Identifying Potential Water Damage in Your Home | SERVPRO® of East Brownsville & South Padre Island
Severe weather is usually one of the first things that comes to mind for many when they think of the cause of water damage. Storms and flooding can cause catastrophic water damage, but they are often not the main culprits.
Instead, there are many items in your home that can be responsible for situations that result in water damage.
Water damage is something that many homeowners will face, with it being the third most common reason for homeowners to file a homeowners insurance claim between 2011 and 2015, with an average payout per claim of $8,861.
There is a difference between water damage and gradual water damage, which can impact insurance claims. Examples of gradual damage are water line issues 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. However, the sad truth is that unfortunately many aspects of gradual water damage are not covered by homeowners insurance, while storm-related water damage usually is.
According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), here are some of the leading causes of water damage:
Plumbing supply system failures. This involves frozen pipes that can burst because the water pressure builds up due to freezing water in the pipes or when the supply system materials fail, causing pipes to leak or burst. Per the study conducted by IBHS, plumbing supply system failures were the leading source of residential water losses and cost an average of $5,092 per incident after the deductible. They also found that homes with ages of 16 to 40 years made up a larger portion of supply system material failure claims.
Plumbing drain system failures. These occur when sewer drains back up and overflow into a home, or from material performance issues. IBHS found in its study that 52% of drain system failures were caused by sewer backups and 37% were related to material performance issues. They also found that the average southern state drain system failure was more expensive than those that occurred in northern states.
Toilet failures. Toilets cause the second highest number of residential water damage losses after plumbing supply system failures and are the result of faulty fill valves or clogged drain lines. According to IBHS, toilet failures on the first floor of a home created more costly insurance claims than those that occurred in basements or upper floors.
Water heater failures. When a water heater has reached its life expectancy, the tank begins to rust and corrode, resulting in leaking or bursting water line issues. IBHS discovered that 69% of all water heater failures resulted from slow leaks or sudden bursting of water lines and, on average, each incident cost $4,444 following the deductible.
Washing machine failures. These are typically caused by supply hose failures, machine overflows and drain line failures, These situations are one of the top 10 sources of residential water damage losses and, per IBHS, supply hose failures accounted for over half of all washing machine-related losses.