When talking about water damage, most people’s biggest fear is a catastrophic flood and wading through a living room in waist-high levels of water. However, a far more common cause of water damage in many homes and businesses is a leaky pipe.
Most people will not give a leaky pipe much thought as a threat, but this is where it’s important to change perceptions. If a flood covering a property is the real estate equivalent of someone getting hit by a vehicle, a leaky pipe is like cancer. If you ignore it too long, it spreads out of control. Here’s how a leaky pipe can affect a home or business.
What Causes The Leak?
The first factor in how leaks can affect a property is the cause of the leak. A leak may occur due to freezing pipes in the winter, or it can occur because of corrosion of the material, which can occasionally happen with copper water pipes. The cause of the leak can often affect the rate at which the damage occurs in a property.
For example, frozen pipes can burst, causing much larger leaks when water flow resumes. This type of damage may be caught more quickly. On the other hand, a “pinhole leak” caused by a slight weakening of copper in a water pipe may only release a drop or two at a time and take a very long time to be detected without a professional inspection.
Where a leak occurs has a big impact on the kind of damage that happens to a property. Pipes can run under floors, along walls, and, in the case of multi-story structures, across the ceilings above rooms. It’s not unusual, for example, for bathroom water and drainage pipes to be located in the ceiling directly over a kitchen. If a leak occurs here, this can mean stains on the ceiling that will get larger and more discolored as time goes by.
On the other hand, if a leak occurs in a crawlspace or basement, the damage may not even be visible without a professional inspection. The leaking water may accumulate over weeks, months, and even years, hidden away behind concrete or other barriers.
There may be visible damage caused by leaks, such as stained ceilings or walls. In some cases, it may even lead to crumbling drywall or ceiling plaster that needs to be replaced. However, the biggest threat from leaks comes from the gradual formation of mold and mildew.
Mold needs a dark, moist environment to grow, which a small but constant leak can provide. If this gives mold the ideal setting to form a colony, it can impact the respiratory health of everyone in a home or workspace and even endanger those with pre-existing respiratory conditions, such as asthma. This can eventually lead to illness and even hospitalization with sustained, long-term exposure.
Contact Dry Patrol Today!
If you’re worried about moisture and want an assessment of water damage in your home, contact us. We can see just how widespread the water and moisture are and ensure that all of it is removed so that mold doesn’t have a chance to spread.