The Emotional Toll of Water Damage

Nadine Evans

Water damage causes more than just the destruction of property

Water is the new fire.
By now you have likely heard the dangers of water damage. Water has overtaken all other types of risks to become to the biggest risk facing property owners today. In fact, a homeowner is three times more likely to experience a water damage claim than a theft, and 12 times more likely to experience it than a fire.

Water damage wreaks havoc on properties. It destroys carpets, flooring, walls, electronics, and personal items. As if that wasn’t bad enough – if restoration doesn’t begin immediately an incident, mold begins to grow within a few days. Mold infiltration in a property poses significant risks to the health of inhabitants, particularly young children and older adults. Insurance companies understand this, which is why they are working towards making sure that you know the risks. In many cases, they promote the use of preventative tools such as sump pumps, backwater flow valves, and smart water monitoring and leak detection systems (such as Eddy’s suite of products).

With all of the destruction caused to the property directly following a water damage incident – one critical issue is often overlooked: the emotional toll it takes on those who experience it. The Intact Centre for Climate Adaption and the University of Waterloo recently published a joint white paper entitled “After the Flood,” which, after speaking with victims of water damage both immediately after as well as long after the event occurred, found the following:

  • Within the first 30 days of experiencing a flood, 47% of household members reported they were worried and stressed, compared to only 11% of non-flooded homeowners. Worse still, 21% of flooded homeowners were still worried and stressed after the first 30 days.
  • Women were found to be more likely to be worried and stressed after the first 30 days of experiencing a flood event, with 26% remaining worried, compared to only 16% of men remaining worried after the first 30 days.
  • 50% of seniors (65+) were worried and stressed in the first 30 days of experiencing a flood in their household, with 31% of seniors reporting they were worried and stressed after 30 days.

The most jarring statistic? Floods can have a dramatic affect on their victims long after the flood recedes, and the home was restored to pre-loss condition. 48% of those who had experienced a flood event three years prior stated they are either “worried” or “very worried” following rainy weather. The study, which was conducted in collaboration with Manulife and Intact Insurance, found that these increased stress levels and their related impact on mental health means that a flood can have a dramatic impact on not only the homeowners’ property insurance, but also their life, health and disability insurance.

Water damage can take many forms – including burst pipes and appliance leaks that happen within a home, in addition to overland flooding resulting from a changing climate. Wherever the issue originates, the results are the same: substantial inconvenience and added financial and mental strain for a property owner. Understanding these far-reaching implications is key for homeowners, insurance companies, and suppliers like Eddy Home whose job it is to mitigate future water issues.

If you have been impacted by a water damage event, you are not alone. Talk to your insurance company (particularly your health insurance provider) to see what follow up tools are available to you. And if you’re interested in the benefits of smart home water monitoring/leak protection, please contact us today to learn more.

About Eddy
Eddy Home is an industry leader in leak protection and water monitoring solutions. Our suite of smart products offers a comprehensive water management system for building operators and homeowners that protects, controls, and conserves water. Our products have saved thousands of customers millions of dollars in damages and millions of litres of water waste by continuously monitoring water usage in their properties. For more details, please contact us at 1 877 388 3339 or email info@eddyhome.com.