It can be super stressful to find water damage on your property, especially if mold growth has already formed. When owning a property, there’s always a list of tasks that need to be done, and adding water damage restoration is never a good one to add to it.
But it’s also one that should be addressed right away as it can spread to unaffected areas and result in even higher costs to repair. To make matters even worse, mold can develop in any area with accumulated moisture in as little as 48 hours after water damage.
When restoring a water-damaged area, it’s highly recommended to not take this on as a DIY project, simply because the water will seep through cracks within walls and floors. It’s also hard to determine if an area is completely dry; just because it may feel dry to the touch, subflooring and/or insulation behind the building material may still be wet.
To get started, here are 10 common places to find water leaks:
1. Water Heaters
Water heaters leak all the time, especially when they are old. In fact, about 70% of all failures have been the result of a leak or burst. Depending on the size of the tank, you may have a small leak or even a small flood! In either case, don’t hesitate to call a water damage restoration professional as well as a plumber to fix or repair the water heater as well as repair the building materials around it before mold develops.
Toilets are the appliance that pass the most amount of water each day. But when they overflow, a slew of bacteria-filled water can quickly flood the floor, seeping into rugs and drywall around it. In these situations, turn off the main water switch and inspect the tank. You may have to call a plumber, depending on the severity of the problem. In extreme cases, sewage cleanup may also be needed to thoroughly disinfect the area.
3. Water Pipes
Leaky pipes are one of the main causes of water damage. One of the scariest thoughts is that most pipes are hidden, often leading hidden water damage until it has seeped through the building materials and is noticeable through walls and floors. One of the biggest causes for pipe leaks is that they are old and need to be replaced. Be sure to have a licensed plumber inspect them every so often to prevent any potential water damage.
4. Freezer and Refrigerator
This appliance is one that goes hardly noticed when water damage occurs. But when the water line leaks from the ice maker, this can be a huge problem. If you suspect a leak, unplug the refrigerator and inspect the wall behind the freezer for any water damage. There may also be a small hole or two that could be dripping. If they are plastic, replace them with copper pipes instead.
5. Air Conditioner
As long as there isn’t any moisture on the drywall next to it, the moisture this appliance produces is not a problem. But excessive dripping is enough to cause water and mold damage. Inspect the machine, specifically the refrigerant, drain line, and condensate pump for any leaks.
6. Washing Machine
On average, there are about 15-30 gallons of water passing through the washing machine during each load. For older appliances, there is a higher risk for the hoses and pipes to have leaks. In these situations, inspect your machine for any leaks or signs of water damage to avoid a disaster.
While many sources of water damage occur within the home, external issues, like blocked gutters are also cause for concern. With every fall and spring, hire a professional or clear away the debris from the gutters yourself to allow water to flow freely away from the foundation. Otherwise, sticks, leaves, and dirt will cause running water to spill over the sides of the gutter, seep into your foundation, and result in a nasty flood.
8. Sinks and Showers
Similar to washing machines and refrigerators, sinks and showers are among the most common sources of water damage. If the grout or caulk is wearing away at the base or lining the walls, be sure to have it patched right away. Any condensation or moisture that seeps into drywall and porous flooring can result in discoloration, deterioration, and mold growth.
9. Sump Pumps
The only cause for concern with these appliances is during heavy rains and storms. If the unit is old or simply cannot handle the amount of water coming into the foundation, it can malfunction. This allows water to quickly fill the surrounding areas, seeping into the walls, insulation, and floors and creating a disastrous flood. To prevent this situation, ensure that your sump pump is in good condition and capable of pumping large amounts of water away from the property. You can test it by pouring a large bucket of water into the hole and watch it pump water away from the property.
10. Air Ducts
Finding moisture or even mold within the air ducts can be the most problematic situation for any property owner. Not only are they hard areas to reach, but they allow for mold spores and debris to be easily transported to other areas of the property.
To inspect your air ducts for water damage, check the air registers for condensation. If you notice any problems, you may have a water leak in another area, thus, requiring the help of a water damage restoration professional.
Professional Water Damage Restoration
Inspecting all of the common areas for water damage is a great way to prevent disaster and address leaks as soon as they occur. But not all water damage can be prevented, simply due to the number of sources as well as how fast it can spread. This is where homeowner’s insurance can be life-saving, covering the majority of restoration and repair costs.
If you have found water damage on your property and are located in Southern California or Nevada, ServiceMaster EMT is available 24/7 to provide effective water damage restoration services in Orange County, CA. Proudly covering 3 states, we can arrive to your home within 2 hours during emergencies to remove the source of the damage, prevent it from spreading, and extracting the standing water right away.
We will also remove remaining moisture from the building structure and air spaces using powerful air movers and dehumidification equipment. If we find any mold growth, we can also provide mold removal services to remove it at the source, as well as address other areas to which it has spread.
Finally, we will work with your insurance company during the claims process to allow you to focus on other matters.
In the event of a water damage emergency, don’t hesitate to call ServiceMaster EMT at (949) 229-3699 for mold removal services.