Almost twenty percent of home property damage in 2020 was caused by water damage. Water can really wreck your home!

So, how do you watch out for water and keep your home in tip-top shape? We’ve got you covered.

Let’s go through the most common causes of water damage and how to avoid these issues.

Plumbing Issues

Plumbing failures are a leading cause of water damage. Leaks in plumbing pipes can lead to water damage over time, especially if they go unnoticed or ignored.

Freezing temperatures, excessive water pressure, or old and corroded pipes can lead to pipe bursts. This can cause severe water damage.

Malfunctioning or damaged plumbing fixtures can also cause water problems. These can include things like such as faucets, toilets, or showerheads.

Supply lines that deliver water to appliances can deteriorate or develop water damage leaks over time.

To prevent these problems, regularly inspect your plumbing system for any signs of water leaks. Replace old or damaged supply lines with braided stainless steel hoses, which are more durable.

If you’re worried about your pipes bursting, maintain a consistent indoor temperature during the winter. Insulate exposed pipes, especially in cold areas of your home, to prevent freezing. You can also install a regulator to prevent excessive water pressure.

Weather Problems

Severe weather conditions can lead to water intrusion in homes. This includes things like heavy rain, storms, hurricanes, or floods.

Regularly clean and maintain gutters and downspouts to prevent blockages. Direct downspouts away from your home’s foundation.

If you live in a flood-prone area, elevate electrical systems, appliances, and valuable items above the flood level. Install flood barriers or sandbags around vulnerable entry points.

Ensure proper insulation and ventilation in your attic to prevent ice dams from forming.

Appliance Failures

Malfunctioning household appliances can cause significant water damage if they leak or overflow. Appliances that could cause you problems include washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators, or water heaters.

Inspect the water heater for any signs of corrosion or rust. Replace it if necessary. Test the pressure relief valve regularly to ensure it functions correctly.

Make sure your air conditioning system is installed and maintained by qualified professionals. Clean or replace air filters regularly to maintain proper airflow and prevent ice buildup.

If you do end up suffering from water damage, look into water extraction and damage restoration specialists in your area.

Roof Leaks

A damaged or poorly maintained roof can allow water to seep into your home, leading to water damage, mold growth, and structural issues.

To prevent these issues, schedule periodic roof inspections. Detecting and addressing problems early can help prevent leaks.

If you notice any signs of roof damage or leaks, such as missing shingles, cracked flashing, or water stains on the ceiling, address them promptly. Ignoring minor issues can lead to bigger problems and costly repairs down the line.

To prevent rain problems, seal gaps around windows, doors, and other openings. You can use weatherstripping or caulking.

Install storm shutters or impact-resistant windows to protect against wind-driven rain. Consider installing a rainwater collection system or rain barrels. This will divert excess water away from your property.

If you live in a particularly snow-heavy area of the country, get rid of any snow from the roof using a roof rake. This will help prevent ice dams and excess weight that can damage the roof structure.

Regularly remove leaves, branches, and other debris that accumulate on the roof as well.

Basement Moisture

Moisture intrusion in basements can result from poor sealing, inadequate waterproofing, high groundwater levels, or inadequate drainage.

To prevent water damage in your basement, apply a waterproofing sealant or paint to the interior walls. These products create a barrier against water penetration and can help reduce moisture issues.

Proper ventilation is essential to prevent excessive moisture buildup. Ensure that your basement has adequate air circulation by using fans or dehumidifiers. Opening windows periodically can also help.

If you see cracks in your floors or wall, they could be allowing water to seep in. Seal these cracks using hydraulic cement or an epoxy-based sealer. For larger foundation issues, consult a professional.

Human Error

Accidental incidents can cause substantial water damage. Accidentally leaving a faucet running, not properly shutting off a valve, or causing a pipe to burst while attempting DIY repairs can result in water damage. It’s important to be cautious and follow proper procedures when working with plumbing systems.

Mishandling or misusing appliances can lead to water damage, leaks or hose failures. Following manufacturer guidelines and regularly inspecting these appliances can help prevent accidents.

Neglecting routine maintenance tasks like cleaning gutters, checking for pipe leaks, or addressing small water leaks promptly can lead to more significant water damage over time. Regular inspections and making repairs on time can help prevent such issues.

HVAC System Issues

Problems with your HVAC system can lead to water leaks or condensation buildup. This can result in water damage.

Consider installing a secondary drain pan beneath your HVAC unit. This pan can collect water in case of a primary drain line clog or malfunction.

Additionally, installing a float switch in the drain pan can automatically shut off the HVAC system if the water level rises. This helps prevent overflow and, therefore, water damage.

Schedule HVAC system maintenance, ideally twice a year. A technician will inspect the HVAC system, clean the components, check for leaks, and ensure proper drainage.

Ensure that the condensate drain lines and pipes point away from your home’s foundation. This prevents pooling water near the foundation and potentially causing structural damage.

Causes of Water Damage: Now You Know

Now that you’re in the know about these causes of water damage, you’ll be able to protect your home.

Do you have water damage in your Chicago-area home? We can help. Contact The CleanUP Guys today.