8 Common Causes of Water Damage
Having leaking or broken pipes is a major cause of water damage in residential and commercial buildings, making them one of the most common causes of water damage. Clogged and backed up toilets create a buildup of pressure in the pipes, which leads to the busting/leaking of these pipes. Another common problem that can develop is with garbage disposals. If a garbage disposal isn’t working correctly it is often due to leaks near the bottom of the unit and floods cabinets with a nasty concoction of food waste and water. Roots from trees and plants around your house can spread into sewer lines causing them to break. Lastly, keep an eye out for old and rusty pipes as they are most prone to leaking.
The good thing about potential plumbing problems is they can be prevented fairly easily with an occasional look over of pipes under your sink or in your basement. Although sometimes plumbing issues are nearly impossible to detect since some pipes are hidden behind walls. Normally these pipes cause trouble because of hoses and pipe joints that aren’t fully connected.
Crawl Space, Basement & Attic Concerns
Basements, attics, and crawl spaces are some of the most prone areas inside a house for water damage. This is in part due to the lack of temperature controls in these areas. Humidity levels in a basement can rise over the course of time with aging infrastructure and hydrostatic pressure buildup. When it comes to crawlspaces and attics, these areas foster dark and damp environments which are ideal for mold growth.
Malfunctioning Household Appliances
The two most common appliances that cause water damage in homes are washing machines and hot water tanks. Other appliances such as refrigerators, dish washers are also at risk of failure. Keep an eye on these old appliance’s pipes. With the heavy usage of these electronics their pipes can start to rust and crack faster than other pipes around your house.
HVAC stands for heating, ventilating, & air conditioning units. Specifically air conditioners, due to their use of constant water flow, require regular cleaning and maintenance. When left unkempt moisture can easily buildup leading to water and mold damage.
Weather or Natural Disasters
This is the trickiest cause to deal with. There is little predictability when it comes to natural disasters and weather related problems. Take note of your environment where you live and determine which severe weather conditions are most likely. Once you’ve identified the most concerning natural disasters in your area, take the necessary precautions to help prepare your home. The most notable, natural water disasters include flash floods, severe storms, and hurricanes. Don’t be reactionary, be anticipatory.
An often overlooked cause of water damage is gutters. Due to their presence being on the outside of the house and cleverly tucked around the home it becomes a problem of, out of sight, out of mind. During the summer and all throughout fall debris in the forms of branches and leaves star t to flutter around the air. As debris falls it can gather into drainage gutters and get caught, creating blockage. As rain comes it is no longer able to be filtered away from the side of the house. It begins to flood over the gutters and stream down the side of the house. Additionally, if your gutters have any cracks they may be rendered ineffective. As water flows through the gutters it’ll start to drizzle out of the crack and onto the building instead of down and away from it. This constant flow of water can lead to the deterioration of walls due to constant wetness. Even worse, buildup can form around the structure of the home, leading to water leaking into the home (such as the basement), resulting in constant leaks or mold.
If you have a home with a flat roof you are at a higher risk of experiencing water trouble on your roof. Most flat roofs are built with a minor incline to prevent rainfall from forming standing water on the roof. This slight incline allows the water to drain off the roof. Flat roof water trouble comes when debris, manmade and from nature, starts to accumulate on the roof. With enough weight this can cause enough pressure to the weakest points of the flat roof which can cause the roof to warp ever so slightly inward. Water will start to pool up on the roof at these warped areas. During the coldest times of the year water can start to freeze up near the drainage point of the flat roof. Ice dams start to form, preventing the drainage of water from the roof. If this goes on frequently and long enough water can start to damage the roof of your house and eve n create cracks which turn into leaks. These leaks cause moisture to seep into the ceiling of your house. The problem turns from standing water on your roof to water damage and mold damage on the roof and ceiling of your home.