Top 7 Sneaky Causes Of Water Damage

Sneaky Causes of Water Damage


No one wants to think about water damage occurring in our homes.  And, one of the largest problems with water damage is that small leaks can cause big damage without out us even noticing at first.  Water that sits and builds up in out of sight places can slowly ruin our ceiling, walls, or cabinets, etc.

Water damage can lead to deterioration and if undetected, could cause eventual structural issues as well as lead to mold growth causing potential health problems.  

So, let’s look at the top 7 culprits of water damage and how you can check for them.


Top 7 Sneaky Ways Water Could Be Damaging Your Home

Burst Pipes or Leaks

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water damage causes burst pipes

Pipes are susceptible to stoppages, clogs and damage.  There are several reasons why a pipe could burst such as when a drain or toilet line gets backed up.

Tree roots could cause pipes to burst if a root grows into the line in a yard.  Also, pipes that are old are prone to leaking and malfunctioning.


Pipe leaks can be caused by a myriad of things too including acidity levels in water, an often overlooked cause.  Acidity affects copper pipes more directly causing the pipes to dissolve.

Rust build up or a valve not being properly turned off can also cause a pipe to leak.

If your water is discolored (brown or yellowish), or if the water pressure seems low, this can point to a leak.

Plumbing Problems

A damp spot on a wall, ceiling, or inside cabinets may be a sign of plumbing problems so once in a while, take a quick look under sinks to make sure everything is fully attached.  If you see discoloration or moisture, its best to call a professional to come take a look.


Sprinkler Systems

Interior sprinkler systems are great for minimizing fire damage, but not so great for water damage when they malfunction.  Always check your sprinkler system for signs of damage or rust, and replace them regularly to ensure they are functioning properly.

Appliance Malfunctions

water damage causes appliance leak

Appliances with water lines running to them such as washing machines, water heaters, dishwashers, and refrigerators can cause water damage surprises.  Hoses and pipes can crack over time and water heaters can rust through.

A water heater tank has the potential to corrode or wear over time therefore it is imperative to be vigilant and arrange to have faulty parts or the entire unit replaced at the first sign of damage. Once a water heater cracks, it can easily flood your living space.  


Remember, it is important that standing water in your home be extracted and dried immediately to stop damage.

HVACs, (heating, ventilating and air conditioning units), are also a common cause of water damage.  HVAC pipes have the potential to hold large quantities of water, which must be transferred outside. If a unit breaks or its pipes become clogged, the water will back up and can spill into your home.  

Air conditioners require regular servicing, otherwise, moisture build up can occur. When the moisture cools, it can mix with mold spores in the air conditioning ducts and encourage mold to grow inside.


Flat Roofs

A flat roof should have a slight gradient to it for water to run off of it and into your gutters.  This slight slope can be compromised by various issues or it can deteriorate and slightly give way to create a genuinely flat or even concave shaped roof.

This can happen if leaves, branches, and debris build up on your roof.  The weight buildup may apply pressure to the weakest point of the flat roof and cause the roof to collapse inward slightly.  This can allow water to pool on the top of the roof instead of running off of it.


You now have standing water on your roof which can be a cause of water damage and mold growth. This damage can become extensive over time.  Keep in mind that every inch of water weighs in at around five pounds.  Over time, this will cause strain and lead to leaks.


The gutter system can also be a culprit of water damage.  Gutters direct water away from your roof and building as it runs off the edges.  This will work fine until the gutters become blocked with debris, trapping the water.

The water will overflow over the edges of the gutters and start running down the side of the house.  Look at the paint on your walls – are there dirty water marks from rainwater from the gutters?

Another problem you may encounter is water leaking down the side of your home even when there isn’t heavy rain when there is a hole in your gutter.

Wet walls can lead to its deterioration and the water might start building up around the base of your home where it can lead to more severe water damage such as basement leaks or mold.

Crawl Space/ Basement/ Attic Issues

These are all places that house a lot of the infrastructure of homes including the pipes.  Water could go through a crack in the basement foundation and go unnoticed depending on where that leak happens.  

The area between your home and attic can trap moisture and cause water damage as well as mold and rotting.


Crawl spaces are also prone to water damage. These are the areas under homes for workers to put piping and electrical wires when not built on a concrete slab.  A dark and damp crawl space allows mold to grow which can cause structural damage.

Basement leaks can be caused by moisture dripping through concrete foundation.  Moisture on the underside of the roof can be caused by air leakage which can lead to mold and rotting.

Weather-related issues

water damage causes flooded floor

Take all the preventative measures possible ahead of time to minimize the effect of weather-related water disasters to your home.  Heavy rain storms and subsequent flooding can all cause water buildup.


Call a professional as soon as possible after a weather-related issue to reduce the chance of water damage occurring.


Always keep an eye around your home for any potential issues. Check your basement, crawl space and attic. Look under sinks to ensure your pipes are tight and no water is leaking.  Inspect your appliances and change hoses that appear to be wearing out.


Call Five Star Restoration If You Suspect Water Damage

We have specialty equipment that detects water damage without tearing into your ceiling or walls.  We can help in finding the source, dry your home out and prepare your home for repairs.

We are always careful and respectful, treating your home like it is our own.  

Water damage restoration is usually something that homeowners don’t think about needing or being prepared for; a plumber or an electrician, for example, are more commonly expected.

However, water damage to your home, whether sudden or gradual, is something to have a plan for to minimize damage and ensure coverage from your insurance company.

Homeowner policies expect homeowners to address the issue within a matter of 24-48 hours.  We have seen instances where damage to homes are not covered due to what their insurance company deemed as negligence on the part of the homeowner.  

Don’t let this happen to you!  Have a plan to call Five Star Restoration at the first sign of any water damage in your home.


We offer 24/7 service and work directly on your behalf with all insurance companies, requiring no upfront fee.  Call us today at 951-926-1978.


Tags: water damage causes, home water damage, water damage problems, spotting water damage, finding water damage, water-stained ceiling, water-stained walls, leaky ceiling, leaky pipes, appliance leaks, water damaged ceiling, water leaking from ceiling

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Water damage causes