Of all the disasters that could hit your property, water damage is perhaps the worst for so many reasons.

An inch of water flooding your home or place of business may not seem like much, but it can already set you back a few thousand dollars or even more.

Without prompt water damage restoration, that much water can already damage your floor as well as any furniture and appliances soaked in it. All that moisture can also cause mold to form inside your property. The dampness also makes the place an attractive environment for ants, rats, termites, cockroaches, and other critters that love moisture.

All that, however, doesn’t compare to the way water damage could weaken a building’s foundation. Water from rain, snow, or leaky plumbing saturates the soil around your property. Once the soil expands and shifts, it will put pressure on the foundation walls, and eventually cause cracks that compromise the entire structure.

You can prevent water damage from happening, but to do that, you need to know its most common causes. And it’s not just thunderstorms and other types of severe weather that cause water damage. Some of the most common causes of water damage are things that happen within your property. Here are some of them.


Leaves, branches, bird’s nests, and all kinds of debris can clog your gutter system, which is going to be a problem when it rains. Because all that debris prevents water from flowing away from your house through downspouts like it’s supposed to, rainwater will instead flow over the edges of your gutter and straight down the side of your property. Your ceiling and walls will be prone to water damage when that happens.


Loose pipes and broken plumbing are a prime source of water leaks that damage everything they touch over time. It would be even worse if the leaking pipes are inside a wall, especially if it took you a long time to notice the problem. By then, the water-damaged wall would already make for an ideal breeding ground for mold.


One of the more disgusting causes of water damage is blocked drains and toilets. Grease buildup, hair, or any foreign object can clog drains and toilets and cause water to flow back up. When more than enough water flows back up your drains and toilets, your home could end up flooded with extremely filthy water that won’t just cause water damage, but also make you sick.


Old, poorly-maintained, and incorrectly-installed water heaters are prone to leaking, especially when the water pressure is high, out of loose drain valves and cracks in the tank.

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Sprinkler systems are great when they arrest the spread of fire inside a building but can be quite damaging when they turn on for no reason at all. Malfunctioning sprinkler systems have been known to cause considerable water damage, especially when the affected area has furniture, appliances, and other stuff that aren’t supposed to get wet.


If your washing machine has a water supply line made of rubber or PVC, the constant water pressure will eventually wear it out and cause it to rupture, which will flood your laundry room fast. This won’t be a problem if your washing machine is fed by a braided stainless steel water supply line.

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When your AC unit is functioning properly, the condensation it produces drips down from its evaporator coil into a condensate pan then exits the unit through a condensate drain line or tube. However, when the drain pan is already damaged, or the condensate drain line is dirty, all that moisture will exit straight from your air conditioning unit into your property’s wall and floor and cause damage.

When you think about it, all the causes of water damage mentioned above are preventable ones. Your gutters, for example, won’t overflow as long as you clean them regularly. Drain screens can prevent hair and other objects from passing through. Regular AC maintenance will keep condensate drain lines clean.

Flooding caused by severe weather may be hard to prevent, especially if your property is in a flood-prone area, but a little effort on your part can help you avoid having to deal with water damage caused by things around the house or place of business.

Guest Contributor: Rachel Anderson

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