How Quickly Can Water Cause Damage in Your Home?
Water damage can cause structural damage and mold growth, both of which are dangerous to the residents living in the property. It is important for the safety of those residing in the building that water damage be cleaned up right away. However, water 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.
Causes of Water Damage
Water damage is so common because it has many possible sources, some of which cannot be predicted or prevented.
Natural Sources of Water Damage
Such an example is a natural disaster, like flooding or heavy storms. Your property can sustain serious water 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 water damage.
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 water 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 event.
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 Water Damage Has on the Home
Depending on the severity of the water damage, its effects on the home can be detected within minutes, or not until days or weeks later. If you have discovered water damage in your home, 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.
Water damage 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 water 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 About Water Damage
It may be difficult to tell how serious your case of water damage is and what to do next. The best thing to do in this situation is to have a water damage restoration professional assess your property and recommend the next proper course of action. Typically, however, it is safe to stay in the home unless the damage is severe and hazardous.
It is never a good idea to attempt to clean up water damage on your own, no matter how small the damage appears to be. That’s why it is essential that you call a Water damage restoration professionals as soon as you discover water damage on your property. This will help to reduce the potential damage.