October 5th, 2018
The leading cause of property damage in a home comes from water. This is primarily because water can come from so many sources. Things can become worse if the damage isn’t discovered quickly, or if it occurs in a place that isn’t easy to reach. Though you might not be able to avoid water damage completely, knowing the common causes can help you limit its effects on your property.
Things That Can Break Or Leak
Broken pipes can be terrifying to a homeowner, but when a broken pipe occurs inside a wall, it can be a nightmare. Water can flow freely for undetermined amounts of time when it is hidden. Broken pipes like this can often go unnoticed until the water bill increases dramatically. Freezing temperatures can cause the water in the pipes to freeze and burst, but it can happen at any time of year. Stay diligent by checking pipes:
•During extreme temperature swings
•If water pressure changes
•When water appears discolored or smells unpleasant
•If you see water marks on the ceiling or drywall
Appliances such as washing machines, hot water heaters, and dishwashers can leak due to a problem or a clog in the water line. If appliances are near cabinets or hardwood floors, it can cause warping over time, but mold growth can begin in as little as 48 hours. Keep an eye out for standing water near appliances, and make immediate arrangements for repairs.
Backups And Overflows
It’s easy to become distracted while filling up the bathtub or sink, and toilets can become plugged with anything from toilet paper to toys. When the water begins to spill over the sides, it can soak into carpets and through floorboards quickly, leaking into the level beneath. When water is not dried quickly, it can cause permanent damage to carpet and subflooring while encouraging mold growth. Turn off faucets before stepping away from the room, and be prepared to shut off the water valve on toilets (located at the base of the toilet near the wall) to cut off the water supply.
When the sewage system backs up, it can be unpleasant. This typically happens during periods of heavy rainfall or if tree roots block the pathways of the pipes in your home. You can’t do anything to change the weather, but you can make sure that you have a sump pump that’s in top working order. You can also call a tree expert to check your lines to make sure that there are no roots in the way of your pipes. Contact your insurance agent to make sure you have coverage for sewage backups.
Homes are filled with porous materials that soak up water like a sponge. This is how it can spread and cause serious damage. No matter how the water has gotten into your home, the most important way to minimize the damage is to clean it up, get it dried, and repair the cause as quickly as possible.