There are few things that homeowners and property managers fear like extensive water damage. Water damage is one of the most common types of household catastrophe, and it can be extremely expensive and difficult to repair. Water can easily rack up thousands of dollars of damage in the space of a few hours if left unchecked. Generally if you’ve experienced water damage in your home you want to get in touch with your local water damage restoration company. It’s important to have professional contractors inspect and repair the damage to make sure that your home remains structurally sound and free of mold after extensive water damage. You may be able to handle the initial cleanup, and some of the repairs, but water damage can cause huge problems down the road if the damage is not assessed and handled properly at the time of the incident.
Common Sources of Water Damage
Unfortunately water damage can happen from a wide variety of different sources and any homeowner should be aware of the areas in their home that could be a source of excess water. Some of the most common appliances that can cause water damage are dishwashers, washing machines, toilets, and showers. Making sure these appliances are hooked up properly can save a lot of money and trouble further down the road.
Inclement weather and poor construction are also huge sources of water damage. If your roof has a leak, or your gutters aren’t cleaned regularly, you could be at risk for water damage every time there is heavy rain or snowfall. Snow can be especially bad because the added weight can exacerbate pre-existing issues, allowing water into the home once the snow begins to melt. Poorly installed plumbing and cracks in the foundation are also common sources of water damage. Homes that have a basement are usually at increased risk for water damage, especially if they are haphazardly sealed or older construction.
Types of Water Damage
Not all water damage is created equal, and it’s important to address the severity of your damage in order to determine what will need to be done in terms of water removal and repair. The categories of water damage break down as follows:
- Category 1 – This type of water damage refers to water that is clean and poses no threat to humans. This can be anything from a sink overflow, to a leaky dishwasher or washing machine. This is one of the easier types to clean up, especially if it’s caught quickly before any damage can spread.
- Category 2 – This kind of water damage is referred to as “gray water” and indicates that the water is contaminated and may cause sickness if ingested. This kind of damage usually comes from overflowing toilets, broken sump pumps, or seepage. Again, if this is dealt with quickly the threat of illness can be minimized.
- Category 3 – This category is referred to as “black water” and it is completely unsanitary. This designation is given to water that absolutely contains bacteria and other organisms that cause illness. This type of damage is usually caused by sewage backups, or contamination of standing water. Category 3 damage is very dangerous and should be dealt with immediately. It generally requires special protection and equipment from the water damage repair contractor that is dealing with it.
Water damage is also broken down into different classes of damage, which are important to know when trying to figure out the best way to deal with the damage. The classes range from 1 to 4 with 1 being the least amount of damage, and 4 being the most extensive damage.
Ways to Avoid Water Damage
The best way to avoid water damage is to be aware of the possible sources of damage in your own home. Check out all connections for any appliances that are going to use large amounts of water, like dishwashers, laundry machines, toilets, showers, and outdoor faucets. Make sure everything is connected tightly and free of rust or corrosion. Check your basement for condensation on the walls, or any cracks in the floor that might allow water to well up from underneath. Look for water spots on ceilings, and check the floor of the basement for any areas that look as though they’ve had standing water before.
Knowing which areas in your home are risk areas is the first step to making sure you don’t have to deal with extensive water damage. Take note when it rains if there are any leaky spots or if your gutters seem to be overflowing. Excessive water in your yard and around the foundation of the house can also be a source of water damage.
By taking simple precautions you can go a long way towards protecting yourself from water damage, but sometimes accidents happen or things break and begin to leak. You should have the number for your local water damage repair specialists on hand in the event that you have water damage issues. Taking immediate action is the best way to make sure that water damage doesn’t cause further issues like mold or structural damage.
If left unchecked, water damage can cause serious health issues for you and your family and could even end up in your home being condemned. So take the time to check out your risk areas today and look up your local damage repair contractors. That way you’re prepared in case of emergency and you can deal with the problem quickly and effectively with as little stress on you or your family as possible.