What Causes Water Damage and How to Prevent It

What Causes Water Damage and How to Prevent It

Welcome to Water Damage 101, our crash on water damage! Get ready to discuss the most common causes of water damage in Alabama homes and how you can prevent water damage before it becomes an expensive headache. Let’s get started! 

What is Water Damage?

 So what exactly is “water damage” anyway? Generally speaking, we define water damage as water that damages the interior of your home. 

Water damage happens due to multiple things, but some common instances are:

  • A leaky roof, causing rain to speak through and damage your ceiling and walls
  • A vicious hailstorm that breaks your windows, causing your floors to get wet
  • A burst pipe that soaks your ceiling, floors, or basement
  • An overflowing toilet that floods your bathroom floors

In addition, water damage also has three distinctive categories. These categories classify the water damage based on the degree of destruction. 


Category 1: Clean Water Damage 

Category 1 is the least severe type of water damage and is often called “clean” because it doesn’t contain toxins or sewage. This type of water won’t pose a threat to your health. Category 1 water damage occurs due to a broken pipe, an overflowing sink, or a leaky dishwasher. Oftentimes, you can dry items impacted by Category 1 water damage, and the items will not retain any health-posing threats. 


Category 2: Greywater Damage

Category 2 water damage is often referred to as “grey” water because it includes dirty water. Dirty water could come from toilets, washing machines, or sump pump backups. While greywater can pose some health risks, the health risks aren’t as severe or detrimental as Category 3. Category 2 water contains a substantial level of chemicals, bacteria, and/or mold. The fix for this type of water damage is more intensive and requires the person doing damage repair to wear PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). 


Category 3: Blackwater Damage

Category 3 water damage is often referred to as “black” water because it classifies water damage containing feces and fertilizers. Category 3 water damage might come from a broken toilet bowl containing feces, a sewer problem, or rising floodwaters with animal feces, lawn fertilizers, and other diseases, such as tetanus. Posing a significant threat to your health, Category 3 water damage contains toxins and disease-causing organisms. 

Now that we have talked about what water damage is, let’s discuss how it occurs and how you can prevent it. 


Water Damage Causes

Water damage caused by natural disasters

Natural Disasters

You can’t control natural disasters, and sometimes, despite your best efforts, water damage occurs due to circumstances outside of your control. Living in Alabama, we are no strangers to the storms that can wreak havoc on our beautiful state. Many of the natural disasters that occur here involve water in one way or another. This means your home is more likely to experience water damage. 

The top natural disasters you should be aware of are:

  • Hurricanes
  • Tropical Storms
  • Flooding


How to Prevent It

There are a limited amount of things you can do to prevent water damage caused by natural disasters. Therefore, it is best to prepare as much as possible before a natural disaster occurs. 


Hurricane or Tropical Storm

In the event of a crazy tropical storm or windy hurricane, your primary concern is copious amounts of rain and high winds. Intense winds can damage your roof and your windows, causing water to have easy access to the inside of your home. One solution is to install hurricane shutters over your windows. Hopefully, the shutters will provide a barrier between the debris and your windows, preventing them from breaking. 

Sadly, there is no safety shield you can install to keep your roof in optimal condition during a storm. The best option is to keep your roof in tip-top shape with regular inspections and maintenance. Then a roofer can identify any vulnerabilities within your roof and repair them before a storm hits. 



Preventing water damage from flooding is challenging. First, you can ensure your home’s foundation is in excellent condition. We also recommend keeping a stock of sandbags to layer around the base of your house to help block the water. Key places to place the sandbags are in front of the garage door, the interior garage door, and all other exit and entry points. Anywhere you would enter, water can easily enter too!

Plumbing Problems 

After preparing for natural disasters, it is beneficial to be familiar with the condition of your home’s plumbing and appliances. Here are several important things to keep an eye on in your home. Plumbing problems are likely to happen at these vulnerable points:

  • Leaky Pipes
  • Water Heater
  • Washing Machine
  • Dishwasher
  • Bathtub and Sinks


How to Prevent It

Scheduling regular inspections and maintenance appointments can help prevent plumbing and appliance failures before they even happen. While spending your rainy-day money on plumbing inspections doesn’t sound like your idea of fun, the inspections can ultimately save you a substantial amount of money and stress later on. 

Plumbing professionals can detect any weaknesses or potential areas of repair before they become an issue costing you thousands of dollars! 

It is also helpful to hold a record of how old your appliances are. Knowing when an appliance is reaching its expiration date gives you an idea of when to replace it instead of repairing it. Buying new appliances is pricey, but often it costs less than repairing water damage caused by a leaky washing machine or dishwasher. Not only do you need to repair the structural damage caused by the overflow, but you also replace items damaged as well. 


We’ve Sprung a Leak! 

If you just experienced water damage, it is imperative to act immediately as mold begins to grow within 24 hours of water exposure. In addition, the longer water sits on a surface, the deeper it penetrates the surface causing more damage. 

At Klean-Co, we offer 24/7 emergency water extraction by our expert water damage professionals. We are passionate about providing a water restoration service that gives a stress-free experience and restores your home and possessions. Let us know how we can help! 

Interested in learning more about water damage? Check out our Facebook and Instagram pages! 

Published: June 6, 2022
Author: KleanCo
Categories : Water Damage