leaking pipe

Water may be life-giving, but it can also be quite a destructive force. At some point, our home will experience a form of water damage, and it’s not going to be pretty or inexpensive.

Whether you’re going for a simple cleanup or mold remediation, water damage is going to cost you.

Then again, not dealing swiftly with the consequences of water damage would be an even costlier proposition. If left unaddressed, water damage can trigger mold growth and weaken the foundation of your house, among other things.

In most cases, water damage is preventable, but you need to know what usually brings it about. Here are seven of the most common causes of water damage.

1. Severe Weather

Severe weather conditions like thunderstorms and hurricanes have the potential to cause plenty of water damage. The flooding that they typically produce is often enough to wreak havoc on one’s home or business.

2. Roofing and Gutter Issues

Your roof protects you from the elements, but the practically non-stop assault it gets can cause cracks and leaks that eventually lead to water damage.

If your roof is flat, there is a possibility that rainwater will pool there after a heavy storm, and its weight will put a lot of strain on it and result in leaks.

Ideally, a flat roof needs to be a bit convex so that water will gradually flow into the gutters and away from your home’s foundation. However, your gutters need to be clear for that to happen. Gutters tend to be filled with leaves, branches, bird’s nests, and all kinds of debris over time and clog it. Because of the blockage, rainwater will overflow and go straight down the side of your home and cause water damage.

3. Damaged Water Pipes

Water leaking out of loose or broken pipes causes a lot of damage, especially when the plumbing problem is located in a place where you can’t see it, particularly inside walls. With the increased humidity because of the unattended leak, mold formation becomes very likely.

4. Blocked Drains and Overflowing Toilets

Drains and toilets back up when hair, grease, and other foreign objects block the drain pipe. This kind of water damage can be dangerous to your health because the water that flows back up because of the blockages is typically filthy.

5. Leaking Washing Machines and Dishwashers

A washing machine with loose fittings or a worn-out rubber or PVC supply line is a potential cause of water damage. The same goes for a dishwasher with a broken latch, which means it cannot be sealed properly.

6. Condensation From Air Conditioning

Your AC unit removes moisture from the air and produces condensation in the process. An air conditioner that undergoes proper and regular maintenance wouldn’t have any problems getting rid of that condensation through a drain line or tube.

However, many homeowners tend to neglect regular AC maintenance and continue operating the unit with a dirty condensate line or worse, a damaged drain pan. When that happens, moisture will build up inside the AC unit and slowly leak into your home. The water it expels may not be that much, but more often than not, it’s enough to ruin the flooring and drywall potentially. The extra moisture also encourages mold growth.

7. Water Heater Leak

The water heater in your basement can provide all the hot water you need, but when it gets older, it tends to become more prone to leaks because of sediment buildup, particularly at the bottom. High water pressure could also cause the tank to crack. Water could also leak out of loose drain valves.

While it’s true that you have no control over the weather, you can actually do something about the other causes of water damage listed above.

You can reduce the likelihood of washing machines flooding your laundry room by replacing the rubber or PVC supply line with a braided stainless steel one. The simple act of regularly cleaning the gutters will facilitate the flow of rainwater away from your house. Getting a professional plumber to check your plumbing system from time to time can help you detect water leaks and address them right away. A drain screen can also stop hair and other foreign objects from flowing into the drain and clogging the pipes.

As the cliché goes, an ounce of prevention is always better than a pound of cure, so do what you can to keep water damage away.

About the Author

Rachel Anderson is the Content Marketing Strategist of Arizona Fire & Water Restoration, Inc., a Phoenix-based company that provides water, fire and smoke damage restoration as well as mold remediation and removal services. When not writing, she plays bowling and goes on trail hikes with her friends.