Six Ways a Home Remodel Project Can Cause a Water Damage Disaster

Homeowners who want to tackle a DIY home renovation need to make sure that the DIY project does not turn into a major water damage repair and restoration project. Restoration Experts is highlighting six mistakes for homeowners to avoid. An error in any one of these or other areas can cost as much as the original renovation project.

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Mistakes that can turn a home renovation into a water damage restoration project

1. Failing to know where the plumbing is located inside and outside the home 

When taking on a DIY project, know where the plumbing runs throughout the house. If a plumbing diagram is not available, sketch the plumbing in the areas that will be under renovation. Note water pipes, both hot and cold, drainpipes, and vent pipes. Knowing where the plumbing is can help prevent damaging the pipes during both demolition and construction.

2. Damaging the toilet plumbing during demolition

This mistake relates to not being sure where the plumbing runs throughout the home. Even if the homeowner knows where the plumbing is, damaging the plumbing during demolition can still occur. Piercing, cracking, or cutting a drain with a crowbar, sledgehammer, or reciprocating saw and then discovering the problem when the pipes leak raw sewage into the workspace is unhealthy and can slow down the project. Not finding the damaged drain pipe until after the sheetrock is replaced and the wall is painted or covered with wallpaper is even worse. New work has to be disturbed to locate and repair the problem.

3. Piercing a water line or drainpipe during reconstruction

A nail gun can instantly pierce a pipe, setting off a spray of water that can cause water damage very quickly. Renovation shifts to water damage restoration, which wastes time and money. A slight nick in a waterline may go undetected until the renovation is complete. The leak may not be noticed until mold appears, there are paint bubbles, or the sheetrock warps. Finding the actual source of the tiny leak could require no small amount of demolition. Think about how costly it would be to pierce a water pipe with a nail or a drill bit when hanging a picture or installing a wall cabinet, mirror, or shelf.

4. Disturbing existing plumbing during installation

The installation of an appliance, cabinet, sink, shower, toilet, or flooring may require the existing plumbing to be disturbed to make room for the new addition or change. Manhandling the plumbing can break joints, crack pipes, and cause leaks. Be gentle with existing plumbing, especially if the pipes are older.

5. Mismatching connectors and pipes

Mismatching connectors and pipes sometimes happens in older homes or in homes that have undergone numerous renovations or repairs. Failure to use the correct couplings can lead to catastrophic results over time. When different pipes are connected, using the wrong coupling or connecting technique can lead to pipe corrosion. An amateur plumber may make connections that hold for a while but require a professional to repair.

6. Driving heavy vehicles or equipment over the main water line to the home

A heavy vehicle can crack or break a water line leading up the house. The pipe may leak for days before it is discovered. The only clue the homeowner may have of the leak is the exorbitant water bill at the end of the month. Marking the water line, the septic tank, and the septic tank line with flags during a renovation could save thousands of dollars in repairs and a water bill.


Plumbing may appear to be a simple skill, but there is no substitute for years of schooling and experience required to properly perform plumbing installation and repairs. Watching a couple of videos cannot substitute for classroom study, years of apprenticeship, and thousands of hours on the job. When considering a home remodel, consult with a home remodeling expert at the outset. The consultation could save thousands of dollars and result in the project being completed more quickly and according to code.

For more information about property damage restoration after a fire, water, or storm, visit the Restoration Experts website at Contact the office by phone at (888) 869-3255.

At Restoration Experts, we make your satisfaction a priority. We can even take care of billing your insurance for you, and many of our clients don’t have any out of pocket expenses with us. When you’re ready to let us take on your damage, contact us. Our staff is available to take your questions at any time, so call today.

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