Maintaining a home

Common causes of water damage

8 May 2023

Water damage, if left untreated, may lead to mould, odour and even structural problems in your home –  often resulting in expensive repairs and potentially reducing your home’s value. That’s why it’s important to know the common causes of water damage, and how to avoid them. 

Dishwasher and washing machine leaks

Damaged hoses or poor connections in old or faulty appliances are notorious for causing water damage in homes. Inspect your washing appliances for leaks and cracks regularly, and pay extra attention to hoses and connection points. If your dishwasher is leaking around the door, the problem may be related to its gasket — that is, the rubber strip on its door – which can’t form a watertight seal if it’s dirty or damaged, so it could help to check this.

Air conditioning units

Home water damage is often caused by poorly maintained air conditioning units. When moisture builds up inside the unit, leaks can occur and mould can thrive. Servicing your air conditioner regularly, and cleaning and replacing air filters often, can help you avoid water leaks and damage.

Water heaters

Tank-style water heaters often wear out with age. Rust or sediment build-up can cause your tank to explode. If your hot tap water is brownish or your heater makes a popping sound, call your plumber to prevent a potential disaster.

Clogged gutters

Gutters are meant to draw rainwater away from your home, but if they’re clogged with leaves, branches or debris, water can overflow onto your property or into your roof. Clear gutters are especially important during storm season — so if you’re in a flood- or storm-prone area, get sweeping!

Roofing problems

Your roof is your first line of defence against rain, making roof maintenance key to avoiding water damage in your home. Periodically checking the integrity of your roof, and looking out for signs of rust or damaged tiles, is a great way to safeguard your home.

Storms, floods and natural disasters

Weather-related water damage is largely out of your control, but there are ways to minimise the fallout. Learn how to prepare your home for storm and cyclone season and stay on the front foot. 

However, sometimes – even with all the right prep work – disaster still strikes. That’s why it can help to make sure you have the right home insurance coverage ahead of storm season.

All three levels of Suncorp’s Home and Contents Insurance cover storm^ and flood#^ damage, and they include temporary accommodation if your home becomes unliveable after an insured event. For full details and exclusions, check out your PDS.

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*Subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of your policy 

#Actions or movements of the sea and loss or damage caused by storm surge (unless the storm surge damage occurs at the same time as damage caused by a storm) are not covered. We don't cover retaining walls or flood damage to wharves, jetties, pontoons, other exclusions apply.

^We do not insure for bushfire, storm, storm surge, flood or tsunami commencing within the first 72 hours of your policy. Very limited exceptions apply.

Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as Suncorp Insurance. Consider the Product Disclosure Statement before making a decision about this insurance. The Target Market Determination is also available. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it. AAI Insurance shall not be held liable for any loss or damage caused by any reliance on or use of the contents of this article.