Top 10 Common Causes of Water Damage in Homes
Mention ‘water damage’ in a room with homeowners, and you can almost feel the dread that follows. Understandably so. The thought of a flooded home or your precious items drenched in water, and the expensive repairs and replacements that follow, is what nightmares are made of.
As scary as the thought is, don’t bury your head in the sand. Instead, learn about the top 10 causes of water damage in homes.
With these in mind, you will know what to look out for and what to do to safeguard your home.
1. Washing Machines
Numerous residential water damage incidents stem from burst water supply lines in washing machines. Normal wear and tear can cause kinks and cuts in your hoses. If your machine has PVC or rubber supply lines, these can also wear or rupture and flood your entire laundry room.
Washing machines can also leak from using the wrong detergents, those not prescribed by the manufacturer, or from being placed on an uneven surface.
You will likely see pools of water in your laundry area, or if you have a significant washing machine leak, flooding in the entire laundry room.
Inspect your washing machine parts, especially the hoses, and always ensure that the appliance is on a level surface.
It’s never a good idea to ignore a problematic toilet, even when it doesn’t seem to hurt anything. From overflows to running toilets, toilet leaks can get costly if allowed to fester.
A running toilet keeps dispensing water even when not in use. A more severe problem is a blocked drain that prevents water from flowing through. Instead, water comes back up the toilet bowl, and it can overflow and begin to flood the floor. Aside from the mess from the water damage, this water carries harmful bacteria and is a health hazard.
3. Water Heaters
Water heaters are the hard workers relegated to out-of-the-way areas of our homes. Unfortunately, they can leak for a long time before you know something is wrong. This makes it all the more important to inspect your water heater units occasionally. Also, flash water heater tanks every six months to remove sediment from hard water.
The most obvious sign of a water heater leak is flooding in its cabinet and around where it’s installed. Other signs are rust, mold, and malfunctioning controls.
4. Faulty Plumbing
Thanks to the system’s aging, older homes are more susceptible to plumbing system issues than newer ones. However, newer homes can also have faulty plumbing due to damage and poor installation. The first sign of a faulty plumbing system is a sudden surge in your water bills with no changes in usage. If this happens, you might have a plumbing issue you need to find quickly!
Because of the intricacies of plumbing systems, you should get a professional plumber to come and find the source of the leak. They are equipped with specialist equipment, including snake cameras, to go down your pipes and highlight the source of the problem.
5. Malfunctioning Sprinkler Systems
Sprinkler systems ensure you don’t have to worry about fires in your home. However, older models can sometimes set themselves off without a fire. This can result in considerable damage, considering sprinklers send gusts of water onto your property and floors.
Consider changing the sprinkler systems if you move into an old house, or at least have them inspected. Similarly, ensure proper service and maintenance and replace parts per manufacturer instructions.
6. HVAC System
Air conditioning units produce condensation as they run. This condensate drips from the unit into a drain pan before being directed to the outside of your home through a drain pipe.
If the condensation line is clogged or the drain pipe is damaged, water leaks into your home, damaging your insulation, floors, and walls. Some telltale signs of a leaking HVAC system are water on the floor and ice on the evaporator coils.
7. Roof Leaks
Whatever the cause, a damaged roof is disastrous because it can no longer perform the expected functions, one of which is keeping the elements, including water, out.
You can detect a leak from a stained ceiling, a damp smell in your attic, mold and mildew, and even pools of water.
Pay special attention to sagging or drooping ceilings, because those might collapse if enough water builds up above them.
8. Natural Disasters
Snowstorms, hurricanes, and breaking dams can all send excessive amounts of water into your home, causing water damage.
If you live in an area with a high risk of these calamities, a flood alarm and warning system can help you better protect your home. Another thing you can do for prevention is to have your home on stilts if you live in flood-prone areas. Some homeowners also install foundation vents or sump pumps.
Additional flood insurance also comes in handy for residents of flood-prone areas. This doesn’t prevent water damage, which would be the best outcome, but it will help cover some of the restoration costs so you don’t have to pay out of pocket.
Numerous storms and flooding events throughout the country remind us again and again of the reality of natural disasters.
9. Crawl Space Leaks
A crawl space is the narrow space you see between the ground and the first floor of your home. It’s usually unfinished, dark, and narrow. Needless to say, this is the most unused space in your home.
Unfortunately, when a crawl space leak happens, it can take a while before you become aware.
Water damage in the crawl space can be from damaged gutters, poor grading, overflow from watering lawns, and leaks from damaged pipes and plumbing fixtures.
Flooded crawl spaces can damage the foundation and encourage mold and mildew growth. Because of its location, the best way to stay on top of things is by regularly inspecting your crawl space, at least twice a year.
10. Burst Pipes
Temperature changes cause pipes to expand and contract. These changes, along with aging and clogs, make pipes more susceptible to cracks and, even worse, bursts.
Reduced water pressure and flow can be good indicators of a cracked pipe. A serious leak will also have pools of water if it’s in an open, visible spot.
So what happens if your best efforts to keep water out of your house fail? Well, that’s where we come in.
Our team of water damage response teams will arrive at your doorstep within an hour of contacting us. That’s what you need when faced with water damage: timely, certified professionals with years of experience in taming water damage.
Anytime you find yourself with water damage, call us first!
More helpful posts: