Water damage is a relatively common household problem. Whether dealing with a leaking pipe, rain coming in through the roof, or other such situations, one should never ignore such an issue. This may seem like a minor irritation at times, but the reality is substantial damage can be done if the problem is not fixed, which can be especially shocking if the extent of the damage is hidden behind walls or in less noticeable areas.
It is important to be aware of, and pay attention to, the signs of this household issue. One of the most apparent signals is the staining or softening of walls or ceilings, but some indications are subtler. Musty smells can range from barely noticeable to overwhelming, and the sound of dripping within the walls can be overlooked. Once water damage has been identified, it is vital that the problem be remedied and the damage repaired to avoid more serious consequences.
One consequence of leaking or damaged plumbing going unfixed is higher water bills. While such a leak may be slow, the amount of water lost accumulates over time and can lead to a substantial increase in utility bills. Such a long-term cost will greatly outweigh that of simply dealing with the problem itself. Even more costly, and potentially dangerous, is the damage that can be done to the structure of the home. Water can weaken the integrity of walls and ceilings, making them less able to withstand even minor forces. Other things in the home that come into contact with any accumulating water, such as furniture or electronics, can also be ruined.
There are also some health hazards to consider when dealing with water damage. Perhaps the best-known example involves mold. Various species of mold and mildew thrive in moist areas and can grow and spread throughout the home. Along with being unsightly to look at, even mold hidden behind walls has a cost, as it can cause a range of mild to severe health problems, from allergic reactions and asthma attacks to sinus infections and fatigue. If the materials affected by mold are removed but the underlying water problem not addressed, the fungus is likely to reoccur. General contamination is another risk when dealing with uncontained water in the home. Water than has come into contact with contaminants, such as sewage or bacteria, can carry and spread them to everything it touches, including walls, carpets, and furniture.
In conclusion, water damage should always be dealt with in a timely manner. In the case of a major water event, insurance companies expect the homeowner to practice “due diligence”.
(Action that is considered reasonable for people to be expected to take in order to keep themselves or others and their property safe.)
Even minor leaks should be repaired and damaged materials restored to prevent worse
problems from developing. There is no reason to let what could be a relatively quick fix become an expensive or even dangerous situation.