Business Insurance News & Views

How can water damage your home ?

What kind of water damage can you have in your house? Lots of different kinds. 


As an insurance broker, I can tell you that most water damage comes from burst pipes, sewer back up, cracks that develop in the caulking and sealing around bathtubs and bathroom tiles, or water coming in through the cracks of your basement foundation in spring time.


But water damage can come from many different places. Let me share with you some many different types of water damage we eperienced as a homeowner. We bought our house brand new from the builder around 25 years ago. After we had been in the house for 1 1/2 years, we noticed that there were some cracks on the inside walls of our basement foundation. We could still see these cracks since the basement wasn’t finished. We called the builder as there were many cracks. The builder came and inspected the damage and decided to fix two of the cracks were a small amount of water had leaked in. Ontario new homeowners were entitled to this coverage through the new home warranty program that existed at that time.  

A few months later, I noticed some water stains on the ceiling of our second-floor hallway. I called the builder and they came and fixed part of the roof. Both of these first two items were covered under the new home warranty so we did not have to pay anything. 

We’ve had a couple of instances of water damage where it was very difficult to figure out where the water was coming from. One day I noticed there were some water stains on our basement celing at  the bottom of the staris. It was in a strange place for a water stain, since there were no water pipes near there. Turns out that there was a bathroom above the water stain, But not directly above it. After a few weeks passed, we realized the water stains only appeared on the days the bathroom floor was being cleaned. It turned out that there was a crack in the seal underneath the toilet. And when the floor was being cleaned,  some water got under the seal and landed on the basement ceiling below. Interestingly enough, this exact same scenario happened a second time, approximately 10 years later. But that time we knew what the problem was and how to fix it. 


They were a couple of occasions when our dishwasher overflowed and leaked on the kitchen floor. I guess the drain inside the dishwasher might’ve gotten blocked are clogged so water came out. We noticed a stain on the basement ceiling underneath the dishwasher the 1 or 2 times this happened, and we knew where the problem was. so we knew that that that it happened. Many years later we were to realize that this caused a more serious problem. When we changed our kitchen floor tile, there was mould underneath the tile, from the times when the dishwasher had previously leaked. 


One evening I was standing in our ensuite bathroom and was resting my hand on the windowsill. It was raining outside, but it also felt like it was raining inside on my arm. My arm was getitng wet. This was very strange it didn’t make sense. After calling a roofer who checked the outside of the window for leaks, it turned out the eavestrough above this window had a flaw in it. Rainwater in the eavetrough was backing up entering the bathroom through the trim around the window. 


The most recent water damage occurred two years ago. There was a water stains in the middle of our basement floor. There were no water pipes nearby. Where could the water have come from ? We noticed the water stain would appear and dry out every few days over a few weeks. We thought we had a leak in the basement foundation. When a water restoration expert arrived to investigate, he thought the water was coming in through some cracks in the basement foundation. There were cracks in the exterior foundation, but based on his moisture measuring device, it wasn’t clear if the water was entering through the foundation cracks. A few days later, the restoration company sent someone to open up the basement wall. Turns out the waste/drain pipe from our dishwasher that was behind the drywall had completely broken off. Every time the dishwasher was used, water would leak on the floor.