Ever since Noah’s flood, unwanted water has plagued people. Most early water damage was caused by structural leaks and rising rivers. Buildings resistant to natural elements must have been a high priority in early civilizations. While man has learned to construct more water resistant buildings, interior water damage is more likely than ever. Between plumbing, porous finishing materials and fine furnishings, this combination creates a perfect environment for water and humidity damage.
Water damage occurs more often than most people realize. In fact, average homeowners will have at least one water damage experience during their lifetimes. Natural causes of water damage from hurricanes, rivers and coastal flooding still occur and are the most devastating. Yet the most common causes of water damage include frozen pipes, faulty appliances and fixtures, faulty or damaged plumbing, accidents or negligence, faulty or damaged construction, and willful misconduct or vandalism.
Let’s take look at the most common causes of water damage.
Defective or Faulty Appliances
Some of the most common water damage situations occur because of faulty or defective appliances. A hot water tank, for example, has a limited life, and often causes leaks when it fails. The degree of damage depends upon its location, the quantity of water, and the time of saturation. Other examples of faulty or defective appliances causing water damage include dishwashers, ice-makers, washing machines, water
softeners, and air conditioners.
Defective, worn and damaged fixtures also cause a great deal of water damage. A stuck toilet float or worn shutoff valve can lead to extensive leakage. When leaks are not discovered quickly, the resulting damage can be severe. Other examples of defective or faulty fixtures include fire sprinklers, sinks, toilets, showers, bathtubs, Jacuzzis® and hot tubs. Defective sprinklers in commercial buildings are a major cause of water damage.
Faulty or Damaged Construction
An above-average incidence of water damage is found in areas of new construction, for several reasons. Newly installed drainage systems may fail after first heavy rains. A system may be poor in quality, crushed, blocked, or inadequate for conditions. A drywall contractor or carpenter may have nailed through a pipe during installation. The roof may have leaks around flashing or gutters. Appliances and fixtures may leak when the water is connected and turned on.
Accidents and Negligence
Simple accidents or negligence often cause water damage. A homeowner accidentally leaves the water running in a sink or tub while going to the supermarket. An aquarium leaks or breaks while being moved. A garden hose left running near a foundation leaks into the basement. The list of accidents involving water is endless and the damage can be extensive.
Willful Misconduct and Vandalism
Vandals may intentionally cause water damage. They may place a garden hose into a basement window. Such vandalism usually occurs when homeowners are away on vacation, or on new construction before a building is occupied. Because discovery is often delayed, water damage in these situations can be extensive.
Stay Tuned… Next fire control procedures and high humidity conditions can cause or contribute to water damage.