Causes of Water Damage

Causes of Water Damage

Water damage is one of the most common problems among homeowners. Water damage occurs when certain building materials come into contact with water for an extended period of time.

1 in 4 claims filed by homeowners is due to non-weather related water damages. That means a large percentage of water damage claims come from faulty and leaky appliances, pipe leaks and sewage overflow.

1 in 50 US insured homeowners has a claim related to water damage each year! Many different factors can be the cause of water damage but what matters the most financially is dealing with water damage properly.

Some precautionary measures to take are:

  1. Installing a leak detector in common appliances near water lines, under sinks, etc.
  2. Quarterly maintenance checkups on HVAC systems.
  3. Keeping a Dry/Wet Shop-Vac handy to quickly remove excess water.
  4. Changing out your supply lines on a regular schedule and replacing older supply lines with newer, reinforced models.

Time is the most important factor in how expensive water damage can be.


A common cause of water damage is leaky pipes from appliances which cause excess water to form over wood floors. When unaware of the situation, the water can cause longterm damage to the wood causing it to warp and cup outwards. This becomes a very ugly look and expensive to replace.

Water damaged warped floors

Causes of water damage include:

  • Leaking or bursting of pipes.
  • Faulty plumbing system or clogging due to negligence.
  • A buildup in areas prone to collecting water, such as crawl spaces, rain gutters, attics, and basements..
  • Faulty or malfunctioning household appliances like water heaters.
  • Faulty HVACs (Heating, ventilating and air conditioning units) issues.
  • Natural disasters and other weather-related water problems.


One of the most common causes of water damage is bursting and leaking pipes. When these occurrences go unnoticed for an extended period of time, a buildup of water usually forms behind walls and floors. Clogged drains cause pressure to build up in old pipes which then causes them to burst. Faulty garbage disposals and rusty pipes are another recipe for disaster.


Plumbing problems are usually impossible to detect and only discovered when too late. Pipes that break overtime or installed incorrectly can become a financial disaster. Two-story homes have to be extra careful as their pipes run through the ceiling of the first floor.


Attics, crawl spaces, and basements are prone to water damage due to easy buildups of water that can go unnoticed for a period of time. These areas are also prone to mold growth. Dark, damp and wet allow mold to grow and eat up the structure around it.


Appliances that have been installed incorrectly or from simple wear and tear will eventually cause leaks. If not maintained and caught fast enough, these issues will grow exponentially. Keep an eye out on refrigerators, water heaters, dishwashers and washing machines!


Heaters, ventilation and air conditioning systems require quarterly maintenance. Homeowners that wait until there is a problem will be in for a surprise. Mold buildups and spores in the ducts will be the least of their worries if they are lucky.

Are you curious to find out how much water damage can potentially cost?

More to explorer