When people think of catastrophic damage to their home, they generally think of fire damage; however, a recent study revealed that homeowners can be as much as 10 times more likely to have their home damaged by water than by fire. The good news is the fact that most water damage is preventable when homeowners take the proper precautions.
Natural Disasters and Catastrophes
While most water damage can be prevented through proper maintenance and preparation, damage caused by natural disasters, such as flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc., is virtually unavoidable. Water damage that is caused by natural disaster is normally extensive — requiring costly repairs. Fortunately, most disaster insurance policies will cover the damage; however, it is the responsibility of the homeowner to confirm with an insurance provider that their home is covered.
After a homeowner experiences major water damage, they can contact a disaster restoration specialist like “RestorationEze” to come in to repair the damage.
Common Causes of Preventable Water Damage
Although the water damage that is caused by natural disaster is completely out of the hands of the homeowner, there are a number of common causes of water damage that can be avoided when the right precautions are taken. When developing a plan for prevention, the first step is to understand exactly what you are attempting to prevent.
The following are common causes of water damage to residential structures.
Water damage that is the result of a leak in the roof is actually very common. Ironically, this type of damage is almost always avoidable through proper roof maintenance. The average roof has a life span of about 18 years; however, certain circumstances can shorten that life span, such as severe storms and wind damage — making it important to have the roof inspected by a professional on an annual basis. Any damage to the roof that is discovered should be repaired immediately.
When minor damage is not tended to, it ultimately evolves into serious damage that can even cause the ceiling to literally collapse. By performing regular maintenance, and preparing all damage, homeowners can avoid water damage that occurs as a result of leaks in the roof.
Another very common cause of water damage in homes is ruptured pipes. Potential plumbing issues may not be as easy to identify as damage to a roof, primarily due to the fact that the vast majority of the home’s plumbing is concealed within the structure of the home. The first line of defense against ruptured pipes is to have the plumbing inspected by a professional on a regular basis. Additionally, the homeowner should look for signs of a leak, which is often a precursor to a more significant rupture. One of the most obvious signs of a plumbing issue is the loss water pressure in one or all of the water outlets, which is indicative of a leak in the pipes. As soon as the homeowners detects a possible leak, they should contact a qualified plumber to come out and evaluate the situation.
Not only can these leaks lead to water damage, but they will cause an increase in the monthly water bill.
While the toilet can be considered a part of the plumbing, it deserves its own attention here. In most homes, the toilet will be the greatest source of water use, making it the most likely to experience wear and tear, leading to leaks. When leaks develop in or around the toilet, they must be addressed immediately, or they can lead to costly issues. Although there are several toilet maintenance issues that can occur in which the homeowner should be able to perform the repair, it is always a good idea to have a professional ensure that their job is done correctly, because the money the homeowner saves by doing it themselves can easily be lost through future damage due to the fact that the job was not done right the first time.
Faulty Windows and Door Installations
Faulty window and door installations are two more ways that cutting corners can come back to bite a homeowner. When windows and doors are not properly installed, they are not airtight, which means they are not water resistant, making it easy for water to penetrate the barriers of the window or door.
Although there is nothing that can be done that will guarantee that a homeowner will never be forced to deal with water damage, there are definitely some steps that can be taken that can reduce the chances of water damage, and that is what every homeowner should be aiming for.
Matt Buchanan is the Outreach Director for RestorationEze.com, where he helps home and business owners recover after water or fire damage emergencies. When not blogging about the restoration industry, Matt enjoys spending time in the Rocky Mountains with his wife, daughter and two dogs.