Common Causes of Water Damage
Water: the same substance that gives us life can also be the source of some of the biggest headaches in our homes. Every home and business owner dreads the thought of finding water damage, and whenever that awful moment does arrive (usually at the worst possible time, right?), you might want to cover it up and run away. But avoiding the problem will only make things worse, as water damage can quickly morph into spread into other major issues like mold and mildew, which can lead to health problems and even more bills. So once water damage happens, you need to take care of it right away -- but wouldn’t it be better to take some proactive steps to avoid it in the first place? Here are some of the most common causes of water damage, and the easy ways you can take preventive steps to keep it from happening.
- Leaking or bursting pipes. Especially in the winter, pipes that aren’t being properly warmed run the risk of exploding and causing huge issues for your home and your wallet. To avoid this problem, simply make sure to keep your home’s heat on, even when you’re gone on a trip -- if you want to lower the temperature to save some money, don’t set the thermostat below 55 degrees. During periods of extreme cold, you can also keep pipes from bursting by letting your faucets do a slow drip so the water will keep moving. (A little bit bigger water bill is a lot better than a major water damage repair!) You’ll also want to make sure your garbage disposal is working properly, because if it’s not you can end up with clogged pipes that can cause water damage. It’s a good idea to simply look under all your home’s sinks when you’re doing weekly cleaning to check for any leaks.
- Ice dams. When your upper part of your roof is heated more than the lower part, melted ice can trickle down and form again in your gutters. If left unchecked, the trickling water can eventually work its way into your home and cause serious damage. This issue is avoidable by ensuring your attic is properly insulated and keeping an eye on your roof whenever there is a snowstorm: clearing off snow on the roof will help prevent ice dams.
- Gutter problems. While we’re on the topic of roof drainage, we should mention the gutters themselves. If they have holes or aren’t cleaned out periodically, they can leak water down around the foundation of your home instead of directing the runoff to the proper places where your house was designed to channel water away into the ground. That can mean costly and toxic mold in your basement. The splashing from faulty or clogged gutters can also cause paint damage and other exterior issues like mildew on your siding. You can avoid these risks by simply keeping your gutters clear of debris throughout the year and making sure that they’re installed properly to drain correctly.
- Indoor appliances. You love that new clothes washer, dishwasher, or fridge but if you’re not careful when you have them installed, hidden issues can build up over time and create big problems. Your washer’s drain hose might be jarred loose over time, so make sure to secure it and check it periodically when you’re changing loads. Your dishwasher could leak if it’s not installed properly, so consider paying the extra money to have a licensed and insured contractor do the work for you if you’re not an expert yourself. Also keep an eye on your fridge’s ice maker lines -- not just the water connection behind the unit, but also the floor below your ice and water dispenser. Keep a mat there to soak up any water that spills, but also dry the mat out every so often so that water damage won’t occur to your floor beneath the mat due to prolonged exposure to the moisture.
- Basement and crawl space moisture. It’s easy to avoid going downstairs if it’s a dark, dank space that you’re only using for storage or for washing laundry. But the lower level of your home can harbor a tremendous amount of moisture in the walls and floors from seeping groundwater and a lack of circulation of the air. This can lead to shifts in your foundation, mold in the air, and a number of other issues. The best way to avoid these problems is to ensure your sump pump is fully functional, you have the right dehumidifier to support your space, and to have a professional company like AdvantaClean give you the options for a comprehensive basement waterproofing and crawl space encapsulation service. Since 1994, we’ve been helping Americans like you with repairing water damage, and taking preventive steps to keep it from happening. So give us a call today!
More info? For more information on protecting your home from water damage, check out our other post, HOW TO PROTECT YOUR KITCHEN FROM WATER DAMAGE