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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Dealing with Water Damage

9/1/2016 (Permalink)

Water damage is one of the most distressing situations for a homeowner. It has the ability to cause extensive damage to the home and requires a costly cleanup. If water damage occurs in your home, it’s important to have the situation remedied quickly by professionals to avoid further problems.

How Water Damage Occurs

There are several different ways in which water can enter the home. These include leaks in the foundation, pipes that have burst, appliance valve failures, and poor drainage around the home. A burst pipe, valve failures, and sewage backups are the most substantially damaging events as they create the possibility of several inches of water accumulation in just a matter of hours. A burst pipe and valve failures are less harmful but create extensive damage. A sewage backup produces harmful water that can cause serious illness to any who ingests it.

Potential Dangers of Water Damage

There are many potential dangers associated with water damage in the home. When water collects throughout the home, it has the ability to soak through anything that it comes into contact with rather quickly. If the collected water has been contaminated, it creates further problems. Contaminated water is the environment in which a variety of microbes, that can include dangerous viruses and bacteria, live and grow. So any organic materials, such as textiles or wood, that have been damaged by contaminated water must be restored for the safety of the home’s occupants.

Another major concern when water collects in a home is mold. The ideal environment for mold growth is damp and warm, which is why the growth of mold is such a danger following water damage in the home. If the mold growth is not soon treated, the spores have the ability to spread through the air which allows it to spread quickly and to areas that seem dry. While being exposed to mold in the short term is not necessary dangerous, the consistent inhalation of the spores over a longer period of time can cause various health issues such as respiratory infections, nausea, agitation, malaise, fatigue, and neurotoxic problems. These medical issues are especially a danger for children, the elderly, and those with a weakened immune system.

Water Damage Should Be Addressed Immediately

Water damage in the home is not something that should be put off, but should be addressed immediately. The more time you wait to start the restoration process, the more problems and more expense will occur.

Within just minutes of the water damage occurring, the water will begin to spread throughout the house, saturating everything it comes into contact with. This can cause the finishing on furniture to bleed, which can cause permanent staining on carpets. Photographs, books, and other paper products may start to swell and warp.

Within the first day, damage to permanent fixtures around the house will occur. Drywall may begin to well and break down, metal objects may begin to tarnish, furniture may begin to swell or crack, and dyes and inks from cloth or paper goods around the house may start to spread and stain. At this point, you may also begin to notice a musty odor around the water damaged house.

From two days to a week, the damage will increasingly get worse and start to damage more parts of the house. At this point, mold and mildew may begin to grow and spread which could start creating health issues. Doors, windows, and studs in the wall may begin to well up and warp creating structural issues in the house. Paint in the house will begin to blister, wood flooring may swell and warp, and the possibility of serious biohazard contamination may occur.

If you wait more than a week, the damage will be catastrophic. The time and cost of the restoration will have already increased significantly as the replacement of contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be quite extensive.

Water damage in a house can be a difficult experience for a homeowner. It has the ability to cause property damage and can cause health issues for occupants of the home. If you have water, fire, or mold damage in your home, call on the professionals at SERVPRO to fully restore your home.

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