Common Causes of Water Damage in Sonoma County Banner
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Common Causes of Water Damage in Sonoma County

When you think of water damage, is it a dramatic scene? Water oozing out the walls or front door and flooding the neighborhood? Ceiling completely collapsed so you can see the upstairs apartment? Does the movie Money Pit immediately come to mind?

Water damage isn’t always so bold and…uninvited. Although damage can be on a grand scale, there are sometimes subtle situations presented where a structure can be affected or has been for years. Take a look at these common causes of water damage in many homes and businesses of Sonoma County:

Toilet, Sink or Tub Overflow

Overflows cause water damage in your kitchen and bathrooms, sometimes the garage, but how? Sometimes, a backup occurs due to a drain or gutter block, pump failure or sewage clog which forces gray water and sewage back into your home. Terrible, right?! It’s not a situation for everyday homeowners and can be very overwhelming. Not only do you have water damage but your home has been contaminated by dangerous bacteria and virus-ridden waters.If you become distracted and leave on the sink water to tend to another task, the water will spill onto the floor and damage flooring, walls and whatever else the water contacts. This sort of loss can happen to anyone! Water also spreads quickly through porous materials, which is why we recommend a professional inspection whenever you suspect water damage. Some common signs of water damage are darkening spots on the walls, warped or rotted flooring and a musty smell.

Ongoing Leak

Sometimes, the worst water damage your home or business can have is the damage you don’t see. Toilet, pipe and refrigerator leaks are the most common. Because the leaks are so slow, you may not immediately notice them or any resulting damage. However, you may notice the rotting floors underneath your appliances or your water bill is suddenly so high. Old pipes break down or may be clogged and operating inefficiently. If this sort of loss goes unnoticed or unhandled for a long time, you could also be dealing with mold damage which is more costly and compromising.


Sudden floods, whether due to nature or human error/lack of maintenance, can be very stressful. The most common reasons for flooding in a home is a broken pipe, pipe corrosion due to wear and tear, or an appliance malfunction (dishwashers, washing machines and water heaters can be such helpful tools – until they act up!). With so much water, you may not know what to do first. The first thing you should do is locate the water main and shut it off to prevent more water from gushing. Secondly, call a professional water damage restoration company such as West Coast Fire & Water. Thirdly, call your homeowners or commercial insurance company to file a claim. Most claims are covered due to an accident, broken pipe, etc. However, situations where negligence is clearly the cause of the damage (such as a continuous leak that was visible but not repaired) are not usually covered.

The best way to combat water damage to your home or business is to pay attention to the little details of your property. Do you see water on the floor, is the floor squishy, what about the paint peeling in the corner? When was the last time you had the house assessed for leaks? Sometimes, you can do all that’s required to protect your home or business, but one of these water damage scenarios still takes the stage. If you see signs of water damage, give us a call and we’ll assess the situation immediately!