Water damage can be devastating no matter what its cause, be it a leaky pipe or flooding from a severe storm. Not contacting your local restoration company and leaving this water damage unchecked can lead to long lasting effects that may cost serious money, headaches, and even your health. Here are some of the most common issues that come from leaving water damage unattended:

Mold and Mildew Poses Health Risks

You will often smell this condition before you see it. This is especially true if the mold is growing behind your drywall. Mold and mildew both can exude a musty rank odor that will permeate through the walls and floors of your house. However, the smell may be the least of your worries.

Both mold and mildew can cause respiratory issues, from sinus congestion to shortness of breath to headaches. If you have asthma, you might notice that it flares up more often and to an extreme degree. Additionally, some molds may be pathogenic or toxigenic, meaning that even more serious health issues may occur if you are exposed to them for too long.

It Can Cause Structural Damage

As briefly mentioned earlier, water damage can occur in places you cannot see and will not notice until you smell something or see the effects. This can lead to considerable structural damage to your abode.

In the case of leaks behind walls, you may notice drywall rotting and falling apart. If the damage affects the ceiling, you may notice, sagging, bubble forming, or leaking when it rains. However, the issues go beyond this. Water damage could weaken the wood holding your house together, or damage electrical wiring in your walls.

It Can Require Expensive Repairs

While the immediate structural damage and concerns may not be readily apparent, the cost to fix these issues can be high. According to Home Advisor, water damage repair costs average around $2,930 but can add up to as much as $4,700 and beyond.

Besides the repair cost, you also must consider all the wasted water. Whether your water heater is dripping or you just have small streams of water trickling down your walls, you will be wasting water. While a simple drip may not seem like it would cost a lot, leaving it unchecked could waste several gallons of water through the course of your billing cycle. It adds up fast. Some sources say it could cost $70 or more on water alone through a quarterly billing cycle.

It Can Devalue Your Home

This goes along with the monetary cost that comes from water damage. If left unchecked and unrepaired, water damage can lower the selling price of your home significantly. For anybody renting, repairs may be out of your hands but failing to let the landlord know about the damage in time could cause you to lose your security deposit.

It Can Cause Additional Health Risks

Earlier, we mentioned that mold and mildew can cause respiratory issues. Unfortunately, water damage can cause even more health conditions. It is not a pleasant thing to think about, but leaky sewage pipes cause a lot of damage not only to property but also to people’s well-being. While the smell is terrible enough, this contaminated water could have unfavorable health effects.

Contaminated water has been shown to cause such infectious diseases as cholera, dysentery, typhoid and more. You may not be directly exposed to the contaminated water, but it is still a risk to consider. Similarly, always avoid exposing yourself to flood water, no matter how “clean” it may seem on the surface. If the water damage in your home is from flooding, make sure to wear protective clothing to avoid exposure.

Handle it Before it is Too Late

With all this in mind, it should be clear why no amount of water damage should be left unchecked. If you see mold, smell something musty, hear a leak, or otherwise notice water damage in your home, make sure to handle it as quickly as possible to keep you, your family, and your property from suffering from its terrible effects, both short- and long-term.