Water damage is dreaded by homeowners as it can cause major complications and is expensive to repair. Water damage is the second most commonly filed insurance claim in the U.S. and causes billions of dollars in property losses each year. If you find water pooling in your basement, leaking from your walls, or sewage anywhere, acting fast can change the outcome for your home. Understanding the ways that your plumbing system can cause water damage in your home can help you avoid damage from occurring in the first place, saving you time and money.
Causes: If you’ve flushed anything other than small amounts of toilet paper and human waste down the toilet, you could end up with a clog. Occasionally toilets get clogged due to pipe damage or old plumbing systems.
Symptoms: Toilet bowl will fill to the brim with flush water, or sewage may back up.
What to Do: Wait 10 mins for flush water to clear and try to shift the blockage with a plunger. Do not continue to press the flush button if water doesn’t clear. If water won’t drain or sewage is backing up, call a plumber ASAP.
Causes: Pipe damage, big clogs down the line, tree root infiltration.
Symptoms: You may notice drains move more slowly at first, but this could progress to a full-blown sewage backup from any (or all) outlets in your home.
What to Do: If you’re dealing with just a slow-moving drain, you can try using commercial drain cleaners or plungers. But in the case of no drainage or a backup, stop using your plumbing system immediately and call a plumber.
Washing Machine Overflow
Causes: Washing machine failure, inlet valve failure, defective water level switch, a leak anywhere in the system.
Symptoms: Your washing machine overflows flooding your home, or leaks onto the floor.
What to Do: Switch off the power and water supply to the machine. Have your washing machine and connections checked out by a plumber.
Causes: Dishwasher failure, valve failure, a leak anywhere in the system, loose connections.
Symptoms: Your dishwasher leaks onto the floor, water pooling or flooding the area.
What To Do: Switch off the power or circuit breaker and disconnect water supply or mains water supply. Inspect seals, connections and hoses to look for leaks.
Sump Pump Failure
Causes: Sump pump failure can happen at any time and for a range of different reasons, including discharge pipe blockage, overwhelmed pump, jammed switch, or power failure.
Symptoms: You probably won’t even realize there’s a problem until the basement floods.
What to Do: Shut off power and water supply. Call a plumber for professional help. Regular maintenance and inspections are the best way to prevent a problem before it starts.
Water Heater Leak
Causes: Tank style heaters can hold large volumes of water – leaks mean a lot of damage fast. Leaks can be caused by internal corrosion, debris build up, problems with connection or valves and part failure.
Symptoms: Rumbling sounds from water heater, dirty or discolored hot water, water leaking from water heater, not enough (or no) hot water.
What to Do: Shut off power and water supply. If the water heater is flooding, try to remove water or direct water to a drain. Call a professional plumber.
In Case of Water Damage – Act Fast! Here’s What You Need to Do
If you’ve got water in your home, acting fast can minimize damage. Here is a quick reference for the four steps you should take.
- Turn off water.
- Turn off power.
- Move furniture.
- Call your professional plumber for help.
Acting fast can reduce the costs and difficulties associated with water damage, so keep your plumbers details close at hand so you can get the help you need fast.