What is Water Damage In a Residential Home

Water damage in a residential home can be very destructive. It has to be addressed right away to mitigate the long-term destruction it can wreak in a home. Water damage can happen gradually or at one time. Gradual water damage is commonly due to unaddressed plumbing or roofing leaks that have damaged its surrounding area. The type of damage that happens at one-time is meanwhile due to plumbing emergencies, appliance malfunctions, or weather-related flooding.

Frozen pipes usually cause plumbing emergencies that lead to residential water damage.

Regardless if it is gradual or one-time damage, the best recourse is to seek professional repair work to address the matter. Licensed water damage repair contractors have the necessary skills, training, and equipment to carry out water damage repair permanently.

Defining Residential Water Damage

Residential Water damage is primarily defined as a loss incurred due to water intrusion on the part of a home. The extent may be minimal and can be dealt with by the homeowner himself. Most of the time, though, gradual or one-time water damage needs professional restoration. Professional repair does not only ensure that the problem is solved for the long-term, but it also prevents future issues like mold infestation.

Water damage can occur anywhere at home. It can take place outside the house, and cause rotting in the structures. It commonly happens inside the home, though, as this is where leaks usually take place. Restoration Industry Association

What causes water damage?

Water damage can happen anytime. Water runs in the pipes 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When plumbing fixtures are ill-maintained accidents can happen. Same goes with roof leaks and appliance malfunctions. Weather and community-related flooding can be equally destructive as well.

Here are the common causes of water damage in residential properties:

  1. Plumbing emergencies. Plumbing problems are the most common cause of considerable water damage. Bursting pipes can be very destructive as they can flood a portion of the house instantly. Pipes usually burst when they are frozen. As soon as pipe breaks, the main water valve should be turned off immediately to prevent further inundation.

Another plumbing emergency that results in water damage is overflowing sinks, tubs, or toilets. Blocked drains or sewer back-ups usually cause overflows. This type of water damage can be very nasty, filthy, and could pose a danger to health. It has to be addressed as soon as possible, complete with professional disinfection and sanitation.

  1. Minor plumbing troubles. Undetected leaks can cause gradual water damage. When undetected, molds can grow and could start rotting the structure. Molds can likewise wreak havoc to the health of the household members. Minor plumbing troubles should be immediately repaired to avoid these problems.
  2. Roofing woes. Be it a minor roof issue or a major roof leak, any problems with the home roofing system will inevitably cause water damage. It is vital to keep the roof well-maintained to avoid gradual water damage that can cause discoloration, warping, and mold growth.
  3. Malfunctioning sump pump. The leading cause of basement flooding in houses are problems with the sump pump. Ensure that the sump pump is working correctly by regularly checking on it, and keeping it well-maintained.
  4. Weather-related flooding. Heavy rains, flash floods, typhoons, hurricanes, and continuous downpour can cause localized flooding. This type of flooding can enter the home, and cause water damage to the structure and the properties inside.

It can be possible to reduce the risks of weather-related flooding. First is to be aware of the flood risks in the community. If it is not possible to move houses, then one can make the necessary renovation work to reduce water damage issues if flooding re-occurs. A good move is to elevate the flooring of the home and raise the electrical outlets to avoid shocks and damage during an inundation. Find ways as well to keep appliances dry in case of flooding occurs.

  1. Community-related flooding. Living next to a body of water can put a home at risk of flooding once the body of water overflows. It is possible that torrential rains or heavy downpours could cause lakes and rivers to overflow. These can override the community drainage and cause flooding in nearby homes.

The above causes of water damage are now classified into water damage categories. There are three categories of water damage, and they are categorized to help determine the type of response professional restorers should carry out.

Different Categories of Water Damage

Category 1 Water Damage. Category 1 is the cleanest type of floodwater to inundate a residential property. This usually comes from freshwater sources like pipes that may have burst, overflowing sinks that have untainted water supply, broken faucets, and tub overflows. Problems with the main water line can also cause this category of water damage. Another cause of category one water damage is malfunctioning appliances that have a water source. These appliances include the washing machine, clothes dryer, water dispenser, water purifier, refrigerator, and the dishwasher.

Category 2 Water Damage. Category 2 water damage is commonly referred to as “greywater.” It is essentially contaminated water but not excessively dirty and harmful to human and animal health. Common contaminants of greywater are either biological or chemical. And while these contaminants can be detrimental, especially when ingested, they are not fatal.

Common sources of category two water damage are overflowing clogged sinks and tubs. Toilets that overflow provided it only has urine on it can also qualify as category two water damage. Failing sump pumps can also generate greywater, and so is the outflow from washing machines and dishwashers.

Category 3 Water Damage. The gravest form of water damage is the Category 3 water damage. It is commonly called black water because it is very unsanitary and could cause severe health consequences. Familiar sources of black water include sewage backups, toilet overflows that have a fecal matter or have been stagnant for a time. Overflowing water from nearby bodies of water like lakes and rivers can also bring category three water damage inundation. Floodwaters due to weather disturbances can also cause water damage.

Apart from categorizing water damage, professional water damage repair contractors also differentiate water damage according to its class. Classes of water damage are dependent on how fast the flood water can dissipate. It is also hinged on the types of materials affected by the inundation.

Choosing a Water Damage Contractor

It is essential to choose a licensed water damage contractor that can professionally address the water damage problem. Working with an expert contractor will give the homeowner the peace of mind and the assurance that the water damage problem will be resolved permanently. It will also prevent other issues that can spring from water damage such as rotting, mold, and mildew.

One of the best ways to secure the services of an expert and trustworthy contractor is to ask for referrals from trusted friends and relatives. It is best to ask those who have personally experienced the level of service of the contractor.

Verify as well the license and business information presented by a contractor. Ask for a quote and timeline before agreeing with a contract. Moreover, talk to at least three potential contractors before hiring one.  Do not hire the lowest bidder right away. Clarify first if he fully understood the extent of the job and the provisions of his contract. Ask if they have after-sales services and service warranties as well.

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