Common Water Accidents at Home - Quick Tips for Prevention & Mitigation

As many as 60 percent of all cases of water damage in Canada could have been prevented or mitigated, according to Axis Insurance Managers.  

Learn which of these types of water accidents you can prevent and mitigate yourself and which you should leave for a professional water damage restoration professional to handle! 


Water Damage Caused by Leaking or Burst Pipes

In cold weather, pipes are at risk of freezing and bursting. Leaking or bursting pipes is one of the most common causes for substantial water damage. 

Tip: Turn off your water supply if you’re going to be away from home for more than 24 hours (especially in the winter).


Water Damage Caused by Washer Hoses

If the hose to your washing machine fails, it has the same impact as keeping a water faucet turned on full blast. 

Gushing water from a broken hose can quickly lead to an expensive insurance claim and up to six-figure losses. 

Regularly checking the hoses is particularly important if your washer and dryer are located somewhere upstairs and not in the basement, where there’s usually a drain.

Tip: Always check the state of your hoses before using your washers 


Water Damage from Toilet Leaks or Overflows

Water from a running toilet is usually categorized as Category 1 or Clean Water. A plumber can help you fix the toilet and if you are worried about moisture lingering in your bathroom, you can dry it yourself with these drying tools and this 3-step water mitigation process. 

Tip: Learn how to Dry-it-Yourself


If your toilet has been backed up and is overflowing, the water is probably not clean but full of feces and other pathogens that can cause health problems. For those situations, you should contact a professional water damage restoration specialist. 

Tip: Call for help


Water Damage due to Sewage Backups

When there’s heavy rains or other storms, some sewer systems are not able to handle all that sudden precipitation. Some main sewer lines are also having issues carrying away wastewater. 

This can result in a backflow of sewage water entering your home through floor drains, toilets and sinks. This is called Category 3 Black Water and it’s very serious. 

It can cause severe illness or even death if ingested. As an average homeowner, you should definitely wait for professional help before even attempting to dry it yourself. 

Tip: Call for help


Water Damage in Basements, Attics & Crawl Spaces

Sometimes water damage can be hiding somewhere in your home, sort of like a ghost. You may hear dripping or sensing a bad smell, but you can’t figure out where it’s coming from. 

Just as ghosts, water damages often linger in attics, basements and crawl spaces. 

It’s in those damp dark hidden spaces of your home that mould will thrive.  

Water leaks in these spaces often go unnoticed long enough for mould to grow, flourish and start spreading to other parts of your home.

Tip: Place fans in your crawl spaces to help air circulation

Water Damage Caused by Clogged Gutters

If you don’t clean out your gutters on the regular, rain water won’t drain properly. If the gutters are clogged, water flows over the gutters’ edges and runs down the side of your home. 

This can cause either non-structural or structural damage. 

Non-structural means that water has seeped in through small cracks of a concrete basement wall. 

If non-structural water damage isn’t mitigated quickly, it can lead to prolonged water damage which subsequently can cause your house to shift under its own weight.

Tip # 1: Clean out your gutters

Tip # 2 :Fix any cracks in your foundation

Tip # 3 :Dry any water leaks with these drying tools before real structural damage is done


Water Damage Caused by High Humidity Levels

Towards the end of a hot summer day, when warm air starts to cool down, the air can no longer hold the moisture. In the evening, it drops from the air and starts to gather on walls, ceilings, and other surfaces as condensation. 

Extensive condensation can lead to water damage, especially on drywall, wood and other absorbent materials. Consistent condensation and high humidity levels can lead to mould growth. 

Tip #1: Turn on a dehumidifier at night to extract moisture from the air.

Tip #2: Mini air movers can help you circulate air, even in confined areas like bathrooms or under sinks.  

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