How Water Can Damage Your Home
According to industry statistics, about 14,000 people in the United States suffer from water damage in their homes as well as the workplace each day. About 98% of the basements will suffer from this type of damage during their lifetime. The cost of repairing water damage is as overwhelming as the extent of the damage. Water leaks and spillage alone leave extreme wastes that exceed one trillion gallons per year. Individual leaks are tiny, but over time, they cause substantial harm to our properties.
Water damage is one of the homeowner’s worst nightmares and should not be taken for granted. There are many ways in which water can damage your property, making it impossible to continue living comfortably. Whether it comes from leaking pipes, faulty household appliances, unfavorable weather or black water, unwanted water can be very destructive, and you may need the services of a Water Damage Company to advise you on preventive measures and help in repairing.
Ways in Which Water will Damage Your Home
Two homes can be in the same area but suffer very different types of damage. The kind of damage the water will cause to your house will depend on the materials used in construction and the kind of water that gets spilled. The destruction caused by water occurs slowly, starting with minor spots and cracks, which eventually cause severe damage. Water may affect the inside of your house by causing the rotting or rusting of your household items and furniture. Also, the water may weaken the foundation of your house and other structures. Here are the three types of Water Damage that could affect your home:
- Clean Water. This is water that comes from your supply, either through clogged or broken water pipes and poor plumbing. However, the damage caused by clean water is not severe and can be repaired.
- Gray water. Also, known as category 2, gray water causes moderate damage. This water is technically contaminated, but the contaminants are not dangerous to your health.
- This is the last thing a homeowner wants to experience in their homes. The contaminants found in this water are very harmful to both your home and your health.
Water will cause damage to your home in various ways, as discussed below.
- Rampant Mold Growth
Although mold helps in the decomposition of matter, it is the last thing you want to see growing in your home. In most cases, your water pipes will freeze during winter, allowing water to flow into your house. Even if the leaking water is clean, it can cause mold and wood rot if the leakage continues. Some pipes have tiny holes; thus, the leakage is slow and can easily go unnoticed for an extended period. Mold growth and spots on the floor and walls could be a sign of leaking pipes.
After water spillage or a flood that is not dried up on time, it only takes 24 to 48 hours for mold to start growing. Mold will grow in both clean and contaminated water and is noticed on the walls, floors, ceilings, as well as on the household furniture. Mold will not only damage your property but will also distort the overall image and appeal of the environment around your home. Mold is toxic; thus, in severe conditions, it will be difficult to continue living in your home.
- Damaged Gas Lines, Wiring, and Appliances
When water damages the walls or the ceiling, it is a likelihood that electrical wiring, as well as gas lines, will get damaged. The affected ceiling paint will darken and can remove the plaster on the ceiling, causing spillage inside the house and to electricity and gas lines. A single crack on the roof could go unnoticed and cause slow leakage to your home, causing further internal damage, including the lights mounted on the ceiling of your house.
When the water slowly trickles to the floor of your house, it can lead to damage throughout the house. If your home is built on a flat surface, runoff water from the heavy rain will accumulate around, resulting in cracks on your walls and further damage to the foundation.
Rewiring and installation of the damaged appliances will be difficult and expensive to carry out, leaving you without these utilities for long periods. Flooding your basement will affect the systems like water heating, and the damage could be beyond repair.
During flood and water spillage cleanups, you need to ensure that electrical and gas services are done. This will prevent accidents and further damage, which could result from explosions.
- Black Water Contamination
As stated earlier, black water is unsanitary and dangerous since it contains human waste. Sanitary sewer backups will occur in the lowest open drains while blocked sewer lines often cause the reverse. This is likely to cause spillage of sewer water onto the floor of your house every time you flush the toilet or pour water into the sink. Soap or other sanitary debris can enter your sewer system, causing blockage and a slow drain. When the water drains slowly, eventually it may fill up and start flooding inside the house.
The most common signs of sewer leakage will be septic water pooling into the yard. As the septic water pipes leak, the water can flow to the yard and cause bad odor around your home. This may also expose your home to rodents that thrive well in these areas.
Lack of proper maintenance of your sewage system will cause cracks that release contaminated water throughout your home. Sewer water has large quantities of material that result in the growth of mold on the floors. Although it is the most difficult to recover from, it may be possible to remediate your home from black water contamination. When this type of water leaks or floods your home, you are likely to lose all the furnishing and will be required to replace much of your home’s structural components.
- Slip and Fall Hazards
When water accumulates on your floor as a result of a severely leaking roof, the floor will become slippery, making your home more prone to slip and fall accidents. This may be a considerable risk, especially if you have children running around the house.
- Compromised Home Foundation
It is never welcome news to find out that the foundation of your house has been compromised. Structural damage occurs when the water accumulates around your house and slowly damages it from the base. Debris can cause blockage of the sump pumps and decrease their functionality. Broken pipes and wrong sizes of pipes will tend to leak and cause water to enter the basement and damage the floor of your house as well as the foundation.
With time, the damage becomes extensive, and your structures start moving under its weight. The vertical stability of your structure is undermined, causing further sinking into the ground. The walls of your basement will begin to flex, and you can completely lose the house.
If the foundation of your house shifts, windows, and doors will get affected. The water will distort the frames, eventually breaking the glass. This will make it difficult for doors and windows to open. If your doors and windows have difficulty opening and closing, you should check for water leakage.
- Water Destroys the Landscaping Around your Home
Water from heavy rains and floods as well as breakage of high-speed water pipes will form furrows in your compound, destroying pavements and sweeping away the vegetation, thus damaging your landscaping aspects. This damages the appeal of your home, and you incur the extra cost of replacement and reconstruction.
- Furniture, Fixtures, and Floor Damage
Flood water is always filled with mud, sewage, and chemical toxins. Porous materials within your home will absorb the dirty water, and you may be forced to replace them. This is because even after drying, the toxins will remain and are quite harmful to your health. Carpet padding may be too soaked to even clean, and the floors will start peeling off. This will cause extensive damage to our homes.
Water leakage from the washing machine can be as a result of loosening or bursting of the connection pipes. As you turn on your equipment, high-pressure water moves through the pipes. Over the years, the high pressure can cause weakening in the pipes. If they are not taken care of, they can start leaking and cause damage to your home.
Also, the washing machine has a drain hose that leads water out to the home’s central drainage system. Unfortunately, these pipes can disconnect, causing the water to flood through your house. Another problem that can cause water leakage is clogged pipes. With nowhere to flow to, the water meant to get drained starts trickling to the floor. This water will slowly soak your carpets and also damage the furniture in the nearby rooms.
While there are different ways water can damage your home, there are also different methods you can use to prevent this damage. For instance, always test your sump pump after installation, check and repair any leaks, maximize ventilation, use rainwater collection systems and water detection devices. It is also recommended to control trees and vegetation, among other preventive methods as advised by your Water Damage company.