Water is simultaneously vital and infuriating. We can’t survive without it but it’s tough to control. This is particularly true in homes during the summertime. Residential water leaks are one of the most common causes of house damage, costing insurers a hefty $11 billion USD a year. Sixty percent of Canadian homeowners shell out more than CA$ 6,000 on repairs after water damage occurs. Nearly 20 percent spend more than CA$ 24,000 per incident!
“As you might expect, maintenance, prevention and vigilance are key to avoiding water leaks in the home,” says Leslie Anderson, Vice President of Training, Paul Davis Restoration, Inc. “We talk with our residential customers frequently about common sources. There are five that cause most of the water damage we see and that homeowners should keep an eye on.”
Wax seals: Sealing toilets to floors, this flexible ring provides a waterproof, mould-resistant, bacteria-resistant barrier, keeping sewage and water inside the pipes after a flush. They don’t last forever, though. Often, wax seal leaks are stealthy, seeping slowly under floors. Stay alert for flooring discoloration next to toilets, unstable toilets and/or water stains on ceiling below these fixtures.
Appliance and fixture supply hoses: Under constant pressure, hoses feeding dishwashers, washing machines, toilets, sinks and the like can leak or even burst, rapidly flooding a structure. This is such a frequent problem with washing machines that many building codes require water supply shut off when this appliance isn’t in use (unless it’s connected to no-burst hoses.) Protecting your home against supply hose failure isn’t hard: replace hoses regularly.
Water heaters: These devices are notorious for catastrophic failures: many shocked homeowners have posted alarming videos of the aftermath online. Tips to avoid this deluge:
- Check the anode rod. This rod sacrifices itself for the good of the unit: it rusts before the tank rusts. If yours has rusted away, the tank itself is now rusting and preparing to leak.
- Inspect for leaks. Look carefully at the outside of the unit for rusty areas or moisture. Leaks often begin as tiny “pinhole” leaks that are inconspicuous.
Drain leaks and clogs: From ageing shower pans to old tub piping, drain leaks are a frequent source of home water damage. Drain leaks can be slow and difficult to detect, often revealing themselves as ceiling water stains. Clogs, on the other hand, are hard to miss, leading to overflowing fixtures and backed up sewer lines. Floodwaters stemming from clogs can be hazardous, requiring professional mitigation and restoration.
External building components: Windows and roofs are the most frequent offenders leading to home water damage. Water influx around windows is easier to detect than roof leakage. The best prevention? Replacing old windows and roofs before they funnel water into the dwelling.
Did you arrive home to find it raining inside from a broken water supply line or leaking water heater? Call Paul Davis at 800-661-5975 because This Is No Time For Second Best®.