Not all water leaks are an emergency, but even the most minor leak has the potential to cause extensive water damage to your Central Florida home. A minor leak left undetected and unaddressed can eventually lead to flooding and thousands of dollars in repairs. As a homeowner, you need to prevent major water damage at all costs. Water damage and remediation services from Central Florida Restoration Solutions minimize the harm water can do to your home and your wallet.
How a Simple Plumbing Leak Can Lead to Extensive Water Damage
There are countless ways a water leak can turn into a major headache, but here are some top examples:
- A leaky pipe that bursts in the middle of the night while you’re away can have hours, if not days, to wreak havoc on your home.
- Water leaking inside your home’s walls often results in the worst damage and the costliest repairs. It isn’t unheard of for a leak to go undetected for months or years before it’s detected or discovered. The more time that passes, the worse the water damage can be to wood structures, drywall, and insulation.
- Some flooding comes from outside the home. Cracks in the foundation or crawlspace and around windows and/or doorframes allow water to enter your home and cause significant damage, including mold and mildew issues. Water runoff from improperly directed sprinklers can also lead to water damage inside the house.
- A burst pipe can cause severe damage to ceilings, walls, flooring, and carpets, leaving visible, unattractive water stains and other irreversible damage.
As improbable as it may sound, just an inch of water can cause enough water damage to require repair and restoration services. One of the best ways to combat water damage in your Central Florida home is to be vigilant about possible water leaks. If you suspect you have a leak or can see indications of a leak in progress, don’t ignore it, even if it appears to be minor. You might be making a costly mistake.
Let’s take a deeper look at the damage water can do and why you should have plumbing leaks repaired immediately.
The Water Damage a Leaky Pipe Can Cause
The drip, drip, drip of a leaky faucet isn’t just annoying; it can also be the sign of something more serious going on with your pipes.
What causes a leaky pipe? Many things, including:
- Corrosion – While less of a problem in newer homes, many older houses still have copper or galvanized steel pipes, which are both susceptible to rust. Many people are surprised to learn that copper rusts, but even though it’s more resistant to corrosion, it can corrode. The most common form is what’s known as “pitting corrosion” that’s caused by chloride, bromide, or hypochlorite coming in contact with the metal.
- High water pressure – Over time, high water pressure causes wear and tear on piping, which increases the risk of your pipes bursting. A sudden change in the direction of water flow can also be too much for pipes to bear, eventually leading to leaks.
- Foundation shifts – As it settles over time, small shifts in a house’s foundation can create adjustments in the water lines, causing them to disconnect or break.
- Tree roots – Tiny cracks in pipes can release water vapor into the surrounding soil, attracting tree roots that make their way to pipes and cause big problems.
- Temperature changes – Though less of a problem in Central Florida, extreme temperature swings can cause pipes to crack and leak.
So, what damage can a little water do? Here’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The majority of an indoor plumbing system’s pipes run behind a house’s walls. Small leaks and major pipe bursts alike can dampen drywall and eventually ruin it entirely. If you notice moist spots or suspect a leak, it’s time to have a professional evaluate the situation to avoid any further water damage.
As gravity pulls water down a home’s walls, water damage can begin under the floors. The first signs of flooring water damage are discolored and distorted floorboards or loose tiles. The more quickly you call in the experts to identify where the water is coming from, the better.
When most people think of “plumbing issues,” they equate them with pipes and drains. But leaks and water quality issues can also ruin fixtures like faucets and showerheads. Deteriorated gaskets can become fixed in the plumbing lines and decrease water pressure. If not resolved quickly, you might need to replace multiple fixtures, some of which can be quite costly.
In some cases, wall and floor moisture can cause mold growth. If mold has spread throughout a room or the house, you could also require the services of a mold remediation professional to remove the mold. If the mold damage is extensive, you might have to replace walls and flooring. As mold can cause severe health issues, this is one of the most compelling reasons for not putting off dealing with water or moisture issues.
Cost of Wasting Water
Leaks can also wreak havoc on your bank account via higher water bills. It’s estimated each person in a U.S. household uses over 80 gallons of water a day, and the average family spends more than $1000 per year in water costs. The same average family can waste up to 180 gallons of water per week from leaks alone, the equivalent of 300 loads of laundry.
The bottom line: Don’t fail to address leaks hoping they’ll disappear. No leak heals itself, and the tiniest leak can quickly become the biggest headache. To prevent pipes from getting to the point where they leak, it’s a good idea to periodically check them. You might also want to have them occasionally inspected by a professional, especially if you suspect a leak.
How to Spot Water Damage in Your Central Florida Home
How do you know if a leak is causing water damage in your home? Top signs to look for include:
Exterior signs of water damage
- Pooling water around your home’s foundation or crawlspace. Once water starts to enter your home in these areas, interior damage is sure to appear.
- Are gutters and drains backing up? Clogs can cause water to leak into your home, causing damage that requires extensive repairs.
- Missing roof shingles are often a sign of a roof leak which can lead to wall and ceiling damage.
- If exterior windows and doorframes show signs of separation or if there are soft spots, you could experience leaks and increased humidity in the house. That can then lead to a serious mold problem.
Interior signs of water damage
- Water rings on walls and ceilings often indicate pipe or roof leaks. If you suspect a leak but don’t see visible signs of water damage, listen at night for water leaks within the walls.
- Soft or sagging spots on the floors near showers, tubs, sinks, dishwaters, refrigerators, washing machines, and water heaters are indications of a water leak or water damage following flooding.
- Water puddles or stains inside kitchen, bathroom, and laundry cabinets are also signs of leaking pipes. If a cabinet’s interior is damp to the touch, or you see mold growth, you probably have a nearby leak that could lead to significant water damage.
- Rusty spots on water heaters can signify a current or previous leak. If there are puddles or water spots on the floor around the unit, it might have a slow leak.
- If you notice a musty odor in areas you never smelled it before, it’s likely there’s been some sort of water intrusion that’s led to a mold issue. Mold remediation services can quickly and efficiently address the problem.
Two specific areas that are highly susceptible to water damage and should be periodically inspected are the attic and crawlspace. A professional inspection of these often hard-to-reach spaces can be a smart investment in protecting your home.
If your home’s roof is older or has been poorly maintained, it’s much more likely to experience water damage caused by water leaking in near roof vents and chimneys.
During heavy rainstorms or hurricanes, water may flood and gather near your crawlspace and make its way into the house. Burst pipes may also cause significant damage in this area. One of the biggest issues to be concerned about with crawlspace moisture is mold, which could bring with it a host of problems, including:
- Body aches and pains
- Mood changes
- Memory loss
There’s little debate that mold poses serious health concerns, particularly black mold. Research has found that some people are more sensitive to mold spores than others, and they often develop respiratory symptoms after inhaling them. The Florida Department of Health has also found that mold exposure can cause a wide range of health problems, including:
- Shortness of breath in people with severe mold allergies.
- Allergies and irritations like skin rashes, wheezing, watery red eyes, a dry cough, and a sore throat.
- Worsening of asthma or lung problems in people with preexisting conditions.
- Increased infections in people with weakened immune systems and at a risk of fungal infections.
While black mold is considered the most serious type, many other types of mold have also been shown to cause health problems. Whatever type of mold you have in your Central Florida home, long-term exposure to it can be unhealthy for occupants. The surest way to reduce allergic reactions to mold is to have it removed as quickly as possible and then take steps to prevent it from coming back. Mold remediation and restoration services performed by the skilled technicians at CFRS will get your home back to normal much more quickly than if you attempt to do the job yourself.
Schedule Services Now With Central Florida’s Most Trusted Water Damage Pros
Every homeowner deserves to have a house that’s structurally secure and free of water damage. CFRS is the water and mold damage remediation company you can count on for the best home repair services. We also offer fire damage and smoke damage remediation services you can trust to return your home to its previous condition before the damage occurred.
If you suspect your Central Florida home has water damage or you think you have a hidden water leak, our water damage remediation team can quickly locate the source of the leak and assess the damage. We’ll then develop a plan to fully remediate any damage and restore your home to its beautiful original state. We have over 20 years of experience helping homeowners deal with water, mold, fire, and smoke damage and are equipped to remove any signs of water damage in your home, no matter where it’s hiding. Contact us today to learn more about all the remediation services we offer so you can keep your family and home protected from the hazards of water damage.