The Effect, Causes, & Signs Of Water Damage In Homes & How To Handle It


Water damage occurs in homes when the property is exposed to large amounts of water, causing physical damage to the home. Excess water is never a welcoming visitor in any home as it can be a really devastating and costly issue for homeowners. It can stem from leaky roofs, busted pipes, flooding severe weather conditions, etc. The effect, however, can be far-reaching and long-lasting.

Understanding water damage and its causes in homes is the first step toward safeguarding your home and preventing any disaster that may arise. Here’s all you should know about water damage, the cause, the signs, and what to do to handle and prevent water damage.

Understanding the causes and effects of water damage in homes

Water damage can be a real nuisance in the home, causing both aesthetical and structural damage. It can cause wooden furniture to warp, make your carpet moldy, damage your drywall, and it can even cause the home flooring to rot through. Let’s explore some major causes of water damage in homes today.

1. Leaking pipes

Leaking pipes are one of the main culprits of water damage in many homes today. Over time, pipes used in the home plumbing can deteriorate, suffer from corrosion, or develop cracks. This may result in sudden bursts or slow leaks from the pipes, showing visible and hidden signs throughout the home’s plumbing system.

Signs of leaking pipes include water stains on walls and ceilings, unexplained increases in water bills, dampness around pipes or fixtures, etc.

2. Leaking roof or gutters

The roof of your home and the gutters installed also play a vital role in keeping water out of the home, away from where water can do damage. However, when the roof or gutters are compromised, they can be a major source of water leakage, causing water damage.

The damaged or leaking roof allows water to sip into the home, causing structural issues and mold growth. Common signs of a leaking roof or gutter include water stains on the ceiling, peeling paints, and mold growth in the home attic.

3. HVAC issues

HVAC systems are naturally designed to cool the home and provide comfort in your home. However, when the condensing drain is clogged, when there are leaking pipes, or when the HVAC is simply faulty, it can result in something else. It is common for damaged HVAC systems to accumulate water and damage walls and floors.

Common signs include unusual sounds originating from the HVAC system, unusual smells, and inconsistent temperature regulation.

4. Appliance leaks

Appliances that make use of water are also a cause of water damage in homes. This includes appliances like washing machines, dishwashers, and refrigerators with ice makers. If not properly maintained, damaged hoses, loose connections, or malfunctioning components can result in water leaks in your home.

Common signs include water pooling around the appliance, discoloration of the wall and flooring close to the appliance, and a musty odor originating from the surroundings of the appliance.

5. Flooding or natural disaster

Flooding or natural disasters, though not within our control, can cause water damage, too. Heavy rainfall, hurricanes, etc can compromise the structural integrity of your home, resulting in extensive damage.

Preventing natural disasters from happening is virtually impossible, still, some precautions can be taken to minimize potential water damage. This includes installing floor-resistance barriers and elevating critical components of your home.

What are the effects of water damage in a home?

Water damage in any home can lead to structural, aesthetic, and health issues. Excess moisture or water can weaken vital components of the building. In worst-case scenarios, it can cause a building to collapse. Aesthetically, the presence of damp and discolored walls, ceilings, and flooring does not help the look of your home when guests come to visit.

Lastly, water damage can pose a serious risk to the health of those staying in the home. Excess moisture can create a breeding ground for mold and mildew. When these spores are released into the air and inhaled by occupants in the home, they can cause respiratory problems or other severe complications, especially for those with weakened immune systems.


What kind of damage can water cause in a home?

It can cause rotting of wood, rusting of steel, delaminating and warping of materials such as wood flooring, mold growth, etc.

Does water damage get worse over time?

If left untreated or unattended, it would worsen over time.

Can water damage make you sick?

Yes, it can. Water damage can lead to mold and mildew forming in the home; these spores can spread into the air, causing respiratory problems when inhaled. Additionally, stagnant water from water damage can attract mosquitoes, increasing the risks of vector-borne diseases.

Conclusion – Preventing and dealing with water damage

In terms of prevention, there is little you can do other than pay attention and spot the signs addressed in this article. Additionally, ensure that an inspection is carried out on your home occasionally to spot and fix any source that may cause water damage.

In terms of dealing with water damage, acting quickly is critical in order to minimize and prevent further damage to the home. Shut the main water supplier so more water doesn’t leak into the home. Next, turn off the electricity to avoid any electrical hazard from occurring.

Afterward, begin to remove excess water to prevent additional saturation. Open windows and doors to aid the drying process and seek professional restoration services to help deal with the damage further.

I hope you found this article helpful. You may also find this article on how to fix ceiling cracks helpful.

Thanks for reading.

About Samkins

Samkins Construction Inc specializes in custom home building, general contracting, design-build, architectural design, construction management, and real estate services.


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