When people think of water damage for a home, they likely think of catastrophic water and flood events like a flooding basement, tropical storm, or burst pipes. While those events certainly can affect a property’s value, there are other types of water damage that impacts property values and the ability of a homeowner to sell their home.
How does water damage reduce property value? And what are the common causes of water damage for homeowners? Let’s take a look at how water damage impacts property value as well as the risks of leaving water damage untreated.
Common Sources of Water Damage
Wading through a flooded living room or siphoning water out of a drenched basement are not common for most homeowners. Water damage that impacts a property’s value is likely something less noticeable. Slowly leaking pipes in bathrooms and kitchens and even a leaking water heater are more likely to cause long-term damages since they go unnoticed.
What are common sources of water damage that impact a home’s value? Commons sources of water damage for a homeowner are:
- Cracks in water pipes: Cracks in water pipes are caused by pressure changes. The pressure may change because of an accumulation of debris, waste, and other discarded materials. Cracked pipes usually occur in bathrooms and kitchens.
- Leaks between pipe connections: Similar to cracks in water pipes, leaks in pipe connections can be caused by pressure build-up. Another reason for leaks between pipes is the joints were not sealed properly. A common mistake DIYers make is using plumber’s putty rather than joint compound or thread tape.
- Leaky faucets: Many homeowners often deal with leaky faucets rather than fixing them. While a slow leak may seem manageable, over time it can cause water damage in a home. Leaky faucets should be fixed upon discovery to avoid damages.
- Continuously running toilets: In addition to causing enormous water bills, continuously running toilets can cause water damage to a home if the water is leaking outside of the bowl or tank. While it may be tempting to ignore, addressing a running toilet can prevent long-term water damage and expensive repairs.
- Discharge from dishwashers: Dishwashers are one of the most common appliances used in a home, more often than washing machines! While a leaking dishwasher may not cause a dramatic water issue like a flood, it can, over time, cause damages to the floorboards underneath eventually leading to a mold problem.
- Sewage spills: Sewage spills are usually immediately noticeable. A sewage spill can cause a foul odor, unsanitary living, and expensive property damages. Sewage spills should be remediated by a professional emergency restoration company.
- Water heater failures: Water heater failures are a nuisance for homeowners and since water heaters are out-of-sight, they go unnoticed. Most water heaters fail due to lack of maintenance and old age. Sediment can settle in the bottom of the water heater causing it to rust and eventually leak.
Types of Water Damage that Decrease a Home’s Value
Small water issues and minor water damage may have no impact on the value of a home, especially in today’s hot real estate market. For property owners trying to sell their home, however, water damage may impact their ability to sell their house at a fair value or require extensive repairs prior to the sale.
Types of water damage that decrease a home’s value are:
- Warped ceilings and walls: Warped ceilings and walls are an indication of water damage. Not only are they visually unappealing, but they also let potential buyers know there are water issues that may be expensive to repair once they purchase a home.
- Water-soaked damaged carpeting and flooring: Damp carpeting tells potential home buyers there is some sort of water or moisture issue going on inside the home. Buckled wood flooring can also decrease the value of a home. If you are selling a home and have water-damaged hardwood floors, you can try to repair them before the sale.
- Structural damage: When water damages a home, the structure of the home could have serious issues. If not addressed, these damages can significantly decrease the value of a home. New homeowners do not want to start off homeownership with expensive structural repairs to fix rotting wood, sagging beams, cracks in walls, and broken electrical fixtures.
- Foundation issues: Foundation issues are not always caused by water damage, however can be amplified with a basement flood. Water can get into small cracks in the foundation and erode it away.
- Mold: One of the biggest headaches caused by water damage is mold. Finding mold in a home is a red flag that there are larger issues related to water. Mold growth can explode in homes with water damage and lead to other issues. For homeowners who discover mold in their house, it’s highly recommended to hire a professional mold inspector and a mold remediation company. A professional mold remediation company will use HEPA vacuums to treat and remediate the mold in the affected area.
Risks of Leaving Water Damage
Leaving water damage untreated or addressed not only impacts property value, but it can also lead to other issues for homeowners such as:
- Health concerns: Water damage eventually leads to a mold issue. The types of mold in a home caused by water damage can cause health issues for the home occupants. Black mold, in particular, is linked to respiratory issues including a stuffy nose, wheezing, coughing, red and itchy eyes, and even a skin rash. For people suffering from asthma, severe reactions can occur. Removing mold can help clear up health issues.
- Electrical issues: Water damage can cause damage to electrical systems as well as appliances and devices throughout the home if not promptly and properly addressed and repaired. Damaged wiring can arc or cause power surges. These can permanently damage devices plugged into the electrical system.
- Repairs become more costly after time: Untreated water damage only gets worse after time. For homeowners who ignore water damage and choose to let it go untreated, repairs can be more expensive over time.
For homeowners who are thinking of selling their home, it’s best to have a home inspector visit the property to assess any sort of water damage that needs to be repaired before selling. Water damage can reduce a property’s value and impact the sales process. Professional emergency restoration companies can help fix water damage issues and help homeowners increase the value of their home prior to putting it on the market.
Water Damage Restoration Professionals
Reynolds Restoration Services is the premier commercial and residential emergency restoration company in the Harrisburg, PA, Philadelphia, PA, and Baltimore, MD/DC metro regions. Our team is trained and certified to find and remediate water damage, mold, and other issues that can impact the property value during the home sales process.
We have been helping homeowners for more than 15 years restore their homes to their pre-loss condition after an emergency. With three offices in the region, we can be on-site quickly to help take the stress out of a home emergency or loss. We are always on call, 24/7/365. If you are thinking of selling your home and have water damage issues that impact your property value, reach out today to see if we can help. You can request service online through our emergency request form or call us at 888.277.8280. Let us take on the home repairs caused by water damage.