This is a collaborative post.
Water is pretty great. We need it to live, we use it to cook, and we rely on it for hot showers, washing clothes, and everything in between.
However, water is not so great when it unexpectedly ends up causing damage in our house.
When water enters your home, whether it’s through a flood, a storm, or even a leak, it can be pretty destructive.
Over time, water can degrade the structure of your home, crumble your drywall, warp your flooring, stain your walls, and cause mold growth. For this reason, it’s important to always regularly inspect elements of your home that are prone to water damage.
In this article, we’ll list the top 3 places water damage might be hiding and provide actionable tips to fix the problem.
#1 Hiding Spot: Crawl Spaces
Crawl spaces is an area of the home that is most prone to water damage, which is why it tops this list.
Why? Since they’re located at the lowest point in your house, basements and crawl spaces are usually the final destination for any water that’s traveling inside or outside of your house.
And there’s a plethora of water sources that can add to the moisture problem, from rain water to water running down your lawn to leaking plumbing fixtures that are located there.
Unfortunately, crawl spaces are also the most overlooked areas of the home because they’re small and difficult to enter (hence, the name ‘crawl space’).
Flooding or excess moisture in your crawl space can cause wood rot, damaged subflooring, mold growth, pests, and can even damage the wood floors in the upper levels of your home.
The good news is you can follow these easy steps to prevent flooding or moisture build-up in your crawl space:
- Clean clogged gutters and downspouts. Doing chores like these will allow for water to easily flow away from your property instead of towards it.
- Don’t keep flower beds near the foundation. While they make for a beautiful lawn, the porous top soil found in flower beds means water will flow towards your foundation and into your crawl space.
- Insulate your pipes. Many pipes are often found in the crawl space, which can lead to ruptures and flooding if temperatures reach below-freezing.
- Install a sump pump. These affordable drainage systems are used to remove groundwater from your crawl space.
If you didn’t take preventative measures and find that your crawl space suffered extensive flooding, your best option is to call a professional crawl space water damage company.
Like we previously mentioned, crawl spaces are very difficult to enter which can make for hazardous working conditions, especially if there’s contaminants or pests present.
These companies have the proper safety equipment and gear to get rid of water in your crawl space and return the humidity levels to normal.
#2 Hiding Spot: The Roof or Attic
We took you to the bottom of the house, now let’s take you to the top. The roof is the first line of defense from the elements, like wind and rain.
Because of this, your roof will degrade over time and eventually water will make its way through. And what’s directly beneath the roof? The attic!
If you see mold patches or condensation on the walls or insulation, then you probably have a leak.
Here’s what you can do to prevent it:
- Regularly have your roof inspected and replace any broken shingles.
- Ensure your attic is properly ventilated. This will guarantee that any moisture that rises to the attic has a way out.
- Maintain appliances located near or in the attic, like ac units, to make sure they’re not leaking.
#3 Hiding Spot: Cabinets or Walls Near Appliances
Any appliance that uses water, like washing machines, sinks, or fridges, have the ability to leak water.
In the best case scenario, you can tell these appliances are leaking because there’s a big puddle of water on the floor next to them. Other times, it takes a little investigative work.
If you notice a musty smell any time you are around the appliance, the flooring is starting degrade, the drywall is wet or crumbling, or if there’s water stains on the walls or ceilings, then you probably have a leak.
The only way to ensure this doesn’t happen to you is good old’ fashioned maintenance. If you see a broken flapper on a toilet or the washer on a sink faucet isn’t working, then fix it!
Yes it can be a tedious chore, but it’s a lot cheaper than paying an expensive water damage repair bill down the line.
If you’re not the DIY type, then have a plumber regularly inspect your appliances to ensure they’re in tip top shape.