Understanding Water Damage & How to Protect Your Home

Understanding Water Damage & How to Protect Your Home

Old leaves and sludge in gutter

Water…it's the key to life. While important, too much of anything can quickly turn into a bad thing, especially for your home and property. This explains water damage. Water damage refers to any type of physical damage sustained by a property that has come into contact with water. 

It's often caused by natural disasters, such as torrential rains, tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods. Although you may have no control over natural disasters, some causes —like leaking roofs, faulty gutters, clogged gutters, or burst pipes — are preventable.

In either case, if the water damage is left unattended or unnoticed, it can lead to catastrophic loss and catastrophic damage to your home. It can have long-term as well as immediate implications. For instance, water damage can cause mildew, mold, roof rot, foundation problems, and much more. 

Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to prevent water damage from running rampant on your property and home. And it starts with having regular gutter cleanings

Let's take a closer look at water damage and how partnering with Ned Stevens Gutter Cleaning of Long Island is your best defense. 

How Often Does Water Damage Occur?

Water damage can be exceptionally expensive and occurs more frequently than most would assume. According to industry data, a staggering 14,000 people in the US experience a water-damage-related emergency at work or home every year. 

And 98% of basements will experience some type of water damage throughout its lifetime. When it comes to costs, the average cost of a home insurance claim for water damage is $6,965, totaling $2.5 billion dollars every year.  

Water Damage Costs by the Second

Water can cause substantial problems for your home, which exponentially increases overtime. Every issue takes more time and money spent by you — the homeowner — to correct the underlying problem and make sure your home is safe. 

While a leaking gutter or busted pipe may not seem like a big deal today, every second your home is exposed to water can spell trouble. 

Minutes After the Accident with Water

Once water infiltrates your home, it can begin to spread contamination. If the leak is large enough, furniture and flooring can become saturated. Unfortunately, sheetrock/drywall will soak up water similar to a sponge. 

Hours After Water Damage

Within hours, furniture that is saturated in water will begin to swell. This is usually followed by unpleasant odors and increasing humidity levels. At this point, any dyed fabrics will become discolored or start to bleed. 

Days After Water Damage

Most homeowners are surprised to learn it only takes days for mold and fungi to start growing — no matter the amount of water. Anytime water gets into dark places where it's not designed to be, you may have mold and fungi growing.

At the same time, hardwood floors can be ruined and solid wood will start to warp. Overall, your home's structural components will begin to swell and can split, and wallpaper can start to peel and paint blisters. 

Weeks of Water Damage

If your home has been exposed to water damage for weeks, you could be facing major home repairs. Your home may need to be completely evacuated due to widespread mold issues. Many homes exposed to water for weeks may need to be gutted and rebuilt from the inside out.

Common Costs Associated with Water Damage

The most common costs associated with water damage include:

  • Replacing furniture
  • Replacing appliances and mechanical equipment
  • Replacing flooring
  • Mold repair, remediation, and removal
  • New drywall installation
  • Replacement of wood beams and structural components

Fortunately, not all water damage is detrimental, as long as repairs are made as promptly as possible. 

What Are the Top Causes of Water Damage?

Preventing water damage to your home starts with understanding the most common causes of water damage, such as: 

  • Clogging and overflowing of gutters
  • Busted pipes
  • Leaking pipes
  • Septic tank overflow
  • Exposed water supply lines
  • Faulty appliances

How to Prevent Water Damage?

Here are a few simple ways to prevent water damage from destroying your home and wallet. 

Have Your Gutters Cleaned Regularly

Don't skimp on cleaning your gutters. Failure to have your gutters cleaned regularly can lead to overflowing gutters and a host of other structural, foundational, and roof water-related problems. 

Install Moisture/Water Detectors

One way to prevent water damage to your home is to install water detectors. These electronic devices will issue an alert or alarm whenever they detect moisture and leaks. Early detection can be paramount because it may empower you to prevent a minor gutter problem from becoming a major disaster.

Watch Your Water Bills

You can also pay attention to your water bills. If you notice an increase in your water bill without a change in your usage, there may be a plumbing system leak. 

Check Your Water Pressure

Another way to detect the potential for water damage is to check your water pressure. Simply put, high water pressure could be a precursor for a busted pipe. 

How Can Damaged or Clogged Gutters Lead to Water Damage?

As we previously mentioned, damaged or leaking gutters is one of the top causes of water damage. And gutters can cause water damage in more ways than one. Here are a few ways damaged, clogged, or faulty gutters can contribute to water damage.

Clogged Gutters

If your gutters haven't been cleared of debris, broken branches, leaves, and pine needles, water can easily get backed up instead of freely flowing out of the water spouts. When the water backs up, it will just sit at your roofline until it makes its way underneath your roof. 

This can lead to shingle damage that makes its way into the roofing material. It's only a matter of time before mildew and mold starts to grow to contribute to even more serious issues. 

Siding Damage

When gutters become filled from being clogged, the weight can be too much for the attachments and structures designed to support the system. This can cause substantial stress on the windows, eaves, soffits or siding underneath the area. Eventually, it will cause your wood siding or cedar shake siding to break and/or rot. 

Foundation Damage

Undoubtedly, the top purpose of your gutter system is to prevent water from gathering around your foundation. However, if your gutters are too clogged and water isn't allowed to flow away from your home, it will make its way into your foundation.

The seemingly minor small openings and cracks in your home's foundation serve as the perfect way for water to continue moving. After months or just weeks of the erosive effects of water on your foundation, you may be facing several thousands of dollars of structural damage that must be addressed. 

Interior Leaking and Water Damage from Gutters

When water can't flow away from your home, it will begin to make its way down the side. As such, it's likely to find a home inside of your interior walls or through your windows. 

Unfortunately, leaks inside of your walls are rarely ever visible and may not be discovered until significant water damage has already occurred. Often, it leads to massive mildew and mold problems. 

Some homeowners are fortunate enough to see brownish streaks and stains on ceilings and walls that can signify a problem. However, most homeowners are completely unaware of the problem until it has reached catastrophic levels. 

Contact Ned Stevens Gutter Cleaning of Long Island Today

Your gutters are your first line of defense against the erosive and dangerous effects of water. As such, it makes dollars and sense to keep your gutters clean, so water can freely and safely flow away from your home and foundation. 

Fortunately, the team at Ned Stevens Gutter Cleaning of Long Island can help. We offer a full slate of comprehensive gutter cleaning, gutter repair, and gutter installation services. 

Contact Ned Stevens Gutter Cleaning of Long Island today.

Erika Cruz

Erika began her career at Ned Stevens in September 2009 after 4 years of managing investment portfolios for banks and credit unions. She graduated with her business degree in Management in May of 2016 while working Full-time at Ned Stevens. With 11 years of gutter expertise, as office manager she is in charge of the day to day operation and is fully dedicated to her staff and customers.