As seasons change and moisture levels fluctuate, homeowners often don’t notice that the structural integrity of their house has been compromised via potential water damage until it’s too late.
Water damage can be frustrating and expensive to mitigate. The good news: there are preventative measures homeowners can take to lessen the effects of water damage as well as trained professionals to step in when the situation seems out of control.
What are the common causes of water damage in your home? Stay tuned for six!
1. Leaking/Burst Pipes
If water pressure is unregulated, the outside temperature changes quickly, or your home has old pipes, the system is vulnerable to leaking inside the home. Pipes can also leak or burst due to freezing over in the winter.
If you live in an area with extreme temperatures and particularly cold winters, be sure your pipes are insulated and that your home maintains a manageable temperature indoors throughout the whole year.
For example, if you and your family plan to leave for an extended period of time, don’t turn your home’s heat completely off. Set the temperature to remain at least 55 degrees fahrenheit to mitigate potential frozen pipe complications.
What to do if your pipes are leaking or burst:
- Turn off water supply completely
- Drain the cold faucet taps
- Turn off water heater and drain hot faucet taps
- Allow warm air to circulate in and around the pipes
- Clean up any standing water in the area
- Begin taking notes and documenting
- Call a water damage restoration expert or plumber
2. HVAC Systems
Air conditioning units are a magnet for water problems. To ensure moisture accumulation or other leaking issues aren’t occurring, get your A/C system serviced at least once per year. Getting your HVAC system inspected regularly will mitigate potential water damage loss.
How to prevent a leaking HVAC system:
- Add a safety pan under your A/C unit to catch dripping/overflow
- Install a drain pan overflow shutoff switch
- Change A/C filter regularly
- Hire an HVAC technician to perform yearly maintenance and inspections
3. Plumbing Woes
Most homeowners are shocked to hear that water heaters and washing machines are the biggest culprits when it comes to water damage in the home, due to deterioration and/or leaks.
For instance, if the supply line reaching your washing machine were to leak or be severed, 600- gallons of water could flood the space within an hour. While other appliances are bound to act up occasionally, these two mechanisms are particularly troublesome.
Other plumbing issues arise when a home’s pipes are faulty. This shouldn’t be a problem in a newer build, but if you would describe your house as “old,” this is something you may want to look into. Different pipe materials last for different timeframes, and should be noted in your home inspection report. For instance, copper pipes may last up to 50 years, while galvanized steel pipes have a lifespan of 20 years, and properly maintained PVC pipes will last indefinitely.
What to do if you are concerned about the health of your water heater, the performance of your washing machine, or the lifespan of your pipes, it may be time to call a plumber to address these issues. If there is standing water in your home, call your local water restoration team to extract the moisture and prevent mold and mildew growth!
4. Clogged Gutters
You may love your yard’s trees during the spring and summer, but come fall, they may present unforeseen problems. As leaves begin to accumulate in and around your lawn, be sure to check your home’s gutters, as they can become clogged and reduce water flow from the roof to the ground.
When this occurs, rain water or snow melt is not redirected away from the house, and can seep into the foundation or result in standing water on the roof, causing damage to the integrity of the home.
What to do if your gutters are clogged:
- First, locate the source of the clog (remove the downspout and use your water hose to fill it with water and watch whether the water overflows at the top or flows through to the end of the spout)
- Attempt to remove the clog by tapping the downspout or utilizing a plumbing snake
- Rinse out the downspout
- Remove all other blockages from gutters on top of the house using a ladder and gloves
- Pay attention during the next rain to ensure the gutter system is functioning properly
- If the issue persists, call your local gutter specialist
- If water has already made its way into your home, call a home restoration contractor to extract the water and prevent further damage
5. Toilet Overflows
Clogs can happen in the main sewer line or drain lines which prevent waste from being properly flushed into the drainage system and cause the toilet to overflow. This is referred to as “blackwater,” and is not only unsafe, but happens to be an undesirable experience in both smell and mess.
What to do if you’re experiencing blackwater due to a toilet overflow? Don’t hesitate. Call a plumber.
6. Sewage Backups
After a heavy rain or snow melt, sewage systems are sometimes unable to handle the volume of water and dirty sewer liquid begins to come up through your home’s floor drains, toilets (see above), and sinks. This can also occur with issues in the main sewage lines, and will require professional intervention to prevent further or permanent damage.
Sewer backups are a no joking matter. They can quickly become a health hazard if not tended to quickly.
What to do in the instance of a sewage backup:
- Vacate the area
- Ensure no one in the home is using the plumbing system
- Call your local emergency restoration company!
- Have the area thoroughly clean and sanitize the affected area
- Air out the home to remove hazardous air pollutants
- Implement preventative measures such as yearly plumbing maintenance and inspections
Permanent Water Damage
Unfortunately, sometimes homeowners attend to water problems too late, and the damage seems to be irreparable. It may be time to take further action if you notice any signs of water damage, including:
- Smells/odors (such as must or mildew)
- Stains and discoloration on walls, floors, and ceilings
- Peeling, cracking or “bubbling” paint
- Mold growth
- Unexpected, inordinately high water bill
- Standing water
When it comes to water damage restoration in your Colorado home, there’s no company more trustworthy or knowledgable than 970 Services. We all know Northern Colorado seasons are unpredictable, so we offer a full range of water restoration services year-round. You can expect the best results from our expert restoration staff for water damage mitigation techniques.
Our licensed experts promise to go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure full recovery of your home or business after sustaining water damage. 970 Services is equipped to handle anything Colorado weather throws your way, including:
- Rain flooding
- Flood damage
- Broken pipes
- Frozen pipe bursts
- Hardwood floor damage
- Crawl space water
970 Services is committed to responding with speed, efficiency and quality of service. We are experts at preventing and treating water damage in your home. After countless years of fine-tuning the processes, 970 Services has become one of the most trusted restoration companies in Northern Colorado. Give us a call and see for yourself!