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6 Most Common Causes of Water Damage in your Home17 Apr

Being a homeowner comes with a long list of unexpected responsibilities. After jumping through hoops just to acquire your home, now you are tasked with protecting it from both natural disasters such as earthquakes or floods, as well as human errors that could lead to fires and other destructive events. More often than not, water damage that appears to be harmless at first, is usually the culprit behind the most devastating outcomes. This is particularly sad because these events are often completely preventable with the right knowledge and resources.

To take a proactive approach in effectively tackling these problems, we must address the root causes, and recognize the early warning signs that something is not quite right.

Some of the most common, yet avoidable, issues that homeowners face, include:

Leaking Pipes

Just one leaking pipe, which is easily overlooked, can eventually cause flooding of your beloved home. It is just a matter of time before the leak damages your wall, flooring, or landscaping. Leaking pipes can be caused by a number of factors such as:

● Poor maintenance of the pipes.
● Blockages from debris such as tree roots, clogged drains, or clogged sewage lines, which poses a serious health threat to your family.

Freezing

It is common knowledge that when water comes into contact with freezing air, it turns into ice. The water that flows through your pipes is not exempt from the laws of science, and during winter, the water in your pipes can freeze into ice, which will cause it to expand. This creates significant amounts of pressure, as pipes have very little give to allow for expansion. The pipe will eventually cave and break, leading to a flood.

Outdated Pipes

Decrepit pipes are pipes that have become so worn out from use over the years, that they need to be replaced. Unfortunately, many homeowners are unaware that their pipes are outdated, or they choose to overlook this fact, which significantly increases the risk of the pipe bursting and causing a flood.

Poor Drainage System

Before one constructs a house, it is important to understand the drainage pattern of that area so as to avert the dangers that inadequate drainage poses. Poor drainage systems are most commonly seen in swampy areas, valleys, and sloped landscapes. Potential homeowners would need to understand the topography of the area in order to determine the water table level. If it is nearby, you must seek help from qualified engineers to prevent the adverse effects which range from peeling wall paint, to full-blown flooding that can destroy the property.

Blocked Gutters

Blocked gutters are not only a nuisance, they also spell out a water damage disaster just waiting to happen. Gutter maintenance is often viewed as a burdensome chore, and it is no surprise that it is often overlooked or put off for too long. Rain gutters necessary to achieve a proper functional drainage system outside of your home. Failing to regularly clean and maintain the gutters can hinder their intended purpose. Several things can go wrong with the gutters, from clogging, to misplaced downspouts, to missing splash blocks, or a defective pitch. Over time, blocked gutters that are not addressed may lead to a leaky roof, rust, and the degradation of wood. These issues have the potential to destroy your property if not addressed in a timely manner.

Weather

In the business of protecting your home from water damage, weather is a key factor. Since we cannot control the weather, we must take steps to protect our homes from its potentially damaging effects. While it is important to not live in fear of extreme weather conditions, it is also important to make sure that your home is always prepared for it.

Heavy rainfall can expose leaks in the roof, hurricanes can destroy the home within minutes, and snow can wear down the structure of the home, freeze pipes, and lead to flooding if the home is not secure. To prolong the longevity of your building materials, create a foolproof emergency weather plan, build an excellent foundation, and prioritize functioning plumbing systems.

Defective Construction

Before making plans to either buy or build a home, see to it that all of its structures are in good condition. Inspect the drains, the pipes, and if possible, hire an expert plumber or engineer to help you make the right choices.

Factors such as flat roofs can be a predisposition to water damage due to a decrease in the slope gradient, which may cause poor drainage. Poor drainage can be compounded by blockages from tree branches, which further block the slope and cause pooling of stagnant water. Over time, stagnant water accumulates, gradually damaging the roof and leading to a leaking roof. If not addressed immediately, this can create significant damage to your home.

Malfunctioning Appliances

Your appliances such as the dishwasher, refrigerator, water heater, washing machine, and air conditioner can be a menace to your property if they begin to malfunction. It is important to have them inspected and maintained regularly, and replaced as needed. Doing so will help to insure the longevity of your home, and the integrity of its structure.

When it comes to avoiding water damage in your home, knowledge is power. Being proactive is always easier than being reactive, so taking the proper steps to stay alert and on top of any warning signs is imperative to avoiding costly, long-term damage.