Common Plumbing Sources of Water Damage
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Common Plumbing Sources of Water Damage

Water damage in the home that is left unchecked can become one of the costliest repair jobs in your life. Many of the causes of water damage stem from plumbing problems, but other sources are exterior surfaces and HVAC equipment. The best way a homeowner can avert a major water damage repair is to be proactive and correct problems before they arise. This article will list some of the most common problems that can lead to water damage.

Water damage in the home that is left unchecked can become one of the costliest repair jobs in your life. Many of the causes of water damage stem from plumbing problems, but other sources are exterior surfaces and HVAC equipment. The best way a homeowner can avert a major water damage repair is to be proactive and correct problems before they arise. The following list includes some of the most common problems that can lead to water damage.

Laundry room – The laundry room receives frequent use and has a large water supply. It is common for leaks to develop in the laundry room from leaking washing machines, clogged drain lines, failed water connection hoses, or damaged or kinked discharge hoses.  When the laundry room is in a basement many minor leaks are either undetected or ignored until it is too late. Laundry rooms located on the first or second floor can lead to serious damage if a leak occurs. Inspect the water supply and discharge hoses on the washing machine at least twice a year. Move the washing machine out and check for leaks under the unit at least once a year. Consider installing leak detectors that will automatically turn off the water in the event of a leak.

Kitchen sink  – The cabinet under your kitchen sink is packed with piping such as the sink drain, the water supply lines for the sink, and usually a dishwasher drain line. Some may also have a water filter or an instant hot water heater as well.  All this means it is a perfect spot for leaks. Since most people store items under their kitchen sink leaks can go undetected for long periods of time; a minor leak can quickly lead to significant water damage. Clean out the clutter under your sink and visually inspect this area monthly. Run your hand over the piping to check for drips or moisture. Inspect the base of the cabinet for signs of a leak. Use your nose to detect and odors or mold or mildew.

Toilets – An overflowing toilet can cause water damage in a short amount of time, but overflows are usually spotted when they happen. The area behind your toilet is usually ignored but this is where the water supply line is connected to the toilet. Periodically check the supply line for any cracks or moisture. During the summer, the water line and the tank can sweat from the cold surfaces coming in contact with the warm humid air of the bathroom. A small leak that is barely noticeable can cause water damage if left untreated.

Air conditioning condensate – While not necessarily a plumbing item, air conditioning equipment does have plumbing components connected to the equipment. For air handling units located in the basement of a home, a leaking or blocked condensate drain line can mean just a small puddle on the floor. Air handlers on the first floor, or even in an attic, water leaks from clogged condensate drains or the condensate pan inside the unit can lead to long-term water damage, mold growth, and wood rot. Many times this damage is not covered by home owners’ insurance policies since it is not a onetime event. Clean the drain line before the summer cooling season and inspect the inside coil. Clean with a coil-cleaning solution and a coil comb to remove any dirt and debris. You can also add condensate drain pan tablets which kill any sludge-forming microbes.

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Comments (1)

Very informative and useful. I usually have the kitchen and toilet problems.

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