goes, it will call your cell phone directly.
“It would give you enough time once it hits the sensor to get back and rectify the solution. Versus if you went all weekend, it’s probably going to be a bad thing,” Meyers said.
And that’s the point Home Sitter sales rep Chuck Guerin’s been trying to make.
Saying a break-in likely won’t cost you as much as unattended water damage.
“In reality, the most common problem is water. A toilet can leak, a hot water heater can burst, a sump pump can fail, your power can go out and all kinds of things related to water can be much more damaging in the end and troublesome. It’s easy to replace a TV,” Guerin said.
Some products are less than $10, like a water sensor that beeps loudly for 72 hours after it gets wet.
And some allow you to monitor things from your cell.
There are also services like Water Cop that turn water off remotely.
All ways to try and keep your home a place you want to come back to.
There’s another option if you want to be extra careful.
It’s a device that not only senses water damage but also remotely turns off water to your house.