Water on window looking out at street


Water damage occurs when there is excess water that builds up in areas it shouldn’t be in. There are many different factors that can create excess water that results in water damage. 

When you know the potential causes of water damage, you are able to take precautionary measures to help prevent these events from happening. If something does end up happening, you will be able to spot the problem as soon as it takes place and prevents any additional damage from happening. 

Leaking/Burst Pipes

Leaking or burst pipes is one of the most common reasons for water damage in homes. 

This is can be caused by many different reasons. 

  • Temperature changes 
  • Uninsulated pipes in the winter can freeze and burst
  • Unregulated water pressure causing the pipes to burst or leak
  • Roots that grow into sewer lines
  • Old and rusty pipes are prone to leaking

Plumbing Issues

When it comes to plumbing issues and water damage, it can be one of the harder ones to detect. This is due to the fact that these types of pipes are usually hidden within the walls of your house. 

However, many times this happens because of hoses and pipe joints not being fully attached. 

Stay on the lookout for dripping faucets, overflowing toilets, and any leaking around your tub and shower.

Worn or Faulty Household Appliances

With all the appliances you can have in your home, it’s important to keep an eye on things to make sure they’re still running right. 

As your household appliances get older, pipes will begin to crack and rust and hoses will become weaker. 

Washing machines, water heaters, dishwashers, refrigerators, and more are all vulnerable to deterioration, so it is important that you do not neglect these appliances. 

The two appliances that cause the majority of water damage in homes are washing machines and hot water tanks. 

HVAC Units

HVAC units have also been known as a common cause of water damage. Your air conditioner, in particular, requires regular servicing. This is because when they are not maintained properly, it could cause moisture accumulation resulting in a leak. 

When that moisture begins to cool, the dampness can serve as a breeding ground for mold and mildew to grow inside of the air conditioning ducts. 

Clogged Gutters

If gutters have blockages such as leaves and branches, they are not able to drain properly. This causes water to flow over the edges and run down the side of your home. 

The reason this is a problem is that it causes water to seep around your foundation and into your home.

Toilet Overflows

This one is definitely not the most glamorous cause of water damage. When you get a clog in your drain lines or main sewer line, waste is prevented from flowing through these lines causing your toilet to overflow. 

Sewage Backups

Due to heavy amounts of rain or other storms, sewer systems can’t always handle the volume of waste and water they receive. 

Main sewer lines may also see the trouble with issues preventing them from draining wastewater. This can cause sewage to back up into your home through toilets, drains, and sinks. 

If this situation happens to you, do not treat it lightly. This is a very serious issue and should be handled by a specialist, as an improper cleanup can lead to health hazards. 

Weather Related Issues and Natural Disasters

Even though you have no control over natural disasters and crazy weather that leads to excessive water, you are still able to minimize the effects of damage it has on your home. Keeping your gutters clear and building up dirt and sand along the borders of your home are just a couple of things that can help keep your home safe. 

You can also keep important files and other miscellaneous items in a safe space where they can’t get damaged and are higher up so they don’t get damaged. 

Flash floods, storms out of nowhere, and crazy amounts of snow can all cause water to build up and can cause significant damage to your property. 

Sprinkler Systems

There are many homes and businesses that have sprinkler systems on their properties and cause a potential threat for water damage if they malfunction. 

It is good to check your sprinklers for signs of damage and rust and replace them if they are not functioning properly so you don’t end up with a flooded property. 


Checking your roof regularly is a good habit to get into. If you notice you have large puddles of water sitting on your roof after a storm, your drainage is not working correctly, or as effectively as it should. 

This causes incredible wear and tear on your roof and leads to leaks coming into your roof. 

When it comes down to it, there is no way to completely eliminate all risk of water damage to your property. When you are able to learn the common causes and reasons for water damage and stay consistent with preventative measures, you will reduce your risks greatly. 

Having these as common practices will also help you respond better when something does happen because the odds are that it will at some point. 

If something does happen, ServiceMaster is trained and certified for several cleaning and restoration services and can assist you in your cleanup. 

So stay alert, stay consistent, and you will be ready for whatever comes your way.