Water may be the stuff of life, but that doesn’t mean you want it creeping unchecked inside your home. All Australian homes built to code, possess numerous inbuilt water protection features including pipe seals, water-resistant paints and treatments, gutters, eaves and water-proofing materials in bathrooms and foundations. But these features aren’t fool-proof. They must be maintained or you could suffer serious water damage to your home. Let’s take a look below.
The Types of Water Damage Your Home Can Suffer
Your home is susceptible to water damage from four main sources:
- Internal pipe leakage
- Rainwater - aka penetrating damp
- Ground water rising - aka rising damp
- Flood waters
The first three sources of water damage are the ones we’ll focus on in this article because in these three cases, serious water damage can usually be prevented,so long as you know what to look for.
How Pipe Leakage Can Damage Your Home (and What to Look For)
Plumbing leaks if left unchecked can cause flooding, rot, swelling, unsightly staining of walls and localised decay in the case of timber or other organic materials. If leaks are left to pool, most notably when this occurs in lower storey ceiling cavities, you can even sustain serious structural damage. Believe us when we say that a collapsed ceiling is all kinds of shades of nasty!
So what can you do to identify leaks before they cause significant damage?
One easy place to start is with your water bill. If you notice a sudden hike in your home’s water usage, this could be an indicator of a nasty leak. However, many leaks are far more subtle and require visual checks to determine their presence.
Things to look for in bathrooms, kitchens and laundries include swelling chipboard benchtops, ugly stains appearing on lower storey ceilings, peeling paint or wallpaper and tiles coming loose from the wall. Obviously keep a look out for puddles around exposed piping in all ‘wet’ rooms and around the base of cisterns.
How Rain Water Can Damage Your Home (and What to Look Out For)
There’s not many things more soothing than listening to rain pitter patter on the roof while you’re snug and dry inside; but what if some of that rain is finding its way inside your home?
Rain water can enter your home through three main points - holes in the roof, cracks around doors and windows and holes in the walls.
If your roof is damaged and/or gutters and downpipes aren’t draining you can end up with significant quantities of water pooling into your ceiling and potentially leaking through onto the flooring. You may also experience serious structural damage, mould buildup and ugly bubbly stains and marks forming on upper storey ceilings. Worst-case, depending on the positioning of your home’s wiring, water buildup in the roof and ceiling cavities could actually cause a fire, when wires short out.
If rain water is entering via inadequately sealed door or window frames you’ll likely notice water stain marks, and, if rain is frequent, build up of mould or mildew.
If your walls contain cracks through which rain is driven you may detect unsightly ‘tidal marks’ actual wet patches or spots on the compromised wall and the growth of a dark mould.
How Rising Damp can Damage Your Home (and What to Look for)
If your home’s foundations are compromised, you could suffer the consequences of rising damp, which include damaged walls, mould buildup, salt buildups, crumbling masonry, timber decay and inevitably, if left untreated and the damp is severe, structural damage. For more information on rising damp and the signs to look out for, check out our previous article here.
We hope you’ve found this article helpful and that it's answered some of your questions about water damage. The key takeaway? It’s critical to protect your home from water damage. If you need help, contact the anti-damp specialists today.