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How a Simple Flood Can Ruin Your Home

Flooding and water damage are a huge nightmare for homeowners to deal with.  Even a very minor water leak or pipe breakage can cause extensive damage to your home and cause you to lose precious belongings and memories, as well the costs required to fix such problems after they have occurred.

There are many ways that even a minor leak can cause major problems, including:

  • It can happen at night – if a pipe begins leaking or breaks during the night while you are sleeping, it can cause extensive damage.  Sometimes an hour or two of leaking is all it takes to cause great damage to your home and possessions.  Now imagine the damage that can occur if it goes undetected for an entire 8 or 10 hour sleeping period.
  • It can happen in walls – pipes that leak or break inside a wall are some of the most costly and damaging ones to deal with.  Depending on the size of the leak, it could be months or even years before the problem is detected.  During this time, the water is going down through the walls and is soaking into the wood and insulation inside.  This can lead to structual damage and weakness if not detected quickly.  This can also lead to electrical damage if the water gets into wiring that was damaged or not insulated properly.  Wall flooding is an extremely dangerous and costly issue for a homeowner to deal with.
  • It can happen at your foundation, doors and windows – it is important to not only look for sources of flooding inside your home, but also around the outside of your home.  Make sure to seal cracks in your foundation and around windows and doorframes to make sure water from outside isn’t getting inside.  Also, make sure that you have proper landscaping so that water runoff goes away from your home.  These areas are particularly important to check before the winter season to prevent damage from ice thawing in the spring. 
  • It can damage ceilings, hardwood floors and carpet – if a pipe is leaking, even just a bit, it can cause serious damage to ceilings and floors.  It can leave behind visible water staining and damage that can be difficult to repair, as well as mold and mildew, and even more importantly structural damage.
  • It can damage paint/wallpaper and furniture – leaks not only damage the walls and ceilings in a room, but also the paint/wallpaper on the walls and the furniture contained in the room.  This is especially an issue in storage areas that you might not notice right away, such as an attic or basement.   You can easily lose all of the furniture and belongings in those areas from a small leak that isn’t caught early on.
  • Insurance often does not cover water damage – many insurance policies have specific exclusions dealing with water damage or flooding.  Make sure you aware of your policy or you may find that not only have you lost possessions and had serious damage to your home, but you also won’t be getting any replacement assistance from your insurance company.  This can make a bad time even worse if it’s unexpected.
  • It can make your home and those living in it sick – water damage, particularly if not caught quickly, can not only cause possessions to be ruined, but can also leave dangerous mold and other organisms growing inside the walls, furniture or clothing that got wet.  If not cleaned thoroughly and correctly, this can lead to dangerous health issues for those living in the home.

It is extremely important for homeowners to be aware of the ways that water can cause damage to their home and to actively work to prevent this damage.  The consequences of even the smallest leak can be very costly and result in damage or loss of property and belongings.  Never ignore a leaky faucet or let it go for another day.  It could end up being a costly mistake for you.

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