Common Water Damage Risks

water damage risks

Statistics show that water damage risks are second only to wind/storm damage. Every day, over 14,000 American homes experience indoor water-related damage. Water damage risks vary according to factors such as the general age and condition of the house, as well as maintenance of household systems like plumbing.

Industry data also reveals that all water damage risks are not created equal. Certainly, if a 300-gallon rare fish aquarium topples over inside a house, the damage will occur to both fish and home. However, statistics repeatedly show that water damage risks from these four causes are far greater:

  • Ruptured pipes. A ruptured half-inch water supply pipe routed to kitchens and bathrooms can release up to 50 gallons per minute. Pipe-related water damage risks may result from long-term deterioration or sudden events like ruptures due to freezing. Even apparently minor pinhole leaks in plumbing pipes should be taken seriously and a professional plumbing service contacted ASAP.
  • Appliance breakage and overflows. Rubber water supply hoses connected to washing machines can rupture after only five years, potentially flooding the homes at a rate of 600 gallons per hour. An overflowing washing machine, meanwhile, typically spills about 15 gallons—enough to damage nearby floors and surrounding walls. Broken water supply lines to dishwashers and refrigerator ice makers are also appliance water damage risks.  
  • HVAC issues. A central air conditioner may generate 20 gallons of condensate daily in hot weather. A clogged, overflowing condensate drain pan located beneath the indoor air handler may spill multi-gallons into the house every time the AC cycles on. Because the drain pan is situated out of sight, considerable damage to the immediate area typically occurs before the problem is noticed.  
  • Sewer backups. Sewage flowing backwards into a house can result from blockages in the home sewer line—tree root intrusion or clogs from flushing inappropriate paper or other items are common causes. A more widespread issue such as floodwater inundating the municipal sewer system is another potential source. Raw sewage is considered Category 3 toxic water and must be remediated only by qualified water damage professionals.

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