Common Sources of Water Damage & How To Fix Them (Guest Post)

Water — it’s vital to life…unfortunately, that life happens to include fungus and mold that we really would rather not live with.

A ceiling with water damage so bad it's falling apart.No one ever wants to experience water damage within the home, but the fact is it happens. It’s crucial to know what to do when water damage occurs to minimize structural damage and prevent ensuing mold growth, the latter of which can be harmful to occupant health. Normally, the discovery of water damage will result in a call to a handyman to fix it. Bad cases may require a certified, professional restoration firm, as these professionals have the equipment and know-how to dry a property quickly and effectively.

With that in mind, you might be wondering about some of the common causes of water damage. Here’s a look at some of the most popular causes.

Damaged Pipes
Pipes can fail under normal circumstances due to old age, corrosion, house settling, etc. Homes in northern climates can also have big issues with frozen pipes during cold winter months. Freezing water expands which increases the pressure in pipes and can cause them to split or rupture. This can create a big mess, notably in basements and crawl spaces — areas of the home where pipes aren’t as well insulated as others.

The fix: A plumber can usually fix the affected pipes and often the cleanup may not be significant. For occurrences involving large amounts of water, a restoration professional is often needed to dry the property and address mold concerns. Consider preventative maintenance like pipe insulating foam to prevent these occurrences.

Appliance Mishaps
Washing machines, refrigerators with ice makers, toilets, sinks, hot water heaters and any other water-containing appliance has the potential to fail and spew water in the vicinity.

The fix: Fixing these situations can be tricky, especially if the water got into any flooring, as the flooring will have to be dried properly. Drywall may also have to be removed and replaced.

Roof Leaks/Ice Dams
A leaky roof can cause water damage in ceilings and lead to mold growth in attics. During the winter months, ice dams can also wreak havoc on properties. Ice dams occur when melted snow runs off the roof, only to re-freeze when it hits the colder gutter. This can lead to a domino effect — where roof runoff can’t properly drain, so it seeps into your property.

The fix: While a restoration contractor can restore either of these issues, preventative maintenance is key to avoiding both of these pitfalls. Have your roof inspected annually to ensure it’s in good order. In terms of preventing ice dams, consider purchasing a roof rake and use it to clear snow away from the gutters after it falls. Proper attic insulation can also help.

Sewer Backup
Not only does sewage backup have the tendency to make a disgusting mess in your property, but this is also a big health issue. Sewage water is considered “Category 3” water by an industry trade association (the IICRC), which is the filthiest water of all, containing harmful bacteria.

The fix: While there may not always be a way to stop backups from happening, if you have a tree root problem or other break in the line, regular snaking may abate the problem until funds are available for replacement. When large amounts of sewage are involved, restoration contractors should be called, as they’ll have to not only remove the water from the property, but sanitize and disinfect to eliminate any health hazards as well.

Flooding
Severe weather can give way to flooding, which can make its way into basements and lower levels of housing complexes.

The fix: Not only will property have to be dried out, but any affected drywall and carpeting will also have to be removed and replaced in such a situation, so a restoration contractor should be called. Furthermore, to prevent future flooding, land should be graded to slope away from the home and gutters should discharge well away from the home as well.

Author bio:
Bill Robinson understands how tragic water damage can be as the Vice President of Operations for DKI Services where he oversees disaster relief operations. DKI Services is a national disaster restoration and remediation company for residential and commercial buildings. Some of Bill’s efforts have been recognized nationally and locally through the media.

Posted in: 1. Property Owner Blog Posts, Repairs

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