What is water damage and how does it impact your home?
Water damage encompasses a range of possible issues caused from water intruding into your home. We categorize damage when water attacks (or damages) materials in your home. Generally water damage impacts the materials around a house, such as, rotting wood, rusting steel or the delamination of plywood.
Additionally, water damage impacts homes differently because of the way it potentially intrudes on the house. For example, slow intrusions like small water leaks take time for the water to actually cause substantial damage. Conversely, an instant issue like a flood, causes immediate and substantial damage in your home.
Adding to the vagueness of water damage, homeowners face ambiguity with recovering losses due to their specific insurance policies.
“An insurance policy may or may not cover the costs associated with water damage and the process of water damage restoration. While a common cause of residential water damage is often the failure of a sump pump, many homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover the associated costs without an addendum which adds to the monthly premium of the policy. Often the verbiage of this addendum is similar to Sewer and Drain Coverage.”
What are the signs of water damage?
Water damage causes homeowners to pause because of the many horror stories. As always, preventative maintenance and routine spot checks around your home help limit the catastrophic issues. For more proactive steps to reduce water damage problems, watch out for the following signs.
- Discoloration of walls, ceilings and/or floors
During any routine spot checks of your home look out for any streaks or water running down the walls or side of the home. Additionally, early warning signs include peeling or bubbling paint or wallpaper. Finally, look out for wet flooring (in particular in corners of home that lack sufficient foot traffic).
- Listen and smell for a change
Another approach to spotting potential damage ahead of a huge issue relates to your five senses. Listen for signs, such as dripping water (that differ from your plumbing system). Additionally, sniff around your home because dampness yields a distinct odor, which typically includes a musky smell that potentially signals mold.
- Signs of mold growth
Mold is a surefire signal of potential damage. However, not all mold implies water damage. Mold naturally grows from moisture, so bathrooms always pose a mold risk because the air absorbs moisture from showers.
- Increased heating costs
Interestingly, an increase in home heating costs also provide a potential signal of damage. Typically, we associate a cold home with lack of insulation or air sealing. However water and moisture in the air generally draws heat out of the walls, which helps evaporate the moisture. As a result, less of the heat and hot air moves into your living space, which makes your home colder.
What is the long term impact of water damage?
Ultimately, the long term impact of water damage derives from the amount of time and exposure in your home. For example, quickly spotting a leaky faucet drastically reduces damage to your property and expenses. However, water leaks vary and repair costs vary based on damage. Interestingly, even the costs of leaking water varies.
- Dripping Leak Costs
Generally, a drip consumes about 1 gallon of water every 15 minutes. Over the quarterly billing cycle, drips waste roughly 8,640 gallon (57% more than average consumption) and costs between $36 to $78 in additional costs.
- Trickling Leak Costs
Generally, a trickle consumes about 1 gallon of water every 4 minutes. Over the quarterly billing cycle, trickling water wastes roughly 32,400 gallon (200% more than average consumption) and costs between $137 to $294 in additional costs.
- Streaming Leak Costs
Generally, a stream consumes about 1 gallon of water every minute. Over the quarterly billing cycle, streaming leaks waste roughly 129,600 gallon (800% more than average consumption) and costs between $548 to $1,176 in additional costs.
Additionally, mold exposure remains a significant long term issue with extensive water damage.
“Moisture promotes the growth of mold and other organisms, increasing the risk for serious health problems. Mold exposure may aggravate allergy and asthma symptoms, especially in children and people with compromised immune systems. Exposure may also increase the risk for respiratory diseases and other medical problems. Cleaning up immediately can help mitigate the health effects of water damage on everyone in a home or commercial space.”
How can SolvIt help?
At SolvIt, we spend our time with homeowners improving the quality of their homes. Water damage potentially leads to mold and poor indoor air quality. Therefore, SolvIt can help inspect your plumbing system and ensure any potential water leaks are spotted and addressed.
Rather than wait for an emergency to happen SolvIt Home Services also offers complete plumbing inspections to insure your systems are good to go! And if we notice areas of concern, like old cast iron sewer pipes or code compliance issues, we’ll bring them to your attention to address when ready and on budget.
We do not want the families in the communities we serve to live in a home with water damage or potential water damage risks. To help reduce the long term negative impact of water damage, contact SolvIt today.