4 Hidden Costs of Water Damage to a House
After water damage is cleaned up, the drywall is repaired and the carpet is replaced, you might think your house troubles are over. But hidden problems can linger for months or even years.
Water damage costs U.S. insurance companies $2.5 billion every year, but that’s only part of the story. For years after the cleanup is complete, the long-term effects of water damage can put you at risk for even bigger (and costlier) problems.
- Hidden Mold Growth
Even minor water damage can promote the growth of mold in just a few hours, and the effects can linger for years. Because mold spores travel through the air, they can easily become lodged in air ducts and travel throughout the home. That means that even a small water leak can have far-reaching consequences.
Mold poses serious health risks, especially to children. Exposure to mold spores can cause skin rashes, respiratory infections, sinus infections, and asthma.
Mold and mildew slowly spreads into unseen spaces, such as dark basement corners, between walls and baseboards, or beneath carpets. Once it takes hold, it can be difficult to find and extremely expensive to remove.
- Hidden Rotted Wood
In addition to toxic mold damage, water intrusion can also cause structural issues in the wood framing of your home. Water-damaged wood is weaker and prone to future dry rot, and it can also invite insect infestations. The replacement of water-damaged framing can add hundreds or thousands of dollars to the total cost of repair.
- Hidden Electrical Damage
Water damage can also cause unexpected damage to the electrical system. Cabling, receptacles, light switches and other components of your electrical system could suffer as a result of a water leak, and suffer premature failure, requiring repair or replacement.
- Hidden Foundation Damage
Did you know that a single clogged gutter could cause thousands of dollars of damage and serious structural failure in your home?
Most foundation damage happens slowly, rather than suddenly. Typically, clogged gutters allow water to overflow next to the house and pool around the foundation. Once the ground is saturated with water, it puts pressure against the foundation, eventually leading to cracks. Mold growth and basement flooding aren’t far behind.
But that isn’t the worst of it. Later, as the water drains away, it erodes the soil, which causes the foundation to settle. Over the following months and years, you could easily end up with uneven floors, cracked walls and damaged chimneys.
The average homeowner spends nearly $4,000 out-of-pocket to repair a foundation problem. That doesn’t include the cost of mold remediation, flood cleanup, and additional structural repairs throughout the house.
Keep Fixing Hidden Damage, or Sell Your Home?
In many cases, minor clean water damage can be repaired without worrying about hidden long-term costs. But if your home has suffered moderate or serious water damage, you may want to consider selling your house rather than dealing with the headaches of long-term repairs.
Unless you’re determined to continue living in the home for many years to come, it may not be worth paying for extensive renovations and repair (and dealing with hidden problems that could emerge years later).
Instead, you may be able to sell your home to a team of investors experienced in making these kinds of repairs. Contact HomeVestors today for a free consultation.