Water Heater Leaks

Industry studies consistently show that water damage from water heaters and washing machines are the leading sources of water damage claims.

Your average tank-style water heater has a typical life span of about 10 years and like any other appliance, wear, tear and constant use degrades the connections or even the tank itself, until something finally gives. Typically the connections where the cold-water supply line comes in or where the hot-water line goes out begin to leak, initially going unnoticed.

Minor leaks, constantly dripping, can lead to major damage

Slow leaks can be devastating in their own way. A slow leak from a water heater can go unnoticed causing widespread damage as moisture saturates drywall and wicks outward from the source; this creates the ideal environment to nourish mold growth. In the right conditions, mold growth can develop in as little as two days.

An unnoticed or hidden leak could slowly be spreading mold and rotting wood in your house without you even being aware of it. Entire walls can be affected as water seeps into sill plates and spreads outward, bringing with it the potential for devastating mold damage.

An instant flood of water from within your house

The other, and potentially more catastrophic, water heater failure is a complete rupture of the tank itself. The long-term stress of contracting and expanding with constant temperature variations can lead to a sudden rupture of the tank, without warning. In the event of a leak, it’s important that everyone knows how to turn off the water and the gas or electricity to the water heater.

If you have ever spilled an entire pitcher of water on your kitchen floor, imagine how devastating 40 to 50 gallons being let loose all at once can be. This scenario only gets worst when water heaters are located within the interior of your home, like in a hallway closet. An average-sized water heater tank letting go in the middle of the night can literally flood an entire home with one to two inches of water.

flooding caused by water heater

To avoid problems, be ready to replace your water heater if:

  • The water doesn’t get as hot as it used to.
  • There’s rust in water coming from your faucets or on your clothes.
  • Your hot water heater makes cracking and popping sounds when it’s heating.
  • There’s a metallic taste in your hot water.
  • Rust is forming on the outside bottom of your water heater.
  • A puddle is forming under your hot water heater.
  • The burner units have become clogged or rusty.
  • The water heater is more than 10 years old.

Preventative maintenance may help avert a water damage claim

It’s a good idea to regularly inspect the water heater and the pipes around the unit for any signs of leakage, moisture, mold, mineral buildup and corrosion. Regular maintenance helps too; flush the water heater tank twice a year to eliminate sediment buildup. Putting in an inexpensive drip pan below the water heater that drains to the outside of the property can help prevent thousands of dollars in water damage in many cases.

Unfortunately, leaking water heaters result in countless insurance claims each year. If a small leak goes unnoticed, like occurring while you are on vacation, the damage can quickly escalate into a major claim.

If your water heater leaked and the water covered your floors and reached your walls, you should immediately call Water Damage Minneapolis™ to thoroughly dry out the area with specialized air movers and dehumidifiers to prevent major damage from mold and rot.

Water Damage Minneapolis™ is ready to come to your rescue!
Call 763-242-2103 now.