Water can be as damaging to a house as fire and termites. Fortunately, water damage can be prevented altogether or caught early by a diligent homeowner. Learn about the common places for water damage so you can stay on guard and protect your home.
Common Places for Water Damage in the Bathroom
The bathroom is the room that typically sees the most water usage. Water damage can occur due to leaking plumbing pipes, areas that are not waterproofed, and carelessness when bathing.
Leaking plumbing pipes are known to cause the most damage because they are not always noticed right away. A slow leak behind a wall can go undetected for months or even years until signs of water damage are visible. By this point, structural materials are compromised. Moist and deteriorated materials attract termites, so you could end up with an infestation on top of water damage.
When the bathroom is not waterproofed with caulk around the shower, tub, and sink, water can seep into the drywall and cause mold and rotting. If the caulk in these areas is old and peeling away, remove it and reapply a fresh layer of caulk.
Leaving puddles in the bathroom when getting out of the shower or bath can also cause water damage. Try to dry off while still inside the shower, and if water does get onto the bathroom floor, wipe it up promptly.
An easy way to minimize water damage in the bathroom is to always turn on the exhaust fan when showering. The fan pulls humidity out of the room and sends it outside if the exhaust is vented out of the roof. If your exhaust fan is venting into the attic, it’s best to have that fixed. Moist air deposited in the attic invites mold to grow there.
In the Kitchen
Water damage can occur in the kitchen from plumbing leaks or appliance malfunctions. The appliance most likely to cause water damage is the dishwasher. The refrigerator could also leak, especially if it has a water dispenser and ice maker.
Another place to check for leaks is the cabinet underneath the kitchen sink. If the pipe connection is loose, water can leak out of the pipe and pool inside the cabinet. When the cabinet is cluttered, it is especially difficult to see when this is happening. Try to keep that area clear and regularly look for signs of a leak.
Common Places for Water Damage Under the House
The basement and crawlspace are common areas for water damage. If drainage systems aren’t working correctly or land grading is sloping towards the house, water is likely to pool up against the foundation and seep through.
This can be prevented with proper land grading, maintaining gutters and downspouts, and sealing up holes and cracks in the foundation. Adding a vapor barrier on the floor of the crawlspace or a sump pump to the basement is also a good defense against water damage.
In the Attic
Water damage occurs in the attic if the roof is in poor shape and unable to keep rainwater from coming through. A roof leak can also damage ceilings and walls. Regular roof inspections will help you catch any issues before they cause damage to your home and belongings or mold growth.