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Common Types and Causes of Water Damage

As crucial as water is, it can unfortunately also be equally destructive. In reality, water damage stands a pretty decent chance of taking the top spot in all the disasters that may hit your property.

Water damage can affect your property on several levels. Apart from discoloring beautifully painted walls and soaked carpets, it can also lead to mold proliferation and a fusty, fetid odor. The moisture can also cause vermin infestation. Not only that, but water damage can also cause various health problems such as infections, allergies, and chronic headaches.

One way of avoiding such calamities is by digging deep and identifying the root cause of the issue. Once you know what is causing the water damage, you will efficiently resolve the problem at its earliest.

Below, we have highlighted a few common causes of water damage.

1. Overflow of sinks

The most common cause of water damage is the overflowing of sinks. Overflying happens because of blockage of the drain stopper, leading to water spilling out the sink rather than channeling down the rain.

If your sinks ever overflow, try and remove as much water as possible to assess the damage. You can also try unclogging by pouring a large bowl of boiled water over the clogged areas. Or use the baking soda technique. If nothing works, consult a Water Damage Advisor and your insurance agency as soon as possible. Remember, the more you prolong the issue, the worse the situation might get.

2. Leaks in the plumbing system

Plumbing leaks are pretty common and are a result of clogged water lines and high water pressure. When water zips through the pipes at high speed, it leads to added pressure on pipes. The chances of them bursting increase substantially—even clogging leads to water continuously backing up and resulting in leaks.

The primary issue with such leaks is that they aren’t easy to identify. Most of the time, people often spot pipe damage when it’s too late. What you can do to avoid such circumstances is ensure regular checkups of your property’s plumbing systems. Measure the water pressure and ensure it doesn’t exceed the average rate. Tighten the fitting, seal the joints, and insulate pipes. And if possible, install a water softener that can remove extra minerals from hard water and prevent leaks.

3. Roofing

Make sure to keep checking your roof at regular intervals. Roof leaks are primarily a result of neglect, issues with seams, and weather. Roofing leaks can cause excessive damage to your property that you must avoid at all costs. It can damage your ceilings, strain your walls, and might even make your floors uneven or sag. Roof leaks might even lead to structural damage to your house, weakening your roof decking, attic floor beams, and walls studs.

Some early signs of water leakage in your roofing system might include water spots on ceilings and exterior walls, spongy wood decking, and granular-filled gutters. Make sure to consult a professional as soon as you spot any of these signs. Remember, prevention is always better than repair.

4. Weather and natural disasters

Even though natural disasters like hurricanes, thunderstorms, and flash flooding don’t occur every day, when they do, the outcome is never good. Apart from risking several lives, harsh weather can also cause excessive water damage. Heavy downpours or strong winds can damage your roof and give you water access to your house. The condition becomes worse when your home is in a flood-prone area.

Although you cannot stop natural disasters from occurring, you can certainly prepare for them. Always keep your gutter clean, install barriers, and store electronics at higher levels to prevent water from reaching them. And regularly clear debris from your drains and ditches. You can also consider installing a flood detection system. Several alarms and sensors can alert you to leaks within your home or office. 

It is always best to get a risk assessment and flood insurance before it’s too late. Since such disasters can be highly unpredictable, you might have to face spiking high repair costs without insurance.

5. Clogged toilets

Toilets leaks are the worst. Clogged drains cause water to overflow and flood your bathrooms with toilet water. It is a messy and often disgusting situation.

Your toilets can clog due to various reasons. For instance, if you have a first-generation flat bathroom, it is fair to lack the necessary pressure to clear the drain and cause clogging. Clogging can also occur due to the blockage of toilet traps. It often happens when you try to flush non-flushable items. You must remember that toilets can only dispose of specific materials!

6. Water heaters

Water heaters are another cause of water damage. Heated water separates mineral deposits and leads to the formation of sediments once minerals settle on the bottom of your tank.  Ultimately, your water heater’s efficiency reduces and causes leakages.

You can prevent water heater damage by installing water heaters in a tray, so water drains into a safe location. Be aware of first signs of wear, such as unusual noises, lower pressure, and discolored water coming from the faucets.

Don’t overuse your water heaters. You must understand that they don’t last forever. As your water heater ages, the chances of damage increase. It is best if you replace tanks every couple of years.

7. Appliances and electronics

If you possess any appliance or equipment that requires water storage, the chances of water damage will always be high. Any device like air conditioners that use tubes or pipes has a high possibility of leaking. And if the leak occurs unaccountably, your property could suffer from severe damage.

The only way to prevent such leakages is to regularly inspect your equipment and look for any early signs of damage. These could include cracks, bulges, or even rust.


Water damage can highly interrupt your daily activities. You lose out on days of work and productivity because of repairs and replacements. Not only that, you sometimes even lose some of your valuable possessions to water damage.

The best tip to minimize water damage is prevention. Keep checking for leaks proactively, inspect your roof, keep your gutters clean, and prevent pipes from freezing. Consider installing sump pumps and water sensors to defend your home against water leakages. The more cautious you are, the minor damage you are likely to face.

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