Most Common Causes of Water Damage

Water damage occurs when excess water collects in areas where it shouldn’t. Flooring, carpeting, drywall, ceilings and basements can all be structurally damaged when water is allowed to seep into the materials. Secondary water damage can occur if water is not properly removed or if the structures are not dried out properly. Mold is one of the more dangerous types of secondary water damage.

Most common causes of water damage include:

  • Bursting or leaking pipes
  • Plumbing system malfunctions or leaks
  • Water accumulation or buildup in areas prone to collecting water, such as crawl spaces, attics and basements
  • Faulty or malfunctioning household appliances
  • HVACs (Heating, ventilating and air conditioning units) issues
  • Natural disasters and other weather-related water problems

Bursting or Leaking Pipes

Pipes that burst or leak are the most common culprits of water damage. Whole old or rusty pipes are more prone to leaking, ruptured or leaking pipes can occur in any home new or old. Drains and toilets that get backed up and blocked can cause undue pressure in the pipes, which can cause it to burst or leak. Garbage disposals that malfunction, and even roots from shrubs and trees in your yard can grow into the sewer lines and cause damage to water and sewer pipes. Here in Massachusetts, frozen pipes are a very common cause of water damage due to extremely cold temperatures in the winter time.

Plumbing Issues

While some plumbing leaks can occur within the walls and are impossible to detect, there are other plumbing issues that can be more easily recognized and treated before water damage can occur. Many plumbing leaks happen because of hoses and pipe joints not being fully attached.
Toilet clogging or overflowing are also one of the most common problems. Periodic once-overs of toilets and under sinks can help avoid some of these plumbing issues.

Crawl Space, Basement and Attics

Some sections of the home or building are more prone to water damage, such as crawl spaces, basements and attics.
Crawl spaces are the areas underneath homes that usually house piping and electrical wires.A dark, damp crawl space can allow mold to flourish, one of the more dangerous types of structural damage.
Basements. A flooded basement is one of the more obvious causes of water damage. But it can also happen when moisture drips through the concrete foundation of your home. Usually this will cause less a obvious accumulation of water.
Attics can develop water damage as well. A leaking roof would be the most obvious cause, but it can also occur if there is air leakage into the section between the attic and the home, which can cause moisture on the underside of the roof. This can lead to mold and rotting.

Malfunctioning Household Appliances

As household appliances get older, their hoses and pipes can begin to rust and crack. Washing machines, refrigerators, water heaters and dishwaters are all susceptible to hose deterioration. Hoses should be replaced based on the manufacturers recommendations, and periodic checks of all pipes and hoses should be done to avoid issues. The two appliances that cause water damage in residential homes most frequently are washing machines and hot water tanks.

HVAC Systems

HVAC Systems, also known as heating, ventilating and air conditioning units, are also a common cause of water damage. Air conditioners require regular servicing, and if not maintained properly can cause moisture buildup. As moisture cools, it can interact with mold spores in the air conditioning ducts and encourage mold growth.

Weather-Related Issues and Natural Disasters

Natural water-related disasters are not something we have much control over. Here in Massachusetts, we have harsh winters and can also experience hurricanes and tornados. While you can not prevent these events from occurring, you CAN take all the preventative measures possible ahead of time to minimize any damage to your home or business. Flash floods, sudden storms and hurricanes can all trigger a sudden buildup of water in and around your home. Prompt action should be taken by calling a water extraction company such as ServiceMaster by Williams as soon as possible. This will ensure that the water is removed safely, and that your home structures are dried out properly. All of these factors will decrease the amount of damage to your home and get you back to normal…quickly!

Call 1-877-721-7470 24/7/365 for an IMMEDIATE response for any and all types of water damage.

Video: Water Damage

Water damage is one of the most common causes of property claims received by Adventist Risk Management, Inc.(ARM) in the last 5 years. In this video we will show you what were the causes of these water damage claims and how you can take simple steps to prevent them.