You come home from work and your entire laundry room and kitchen are under standing water. A severe storm causes your basement to flood. After a business trip, you return home to a soggy, wet carpet (not much worse than walking on wet carpet!). These are all experiences many homeowners share, but they don't have to be. Water is just destructive as it is useful, and has a strong tendency to leak, run, flood, and soak -- usually from human and machine error. In order to prevent major water leaks that wreak havoc on your home, it is important to maintain the many components of your home that are associated with water leaks, flooded floors, soaked carpets, and sopping drywall.
Below is an explanation of some of the most common sources of water leaks in a house: appliances that use water, water heaters, clogged storm drains, burst or unsealed pipes, and patchy roofs.
Water-based Appliances (Refrigerators, Laundry Machines, Dishwashers, etc.)
You may love all the space and convenience that shiny new refrigerator offers, with its ease-of-access filtered water/ice dispenser. You may love your big, beautiful dishwasher that cuts down on the water bill AND saves you an extra 45 minutes every night. You probably worship your washing machine - one of modern technology's greatest inventions. However, all of these awesome appliances are prone to leak from time to time, often without you ever realizing until it's much too late. It's important to make sure all the tubing and pipes connecting your water appliance to the water source are completely secure, clean, and not susceptible to leaks.
Refrigerators in particular, large and often tucked into a corner, will leak for long periods going totally unnoticed. They will soak into whatever flooring you have, down through the sub-flooring and into the room below or into the crawl space. Sometimes the water damage is so extensive from a simple refrigerator leak that the entire home will require brand new flooring -- which could end up turning into months of expensive work. Gentry Restoration will work to make sure that doesn't happen, helping you catch water leaks early on and immediately drying them out to avoid major, month-long repairs.
Be sure to contact us if you have any issues with your appliances.
Hot Water Heaters
Another major leak source: the big water tank that keeps your showers as hot as you like them. These often expensive machines will have tubing, wiring, and connections that rust away, slip out, or unfurl, causing water damage mayhem. You would not believe how many major water leaks, which require complete tear-outs of flooring as well as weeks of drying and water removal, are due to a leaking hot water heater. They are a blessing and a curse.
Hot water heaters can usually be leak proof if you regularly spot check them for minor leaks, rust, or other issues such as disconnected tubing. The older the hot water heater, the more likely it is to leak, but new does not always mean better. Be sure to consult with your hot water heater seller on the most reliable heater for your home.
A plumber can often come in handy for more complex water tanks, but if it is already leaking, you should contact your local water restoration company to solve the problem and make sure the water does not cause any further damage.
Drainpipes & Gutters
Not all water leaks come from the inside of the home! Be sure to keep your drainpipes, storm drains, and gutters clear and free of debris. Blockage in any of these can cause water to pool up on top of your house or business and sit, slowly finding itself leaking down through the roof and into the framing of the house! This can create all sorts of problems: wet dry wall, soaked insulation, ruined floors, caving in ceilings -- water will do everything in its power to destroy your home.
The next time it rains, check your drains to see where water is flowing and where it isn't. If a gutter does not seem to be emitting any water, there may be a clog caused by any number of things: fallen leaves, pine cones, etc. Hire a professional or consult an online guide on how to clean your drainpipes manually. Usually, you can run a hose up to the edge of your roof and loop it down into the drain to flush out whatever is inside.
Pipes (Burst, Disconnected, Rusted... the list goes on!)
We've all dealt with a leaky pipe. Sometimes it's only a small amount of water that is easily fixed with some paper towels and a wrench - but often, the pipe has been leaking long before we realize, causing water to seep into the walls and floors, causing permanent damage.
If you can catch the slightly leaking pipe in the act and stop it, you will likely prevent water damage in the immediate. However, it's important to note that old pipes, pipes that go through harsh temperature changes, and rusted over pipes will need to be replaced sooner than later. Failure to do so could cause a pipe to bust while you're away on vacation, at work, or even asleep. Compromised pipes can cause flooding in the home or business, leading to thousands of dollars in damages.
Make sure your pipes are clean, unclogged, secure, and properly connected! Contact your local plumber to make sure your pipes are up to standard.
Last but not least... Roofs
Just as with everything else, both direct physical issues and age can have detrimental effects on your roof. Tropical storms, hurricanes, or tornadoes can cause your roofing shingles to come apart, fly away, or disappear. Whenever shingles are missing, water easily enters the home, flowing down into the attic space, through ceilings and walls, soaking through insulation and wiring, and leaving your home in shambles.
We do not recommend accessing your roof by yourself, especially if the roof is at a steep incline, but it is important to make sure your roof is clear of buildup and debris, and that the shingles are properly secured. Both strong winds and age can cause shingles to loosen, so having your roof repaired or even replaced is recommended, at least when it appears the roof has aged. Leaving a roof to fall apart can cause serious damage to the interior of the home, specifically with water draining into the home rather off the roof and onto the ground.
Be sure to contact Gentry Restoration with all your water damage needs!
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