Water damage is possibly the most destructive thing that could ever happen to a home. The effects and causes of water damage are like a domino effect.
Aside from warping your floors and ruining your paint, it can also encourage mold growth. This, in turn, can invite a pest infestation into your home. The average cost for water damage restoration is $3,250 and could go up to $5,000 or more.
Prevention is the best way to avoid costly repairs. That’s why we’ve created this guide to common causes of water damage. Read on to discover more from our water extraction specialists.
1. Leaks in Your Plumbing System
Your plumbing system connects all water lines in your house. It consists of two subsystems: one to bring in fresh water, and the other to push out wastewater. Unfortunately, water damage leaks from your plumbing system can be difficult to spot unless it’s right under your sink.
That’s why it’s crucial to keep up with home maintenance. You must have a yearly pipe inspection to ensure there are no problems with the joints or hoses. Get repairs as soon as possible to avoid incurring more expensive bills.
Water pipes have a lifespan ranging from 20-100 years, depending on the material. Older homes are more susceptible to leaky pipes.
2. Bad Weather
Water damage is not always a sign of an internal problem in your home. Sometimes, it can come from adverse weather conditions. Anything from heavy rain, snow, and flooding can cause extreme water damage to your home.
If there’s a chance of heavy rain, check your drainage pipes, gutters, and downspouts. This can help you prevent water from breaching your home.
If you live in a coastal area, there’s not much you can do to prevent water damage. The best thing you can do is to purchase flood insurance. People who live in flood-prone areas install vents or sump pumps or raise their homes.
Before it starts to snow, check for any ice dams forming on your roof. Ice dams can prevent melted snow from draining off the roof, causing the water to back up into your home. You can avoid this by insulating your attic.
3. Clogged Gutters or Drains
Many homeowners are guilty of neglecting to clean their gutters or drains. Gutters may get clogged from dirt build-up, fallen leaves, sludge, and ice. If you can’t remember the last time you cleaned your gutters, now would be the best time to do it.
Clogged gutters cause excess water to flow back into the house. This often goes straight to the basement and may be the reason for that foul smell.
The same goes for your drains. Bathroom and kitchen drains must be cleaned regularly to eliminate grease, dirt, and hair. If left alone, the water can back up into other pipes and come up in other places like your toilet.
4. Old or Faulty Appliances Produce Causes of Water Damage
Any appliance in your home that requires water can be a suspect of water damage. Older appliances can have rusty pipes, resulting in leaks throughout your home. Supply hoses could also weaken over time, so you want to replace them once every five years.
If you notice pools of water under your dishwasher or refrigerator, address the problem immediately. Washing machine leaks can be more concerning due to the amount of water it needs. PVC and rubber supply lines are more prone to wear and tear.
If you don’t shut off the water source in time, you’ll have a flooded room in less than an hour. You can prevent this by investing in braided stainless steel lines.
If you have a sump pump, ensure its vent and discharge pipes are clear and it’s always standing upright. A faulty sump pump could result in a nasty flood.
5. Condensation From Your AC Unit
An efficient AC unit will remove excess moisture from inside your home. Issues will only occur if you neglect to maintain your AC. If you have clogged ducts, the moisture will get trapped inside your unit.
With no way out, water will leak from your AC and drip all over your home. Make it a habit to clean your HVAC units on a regular basis, especially before a storm.
6. Leaky Water Heater
Old water heaters are more likely to spring a leak. Poorly installed or maintained heaters also have a higher risk of leaking. Leaky heaters often occur due to heavy tank pressure.
When that happens, it can cause a flood in your basement or wherever the heater’s installed. If you’ve had your heater for more than a decade, it’s best to replace it. This is the perfect opportunity to upgrade to a tankless water heater, which can last up to 20 years.
7. Sewage or Septic Tank Backup
Septic backups can happen whenever the septic tank fills up or when there’s heavy rain. This can cause organic matter in your tank or sewage lines to flow back up your drains.
Checking in on your septic tank may be gross, but it’s essential for home care. If you suspect a septic backup, call a plumber as soon as possible.
8. Structural Damage
Any structural damage in your home can lead to excess moisture and water damage. Moisture can creep through your crawl spaces, creating a breeding ground for mold.
Protect your walls and foundation by cleaning your gutters and maintaining vegetation around your area. Hoses and pipes can fail under excess pressure. So, you can also get a water pressure gauge to regulate it.
9. Burst Pipes
Homes are at risk of burst pipes when the temperatures are too low. During freezing weather, ice can form inside your pipes and expand, causing them to burst.
Replace rusty pipes immediately and let your faucets drip to prevent your pipes from freezing.
Water Extraction Services in Chicago
From structural damage and faulty appliances to burst pipes and bad weather, here are the most common causes of water damage in homes. Preventing water damage is simple if you know what to watch out for.
However, if you’ve already had leaks or floods in your home, we can help. The Clean Up Guys offers water extraction services like flood and basement cleanup. If you’re in Chicago, contact us today and let us know how we can help.