Why Preventing Water Damage Is So Important for Homes

When it comes to the topic of home disasters, many people think about problems such as fires, tornadoes and hurricanes. Many Americans overlook a seemingly “small” problem that can have a huge cost: water damage. Why is water damage serious, how does it happen and what should you do to avoid it?

What Is Water Damage?

Put simply, water damage is what happens when moisture gets into parts of your home that should never be wet:

  • Ceilings
  • Carpeting
  • Wood flooring
  • Sheetrock
  • Structural components (wood beams, boards, etc.)
  • Insulation
  • Bare concrete
  • Roofing base

Why Is Moisture a Serious Problem for the Home?

When water is able to get into your home’s underlying structure, the results can be catastrophic. First of all, water degrades materials such as wood. It weakens them. A leaky roof can sag or collapse, and wood beams can rot from the inside out.

Moisture also encourages the growth of mold spores. Once mold takes hold, it can be practically impossible to eliminate without extensive remediation and repairs. Mold problems are dangerous for your family and your health, especially if you have any respiratory issues.

How Expensive Is Water Damage?

Even apparently small leaks can cause a huge repair bill. For example, replacing a few shingles may set you back a few hundred dollars, but if you need to replace the roof’s structure, you’re looking at many thousands of dollars. Fixing a plumbing leak costs far less than restoring a flooded basement.

How Can You Prevent Water Damage Problems?

Preventative maintenance is key to avoiding leaks. Have your roof inspected periodically for damage, especially after hail storms or winter weather.

Plan for problems instead of reacting to them afterward. For example, if your home has a sump pump, make sure you have a spare on hand in case the first one gets damaged, preferably one with a battery backup for power outages.