This Sensor Alerts You When Your Basement is Flooding

As anyone with a burst pipe knows, water damage is one of the most expensive things to repair in a home. An average insurance claim comes in around $7,000, and property damage runs more than $11 billion annually, according to the American Insurance Association and Insurance Services Office. Roost, the company that developed an inexpensive Wi-Fi connected smoke detector, is now coming out with a budget-friendly sensor that sends an alert to your smartphone if it thinks there's a leak in your house.

The $49 Roost Smart Water and Freeze Detector, available this fall, will alert homeowners to water leaks, as well as conditions that could lead to frozen pipes or mold and mildew. In addition to the leak sensor, the Roost has a temperature gauge that can let you know if your basement is getting too cold, or if your attic — or anywhere you put the device — is getting too warm. Lastly, a humidity sensor alerts you if there's too much moisture in the air, which can lead to a buildup of moisture and mold.

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Unlike its smart battery, the Roost Water and Freeze Detector has Wi-Fi built into the device itself, which runs off of four AAA batteries — enough to power the device for about 3 years. The Water and Freeze Detector then connects to your home's Wi-Fi router, and sends alerts to Roost's app on your smartphone. The detector also emits a loud noise.

Roost plans to sell an extender cable with a sensor at its end, so that you can detect leaks in spaces too tight for the device itself, such as under a refrigerator.

When the Roost Smart Water and Freeze Detector hits the market this fall, it will face competition from a number of other water leak sensors, including Honeywell's $79 Lyric Wi-Fi Water Leak and Freeze Detector, which is currently available and has many of the same features as Roost's device. In addition, most of the Smart Home Hub systems — such as the Wink, Samsung SmartThings, and others — also have inexpensive water leak detectors in their ecosystems of products.

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