How Water Damage Affects Different Materials in Your Home

By W.B. Arthur

Water damage is one of the most frequent and common causes of home damage in the United States. This damage ranges from having to replace an appliance to having to rip out and replace entire floors in your home. Keep reading to learn more about how water damage affects various aspects of your home.

What Causes Water Damage?

Not all water damage is caused by massive floods or major natural disasters; sometimes it’s internal issues that lead to significant problems.

Causes Of Water Damage

  • Frozen pipes that burst or leak
  • Build-up of water in areas that naturally collect water like basements and attics
  • Broken gutters that lead to water collecting at the base of your house, or dripping into your home
  • Faulty home appliances (e.g., water heater, washing machine, dishwasher)
  • HVAC issues (e.g., overflowing drain pan, clogged condensate pipe)
  • Rain, wind, snow, hail, sleet, and other natural disasters
  • Blocked drains from the kitchen sink, bathroom floor, and bathtub
  • Malfunction in your sprinkler system
  • Sewage backups caused by tree roots blocking the pipes or by a storm

How Does Water Affect Wood?

Think of all the places that you have wood in your home. Maybe you have wood floors, wooden baseboards, wooden cabinets, entertainment centers, dining room tables, and chairs, etc. So when your home has water damage from a natural disaster, broken appliance, or another related source, that water can have a massive impact on the wood in your home. Water damage can cause wood to rot, weaken, and warp until it is irreparable.

When this happens, your best bet is to rip the wood out whether it’s your flooring or a piece of furniture. There’s not much you can do to fix it, and if it doesn’t dry properly, it can lead to mold.

How Does Water Affect Tile?

The benefit of installing tile flooring throughout your home is that it’s waterproof; however, the grout that holds the tiles in place is not. If the grout chips away at any point, water can seep in and cause further damage. Additionally, some homes have a wooden subfloor which means that if water gets through your grout, your subfloor will be affected as well. The water will likely cause the subfloor to warp and swell which will affect the rest of your tiling.

How Does Water Affect Carpet?

Depending on the extent of the water damage to your carpet you might not need to rip it out and start new. Additionally, the source of the damage plays a critical role in deciding whether you should keep the carpet or toss it out. If a sewage pipe causes the leak, then the carpet will most likely need to be replaced entirely because that water is contaminated.

However, the carpet pad is a different story. In most cases of water damage, you will likely need to replace the carpet pad if it has been affected by the water.

How Does Water Affect Concrete?

You might be under the impression that concrete is completely waterproof and therefore water damage to the rest of your home won’t affect your concrete foundation or walls. You would, unfortunately, be incorrect. Water, whether it seeps up from the ground or is the result of a natural disaster or plumbing disaster can have a significant impact on the concrete in your home. Because your flooring is often laid directly on top of your concrete foundations, water damage can lead to bubbles forming under your flooring, ripped seams, and other forms of deterioration.

Water Damage Prevention Tips For Your Home

In order to protect your home’s materials from any future water damage, start incorporating the following steps in your home maintenance routine.

How to Prevent Water Damage in the Home:

  • Regularly clean your gutters to avoid any buildup that could result in a leak.
  • Have your roof inspected for any damage, such as missing shingles, that could lead to water damage.
  • Proactively check your appliances, including your water heater, for any signs of a leak.
  • If outdated, invest in a new washing machine hose.
  • Seal any holes or cracks in your windows, doors, or the foundation of your floors which could allow water to enter your home.
  • Have your plumbing checked for any issues that may lead to a leak or flooding. This includes checking for any frozen or damaged pipes that could eventually burst.
  • Regularly monitor your water pressure and monthly utility bills for any significant changes that could indicate a hidden leak.
  • Make sure your attic is well ventilated and insulated.
  • Invest in a professional leak detection service.

Turn to the Water Damage Restoration Experts at W.B. Arthur

No matter the cause of your water damage or what it has affected, it’s vital that you take immediate action to prevent damage and reverse the damage that has already been done. Contact the water damage restoration experts in Buda, Austin, and beyond at W.B. Arthur today to learn more about what we can do to help get your home back to normal.

Categories: Water Damage

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