There are several ways water can damage your Rochester home. Mother Nature can throw severe rain storms at your home. Your plumbing system can become clogged and spew gallons of contaminated water onto the floor. However, one of the least obvious causes of water damage, and the most common is a malfunctioning hot water heater. A hot water heater is an appliance most homeowners pay no mind to until it malfunctions and a) stops producing hot water, or b) floods their basement.
What do you do when your hot water heater floods your basement?
First, let’s discuss the reasons why your hot water causes water damage. There are two reasons why your water heater can cause indoor flooding in your home. The most common is a malfunction in the water heater’s thermostat. The thermostat gauges how hot the water in the tank is. As the water reaches the desired temperature, the thermostat tells the heating element to cool down. If the thermostat is not working properly, heating can continue indefinitely, making the water boil, evaporate and cause pressure build-up within the tank. After a time, the metal casing of the water heater can no longer hold the pressure from the hot water and steam build up. Then the tank will rupture letting hot water and steam escape flooding your basement.
The second reason your tank may cause water damage would be old or corroded parts. Parts become loose and can develop small leaks that let water escape from the water tank. These smaller leaks aren’t easy to spot until they cause a major mess.
Water Damage From Hot Water Heaters
When your hot water heater the damage it causes can be extensive. From structural damage to concrete foundations to soaking carpet to warped wood components. The water buildup can also cause damage to any appliances or home furnishings that may be in the affected area. Not to mention, it only takes 24 – 48 hours for mold to grow and thrive. Because hot water heaters are typically located in the basement, or an area of the basement a homeowner doesn’t usually enter, a basement can end up with over 2-3 feet of standing water. Sometimes the water will get high enough to reach the electrical outlets in the room, causing an array of electrical issues.
What Can You Do if Your Water Heater Overflows?
First, you want to turn off the water source. There is no sense in letting your hot water heater continue to spew water into your basement once you have discovered it. Find the power source to your home and turn that off as well. You don’t want to step foot in water that is potentially electrified. Next, you will want to contact a local emergency water damage cleanup crew, like ICC Restoration & Cleaning Services in Rochester. Local professionals usually have quick response times and have the equipment and knowledge necessary to prevent additional damage and perform the cleanup in a timely manner.
Once a trusted water damage restoration company is on its way you should avoid entering the affected area to avoid any potential health risks. If you are 100% certain that there are no health risks, you may enter the area and start taking photos. Taking photos of the damage will go along way in helping you with your insurance claim. Fun fact: Most water damage restoration companies can work with the homeowner’s insurance! It makes the cleaning and restoration process that much easier!