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How Bad is Water Damage to a House?

how bad is water damage to a home

Have You Sprung a Leak?

Have you found the tell-tale signs of water damage on your ceiling? Suspect a roof leak? If the leak is only small, you might think you’ll be fine leaving it for a little while.

But do you know how bad water damage is to a house? We do, and we’re telling you not to postponeĀ roof leak repair.

It doesn’t matter if the leak comes from rainwater or a burst pipe, you must never ignore a leaking roof. Leave your roof leak too long, and over time you’ll be facing worse and worse consequences.

Water Damage In Minutes

In the very immediate short term, water leaking from your ceiling will spread out, enlarging the affected area. This larger surface area will increase the cost of any water damage restoration you might pursue in the future.

Furniture sitting on top of wet carpet will start leeching any stains into the carpet. Any furnishings with finishes that are sensitive to water and moisture will most likely be immediately affected. These often turn white in the presence of moisture.

Your ceiling and walls will start to show damp patches from the leak.

Right from the get-go, a leaking roof will damage your furniture and furnishings, as well as any carpet or rugs you might have.

Water Damage in Hours

Within a few hours, you might start to notice any wooden furniture beginning to delaminate and swell. Any dyes that are non-colourfast will also begin to bleed, whether that’s your carpet, a couch, or anything in between.

About that smelly shoe smell in the bedroom or the dusty smell in your kitchen from the exhaust fan. The high humidity of your indoor environment will only work to amplify those.

Water Damage in Days

Leave a leaking roof for too many days, and much of this damage might be irreversible. This means you’ll be left with a whole lot of expensive replacements and repairs.

That nice wallpaper you put up, or the feature wall you painstakingly selected the perfect colour for will start peeling away and blistering.

Severe water damage to your wooden furniture will show itself by extreme swelling and warping. Wooden floors that are seriously damaged might not be salvageable if they get to this stage.

Any wooden structural members which experience this begin to run the risk of not being able to support your home properly. At this point in your roof leak, you start running the risk of a roof collapse, putting your home and family at serious risk.

On top of this risk, after a few days of having a moist and wet environment with uncontrolled temperatures, bacteria, mould and fungi will start growing. Breathing these in can even make you sick.

Water Damage in Weeks

After a few weeks, all the problems above only become worse.

That mould and bacteria from last week has since had time to grow and multiply. This means any symptoms you might have been experiencing earlier are likely only to get worse. And if you were lucky enough to not be affected before, your chances of being affected are greater now.

Not only will your roof leak cause you to feel sick, but the mould that grows can take root and damage your home even more than it already has. It will lead to rising damp.

In severe cases of bacteria and mould growth, you might even need to be evacuated from your home. To top this whole experience off, the affected area might need to be completely gutted and replaced.

What Can Cause Water Damage?

Water damage can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare, and it can happen for various reasons.

While we have focused on leaking roofs, there can be many other causes of water damage. Understanding what can cause water damage is crucial for preventing it and protecting your home.

  1. Leaky roof: This is the most common culprit in domestic water damage. Missing shingles, damaged flashing, or poorly sealed roof joints can allow rainwater to seep into your attic and walls, causing damage over time.
  2. Burst pipes: Frozen pipes can burst during winter, and even a small crack can release a significant amount of water. Pipes can also burst due to age or corrosion, flooding your home.
  3. Faulty plumbing: Plumbing issues like clogged drains, backed-up sewer lines, or a malfunctioning water heater can lead to water damage if not addressed promptly.
  4. Appliance malfunctions: Dishwashers, washing machines, and water heaters can leak or overflow if their hoses, pipes, or valves are damaged or worn out. Even a dripping air conditioner can cause damage.
  5. Poorly maintained gutters: Clogged or damaged gutters can’t channel rainwater away from your home effectively. This can result in water pooling around your foundation, leading to basement flooding and structural damage.
  6. Natural disasters: Floods, hurricanes, and heavy storms can introduce large volumes of water into your home, causing extensive damage.
  7. Foundation issues: Cracks or gaps in your home’s foundation can allow groundwater to seep in, leading to damp basements and foundation damage.

By understanding these common causes, you can take preventive measures to safeguard your home against water damage. Regular maintenance, inspections, and quick repairs can go a long way in keeping your house dry and damage-free.

Take Action Immediately

Ignoring a roof leak may even affect your insurance claim. That’s why roof maintenance is so important.

Don’t wait around for a few weeks before having your roof leak (or any other cause) repaired. This is something that needs to be done sooner rather than later so that the drying process can start and the damage can be assessed.

As soon as you notice a roof leak or any other water damage, contact Mr Emergency and we can be at your door within 30 minutes* to solve the problem.

Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See our Terms & Conditions here.

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