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Water Damage in Kitchens and Bathrooms

By Jeff Lindemann on June 17, 2013 in Water Damage Articles

Nobody likes water damage but, unfortunately, it is a fact of life for homeowners. The most common culprits of water leaks and damage are your kitchen and bathroom. How do you identify water damage and, once you have, what do you do about it?

Checking your plumbing regularly is the best way to avoid water damage. Inspect your toilets and taps often and keep an eye on your water bill. If there is an unexpected, unexplained jump in the amount of that invoice, you may have a water leak.

If you do have a water leak, your eyes and nose will likely alert you quickly. Here are a few ways to tell if you might need water damage restoration.

  • Water will leave rings, spots or stains, especially in wood work. If you notice a new spot, investigate any water fixtures nearby to check for a leak.
  • Wood will also warp somewhat with the repeated presence of water. If your floor suddenly seems to no longer be level, you may have a water leak.
  • If you have a leak in your walls, your paint will give you clues. Look for lines, stains or sagging or rippling paint. Your wallpaper may also seem to be changing in appearance. This usually happens near water lines or plumbing fixtures.
  • The caulk around your kitchen and bathroom plumbing may also show changes. If your lines of caulk break or bubble, you could have a leak.
  • Water damage can also have certain very specific scents. Must, mold and mildew smells can indicate water damage especially if they are recent changes.

Once your plumbing has been repaired, it’s time for water damage restoration. Some jobs may be simple, like applying more caulk or paint, but what do you do if the damage is more serious? What if the job is too big do complete by yourself?

Many folks will attempt water damage restoration as a do it yourself project. This can be a great bargain for a homeowner but can present challenges. Repainting or replacing caulk is a fairly simple, quick job – but if the damage is deeper, you’re just making the problem worse without knowing!

Some repairs should only be done by a professional. These include any water damage restoration to areas where contaminated water has caused the defects. This means waste water from your toilet or a backed up sump-pump, broken sewage pipes or even water damage from flooding or other natural disasters. Even removing and replacing visibly damaged materials may not completely rid your home of bacteria or other things that can contaminate the rest of the building. For this situation, it is in your best interest to have a professional assess the situation.

Even if you have begun a project yourself and realized that you are completely overwhelmed, a professional can still step in to save the day. Many people in a DIY situation will uncover unknown damage that is simply too great for them to repair alone.

One of the biggest issues that involve water damage restoration is that what is perceived as small, isolated damages can quickly spread to other areas in your home. A small leak from your kitchen plumbing, for example can cause damage to your flooring, possibly your basement walls and ceiling and, in the worst case scenario, the support structures of your home.

Because of possible extensive damages, it may be best to consult a professional for an estimate at the very least so you can know in advance exactly what you’re dealing with. This way you will know before the project begins if it will be something you should attempt on your own.

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