When people think of water damage– well that’s the problem, people don’t normally think about water damage. Then, suddenly, that washing machine hose you haven’t bothered to look at since you moved in bursts and your house is turned into a water park. Being informed about the causes of water damage can save you money and stress down the line.
Here are the most common causes of water damage our restoration technicians respond to:
- Leaking Roof
Roof leaks happen for a number of reasons: roofing materials deteriorate over time, storms rip off shingles and create exposures, or clogged gutters can stop water from flowing away from your roof and cause water to soak through.
What it does to your home: Water from a leaking roof can cause paint to peel, damage ceiling-mounted lights and fans, ruin possessions stored in your attic, and even cause ceilings to collapse.How to prevent: perform regular roof maintenance every 6 months or after severe weather. Replace any missing or damaged shingles, clean your gutters regularly, and trim overhanging trees to prevent debris from building up.
- Frozen Pipes
Frozen pipes can happen in all climate types, it doesn’t matter if you live in Anchorage, Alaska or here in Dallas, Texas. When your pipes are exposed to freezing conditions, the water inside them also freezes. Water expands as it turns to ice, and the built up pressure causes the pipe to burst.What it does to your home: When a water pipe bursts it can release up to 105 gallons of water per hour– that’s equivalent to two full bathtubs. Think about it. Every hour your house fills up with two bathtubs of water. It’s really not even the replacement of pipes that can be costly, but the extensive water damage it causes.How to prevent: Insulate pipes in poorly insulated parts of the home, like crawlspaces and attics. Don’t touch that thermostat! People have a habit of turning the thermostat down during the night, but the sudden drop in temperature can cause pipes to freeze. Open the cabinets beneath your sinks to allow warm air to reach your pipes. If your pipes freeze, remove use a hand-held dryer to warm them.
- Leaking Pipes
While it doesn’t sound like it, a leaking pipe can be more destructive than a burst pipe, especially if it goes unnoticed for a long time. A small ⅛ inch crack in a pipe (that’s the size of your fingernail) can release up to 250 gallons of water a day. These types of leaks are harder to detect because they don’t release a large flood of water, and by the time homeowners discover that little leak, a large amount of damage has already been done.What it does to your home: A slow, ongoing leak from a pipe can ruin your flooring, deteriorate your drywall, and could lead to mold growth.How to prevent: Regularly inspect your sink, toilets, refrigerators, ac units, and dishwashers for signs of leaks. If you notice a leak, call a plumber immediately. Also, consider installing a leak detection alarm for any appliances connected to a water supply line.
- Water Heater Failure
Standard water heaters contain up to 40-120 gallons of water, so when one unexpectedly leaks or bursts it can cause an immense amount of damage. A malfunctioning water heater can also become a fire explosion hazard. If pressure builds up in the tank you’ve essentially got a ticking time bomb in your house waiting to explode. When you notice your water heater is malfunctioning, it’s important to act fast for the sake of your safety.What it does to your home: If a water heater is located on the second floor of a property and it ruptures, the flooding can cause ceilings to cave in. A water heater can also produce slow, ongoing leaks that spread through nearby walls and flooring.How to prevent: All water heaters have a limited lifespan, but by doing routine maintenance you can prevent catastrophic leaks and even extend the life of your water heater. Maintain your water heater by flushing a quart of water from the storage tank every three months, checking the temperature and pressure valves every six months, and inspecting the anode rod every four years.
- Broken Washing Machine Hose
Many homeowners don’t realize they’re supposed to turn off the water supply lines to their washing machines after they’re done doing a load of laundry. These supply lines are always pressurized, so breaking a hose is like turning on a highly pressurized water faucet and it will release a flood of water through your house.What it does to your home: A burst washing machine hose can flood your laundry room and home. Slower leaks from worn hoses and loose fittings can also cause water damage to any surrounding floors and walls.
How to prevent: Turning off the water supply after every load is the best way to prevent a washing machine overflow. However, if you’re forgetful (like most of us) there are other measures you can take. Inspect your hoses regularly and replace any damaged, rusted, or aging hoses with metal-mesh hoses. These types of hoses are more durable and fairly inexpensive. Also, consider investing in auto-shutoff valves that automatically shut off the water supply if a hose bursts. These are a little more expensive, but definitely worth the investment.
- Sewage Backup or Overflow
Sewage damage most often occurs when the main sewage line or a line that connects to the main sewage line backs up, forcing sewage waste into you home.What it does to your home: Sewage water is extremely contaminated and contact with it could cause severe illness or even death. Disease-causing pathogens spread onto surfaces and into porous materials like carpet and drywall. A professional will know how to remove sewage water without spreading it to other areas of the home and can properly remove any contaminated items.
How to prevent: Don’t flush paper towels or feminine hygiene products. Avoid using so-called “flushable wipes”. Despite their name, they actually wreak havoc with your plumbing. Since the wipes don’t dissolve, they tend to accumulate over time and clog pipes. Also, Regularly call a plumber to inspect your pipes every year or so.
- Leaking Roof
Contact Regent Restoration To Fix These Common Causes of Water Damage
Regent Restoration is a leading commercial and residential water damage restoration company that serves the entire Dallas/Fort Worth area. We’ve been repairing water damaged homes and business back for decades, so we’re experts on the subject. If you find yourself in a water damage emergency, call us at (214)-731-4624. We’ll arrive at your DFW property within 30 minutes to help you and return your life back to normal.
More Information On the Causes of Water Damage:
IICRC Tips On Water Damage
Water Damage Statistics