In coastal areas like Clearwater, where hurricanes[a], heavy rainfalls, and flooding [b]are a usual occurrence, water damage can wreak havoc on a home’s structural integrity. Besides natural disasters, the most lethal water damage is generally caused by high levels of trapped moisture, faulty plumbing systems, and blocked drainage.
Out of all the places inside a home, a bathroom is the most humid space, and this inherent moisture is simply unavoidable. Your daily self-grooming and hygiene routines, like steamy showers, washing your hands and face and soaking in the bathtub consistently keep the bathroom environment damp.
However, if the moisture keeps coming from an unknown source and water consistently drips into the walls and floor, it can severely damage your home’s structure, and you may end up spending loads of money on costly repairs. To help you with this, we have put together a comprehensive guide to identify water damage in your bathroom and take steps to prevent and restore your home from its devastation. Let’s get started!
Factors that Cause Water Damage in Bathrooms
In Clearwater, water damage in home from external sources is often easy to spot. But it’s those hidden adversaries or unnoticeable water leakage issues that can cause the most damage to your bathroom.
Although you can see water accumulated inside a bathroom, you may not be able to find the cause of the leaks. The best way to identify the source of water damage is to get your bathroom examined by an expert. You can lookup a Clearwater water damage restoration company near me on your preferred search engine and schedule an inspection. Some renowned companies in Clearwater, like Flood Pros USA offer a free-of-cost, no-obligation inspection. A qualified inspector will thoroughly examine your bathroom and your plumbing system, assess the amount of damage, and create an estimate and damage report for your insurance claims.
Here are some of those common causes of water damage in bathrooms that an inspector may search for:
Pipe leaks and bursts are the most apparent reasons behind water damage in a bathroom. High water pressure and corrosion can cause cracks in the plumbing pipes within the walls or under the floor, which either causes a sudden pipe burst or dripping water into the walls.
Faulty Bathroom Fixtures, Faucets, and Appliances
Water gradually seeping into the walls and foundation is more dangerous to your home’s walls and foundations compared to a sudden spurt of water. Dripping faucets, leaking flush tanks, damaged showerheads, and malfunctioning bathroom fixtures are a source of consistent water leakage that can cause significant water damage to your bathroom. Trapped moisture weakens the foundation of your home over time and may even contaminate your water supply.
Inappropriate installation of appliances inside or near a bathroom is also a known reason behind continuous water seepage into the walls and floor.
Besides its potential for wreaking havoc on your home’s structure, a gradual leak can cause many health and sanitation issues. Accumulated water can become a breeding ground for bacteria. Moreover, accumulated or trapped water causes a strong odor and promotes mold growth.
Clogged drains affect the natural flow of water through the sewerage lines. When water accumulates around the drainage, it can seep into the walls and under the floor and may cause noticeable damage to your bathroom floor and the foundation.
Damaged Grout and Caulking
Harsh chemicals and water accumulation over time deteriorate the grout and caulking around floor and wall tiles and allow water to seep into the walls and floors. This can result in water damage, which is usually hidden from the naked eye.
How to Prevent Water Damage in Bathrooms
Prevention is better than cure, they say! Water damage can be fatal for your home’s structural integrity, but its prevention is relatively simple and easy. A preemptive approach is an open secret to a well-maintained bathroom. Here are some effective preventive measures:
Check for Leaks
Regularly check for any signs of leaks in and around your bathroom. Don’t hesitate to sneak inside hidden areas like plumbing pipes under the vanity or valves of flush tanks and washing machines. Take a look at all the external water sources and plumbing pipes around your home’s perimeter, as well as the roof that leads to the bathroom. If you find accumulated or dripping water, call in an experienced plumber.
Look for Signs of Trapped Moisture
Check both the internal and external walls of your bathroom for any water stains, swollen or peeled paint, and signs of mold growth. Mold usually develops over time at places where moisture is consistently trapped inside walls or ceilings, which gives a clear indication that some form of water damage has already been done. If you find the wall soft upon touching, it’s also a clear sign of water trapped inside the wall.
Repair any Gaps and Cracks in Floor and Wall Tiles
Gaps in your bathroom’s floor and wall slowly spoil your home’s structure and foundation. Since the water seepage is hidden underneath the tiles, you may not even identify the level of damage it may have already caused before you notice it. The most effective remedy to prevent water damage is to keep a close eye on any cracks in the tiles and missing grout or caulking. Fill out gaps with high-quality caulking and replace cracked, broken, or missing tiles urgently, and if possible, use another bathroom until the problem is completely fixed.
Keep Your Bathroom Dry At All Times
Humidity is the major reason behind water damage in your bathroom. Dry your bathroom completely each time you take a shower. Be sure to keep your exhaust systems fully functional and use a high-quality dehumidifier to bring down humidity levels inside the bathroom.
Restoring a Water-Damaged Bathroom
If your bathroom has already succumbed to water damage, you need to urgently restore your bathroom to prevent further damage. A water damage restoration company will performs the following steps:
- Inspect the entire bathroom and your complete plumbing system to identify the source and the level of damage done.
- A qualified inspector will assess the amount of damage done and an exhaustive list of areas affected by the damage. They will create a complete report and provide an estimate. You can use this report and the estimate of damage/restoration costs for financial recovery and insurance claims.
- The company will provide a list of renovations needed based on the damages. They will set aside whatever can be saved and start with the repair work. A team of professionals will carry out the essential repair work first and recommend any renovations to fix the damages and prevent future problems.
- Once the bathroom walls and floor are restored, the professionals will install new fixtures and give finishing touches.
Remember that there’s no foolproof method to guarantee permanent protection against water damage. However, the above information can greatly help you take preventive measures against common causes of water damage in your bathroom and make timely decisions to minimize the risk of damage in the future. If your home is prone to moisture and water damage, it’s advisable to get your home insured against such damages.