Are you having water in the basement every time it rains heavily? Protecting your house from water damage will safeguard your investment and protect the health of your family. This is why knowing everything about the common problems and the best water damage restoration techniques is essential to keep your house safe.
Water damage will weaken the foundation and structure of your house and in the end, you will spend thousands of dollars to fix the damage. In this article, we’ll explain the most common causes of water damage and how to avoid them. We’ll also explain what water damage restoration is, what to expect and how to choose the best service provider.
What is Water Damage?
If you’re seeing water pooling where it shouldn’t, then you’re probably dealing with a water damage crisis. You might start seeing signs that water is affecting the walls and flooring of your house and you can see actual water puddles in the basement that might also affect the carpets on the first floor.
How Can You Tell That You Have Water Damage?
Proper maintenance preserves your foundation and furniture. It also protects the health of the owners of the house and helps you detect any problems before they manifest.
Neglecting a simple water leak or not securing the cracks in the house can cause more damage than you can expect. With time, you’ll be weakening the foundation of the house which can result in a huge restoration project that would cause thousands of dollars. Moreover, you’ll be creating an inviting environment for germs, mold, and bacteria to grow and affect everyone in your family. The early detection of water damage will prevent the dangerous aftermath.
Regardless of the material you’re using for your flooring, you can still detect some early signs that tell you that you’re dealing with serious water damage. Tiles might become loose because of the water trapped under them. If every time you walk, you see that the tiles are moving or making a sound, then you need to get professional help.
Wooden floors show more signs as the wood changes color and feels soft. This happens because water absorbs water fast.
If you see that the paint on your walls is changing color, chipping or peeling off, then you probably have a water leak somewhere in the house. Moisture and humidity get trapped in the walls and affect the durability of the paint by breaking the chemical bonds.
At a later stage, the water will affect the walls themselves. Walls start to get a little bit curvy because water is trapped under the structure. If neglected, you might see that some chunks are breaking off and might even fall. Although you might have to take the damaged wall down, it’s still better than having to work on a complete renovation project.
Water can damage the electric connections in your house causing a real safety hazard. You might have to deal with damaged electric fuses, some damaged electric appliances and in serious cases there might be a fire. Neglecting a water leak or accidental flooding can put everyone’s life in danger.
Mold or Mildew
As soon as you start to see mold, you should call a professional. Mold and mildew need a cool moist environment to grow and reproduce. Mold and mildew are easy to detect because of their color.
If you see mold growing in the corners or on the floor, then you need to act fast. A professional will also follow the direction where the mold is growing to help detect the exact location of the leak.
The spores of mold travel through the air and cause serious health issues. They can cause dangerous breathing problems and allergies so any mold spot shouldn’t be ignored.
After cleaning your house, you might still have a damp or slightly stinky smell. This could be a sign that you’re dealing with water damage. This happens because of the bacteria growing in your house as it needs a cool and moisture environment.
What Are the Causes of Water Damage?
Understanding the causes and the best way to avoid them will guarantee that your house and your family are safe from the dangers of water damage. Here are the main reasons for water damage.
Broken or Leaking Pipes
Your pipes might break or leak because of improper garbage disposal, in addition to blocked gutters and toilets. The improper disposal of waste is a mistake committed by several homeowners not knowing that it can damage their houses permanently. Your pipes might also leak if they’re rusty and haven’t been replaced for a very long time.
If you haven’t been dealing with a qualified plumber or have been trying to fix plumbing issues on your own, you might also be the reason why there’s water damage in your house. Water can leak inside the walls for months before you’re able to tell that there’s a problem.
Faulty Household Appliances
A leaky dishwasher, fridge, electric heater or washing machine can cause serious damage. As appliances get older, their pipes and hoses start to crack and break thus affecting the floors and walls in your house. If you’re keeping your appliances in the basement, you might spend months before you can tell that there’s a problem.
Some people ignore the proper maintenance of their HVACs and this can cause lots of issues affecting the foundation of your house. The moisture buildup can damage the hoses and causes the water to get trapped in your walls thus affecting their durability.
Heavy rain can cause flooding if you haven’t secured your basement and floors. When the weather is too cold, water might freeze inside the pipes and break them. This will cause a serious leak that can damage your house and furniture.
If your roofs aren’t properly sealed, water can leak inside the attic for months before you can know that something is going on. All of a sudden, you will see that the ceiling of your rooms is changing color and you might see spots of mold growing in the corners.
How to Protect Your House from Water Damage?
Is there anything that can be done before water affects your house? Yes, here are the best tips that can help you avoid water damage.
Keep the Gutters Clean
Unless they’re clean, your water system won’t work properly. Clean the gutters twice a year and make sure that the ice dams are removed. Depending on the location of the gutters, the still water can damage several walls in addition to the floors.
Keep the Water Main Off if You’re Away
If you’re leaving the house for a while, make sure that the water main is off. This will minimize risks as you won’t be able to act if water drips or leaks.
Maintain your Backyard and Lawn
Plants are pretty but their roots can grow around your water pipes and break them. You should be careful while working on your landscape to make sure that it doesn’t affect any of your water pipes.
Make Sure that Your Sump Pump is Functioning
A sump pump will keep your water safe during a serious storm. Fill the pit with water and watch the float rise to turn on the pump to test that it’s working properly. This reduces the water level and protects your water from flooding.
Your pump should work according to the water pressure or you might need a generator to make it work. There are also models that are battery-operated.
Remove Ice Blocks
When the temperature drops, water freezes inside the pipes. The ice becomes too sharp that it can easily break the pipes and hoses. You should make sure that the water pipes are working properly when the weather is bad.
Keep an Eye on Leaks
Are you seeing any dark spots near the sink or around your household appliances? This is an early sign that there’s a leak affecting the walls and floor in your house. Keeping an eye and fixing leaks as early as possible will help prevent the long-term water damage that might force you to replace your floors later on.
Check Your Water Bill
If you’re experiencing sudden changes in your water bill, then there’s probably something that causes a leak. Your water is going where it shouldn’t go and this can be avoided by hiring a professional. Monitor your bill for a couple of months to see if the change is permanent.
What is Water Damage Restoration?
Dealing with a water damage emergency can’t be done on your own. You’ll need to hire a professional water damage restoration service and understand what they can do to your house.
Water damage restoration is the process of detecting and fixing the cause of the damage. Whether you’re dealing with a flooded basement or broken pipes, a professional will help find the culprit and fix it before your problem manifests.
When there’s a leak, a clogged drain, a broken pipe, or a crack in the wall, it doesn’t take long before the standing water can cause serious problems. As a matter of fact, if you’re already seeing the visible signs, then you have been dealing with water damage for some time.
Water damage restoration doesn’t only involve the drying of your surfaces and removing the sewage or standing water. Walls and floors can still carry a lot of water even if they seem dry. Real experts will find the real cause of the water damage and fix it.
This is the first step which involves drying up the water and removing any flooding.
This is the second step which involves the dehumidification and drying of all the walls and surfaces. This might take some time as getting rid of moisture can be difficult.
A real water damage restoration expert will also remove all the stinky smells, germs, bacteria, and mold spots. At this stage, antimicrobial compounds should be used to make sure that your house is safe. Your floors, walls, carpets, clothes, drapery, closets, and cabinets should be sanitized.
If there are any damaged structures like broken walls, damaged floor panels, rotten cabinets, and loose tiles, they also have to be removed. You might need to replace drywall, insulation, or several pieces of furniture.
The damage to your house will be paid by your insurance company if you have one. The whole process can take a few days up to weeks depending on the extent of water damage.
How to Choose the Best Water Damage Restoration Company
The safety of your family and your house are on the stake. This is why you need to be careful while choosing a water damage restoration company. When a disaster strikes, you need to act fast and depend on a reliable company. Here is how to choose the best service provider.
- Pick a company that responds promptly. Waiting too long will only make the problem worse. Make sure that the company you choose is available 24/7 and will arrive immediately to minimize the losses.
- Check for the license. Your water restoration damage company should be insured and licensed. All team members should be well-trained. You can ask for referrals if you’re not sure. Your friends and neighbors might have had a similar experience in the past.
- Your company should offer you a detailed plan. They should be able to tell you everything involved in the water damage restoration process and what to expect. The assessment of damage should be clear and detailed. They should also tell you an accurate estimate of the cost.
- A professional team should be able to walk you through the insurance process. The team will help you document damage and handle the claims to help you save some money.
- Make sure that your company uses the latest techniques. Using the newest equipment and safest cleaning techniques will help speed up the restoration process and guarantee better results.
- You should make sure that the company you’re hiring is treating your property and belongings with respect. They should make the restoration process as stress-free and hassle-free as possible.
Water damage is likely to happen due to natural or man-made reasons. The way you act and how fast you handle this problem will help you deal with the situation with minimal losses.
Water damage restoration should be done by professional and trained experts who can find the cause of the leak and fix it. By doing so, you’ll be protecting your family and your investments.