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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Common Causes of Water Damage in Your Home

12/7/2018 (Permalink)

Have you ever stopped to consider the causes of water damage? When thinking about water damage, severe weather is usually one of the first things that comes to mind for many.

While storms and flooding can cause an enormously overwhelming amount of water damage, they are often not the main culprits. Often, various items in your home can be responsible for many incidents that result in water damage.

Gradual Water Damage Is Problematic

Water damage is the third most common reason that many homeowners faced that resulted in homeowners insurance claims between 2011 and 2015, with an average payout per claim of $8,861.

But do you know the difference between water damage and gradual water damage, which can impact insurance claims? Examples of gradual water damage are things that have been happening over time, such as plumbing issues in the walls causing damage to walls, ceilings or floors, or water damage caused by cracks in the foundation of the home. However, unfortunately, many aspects of gradual water damage are not covered by homeowners insurance, while storm-related water damage usually is.

Identifying The Culprits

According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), the leading causes of water damage are:

  • Plumbing supply system failures. This involves frozen pipes that may burst due to water pressure building up caused by freezing water or when the materials used in the supply system fail resulting in a leaking or burst pipe. Per IBHS, these supply system failures are the leading source of residential water damage losses, and claims cost an average $5,092 per incident after the deductible. Also, according to IBHS, it was found that a larger group of supply system material failure claims were made on homes over 16 to 40 years of age.

  • Plumbing drain system failures. This occurs when a sewer drain backs up and overflows into a home or when the materials used break down or become damaged. In their study, IBHS found that 52% of drain system failures were caused by sewer backups and 37% were related to material breakdown issues. In their study, IBHS also found that the average drain system failure claim was more expensive in southern region states than in the northern region states.

  • Toilet failures. Toilets come in as the second largest source of residential water damage loss after plumbing supply system failures, and can stem from faulty fill valves or clogged drain lines. A toilet failure on the first floor of the home causes more extensive damage than those in basements or upper floors, according to IBHS.

  • Water heater failures. If your water heater has reached its life expectancy, the tank begins to rust and corrode, which can result in leaking or bursting issues. IBHS found that 69% of all water heater failures resulted from a slow leak or sudden burst and, on average, cost $4,444 per incident following the deductible.

  • Washing machine failures. These failures are typically caused by supply hose failures, machines overflowing and drain line failures, and are one of the top 10 sources of residential water damage losses. Per IBHS, supply hose failures accounted for over half of all washing machine-related losses.

If your home falls victim to water damage, the team at SERVPRO® of SE Waukesha County/West Franklin is available to help with cleanup and restoration and make it “like it never even happened.”

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