Water damage can wreak havoc on a home, whether it's due to a flood, broken water pipe, hurricane, or heavy downpour. Because not all water damage is evident at first glance, homeowners must look closely or work with a roofing contractor to detect water damage on time.
There are several causes of water damage, but they all lead to major problems if they aren't recognized early – and fixed as soon as they are discovered.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about water damage and what you can do if it happens to your home.
Common Causes of Water Damage
Water damage occurs when water begins to pool in areas where it shouldn’t. Many different factors can create this excess water and thereby contribute to water damage. When you see this happen, you can take precautionary measures to stop a leak or flood from creating havoc.
The quicker you notice the problem, the less damage that water extraction companies have to fix.
Bursting or Leaking Pipes
Blocked drains and toilets that get backed up and blocked can cause extra pressure in the pipe causing them to burst. Tree and plant roots in the yard can intrude into the sewer lines–old and rusty pipes can also cause leakage.
Sometimes plumbing issues within the walls are hard to detect. Keep an eye out for any type of spotting on the drywall, as well as under your sinks to avoid potential bigger problems.
Malfunctioning Major Appliances
You should keep a log to keep track of how old your major appliances are such as your washer, dishwasher, refrigerator, or water heaters. Pipes and tubing can crack or rust with age, so look into servicing them and solicit advice about their continued life or replacement.
Weather Related Disasters
Natural water-related disasters can be overwhelming, however, you can take some preventative measures ahead of time to minimize their effect on your home. Flash floods, sudden storms, and hurricanes can all trigger water buildup throughout your home.
Keep important phone numbers, such as your insurance company, a water extracting company, and FEMA, on your phone’s directory in case of this emergency.
Water in Crawl Spaces and Basements
Certain sections of your home are more prone to water buildup and damage, such as crawl spaces, basements and attics. Crawl spaces are the areas builders add underneath homes to allow workers to put piping and electrical wires. These can allow mold to grow causing structural damage.
In addition, basement leaks are caused by moisture dripping through concrete foundation, especially if you have an older home.
Some air conditioners require regular servicing more than others, and when not maintained properly, they can cause moisture buildup and consequently create mold spores.
Signs of Water Damage
Early signs of water damage in homes can come in many ways. Knowing what and where to look out for them is key to solving your water damage problems.
Here are some signs of water damage homeowners should look out for:
1. Wet or dark spots on the walls or ceilings
2. Peeling paint
3. Flaking or cracked drywall
4. A damp, musty, or moldy smell
5. Bowing or warped wood
Tips to Prevent Water Damage in Your Home
Nobody wants to encounter the stress of fixing water damage in their homes. Therefore, you should always try to put forward preventive measures.
Clean Gutters and Downspouts
To avoid blockages and ice jams, clean your gutters at least twice a year. A good gutter installation expert can help you do this. Stagnant water in your roof can damage your gutters and produce puddles that can harm your foundation.
Again, remember to clean any downspouts to ensure that water can flow through them and fasten them to point away from the house.
Remember to disconnect your hoses from the faucet in the fall. Water in the hose can freeze and cause an ice block in the pipes. This can bust your pipe and create water damage to your house's foundations, walls, and floor.
Water Heater Servicing
Yearly inspections of your water heater will help you prolong its life and prevent water damage. Water heaters in basements and garages are better areas to clean up emergency water situations.
Take note that many water heaters do not survive past 15 years.
Replace Washing Machine Hoses
The hoses to your washing machine do not last forever – they can break and cause serious flooding, especially if it’s on a second floor or basement. They should be replaced about every five years.
Caulking Around Edges
Caulking and tile grout do not last forever. Cracks or missing sections of sealant can lead to unwanted exposure to water. Caulking and filling grout holes is a quick and easy DIY project that will save you from further major issues.
Bathtubs, showers, and sinks should be inspected regularly and fixed as soon as possible. That being said, caulk or reseal your bathtubs and showers yearly.
Locate Your Water Main Shutoff
The water main shutdown is perhaps the most critical plumbing component in the entire house. This is because the water main brings water into your home and subsequently transfers it to various pipelines.
So, knowing where your water main shutoff is located can make it easier to turn off the water quickly and possibly minimize damage.
Inspect Your Roof and Fix Leaks Promptly
If you discover evidence of a leak on your roof, act quickly to fix it. If you choose to put off critical roof repairs, your home may develop mold, mildew, dry rot, or even structural damage.
If the problem lingers for long, it might lead to total roof replacement.
Install Water Leak Sensors
A water detector is a small electronic gadget with a sensor that detects wetness and sounds an alarm. Another advantage of a water detector is that it can detect low moisture levels or slow leaks that go undiscovered most of the time.
To avoid major damage and mold growth, place it near water heaters, sump pumps, washing machines, dishwashers, and toilets.
Schedule Your Twin Cities Water Damage Inspection
The incidence of water damage can put a lot of pressure on you, but it's something that can be fixed if you work with a building contractor with a track record. We can also repair or replace your roof as well as your siding and windows.
If you suspect that your home may be affected by water damage, this is the right time to act because the sooner, the better. Or, if you have had storm damage, schedule your inspection or water damage repair services by contacting The Construction Group in Woodbury today at 651-731-5857 or contact us online!