Everything You Need to Know About Water Damage & It’s Effects On Your Florida House
Water damage can cause structural damage and mold growth, both of which are dangerous to the residents living on the property. It is important for the safety of those residing in the building that damage is cleaned up right away. However, this damage can spread quickly and cause a large amount of damage in a short time. Acting fast is the best way to avoid potential dangers and high-cost cleanups.
How Bad Is The Damage By Water?
There’s no easy way around this. This damage is bad and leads to all kinds of related consequences. First of all, there’s the water damage itself, which damages building materials, appliances, fixtures, and furniture as it sits and pools, with electronics being especially susceptible to damage. Also, mold thrives with this damage, and is a particular concern when the moisture hides behind walls and in other difficult-to-reach areas. Even scarier? Depending on where the water came from, the damage leads to health concerns, as sitting water often features all manner of germs and bacteria.
How Quickly Does Water Damage Progress?
Even a seemingly harmless, a small leak can be problematic. Water spreads rapidly and absorbs into floors, walls, soft furnishings, and more. If you leave the damage too long, your insurance may not cover it, and the cost of damage to your home could be hefty.
Within the First 24 Hours
As a leak or flood spreads, it will soak everything in its vicinity. This means that personal belongings, such as books and photographs, can immediately bulge and warp beyond repair. Soft furnishings and upholstery will soak through, and walls and floors will begin to absorb the water. Drywall, furniture, wooden doors, and window frames can swell. Plus, paint or wallpaper can peel or blister, and it can impact electrical systems.
If the leak is in your roof, the water could come through ceilings and cause damage to insulation and wooden beams. Most worryingly, though, mold can begin to develop within this timeframe.
Within the First Week
After that initial day, the damage will develop further. Mold can spread rapidly, and the site can become a biohazard. The damage to wood surfaces and walls intensifies, and metal surfaces can start corroding.
More Than a Week
If you leave your damage that occurs by water for more than a week, the timescales, costs, and effort involved in any restoration work will increase significantly. The spread of mold increases dramatically, and the risks associated with structural damage are greater.
How Much Water Does It Take to Cause Damage?
Water is an essential component of life, but not of the various materials in your home. In other words, you don’t need a whole lot of water to cause damage, though this depends largely on the impacted areas. Hardwood floors, for instance, are damaged with any amount of pooling water left to sit for a day or so, leading to buckling planks and other repair issues. Drywall fares a bit better, as there are processes to dry it out, but if the components retain more than one percent of moisture, replacement is necessary. As for mold, it starts growing within 24 hours after moisture is introduced into the air, even with minimal damage.
What Causes Damage By Water?
There are a whole lot of issues that cause water damage, some sudden and some over time. Here is a list.
- Flooding of any kind.
- Inclement weather, especially if you have small cracks in the roof or if severe winds blow out a window or a related fixture.
- Leaks of any kind. These are especially dangerous as the leaks often occur behind the walls, leading to copious damage before it is noticed. Common leak sources include rusty and corroded pipes, high water pressure, extreme temperatures, broken water connectors, and more.
- Sewage back up coming from your pipes and pouring out through your water fixtures.
- Clogged gutters clog up the drains over time, leading to water damage.
- Faulty or malfunctioning appliances like washing machines, dishwashers, and air conditioners.
Natural Sources of Water Damages
Such an example is a natural disaster, like flooding or heavy storms. Your property can sustain serious damage if the structure is already weak, especially if you live in an area where major storms, hurricanes, and other water-related disasters are prevalent. The only preventive measures that you can take are to live in an area where flooding and storms don’t often occur and maintain your building’s structure. But even these actions cannot fully guarantee safety from the damage which occurs by the water.
Interior Water Damage Sources
Water damage can also come from sources inside the home, such as burst pipes, broken appliances, or a faulty plumbing system. Interior problems like these often go unnoticed because they aren’t as prevalent as natural disasters. The damage, however, can be just as severe if it goes unnoticed for too long. Be sure to consistently check your appliances and pipes for cracks or collapse, especially after a storm or other extreme weather events.
If you have just experienced a natural disaster or noticed a faulty appliance, check the gutters, attic, and basement for excess water. These spaces are prone to water build-up and are not often checked, allowing excess water and moisture to easily migrate and cause serious damage to your home.
Effects of Damage By Water In Your Home
Depending on the severity of the water that creates structural damage, its effects on the home can be detected within minutes, or not until days or weeks later. If you have discovered any damages in your home by the water, you may be exposed to safety and health hazards that you are unaware of.
For example, mold grows as a result of excess water and can spread quickly throughout the home. Mold releases spores into the air that can damage your health if inhaled. Mold spores cause health problems like allergies, respiratory infections, and more. If mold is growing near water, it may contaminate your supply and expose you to fungi and bacteria. Mold also emits an unpleasant odor that may make the air difficult to breathe over time.
The damages by the water also causes serious structural damage to the building, which puts it in danger of eventual collapse. Water affects different surfaces and areas in unique ways that may help you identify water damage. For example, water causes wooden floors to swell, and discoloration in walls and carpets. Carpeting is exceedingly difficult to clean because the fabric absorbs the water, and mold growth is common in carpet fibers. This cannot be removed using daily cleaning products and must be removed by a professional.
Longevity of Water Damage in Your Home
Excess water and moisture can begin causing damage to your property within minutes. Water contamination spreads right away and may increase the overall damage and total cost. After a few hours, furniture and hardwood floors will start to swell.
If the damage is left untreated for days, wood will begin to warp and split, ruining wood floors and permanently damaging wooden building materials. Bacteria and fungi will appear in the water and their unpleasant odors will spread throughout the property.
After a few weeks, if mold growth has taken root, inhabitants may need to be evacuated due to health hazards. The entire building may need to be repaired, depending on the extent of the damage caused by water.
What to Do When There Is Water Damage
When there’s a flood or major leak, there are some immediate practical and safety considerations. Here are the first things to do.
- Remove pets and children from the house, especially if the damage is severe.
- If possible, gather up any accessible valuables and work to contain the leak by addressing the initial cause.
- Turn off the breaker box, but only if the box is located in a dry part of the home. Do not access the breaker box if it is anywhere near water damage to avoid electric shock. If it is wet or near water, call the utility company and ask them to turn it off from their end. If that’s not possible, ask them to send someone out.
- Contact your insurance company as soon as you can and be honest regarding the extent of water damage and the original cause.
- If the damage comes from a backed-up sewer, or if the water is grey or black, wait for professionals before touching or dealing with the water in any way, as it is a serious biohazard risk.
Tips to Dry Out the Home
Before any structural repairs take place, you will need to dry out your home. This is particularly challenging if the electricity is still off, and you live in a humid region. For minor bouts of water damage, dry out the home on your home, but professionals are required for larger incidents of damage.
Here are some tips to dry the impacted areas of your home quickly, though it takes at least two days for your home to fully dry out, with some jobs requiring weeks of active drying.
- Start quickly, so as to minimize the chances of mold forming. Remember, mold appears within 24 hours of water damage, and the spores easily spread to parts of your home not impacted by water damage.
- Floor fans, dehumidifiers, air conditioners, and wet/dry vacs are all your friends during this process and all help to prevent mold on the carpet after water damage. Start with these tools as needed. Place floor fans in bathrooms and near impacted drywall. Use a wet/dry vac on the flooring and place dehumidifiers wherever they are needed.
- Open windows and doors to get air circulating.
- Remove any drenched objects from the home, such as items of furniture. This prevents them from leaking onto fixtures, flooring, and near walls.
- Fan dry books and papers, wet page by wet page. If you don’t have time for this lengthy process, bag up the books in plastic bags and place them in the freeze. Retrieve them later when you have time.
Can You DIY Water Damage Restoration Work?
If you’ve only experienced a small leak under your sink, for example, it is easy enough to remove all the items affected by water damage to assess for salvageability. Then, drying out the space is just a matter of using the proper tools and time.
However, if the damage is near the breaker box, appliances, or electrical outlets, call in an experienced pro to ensure safety. The same goes for major damage, no matter the location. Restoration contractors can easily assess if there is any hidden damage that requires repairs.
How to Prevent Water Damage Around Your Home
You can take a few preventative measures to avoid the damage of water to your house. Follow these essential steps to keep water from invading your home.
Clean Your Gutters
Your gutters protect your home from damage of water by removing rainwater from your roof and away from your home’s foundation. If gutters become clogged, they’ll overflow, which can lead to leaks that cause damage of water. Clean your gutters twice a year, or after a big storm with lots of debris, to keep the system working properly.
Check Your Chimney
A chimney sweep should inspect your chimney at least once yearly to look for loose mortar and bricks. Any cracks in our chimney could lead to troublesome leaks. If the pro sports damage, make repairs ASAP to avoid water leaking into your home.
Get a Sump Pump
Your basement or crawl space should have a sump pump to defend your home against flooding that could do major damage to your home. A sump pump is particularly important if you live in a flood zone, or an area that gets a lot of rainfall.
Get a Roof Inspection
A roofer should inspect your roof once a year to check for missing or broken shingles or cracks that could let water into your home. If the pro finds any damage to your roof, be sure to have them repair it immediately to protect against interior damage of water.
Caulk Any and All Cracks
Whether it’s outside or inside, cracks are an almost guaranteed entry point for unwelcome water. Focus on windows and door wells, and fill every crack you see with caulk. Proper caulking will seal off your home to prevent damage of water—and dry home is a happy home!
Hiring a Pro for Water Damage
Once you establish it’s safe to reenter the home, the quicker any cleanup and water damage restoration takes place, the better. To minimize the spread of mold and the risk of serious structural damage, contact a professional plumber restoration pro within 24 to 48 hours.
The extent of the problem is often more significant than it appears, as the damage hides behind walls and under floorboards. In other words, it’s best to seek the help of reputable restoration service.
They will assess the level of damage by water and assess the amount of work needed to make your home safely habitable once again. There is plenty of work involved with water damage restoration, such as drying and replacing flooring, drywall, and insulation.
Additionally, not all of your water-damaged belongings are salvageable, and pros will assess this damage as well. Depending on the level of water damage, count on spending anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to dry out the home and make the required repairs.
Fix Your Water Damage With My Remediator!
Is water leaking in your homes? Got an unpleasant smell? Mold growing on walls? Well, your home might have water damage.
In that case, you should first call a trustworthy water damage restoration company to help with your flooded basement cleanup or any water damage cleanup needed. A reliable restoration company will identify the leak and contamination to provide you with 24/7 emergency cleanups, mold removal, and restoration services. My Remediator is your top choice for credible water damage cleanup in Florida, USA
Water damages are an emergency. It can cause serious structural damage to your home, which can cost you a lot if not fixed quickly. Don’t try to fix it by yourself, you might be doing more harm to yourself than good. Oftentimes, people watch videos online and try to fix their own water damage, and failing at it makes the problem bigger. If you need a quick and prompt solution to your damage by water, contact My Remediator, the best restoration company in Florida, USA. With years of experience and unmatched service, our restoration company provides 24-hour service whenever you need it.
At My Remediator, we take pride in providing top-of-line restoration services we have provided to residents across Florida, USA.
If you are looking for honest, professional restorers with exceptional experience in restoration services, you have come to the right place.