The 7 Most Common Causes of Water Damage In the Home and How to Prevent Them

Water damage can be a major headache and a costly problem to repair. Water damage can occur in any home at any time, whether from a broken pipe, a faulty appliance, or a heavy rainstorm. 1 in 60 homes each year makes an insurance claim for water.

Knowing the most common causes of water damage in the home and how to prevent them can help you avoid costly repairs and minimize the impact of water damage if it does occur. In this article, we’ll discuss the 7 most common causes of water damage in the home and provide tips on how to prevent them.

Burst Pipes

When a pipe bursts, water can flood an entire room and cause severe damage to the structure of your home, in addition to the contents of the room. Common causes of bursting pipes include corrosion, too much pressure from inside the house, and deterioration due to age. You can prevent a burst pipe by keeping the water pressure at a safe level in your home and regularly inspecting your water pipes for signs of corrosion. If you see corrosion or other damage on your pipes, you can call a plumber to have them repaired as soon as possible. If a burst pipe does occur, turn off the water supply to prevent further damage and call a professional plumber or water damage restoration companies for extensive damage to fix the burst pipe as soon as possible.

Appliance Malfunctions

Appliance malfunctions are another major cause of water damage in the home. Malfunctions can occur for various reasons, including age, lack of maintenance, or simply faulty parts. One of the most common causes of appliance malfunctions is lack of maintenance. Regular maintenance of appliances such as the water heater, air conditioner, furnace, and other major appliances can catch small issues before they become major. Additionally, checking water levels, freon levels, and filters on appliances and making repairs as necessary can help prevent malfunctions. Another common cause of appliance malfunctions is faulty parts. Appliances have a useful life; if they are too old, they may need to be replaced. However, buying energy-efficient and high-quality appliances can minimize the risk of malfunctions.

Clogged Drains

Clogged drains are a common cause of water damage in the home. Although clogged drains are relatively easy to fix, the damage a clogged drain can cause is significant and may require extensive repair. Clogged drains are usually caused by food particles caught in the pipes. Using strainers on all drains is recommended to catch the food particles before they clog the pipes. Additionally, when using a garbage disposal, do not put large or hard-to-break-down items in the disposal because they can cause the blades to get stuck and jam. 

Leaky Faucets

A leaking faucet can cause significant water damage if not repaired quickly. Most faucet leaks are due to a faulty washer inside the faucet. Leaks can also result from the faucet being mounted improperly or the pipe being worn out. To prevent a leaking faucet, ensure to check for worn-out pipes and replace them as necessary periodically. Additionally, make sure faucets are mounted correctly and all washers and gaskets are in good condition. Finally, if you notice a leak in a faucet, make sure to repair it quickly.

Poorly Installed Windows and Doors

Poorly installed windows and doors can cause significant water damage. It is essential to ensure all doors and windows are correctly installed and sealed to prevent water damage. If a window or door is not installed correctly, water can come in through the gaps and cause significant damage. It is important to follow local building codes when installing windows and doors. Additionally, ensure to use the proper sealant when installing windows and doors to prevent water damage.

Extreme Weather

Extreme weather is another common cause of water damage in the home. Rain storms, floods, and hurricanes are all examples of severe weather that can cause significant water damage. For example, rainwater can enter through improperly installed windows and doors, roof leaks, improperly installed gutters, or other sources. Snow can also present a water damage risk as it melts and creates water that can drip into your home. To prevent water damage from extreme weather, be sure to keep your roof, windows, and gutters in good repair and install storm shutters when there is a risk of heavy weather.

Humidity and Poor Ventilation

Excessive humidity in your home can contribute to mold and mildew growth. This can lead to serious health issues in your home and can cause water damage to your home’s structure and contents. This can be particularly problematic during the winter months when windows are closed to keep out the cold. To prevent excess humidity in your home and the resulting water damage:

  1. Try to keep your home well-ventilated.
  2. Leave windows open when appropriate and use fans to circulate air when you need to keep windows closed. You can also use a humidifier to combat low humidity in your home.
  3. Use a humidifier with proper maintenance and care to prevent excess humidity from becoming a problem.

Preventative Tips for Water Damage

Preventing water damage is the best action to avoid the headaches and costs associated with repairing water damage. Be sure to follow the tips below to help prevent water damage in your home.

  • Install a water sensor – A water sensor can sound an alarm when it detects water in your home. This can help you catch a leak or burst pipe as soon as it occurs and get it repaired as quickly as possible to prevent water damage in your home.
  • Install a water shut-off valve – A water shut-off valve can help you quickly stop a leak or burst pipe in its tracks before it causes too much damage. A valve like this can also save you time and stress in the event of severe weather that may cause flooding.
  • Keep your home adequately ventilated – Proper ventilation can help regulate temperature and humidity in your home, as well as keep out unwanted pests and allergens such as pollen and dust. 
  • Maintain Appliances – Making sure your appliances are in good working order can help you to avoid leaks from damage and help you to avoid the issue of flooding or water damage due to faults or damage to appliances.


Water damage can be a major headache and a costly problem to repair. These 7 most common home water damage causes can be prevented by following a few simple tips. It is essential to ensure you have a good water source in the event of a flood, ensure all appliances are maintained, and ensure proper ventilation in the home. Additionally, it is essential to follow these tips to minimize the risk of water damage in the house.


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