Whether it’s a 100-year flood or a leaky pipe hidden behind a wall, nothing ruins an investment property faster than water. Without fast action, water causes extensive damage that is extremely costly to repair. Of course, it’s not always possible to detect water leaks right away. That’s why you need a vendor you can trust to help fix the damage.
Common Causes of Water Damage
Aside from the occasional Act of God, the same few culprits are typically responsible for residential water damage.
- A Burst of Leaking Pipe: Evidence of a burst pipe usually shows up immediately as water flows into your home. Leaky pipes can take longer to discover and can do much more damage over the long term.
- Showers and Tubs: Water collects and drains in showers and tubs every day. If the seals fail, or any portion of the piping leaks, water will damage the surrounding areas.
- Wind-Driven Rain: Driving wind will push rain through the smallest cracks in your home. That’s why it’s common to see water damage around existing openings like doors and windows.
- Broken Water Heaters: Residential waters heaters can hold as much as 100 gallons of water. When older units fail, they can spill that water into a home, causing massive damage in the process.
- Sewer and Drain Backups: Clogs prevent water from flowing into residential sewer systems. In the worst-case scenarios, complete clogs cause sewer and drain water to back up in the home. These backups can be devastating and potentially unhealthy for occupants.
Water Destroys Homes
Once water makes its way into a home, it begins causing damage almost immediately. The most sensitive parts of your home include:
- Carpets: Your carpet and padding will absorb water like a sponge. If too much time goes by before you discover the water source, your carpet could begin to mildew and hold unpleasant odors.
- Porous Flooring Materials: Unsealed flooring like bamboo and hardwoods will absorb water. This damage becomes evident as hardwood floors warp and cup into a u-shape.
- Drywall and Insulation: Just like your carpets, insulation will absorb water and odors. Also, the drywall becomes soft and often sags. These components must be removed and replaced entirely.
The biggest threat from water damage is mold, which thrives in damp, dark environments. As mold grows in a home, it causes health problems for children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems. That’s why it’s essential to repair water damage as quickly as possible before mold has the chance to form.
Water damage that’s gone undetected for an extended time will cause mold, which requires extensive mitigation work before the home is safe to occupy again.
Preventing Water Damage
While emergencies are sometimes unavoidable, property owners can take a few steps to prevent water damage before it happens.
- Inspect Pipes and Appliances Regularly: At least once every year, inspect your home’s pipes and appliances for signs of leaks, cracks, or other damage.
- Know the Location of Your Main Water Shutoff Valve: In the event of a burst pipe or leaking appliance, you’ll want to stop the flow of water immediately. The best way to do this is by shutting the water off at the street. You don’t want to hunt for the valve under stress, so find out the location before an emergency strikes.
- Caulk and Seal Your Windows: Well-sealed windows will prevent wind-driven rain from getting inside your home and causing damage.
- Check Your Roof and Gutters: Your roof and gutters are the most critical systems for keeping water outside of your home. At least once per year, inspect your roof for signs of broken or deteriorating shingles. Also, make sure your gutters are clear, so rainwater flows out the downspouts and away from your foundation.
- Winterize to Prevent Burst Pipes: Pipes often burst when the water inside freezes and expands. To prevent this, make sure you put caps over your exterior hose bibs during the winter months. You may also want to install foam insulation in your foundation vents, so the pipes underneath your home don’t freeze.
Repairing Water Damage
If your investment property ever does suffer from water damage, you’ll need a contractor you can trust to bring your home back to life. In a recent post on the Rent Portland Homes by Darla Andrew YouTube page, Mike Skoro from Clean Water Restorations, LLC took viewers on a short tour of a water-damage repair.
Because Clean Water Restorations, LLC is a trusted vendor, we asked them to repair damage from a leaking water heater in one of our owner’s investment properties.
These restorations are often so extensive that tenants must move out while the repairs are taking place. This lost revenue, combined with the cost of repairs, makes water damage events particularly expensive for property owners. That’s why it’s critical to hire a company that will complete the projects as quickly as possible while charging a fair price.
Rent Portland Homes is thankful to have found that with Clear Water Restorations, LLC. That’s why we’ll proudly recommend their services to any of our owners who may need them.
Contact Us Today
If you’d like to learn more about how we help our property owners deal with unexpected repairs, contact us today. You can call or text Darla at (503) 515-3170 or fill out the contact page on our website. As always, subscribe to our YouTube page to watch video tours of our latest rental properties and for valuable insights for investment property owners.