Understanding the Dangers of Water Leaks

What are the biggest dangers facing any home?

It’s not fire, not carbon monoxide, and not even natural disasters. Instead, it’s those problems you haven’t thought about, and the ones you probably haven’t prepared for. These are the dangers you don’t even know that you don’t know about–and unfortunately, water leaks often fall into this category.

Instead of fearing unknown potential problems like water leaks, it’s best to educate yourself and make sure your home is protected.

Home Water Damage: The Most Likely Culprits

What are the basic concerns here? Home water damage can come from several sources, but these are the most common ones that you should know about:

Leaky Pipes

Leaky Pipes

One of the most common causes of a home water leak is a burst or leaky pipe. This can happen at a sink, behind a washing machine, in a wall, or anywhere in your home with a water pipe. While a burst pipe may seem to be a greater concern, it’s also much easier to spot. A small dripping leak can cause serious damage if it’s not noticed.

One of the most common causes of this type of leak is pipes freezing in the winter. This is one reason why it’s good to have a shut-off system to make sure there’s no water in your pipes when those cold temperatures hit (but more on that later). This also has implications for insurance, as water leaks like this were the most common type of property damage claim in 2014.

Water Heater Leaks

Another common cause of home water damage is a faulty water heater. This could come from a defective valve, a broken heating element, or a corroded tank. Fortunately, regular maintenance should protect you here. However, it’s also worth considering investing in a tankless heater to avoid the potential for a water leak entirely.

Flooded Basement

This could come from something like a broken water heater or from excessive rainfall leaking in. It’s more common than many people realize (many Americans have fond memories of bailing water out of the family basement on at least one occasion). Once again, the good news is that there are fairly straightforward ways to prevent this, and prevention is key.

Roof Leaks

Roof Leaks

Andrew* / Flickr / CC BY-SA

Though they’re less common and well-known than the other issues mentioned above, that doesn’t mean there aren’t things every homeowner needs to know about roof leaks. The real story here is that many homeowners simply don’t realize that most roofs are only designed to last 20-30 years.

In the interim, they should be maintained, and once they’ve reached the end of their life cycle, they have to be replaced. That may sound expensive, but it’s far cheaper than replacing ceilings and insulation or fixing a mold problem. As with every other source of water leaks mentioned here, it’s all about prevention.

How to Find a Water Leak

First, we can’t say it enough, prevention is key. But if there is a water leak, how do you find it and deal with it? This is quite possibly the trickiest aspect of most home water leaks. You may think this is only a concern for small leaks, but even catastrophic leaks or a flooded basement can go unnoticed if you’re away from home.

So how can you ensure water leaks are detected quickly to reduce the resulting damage? Easy:  Invest in a water leak detection system with an automatic shut-off function.

The Benefits of a Water Leak Detection System

If you’re in search of the peace of mind that comes from knowing your home is protected from all kinds of water leaks, there are two steps to obtaining that: proper maintenance of all the elements mentioned above, and a reliable water leak detection system.

A leak detection system uses sensors placed throughout your home to immediately react when a leak occurs. It then informs you on your smartphone, shutting off the main water source within seconds to prevent any serious damage. Fortunately, these sensors work for both major and minor leaks, so they’re a good investment for keeping your home protected.

Want to learn more about a top water leak detection system? Check out Leaksmart. It can shut off your main water valve within five seconds of detecting a water leak, automatically shut off your water when temperatures plummet, and more.