Water Damage from AC Unit (HVAC Leak)

Water Damage from Air Conditioners 

What You Need To Know 

Water damage is never fun to deal with. It can take weeks or  even months to notice, but by the time you do, it’s usually too  late. To make matters even worse, your home’s air conditioning  unit also has the potential to cause water damage to your  home, if not properly maintained. Under normal circumstances,  your A/C should never leak water into your home, but that  doesn’t mean that it can’t happen. By neglecting to take proper  care of your air conditioner, you’re leaving your home vulnerable 

Possible Causes 

We’ve had situations ranging from someone coming home  and finding a small puddle around the AC, to ones where  they came home to a collapsed ceiling due to a  broken-down air conditioner. The truth is that if you don’t  keep up with services that your A/C system’s needs to  continue functioning properly, you open up your home to all  the risks associated with air conditioner water damages. 

7 Most common causes of water damage that can stem from your air conditioner 

  • Clogged or disconnected drain 
  • Dirty condensate pump 
  • Clogged air filter 
  • Dirty evaporator coil 
  • Cracked drain pan 
  • Low refrigerant 
  • Condensation buildup within ductwork 

Refer back to our example of a roof caving in because of a  neglected A/C unit we mentioned earlier in the article.  Maybe after reading that, you thought that there was no  way that something that extreme could actually happen.  Well, here’s the story behind that. The homeowner was not  regularly cleaning their system’s air filter. Over the years, this  build-up got so bad that it caused the cold, moist air coming  from the air conditioner to literally freeze up, since it was  

not being allowed to vent properly. When the homeowner would  shut off his air conditioner, there would be nothing left to keep  the built up ice cold, so it would melt. Their home’s A/C was  mounted in the attic, so all of that newly-melted water would  eat away at the attic ceiling, which eventually led to the whole  thing caving in. If the homeowner had just taken the time to  inspect their A/C every now and again, they would have  noticed a clogged filter and hopefully replaced it, effectively  nipping the problem in the bud with just a few bucks. Instead,  they had to spend thousands on a new ceiling and a new air  conditioner, on top of the cost of replacing all of their damaged  belongings.

How do I repair A/C water damage? 

Depending on the severity of the damage and what the root cause  is, repair tactics will vary. If you are only dealing with condensation  or a small leakage of water, you might have caught the issue early  enough to only need to replace some drywall, or, if you’re really  lucky, allow the area dry out. If, however, there is significant water  damage, that can lead to things like warmed floorboards and  sagging ceilings, so we suggest calling in the professionals to do  some hardcore demo work. 

If you are dealing with mold, you’ll need to have a professional  advise you on whether the mold is just on the surface, or if it  requires replacing large sections of flooring or drywall. If repairable,  the area will need to be thoroughly sanitized and bleached so that  the mold doesn’t return. Because this task is so dangerous, we  recommend leaving this to the professionals as well. 

ServiceFirst Restoration Inc. | Call – 1-855-883-4778 | Email – ineedhelp@callservicefirst.com 

Does insurance cover air conditioner water damage? 

As a homeowner, your homeowner’s insurance may or may  not cover the water damage from your air conditioner. Whether or not you’re covered all depends on the reason  for the water damage. If your air conditioners water damage  was deemed accidental, then your insurance policy will likely  cover the costs directly related to it. If you have mold  damage in addition to water damage, however, you might  not be so lucky. Mold damage is generally not covered by  insurance because it stems from neglect on the  homeowner’s part. In the case of mold, you will need to  work closely with your insurance agent to determine what is  and isn’t covered. 

Preventing water damage from air conditioners 

Once your air conditioner is at the point where it is leaking  water, it’s only a matter of hours before it can cause  permanent damage. You might leave your A/C on before  leaving for work in the morning during the summer months,  expecting to come home to a cool paradise after a long day’s  work. Instead, you might come back to a home that needs  extensive repairs due to A/C water damages that happened  while you were away, all because you didn’t maintain it. Why  not take precaution now to prevent things like that from  happening, while saving hundreds of dollars in potential  repairs in the process. 

Things to be Aware of: 

  1. Check the condensation line – Look for moisture in the  condensation line, and while the AC is running, make sure to  check that the line is flowing properly. You should see the  A/C unit dripping water only via the condensation line. 
  2. Clean the condensation line regularly – Every 3 to 6  months, clean your condensation line. There are several  techniques you can use, including a piece of string tied to a  

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cotton rag. Whatever you end up doing, make sure to clean the  line often, to prevent any blockages and to remove debris. 

  1. Change your A/C filter often – Change the filter every three  months or even more frequently than that, depending on your  use and area. This will prevent it from clogging and causing ice to  build up within the A/C system. 
  2. Check A/C refrigerant levels regularly – Refrigerant is what  keeps the air coming from the A/C cool. If refrigerant is low, the  A/C won’t function properly and will begin to leak water into your  home. 
  3. Install a drain pan overflow or a secondary drain line – Having  a secondary drain line or drain pan overflow indicator will help  you avoid related water damages. Talk to your HVAC professional  about these options. 
  4. Invest in regular inspections and preventative maintenance –  This one is a no-brainer. If you aren’t savvy when it comes to A/C  maintenance, leave it to the professionals. Have your A/C  inspected at least once a year, if not bi-annually, to ensure that  these small issues don’t become devastating ones. 

Who Should I Call to Repair Water Damage Caused By My Air Conditioner? 


A locally-owned professional water damage restoration  company, like Servicefirst Restoration, Inc is always your  best choice, and we’re just a phone call away. 

Your Restoration & Plumbing Hero! Restoring your Property 

and your life. 



Article – Water Damage from AC – Final (1)