When water is an issue in your home, it is usually caused by obvious external factors such as a heavy rainstorm that overwhelms your sump pump or a clogged main sewer line that backs up and floods your basement. However, there are many more items in your home that can be the source of water damage, where causation is not so cut and dry (pardon the pun). In this installment we will discuss the following items, their location, and signs of water damage from mechanical failure.
Bathrooms, Kitchens and Laundry Rooms are obvious sources of water damage due to mechanical failures, but utility rooms, hose spigots, and construction methods are less obvious and often just as common.
Water Damage in Bathrooms
Most common water events are overflows. As with all water events, toilet overflows, sink and tub overflows need immediate attention. Water is very invasive. If left unmitigated, water will soak deep into subfloors and if there is a room below, it too is in jeopardy of damage. Many homes are designed with utilities proximate to each other. You will see bathrooms on upper floors above bathrooms on lower, or over kitchens. These rooms are the costliest rooms in your home, so if water is allowed to go unmitigated the damages can expose you to high replacement cost.
Additional but not so obvious signs of water damage in bathrooms are leaking and broken supplies lines to toilets and sinks. Worn out cartridges in shower and tub handles, and a tired wax ring under your toilet. Trouble signs from these items develop slowly. They usually manifest as a spot on the ceiling below that grows larger over time. Restoration1 of Fox Valley has the technology to pinpoint the source of the water.
Water Damage in Kitchens
Most common water damage in kitchens is caused by leaking or clogged dishwashers. If you are in the habit of running your dishwasher overnight, you are taking a risk. Only run your dishwasher while you are home and awake. You are much more likely to notice a problem and avoid the destruction that could come about if that dishwasher runs the entire cycle with a leak. Water damage from refrigerator water lines is also a common cause of water damage in kitchens.
Water Damage in Laundry Room
If you have a newer home or your local building codes called for it, your clothes washer has a pan under it. Laundry rooms came up from the basement during the 1980’s, and now many laundry rooms reside on the second floor of the home. Which means that a worst-case laundry room water damage scenario can affect every floor beneath, down to your basement. Supply lines should be steel braided, and valves that automatically shut off can be installed.
Water Damage in Basement
Water heaters usually have a life expectancy of 10 years. If yours is older you might want to keep an eye on it as deposits of sediment will reduce its efficiency and at times they can leak or burst.
Sump Pumps and Ejector Pits
These two items look similar but are different in functionality. Sump pumps usually have one pipe attached and is responsible for discharging the water in the drain tiles that surround your home. When the sump pump fails, you will notice water appearing on the perimeter of your basement slab. Ejector pits have two pipes attached and are responsible for discharging waste from a basement or first floor toilet. Clogs in the discharge pipe could result in toilets backing up and overflowing and can even cycle that overflow. Your HVAC systems has a condensation line and a condensate pump. Both are part of the system that discharges the water in the system when you run your air conditioner. A failure in the line of this system could lead to sustained water damage and mold activity over time.
Water Damage from Hose Spigots
Hose spigots can also be a hidden source of water damage in your home. Often, spigots crack during the freeze thaw cycle of Winter/Spring. They can start leaking and doing damage long before noticed and they are usually discovered when the homeowner waters the grass or garden for the first time.
In summary, there are many sources for water damage in your home. If your water bill seems higher than usual, it may be a sign that you have a leak. Another good idea is to walk your property exterior and interior, on a weekly basis looking for signs of water damage. If you do see early warning signs, give Restoration 1 of Fox Valley a call. We will assess the problem and provide guidance. Remember, water damage is time sensitive, the quicker you act, the quicker you will get your home back to normal.