Causes of Water Damage Inside Your Home
You have put a lot of investment into building your home and filling it up with furniture so that you and your family can live comfortably. Therefore, you must protect your investment and take care of your home and personal belongings. One way to do this is by repairing any water damage as soon as it happens.
Water damage can occur in several ways, from a simple leaky faucet to a full-blown flood. It is essential to take care of the problem as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Water can cause extensive damage to your home and furniture, costing you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in repairs. To better protect your home and property, it is best to understand the different ways that water damage may happen.
Causes of Water Damage Inside Your Home
There are several different causes of water damage inside your home. Some of these are:
Burst Pipe or Leaking Faucet
A burst pipe or leaking faucet is one of the most common causes of water damage. This can happen due to several reasons, such as old age, wear, and tear, or improper installation. Burst pipes may also occur with abrupt temperature changes, affecting the pipes' integrity. Likewise, a pipe burst can cause different problems in your home depending on what type of pipe got damaged. If you notice a leak in your home, it is essential to take care of it as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
A damaged roof is another major cause of water damage. This can be due to several reasons, such as a storm, strong winds, or even a faulty roof. A roof with a minor water leak can be repaired using simple fixes such as replacing damaged shingles and checking if the roof is watertight and properly sealed. However, for significant water leaks caused by a damaged roof, it is best to seek the help of a professional roofer to assess if the roof has structural damage as well. Structural problems and structural issues on the roof may cause more severe water damage in the future.
Water Heater Leak
A water heater leak is another common source of water damage in the home. This can be due to various reasons, such as corrosion, rust, or a faulty valve. If you notice that your water heater is leaking, it is essential to repair it right away.
Clogged gutters are also a common cause of water damage. This can be due to leaves, dirt, and other debris getting caught in the gutter and blocking water flow. If the gutters are not cleaned regularly, this can lead to water accumulation and eventually leakage.
Water appliances, such as a dishwasher. A water heater, air conditioning, and a washing machine can also be a source of water damage. Most often than not, these appliances may exhibit a slow leak which may often be negligible; however, if left for more than a week or a few weeks, the amount of water damage that you will get in your house may be significant. This may be due to a faulty installation, improper use, or old age. If you experience water leakage from these appliances, it is best to seek the help of a professional technician to assess and repair the problem.
Surface water is another common cause of water damage and will primarily cause a flooded basement. This can happen when heavy rains or melting snow flow over the surface and accumulate in areas where it cannot drain properly, such as near the foundation of your home. If left untreated, this standing water can lead to extensive water damage.
Flooding is perhaps the most devastating type of water damage that can occur in your home. Floods may be caused by severe weather conditions such as hurricanes or storms, broken or overflowing dams, or even natural disasters like earthquakes. A flood can cause extensive damage to your home and belongings and may require a professional restoration process to restore your home after the flood has subsided.
How to Detect Water Damage in Your Home
If you are concerned that your home may have water damage, there are a few ways to discover water damage.
Visible Signs of Water Damage
One way is to check for visible signs of water damage. An obvious sign of water damage is wet flooring on a supposedly dry location. Other symptoms of water damage can include water stains on the walls or ceilings, warped wood, and peeling paint. If you see any of these signs, it is essential to take action and investigate further to determine if there is water damage present in your home.
Another sign of water damage is the presence of mold. Mold can grow anywhere there is moisture present, such as walls, ceilings, carpets, furniture, and even clothes. Mold can also develop within your drywall. Hidden moisture is enough in causing mold growth on porous materials that may cause health problems for your family in the future when not addressed. If you notice any black or green spots on your walls or ceilings, this could be a sign of mold growth. If you suspect that there may be mold in your home, it is best to seek professional help to test for and remove the mold.
High Moisture Levels
Another way to detect water damage is by checking for moisture levels in the air. You can do this by using a moisture meter or an electronic detector. These devices will detect even small traces of moisture or excess water in the air, indicating hidden damage. Water meter readings are instrumental in finding hidden water damage, as the water meter will not be affected by the presence of furniture, walls, or other objects.
If you find that your home has high moisture levels, it is best to take action and investigate further to determine the source of the moisture and address it. Water damage can cause severe and costly damages to your home if not taken care of immediately. By being aware of the different ways to detect water damage in your home, you can help protect your home from potential damages.
Water Damage Repair Project and the Drying Process
When undergoing a water damage restoration project, you should consider the following:
Color of Standing Water
The color of the standing water will vary depending on the cause of the water damage. Each type of water will need to be addressed differently.
Clean water has not been contaminated with any chemicals or other pollutants. This type of home water damage is usually safe to drink and can be used for cleaning and other purposes. It is easy to remove water that is clean since you will need only to wipe the affected areas. However, it is best to pinpoint the source of the leak and repair it immediately to prevent additional damage in the future.
Gray water is water that has been contaminated with some level of pollutants, such as household chemicals or sewage. This water may come from washing machines, dishwashers, or toilets. This water should not be ingested and should only be used for cleaning purposes. Before handling a water damage repair involving leaks from water-using appliances, it is best to ensure that the electrical outlets are not affected to prevent being electrocuted.
Black water is water that has been contaminated with deadly pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses. This type of water usually comes from sewage backups, a flood, or storms and can generally be seen in a flooded basement. If your water damage involves black water, it is best to call a professional with the right expertise and equipment to handle the flood damage.
Post Flooding Restoration Process
After a flood or a severe roof leak, following the correct steps for post-flooding restoration is essential to avoid further damages. The following are some steps you can take:
Remove the Water
The first step is to remove all the water from your home. This can be done using a pump, wet vacuum, or sump pump in the wet areas. It would help if you also used floor fans and dehumidifiers to help speed up the drying process. Removing excess water from porous materials may be challenging, and these materials may take more than a week to dry completely. Removing water from metal surfaces is necessary to prevent them from forming rust.
When removing excess water, ensure that hidden areas are checked and dried. Drying time for different materials such as ceramic tile, porous materials, and other types of material may differ. Some may dry faster than others, while other materials may take a few weeks to dry.
Water Damage Cleanup
Once the water has been removed, it is time for the water damage cleanup phase. This includes removing all the damaged items and materials and disinfecting the area. It is essential to discard any items such as damaged wood that have been in contact with black or gray water as they may be contaminated. It is also important to discard any food that has been in contact with floodwater as it may contain harmful contaminants.
Bacteria and Mold Growth Prevention
Mold and bacteria can proliferate in affected areas within the first week of water damage. To prevent mold and bacteria growth, it is essential to clean and disinfect the area properly. This includes using bleach, ammonia, or other disinfectants. It is also important to dry the size completely to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria.
Water Damage Repair
If you find that your home has water damage, it is best to take action and investigate further to determine the source of the moisture and address it. Water damage can cause severe and costly damages to your home, so it is best to act fast and address it as soon as possible. By following the correct post-flooding restoration steps, you can help prevent further damages and speed up the drying process.
Before undergoing a water damage repair, it is best to check with your insurance company if your policy covers the flood damage. Homeowners' insurance may cover the cost of water damage repair and water damage restoration. Your insurance company may also shoulder the cost of hiring professionals such as roofing companies if the cause of your water damage is a damaged roof.