Ignoring small leaks in your home might seem like a minor issue, but this will lead to hidden water damage costs that go beyond the visible problems.
From a leaky roof to burst pipes, water damage wreaks havoc on properties every day. Unfortunately, many people ignore the potential consequences of these seemingly minor inconveniences.
When it comes to the financial impact of water damage, the costs of avoiding it are far more severe than tackling the problem head-on. In this blog, we’ll discuss the hidden costs of ignoring water damage in your home and why it’s vital to resolve any issues as soon as possible.
The immediate and apparent damage caused by water is often the tip of the iceberg. Unresolved water damage is a huge threat to your home’s vital structural components. Water can seep into every inch of your home and compromise flooring, cause wood rot, weaken the foundation, destroy the ceiling, and lead to significant structural failures.
The financial impact of water damage is cumbersome when it comes to structural repairs — after all, replacing an entire ceiling or flooring system is not cheap. This is why it’s critical to address any water concerns before they affect every corner of your home and threaten your home’s safety.
Damage to personal belongings
Like a sticky toddler, water has a way of leaving its mark on everything it meets. It quickly wreaks havoc on your prized possessions without much of a warning. In particular, water and electronics don’t mix well. If flooding compromises your computers, tablets, phones, TVs, or video game systems, it’s incredibly difficult to salvage them.
Unwelcome water can also warp your furniture, stain your clothing, dissolve the ink on important papers or books, damage photo albums, and more. Items soaked in water, even for a short time, become completely unsalvageable. Some items are strictly irreplaceable, while others might be too expensive to replenish at all.
Water problems also have significant environmental consequences. Some of these hidden water damage costs might affect you directly, while others contribute to environmental crises at large. Water is a precious resource, and leaks are one of the top reasons for water wastage. This waste not only escalates your water bill but also puts a strain on the environment.
Leaks introduce harmful substances into the water supply. For instance, a leak in sewage pipes contaminates groundwater with pollutants and toxins, potentially affecting drinking water quality for both humans and wildlife. Persistent leaks also lead to soil erosion, mold and mildew growth, habitat disruption, landfill contributions, and greenhouse gas emissions.
Legal ramifications for multi-unit owners
If you own a multi-unit building, it’s vital to know your legal responsibilities for water damage. Landlords need to keep their tenants’ living spaces safe and comfortable. If plumbing leaks happen because of neglect, like not fixing broken pipes, you could be held responsible for more than the water damage costs.
Ignoring small leaks in your home can initiate a financial drain that’s difficult to stop. Here are some of the potential financial impacts of water damage and putting off restoration:
- Escalated water bills – Even a small leak wastes substantial water over time. Pay close attention to any changes in your water bill. Even a dripping faucet can cost up to hundreds of dollars annually.
- Hefty home repair costs – Emergency plumbing expenses come with a hefty price tag. Water damage also often compromises electrical systems, leading to further expenses in rewiring and electrical repairs. The longer water damage is neglected, the more extensive and expensive the repairs become.
- Decline in property value – If you try to sell your home with existing water problems, potential buyers might hesitate to commit. This results in a significant decline in the value of your property.
- Increased insurance premiums – Insurance companies might see water damage as neglect from homeowners. This could mean higher premiums or even a flat-out “nope” for coverage in future water mishaps. Promptly address water damage, not only to mitigate current issues but also to maintain a favorable standing with your insurance provider.
Increased health hazards
Overlooking minor water problems isn’t only about the financial impacts of water damage — it also poses serious health risks. Plumbing leaks foster the growth of harmful bacteria and microorganisms, leading to various health issues like infections. These health concerns become serious and costly to treat if left unattended.
Mold and mildew growth
Mold and mildew thrive in damp environments, making water leaks and floods an ideal breeding ground. Over time, these harmful substances have the potential to cause health problems.
Molds produce a range of allergens and irritants. Inhaling or touching mold can cause allergic reactions, asthma attacks, lethargy, and more. In 2004, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) found sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, such as coughing and wheezing, in otherwise healthy people.
Eliminate standing water quickly to deter mold spores from moving in.
Boosted pest and insect populations
Unfortunately, water damage also creates the perfect breeding ground for pests and insects. Damp areas provide an optimal environment for termites, roaches, and other pests to thrive. The cost of pest control for these unwanted guests adds another layer to the hidden costs associated with water damage.
The impact of water damage extends beyond the physical aspects of a home; it often takes a toll on your mental well-being. Dealing with the aftermath of water damage is a stressful and emotionally draining experience. The peace of mind that comes with a water-damage-free home is priceless, emphasizing the importance of addressing any potential issues promptly.
Preventing water damage to your home
Prevention is the best strategy to avoid abhorrent water damage costs. Here are several precautions you should take to safeguard your property from water damage:
- Routine inspection – Regularly inspecting your home for leaks, mold, and cracks is one of the best preventative measures to take. Check under sinks, around toilets, near your water tank, and anywhere else that uses water.
- Clean gutters and downspouts – Clean out your gutters and downspouts with the changing seasons to prevent blockage. Clearing these components will allow water to move through and prevent flooding to your roof and foundation.
- Keep trees trimmed – Trim any trees that could interfere with your drainage system. Be sure to plant any new trees at least 20 feet away from pipes and drainage fields.
- Maintain appliances – Most household appliances use water. Inspect them monthly for any cracks, leaks, or mold growth. Examine the hoses that lead to your fridge, washing machine, and other appliances to make sure water is flowing freely.
- Invest in quality materials and waterproofing solutions – Install leak detectors or water alarms that will detect the presence of water in an area. Install these in any room to get alerts on potential water pooling.
- Keep an eye on water pressure – If you notice any significant changes in water pressure, call in a professional to take inventory of your pipes. Water pressure changes could indicate pipe failure.
- Know how to shut off your water main – The water main provides water to your whole house. Know where it is and how to shut it off to prevent flooding in case of an emergency.
- Don’t delay repairs – If you notice any red flags, take immediate action. Your promptness makes all the difference on your property and wallet.
Black Diamond Water Damage and Disaster Restoration will help
If you spot leaks or any other water damage red flags in your home, don’t delay restoration! Black Diamond is here to promptly address the problem and help you avoid hidden water damage costs.
We provide water damage restoration and mold remediation services throughout Salt Lake City, Utah, as well as the surrounding cities of West Valley, Sandy, Murray, and more. We also offer fire, sewage, and other emergency restoration services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Contact Black Diamond Restoration whenever calamity strikes!