As one of the most common and expensive disasters that affect homeowners each year, learning the causes of water damage and how to prevent them is home preservation 101. According to the Insurance Information Institute, water damage affects about 1 in 50 homeowners with average claim amounts exceeding $11,000! To avoid becoming a statistic, take a few minutes to learn about the common causes, warning signs, and how to resolve water damage if an issue does arise.
Water Damage Requires Prompt Restoration
While a musty smell or a minor plumbing issue may not seem like an urgent risk, there’s no such thing as water damage that can wait. Taking care of broken roofing, pipe blockages, and moisture accumulation is like taking care of your health; the sooner you resolve the issue, the easier the treatment will be. For example, when a small leak or condensation in the attic is not quickly resolved, your property is exposed to compounding risk factors, like:
- Electrical Fires
- Mold Accumulation
- Roof/Ceiling Collapse
- Foundation & Structural Issues
- Sewage/Drainage Backups
- & Other Costly Risk Factors
So, what causes these serious water damage issues, and what can be done to prevent them?
1. Damaged Plumbing is the Most Common Source of Water Damage
Since plumbing spans nearly every corner of our homes, it makes sense that these complex systems are a major culprit in many water damage cases. Typical plumbing issues like clogged systems, aging pipe corrosion, freezing water, or improperly installed systems can all lead to burst pipes, gradual leaks, or nasty backflow into the home.
Fortunately, most plumbing-related water damage issues are easily avoided with a few simple preventative steps. If you live in a cold climate, it’s important to regularly flush your system and ensure that your water heater is functioning properly. When water idles within the system on extremely cold days, the water can freeze, expand, burst, crack, or impede normal plumbing flow.
Another simple tip for preventing plumbing-related issues starts with clog prevention. A few well-placed drain covers and teaching your children why it’s important not to flush objects down the toilet is a great place to start. Also, if you have a septic system, be sure to have the system inspected and drained on a regular basis to prevent backflow issues.
2. Roofing & Insulation Damage
Although trickier to spot than an obvious burst pipe, regularly inspecting your attic, garage, and any rooms beneath roofing is essential. If you notice a musty smell in the attic, have an active roof leak, or spot ceiling water damage in Philadelphia, it’s likely a roofing or insulation problem. Other visible signs like rusting nails in the attic, missing/degraded sections of insulation, and damaged sections of roofing are red flags that may indicate water damage.
3. Faulty & Aging Appliances
Laundry machines, refrigerators, and other appliances that use water can all contribute to water damage at home. Depending on the appliance and the specific problem that’s causing the water-related issue, the prevention and treatment steps will vary. For example, if your freezer door has a faulty seal, you can easily stop the melting drip with a simple seal replacement. For more serious issues, like a laundry machine that has a broken water valve or pipe in the back, a rapid appliance repair or replacement may be necessary.
4. Ventilation Problems
While less common than a burst pipe or roofing damage, problems with the ductwork, roof venting, and insulation surrounding the ducts can all cause moisture accumulation. Since air conditioning units extract moisture from the air within your home before venting it outside, a blocked roof exhaust or damaged insulation along the ducts can trap moisture inside. To prevent these ventilation-related water damage issues, invest in regular HVAC inspections and actively monitor your ceilings and drywall for any abnormal stains or water bubbling.
5. Severe Weather Events
Tied to every other water damage issue there is, a powerful storm can cause all of the above. Since a storm can damage your roof, cause electrical shorts (damage your appliances), and block your drains/vents, a thorough home inspection should always be performed after every wild storm strikes.
Early detection and rapid restoration are the keys to preventing avoidable expenses and dangerous property conditions. If it’s already too late, Philadelphia restoration services provide comprehensive resolutions. Let Restoration 360 help restore your property to its original quality, and protect you from future issues with the fastest emergency care in town! Contact us today!
We offer water damage restoration services in Philadelphia and surrounding areas:
- Water Damage Restoration Services in Bucks County, PA;
- Water Damage Restoration Services in Burlington County, NJ;
- Water Damage Restoration Services in Camden County, NJ;
- Water Damage Restoration Services in Delaware County, PA;
- Water Damage Restoration Services in Mercer County, NJ;
- Water Damage Restoration Services in Montgomery County, PA.