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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Protect Yourself Against Water Damage By Knowing the Most Common Causes

3/13/2024 (Permalink)

Water damage in homes and businesses in State College and the surrounding areas can arise from various sources, often leading to costly repairs and restoration if not promptly addressed. Understanding the common causes can help in preventing potential damage.

Here are some of the most frequent culprits:

  1. Leaking Pipes: Pipes that burst or develop leaks from wear, tear, or freezing can cause significant water damage. Hidden leaks can also occur within walls, leading to mold and structural damage over time. Wintertime in Central PA is when we receive the most calls concerning burst or leaking pipes.
  2. Appliance Failures: Household appliances like washing machines, dishwashers, water heaters, and refrigerators can malfunction, causing significant water leaks. Hoses can become loose, or the appliances themselves might develop leaks due to aging or faulty connections. If you are heading out of town for any length of time, it is vital that you have someone you trust check on your home regularly to be sure none of your appliances are leaking. Also, don't leave the house with a load or dishes or laundry running, as tempting as that may be!
  3. Blocked Drains and Toilets: Clogged drains and toilets can lead to overflow, resulting in water leakage that can affect flooring, walls, and underlying structures. If you run into a serious clog, call a professional instead of trying to fix it yourself. We have seen serious water losses come from diy drain repairs.
  4. HVAC Issues: Air conditioners and heating systems that are not properly maintained can cause water accumulation, leading to leakage. The condensation lines can get clogged, or the drip pans can overflow, causing water to leak into the building structure. Be sure to clean your units at the beginning and end of each season of use.
  5. Faulty Water Heaters: Old or poorly maintained water heaters can rupture, releasing large amounts of water all at once and causing immediate flooding. If you suspect your aging water heater has seen better days, have it inspected by a licensed plumber.
  6. Severe Weather and Natural Disasters: Heavy rains, hurricanes, floods, and rapid snow melts are significant sources of water damage. These natural events can lead to water penetrating structures, causing extensive damage to buildings.
  7. Roof Leaks: Damaged or deteriorating roofs can allow water to seep into the home during rainstorms or from melting snow, leading to damage in ceilings, walls, and other areas. It's more cost effective to repair a roof than a roof and all of your home's contents. #costlyrepairs
  8. Poor Drainage Around the Building: Improper grading around a building's foundation can lead to water pooling and eventually entering the building, causing damage to the foundation and interior spaces.
  9. Sump Pump Failure: If a sump pump fails during heavy rain or flooding, water can overflow and flood the basement or crawl spaces, leading to significant damage. During Central PA's winter thaw and spring time rain, it is especially important to check on your sump pump regularly to be sure it is free of clogs and operating properly.
  10. Condensation: Areas with high humidity or spots in the home that remain cool and moist, like crawl spaces or basements, can have condensation build-up, leading to water damage over time. Eventually, you will experience mold growth that can impact your health.
  11. Overflowing Gutters and Downspouts: When gutters are clogged with debris, they can overflow and allow water to pool around the foundation, potentially leading to water intrusion and damage. While fall is the obvious time to think about cleaning your gutters, it is something that should be done year-round.

Understanding these common causes can help you take preventative measures to avoid the costly and inconvenient consequences of water damage. Regular maintenance checks, timely repairs, and proper installations are crucial in mitigating the risk of water-related damage.

While we hope that you never have to call us, we are Here to Help® if you do. Reach SERVPRO of Happy Valley directly at (814) 996-4603.

SERVPRO of Happy Valley is located off of College Avenue between Houserville and Lemont. Visit us at 2595 Clyde Ave, Suite 1, State College, PA 16801.

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