Is That a Crack in Your Fish Tank?

When most people hear the words “water damage,” they think of leaking roofs or overflowing toilets. However, water damage comes from many sources including leaking fish tanks, over watered house plants, chimney leaks, stucco walls leaking, air conditioners freezing up, and more. Let’s take a look at some of these unusual sources.

Is that a crack in your fish tank? Any item in your home that holds water is a potential damage source including fish tanks, water fountains, lava lamps, and flower vases. Obviously, the larger the vessel, the more damage potential the item has. Aquariums are often made out of several panes of glass. While carefully crafted, seams can leak. In addition, fish tanks can fall off of their stands.

Homes with built-in fish ponds can also suffer water damage when the pond leaks, the pond overflows, or water becomes displaced. If you have small children in the home, an interior fish pond is not a wise idea. Not only can toddlers fall in and drown, children have been known to splash water as well as fill fish ponds with toys, thus displacing water and causing damage to carpets and floorboards.

Houseplants are attractive when properly watered and cared for. However, excessive watering can lead to water damage. Pots generally contain drainage holes which are necessary to prevent root rot and excessively moist soil. If you don’t have a place for the water to drain, the water will soak through the soil and onto the surface below, damaging the shelves, cabinets, and flooring beneath.

Chimneys are another water damage source that are often overlooked. Missing or damaged chimney caps, cracks in the bricks, and missing chunks of mortar allow water to enter the home via the chimney. Damage may not be readily apparent in these cases though the excess moisture provides the perfect environment for mold to thrive.

The same is true of stucco exterior surfaces. Cracks in the stucco can cause the walls to leak. Depending on how the home is constructed, water damage may remain hidden for some time as the water may be contained inside the walls. For example, interior insulation may soak up most of the water, much like a sponge. When this happens, the water may be slowly damaging the electrical systems as well as encouraging the growth of mold. When the insulation becomes saturated, water stains may begin to show on the interior walls and seepage may begin.

Air conditioners and heating systems also cause water damage, primarily due to condensation. When air conditioners get too cold, they “freeze” up. The ice on the air conditioner’s coils eventually melts, causing water damage. Central air conditioners and heating systems usually have a hose and drainage system for condensate. However, these systems can become clogged or can overflow, causing damage.

Refrigerators are another source of water damage. Much like air conditioners, refrigerators condense and water forms. A collection pan under the appliance collects this condensate. However, this pan should be emptied occasionally, or the water may overflow. In addition, built-in water dispensers and ice makers require special water lines. These lines can come loose or break, causing damage.

Water damage can occur under many situations. Remember, where there’s water, there’s the potential for future water damage.