Water Damage

Common Causes of Water Damage and What to Do About Them

February 27, 2023

Water damage in your home can lead to wall discoloration, damp flooring, and a musty odor. As well as these common signs of water damage, the harm this destructive element causes can lead to all kinds of health issues and may even compromise your home’s structural integrity.

The best way to avoid these water damage issues and the cost of repairing them is by identifying the source of the problem early on and taking action as soon as possible. But what are some of the common causes of water damage, and what can you do about them? Keep reading to find out more!

Leaks in the Plumbing System

One of the most common and obvious causes of water damage is a leak in the plumbing system. Unfortunately, plumbing problems can be difficult to spot unless you’re looking for them. This is why it’s vital to inspect your pipes every year for damage such as signs of rust or faults in the hoses or pipe joints.

When taking a closer look at your plumbing system, bear in mind that water pipes have a limited lifespan. Cast iron pipes can last for up to 100 years, but the average lifespan for galvanized steel pipes is only between 20 and 50 years.

Depending on the material of your pipes and when they were first fitted, your best bet for preventing water damage could mean getting a full replacement before it’s too late.

Burst Pipes

Sudden and drastic drops in temperature can cause your home’s pipes to burst unexpectedly. This happens because the water inside freezes and then expands, putting pressure on the pipes from inside until they burst.

Older and rusty pipes are more likely to burst than newer ones, so this is another sign to inspect and possibly replace your pipes if you’re in any doubt about their condition or age.

If you’ve ever seen the amount of water damage that burst pipes can do, you’ll know that this is a very serious and expensive fix. While water damage services can do wonders with water damage restoration, prevention is always better than cure.

Faulty or Old Appliances

Your old washing machine might still be getting your clothes clean, but old washing machines are notorious for causing problematic water damage.

Often, this is because of damaged hoses or a poor connection leading to the appliance. Such issues can cause water to run down to the floor and pool, causing damage, a musty smell, and mold. Experts recommend replacing your washing machine every 10 years so if it’s around a decade since you brought your current model home, it’s likely time for a change.

Old water heaters can also be problematic, as can those that were installed badly or haven’t been maintained well. And when a water tank leaks, you can expect your basement to flood in no time. To avoid this happening, check your water heater for any leaks or signs of damage and replace it accordingly.

Blocked Toilet

Treating your toilet like a trash can isn’t only harmful to the environment. It can also block your toilet and clog your drain. This can then cause water to overflow and flood your bathroom floor with dirty toilet water.

As well as causing water damage to your bathroom floor and home in general, this could also lead to a variety of health issues if you don’t deal with the problem straight away.

Luckily, this situation is easy to avoid by making sure to only ever flush the “three Ps” down the toilet: pee, poop, and (toilet) paper. This means no wet wipes, feminine hygiene products, dental floss, cotton swabs, hair, or anything else.

Clogged Gutters

Clogs and blockages can also occur in your home’s gutter system. Your gutters are meant to draw rainwater away from your house but can often become blocked by leaves, twigs, and other kinds of debris over time.

When this happens, rainwater can’t flow away from your property as it should. Instead, it flows over the edges of your gutter and runs down the sides of your house.

Over time, this can cause water damage and mold growth on your home’s walls, ceilings, and floors. To avoid such damage, you’ll need to clear out your gutters at least twice a year.

Septic Tank and Sewage Backup

If your home has a septic tank, you’ll need to be extra careful about sewage backups. This occurs when the septic tank fills up or excessive rainfall causes the septic tank to overflow. When this happens, the organic matter in the sewage lines or septic tank backs up into your home through the drains.

To avoid this disgusting scenario and the excessive water damage that it can do to your home, stick to the three Ps rule mentioned above when flushing and use natural drain cleaners with enzymes and bacteria. You should also get your septic tank inspected every year and pumped every three years.

Adverse Weather Conditions

Sometimes, water damage has nothing to do with any house installations or the care you take of your property. Adverse weather conditions such as heavy rainfall, excessive snow, hail, or freezing temperatures can also cause significant water damage to your home in various ways.

Preventing water damage caused by adverse weather is difficult. Although, taking steps to mitigate water damage can help. For example, if there’s a weather forecast for heavy rain, check your gutters and outside drainage beforehand to make sure they’re ready to take on the extra load.

Your Guide to the Common Causes of Water Damage

From burst pipes to plumbing problems, leaking washing machines to septic tank backups, there are all kinds of ways that water can pose a threat to the comfort, safety, and structural integrity of your home.

But, with this information on the causes of water damage to guide you, it should now be easier to avoid these eventualities in the future.

That said, water damage doesn’t have to spell disaster if you know who to call for help. For all your water damage restoration needs, contact us here at NCRI today.

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