Why You Can't Delay When You Have a Water Leak

Why are you putting off the repairs?
Many of us put off repairs until we can afford them. Sometimes life gets in the way and we just don't have the money for the repairs or our insurance deductible. The question is what is water damage doing while we save up for repairs? It may be better to try to scrape the money together and fix a simple water leak repair now rather than wait and have the water damage spread.

What is Water Damage?
Water damage is the effect of water running or sitting on a surface and causing a negative reaction. Water can cause damage in many ways.

  • Water can cause rust on metal
  • Get absorbed by wood causing it to expand and buckle
  • Water is needed by mold to grow which feeds on wood causing rot.
  • Cause discoloration on furniture and carpeting
  • Carry mineral deposits which leave stains on walls and ceilings
  • Disturb wax on wood leaving stains

Types of Water Damage


Pictured: Mold, Wood Buckling, Water Stains

Water Damage Classifications

Is Water Damage Covered Under Insurance?

Homeowner's insurance mostly covers sudden and accidental water damage. If your water heater suddenly burst and after cleaning the mess you find the wooden floor as warped or buckled, you would be covered by most insurance policies. Most policies don't cover damage from unresolved maintenance issues such as a leaking pipe. If your sink is leaking and causes the wood to expand and mold to rot away the wood, it will be a very costly repair as opposed to a simple drying procedure from a water restoration company. If you are covered for leaks, you still have to follow all terms of your policy or your claim can be denied. You can be denied an insurance claim for not notifying the insurance company in a timely manner. Read the terms of your policy and most will include a deadline from time of loss to filing of a claim and if you fail to meet the deadline, your claim can be denied.

How Long Before Water Damage Occurs?

In a few minutes:

  • Water spreads and gets absorbed by various materials
  • Furniture and wood finishes get disturbed and may bleed or stain
  • Books, papers, and photographs will absorb the water and warp
  • If the water is contaminated, bacteria will spread

Hours 1-24:

  • Furniture wood may delaminate and swelling may cause cracking
  • Drywall may start to breakdown
  • Non-colorfast dyes in fabrics will start to bleed
  • Some metal will begin to tarnish
  • Inks on paper products will bleed
  • Musty odors being filling the area

Day 2+

  • Severe warping in wood floor may be unsalvageable and need replacing
  • Mold growth becomes apparent along with odor
  • Wallpaper adhesive no longer can support weight of wallpaper
  • Paint blisters
  • Thicker wood products such as doors and studs swell and warp
  • Metal surfaces begin to rust
  • Mold spores in the air make the environment a biohazard


How much can it cost you to wait with water damage?

A simple leak can take a plumber less than an hour to fix and cost from $45 to $500 depending on the area you are in, the severity of the leak, and the plumbing company you call. After the source of the leak is fixed you still have to dry the area out to prevent mold and the wood from expanding and maybe replace any wood that has already rotted away. Water restoration companies don't usually give out price estimates over the phone without inspecting the affected areas first. Most companies will give out free estimates. Water damage estimates are based on square feet and material cost, an early fix will be smaller and require less materials to fix.

How often should I check and where should I check for water damage?
If you have a storm, you should check areas where water may have gotten in, otherwise just schedule a routine check depending on the humidity of your location and age of your appliance's. Check for damp areas under sinks and the bathroom. Check for any condensation coming from pipes in the basement, and near appliances such as the refrigerator and any air conditioners. If you find some mold, the area has moisture and should be checked for the source of the moisture. If you are unsure of what to check for you can call the professionals for an inspection.

Home Inspectors

  • Home structural conditions

Industrial Hygienist/Mold Testing Company

  • Mold Spore Testing
  • Air Quality Testing

Water Damage Restoration Company

  • Water Damage Repair
  • Water Removal/Water Extraction
  • Drying

Water Proofing Company

  • Basement Water Proofing
  • Foundation Repair
  • Sump Pump & Floor Drainage Systems



Fri, 10/13/2017 - 12:36 by kdonnelly

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