Unusual Sources of Water Damage

There are many ways that water can damage a home. Water can create damage inside and outside a home, from a number of sources. There are several common methods of water damage, including a leaking window or roof, problems with pipes, and of course the result of flooding. There are also many unusual ways that water can create problems. It is crucial to monitor all areas of your home for water intrusion.

Lack of structural integrity, leaks, and condensation provide the major source of unusual water damage.
To think of uncommon sources of damage, think of the major areas where water touches your house, for example during a prolonged, driving rain.

The first is the roof. Aside from obvious leaking and dripping, water can come in from the roof and run along quite a long distance before wreaking havoc. Damage in the attic can come from poor insulation, inadequate ventilation – blocked up soffit vents or no ridge vents, plugged gutters, no storm and ice shield at the bottom of the roof under the shingles.

Another place to look for water damage is at the foundation level. As your soil erodes and plants grow, the water drainage can change. Be alert to ways that water that had been previously excluded from your basement or crawl space may now be encroaching into your home.

The exterior walls of a home and external structures are meant to be water resistant. If your home is in need of painting or your deck is in need of refinishing, these items need to be attended to before a hard rain drives moisture into unprotected wood.

Other ways that problems might arise involve the transportation and use of water throughout your home.

Appliances themselves can cause water to spill. Clothes washing machines require water to drain, and sometimes this mechanism is not as secure as it needs to be. Front loading washers can leak when the door seal becomes old. Dishwashing machines can have similar issues from standing water in particular.

Refrigerators with ice making capabilities often have a copper tube that brings in water from other sources. This tube can develop a leak and the place where it first attaches can become unsecure.

Knobs and fixtures in the bathroom can develop drips and leaks. In fact this often happens as they age. Sometimes it’s as simple as replacing a washer, but other times the entire fixture should be replaced. The water can slowly leach into the cabinetry surrounding the fixture, again creating an area where mold can grow.

Inadequate waterproofing of the shower can cause water to seep into the grout between the tiles, and into the drywall behind the fixture, particularly in situations where the fixtures were not installed over waterproof material.

Unusual problems can start from the air.
Sometimes windows or units like air conditioners can have condensation that drips internally. Whenever warm, humid air comes into contact with something cold, condensation of the water onto that surface can occur.

On humid days, the air near all crevices is wet. If you have improperly sealed flooring the air can seep into cracks and create a permanently damp environment.

Remember that in the case of water damage, there are three categories of water: Category I is drinkable water. Category II is “gray water,” which is used water from your appliances, but nothing that’s hazardous. Category III is sewage, chemical-laden, and any other water that can affect health. Contacting professionals to remove sources of damage is always advisable.

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