Common Flood Damage Causes

Homes Flood for Many Reasons

Aside from severe weather, there are other causes of flood damage. The very first step you should take is obtaining flood insurance coverage prior to your need for it.

One common cause of flood damage is a leaky water heater. These are commonly housed in a garage or closet. Be sure to keep the heater in an accessible area where it can be periodically checked for leaks. You can also place a shallow pan underneath the water heater; this will collect water in the event of a leak and curb flood damage if the water heater should burst.

An easy way to prevent flood damage is by watering your yard responsibly. Keep sprinklers, hoses, and fountains in an area that water will not run against outside walls. You should maintain your gutters by inspecting and cleaning them on a regular basis to avoid overflowing and water flooding into your home.

Take good care of your roof. At least twice a year, you should check for any needed repairs. Spring and fall are the best times for this, as weather is often milder. You should also inspect your roof after major storms and repair any damage. A leaky roof can lead to a costly repair; if left unchecked, there is great potential for flooding after a hurricane or similar weather.

Be sure to check your pipes periodically; if a leak is found, repair it or contact a plumber to have it inspected and replaced if necessary. Maintaining your pipes will be cheaper than replacing your plumbing and cleaning up the damage from a flood after a pipe has leaked excessively or burst.

Within the home, there are several potential causes of flood damage. Inspect each of these areas regularly and make any needed repairs if you find a leak or signs of excessive wear.

  • In the kitchen, you should check dishwasher hoses for signs of leaking or damage. Be sure the hoses are connected properly and tighten them if necessary.
  • Check the connections on your ice maker or water dispenser, if your refrigerator has either of these features.
  • Periodically inspect and clean drains; a clog can cause your sink to back up and cause flooding.
  • Monitor your kitchen faucet to ensure it is not leaking. In addition to raising your water bill needlessly, a dripping or flowing faucet will can cause your sink to overflow and damage cabinets and other appliances.
  • In the bathroom, inspect the sink, shower and bathtub plumbing on a regular basis to be sure there are no leaks.
  • Periodically check toilets to be sure the tank is not overfilling. If there are any clogs, manage them immediately to avoid creating a larger problem.
  • Never leave a faucet running. Should the sink or bathtub overflow, the bathroom will flood and can damage your floor, walls or cabinetry.
  • In the laundry room, maintain your washing machine. Be sure all hoses are connected properly and in good repair.

You should also inspect your sewer and septic systems on a regular basis. If any of these should back up and cause a flood, you run the risk of health hazards as well as damage that will need to repair. In this case, consult a professional for advice on how to clean up the area and which repairs are necessary.