First, the obvious answer: leaks. Pipes break and burst from time to time. In colder climates, this could be because of water freezing in the pipes. There are other ways leaks can form as well, from something as simple as improper installation to squirrel infestation—seriously! Any of these reasons, while they might seem minor, can create a big problem for you. A tiny leak can become a big one quickly. If you notice any of these issues, get them taken care of quickly or you’ll be dealing with some serious water damage.
Many use a dishwasher daily, and almost everyone uses a hot water heater daily. (At least, we hope so—showers are important!) However, not many think of what happens if they fail catastrophically. A hot water heater holds gallons and gallons of water. A good dishwasher can use 5-6 gallons of water per load. Now, it might not seem like much, but that’s a lot of water if it’s on your floor. You might not think of that as a “flood” but if it’s concentrated enough and gets into the right places, it’ll damage like one. Be sure to check your appliances to make sure they’re both safe and in working order.
Don’t forget that Santa doesn’t control the weather, either! If your roof is leaky or otherwise compromised, there is the distinct chance that the heavy precipitation could get in and flood your home, causing all the requisite water damage along the way. Before this happens, get up on your roof and check the shingles to see if there are any holes or damage. This can help prevent a flood from the roof. Don’t forget a freak storm, either. Those of us in Florida are used to vast amounts of rain in a short period of time, but it’s possible that the rainfall could cause a small flood. Be prepared to deal with that as well. Keep some sandbags around and keep your valuables safe from water damage.
Along with the pipes, people forget that fixtures can fail, as well. A faucet can get stuck or snap off, a drain can back up, or a young child can start drawing a bath and forget that they did so—creating a cascade of bubbles and water. There are plenty of ways that your fixtures could flood your home, so be extra careful. Of all the reasons why you had flooding in your home, we’re sure that you wouldn’t want fixture failure to be the one that gets you.
Remember that young child filling the bathtub by too much water? Sometimes, an accident can happen, something out of your control. Perhaps your washing machine’s drain pipe came loose without you knowing about it, or your hot water heater overheated and the emergency pressure valve activated—not a fun problem! But these things happen, so do your best to be prepared for any one of these things. Don’t stress yourself out over it—sometimes these things are beyond your control.
If you do end up with some minor flooding in your home, don’t fret. Cleanup of smaller spills and smaller floods is time-consuming but usually not overly destructive. However, for the moments where you do need some help with cleaning up, be sure to call for help. Water damage can lead to larger problems if not dealt with appropriately, including mold. Be safe, and happy holidays to you!