Cleaning Services

How Water Damage Can Affect Your Home

cleaningMany things can cause water damage. It may happen after a flood or a hurricane, but it can also occur due to broken pipes or clogged drains. For more information, visit Air Duct Cleaning Salt Lake City.


It can destroy valuable belongings and sentimental items and even pose health risks for occupants. To minimize damage and losses, contractors should label all shut-off valves, remove all wet materials before construction, and ensure they have a plan for handling warranty issues.


For homeowners, there is nothing quite as stressful as the telltale drip, drip, drip of a leaky roof or faucet. Left unchecked, this water damage can lead to costly repairs, mold, and mildew. It may also result in structural damage and weakened foundations. 


Additionally, it can affect the health of the home’s occupants. The good news is that many of these damages are preventable through understanding your home’s water system, conducting regular home inspections, and monitoring the building structure and surrounding areas.


A thorough prevention plan should include maintenance strategies, pipes, fixtures, seal monitoring, and testing of water lines and pumps. It should also cover exterior issues, such as cleaning gutters and replacing damaged shingles or windows.


In commercial buildings, a water damage prevention strategy is equally important. While everyone hopes never to have to use one, these plans are designed to help mitigate the effects of an emergency, such as a major roof leak or flood in a production facility.


Prevention plans should include emergency protocols, insurance considerations, and training for staff members. For example, in a large building, there should be designated personnel to handle shutting down electrical and water supplies. They should also be trained on spotting common leak indicators, such as discoloration and musty odors.


Inspecting the property visually is also a good idea, particularly in areas more susceptible to water damage. These should be performed regularly, including checking for leaks, damp spots, and water stains. It’s also a good idea to compare water usage bills over several months. A significant increase in consumption could indicate a hidden water leak.


In addition to these measures, businesses should consider using moisture-resistant drywall, paint, and other materials in vulnerable areas. It’s also a good idea for companies to conduct regular plumbing inspections and test backflow valves. This will help minimize the amount of money a business spends on water damage repair and insurance premiums.


If a homeowner quickly addresses a water leak, it can lead to costly and difficult issues. For example, it may result in rotting wood, mold, mildew, and other health concerns that can impact a family’s well-being. Additionally, if the problem is severe enough, it can affect the home’s structural integrity and cause expensive foundation problems.


The key is to stay on top of regular maintenance and look for signs of a problem brewing. Some easy ways to do this include:


Using a moisture meter in areas prone to water damage, such as near appliances and sinks, can help determine the state of a home’s structure. It can reveal if there are any cracks in supply hoses or any other potential issues that need to be addressed as soon as possible.


Another way to tell if a home has sustained recent water damage is by examining the condition of wooden surfaces, walls, and ceilings. If they appear distorted or warped, it could indicate that the damage is old and needs to be addressed as soon as possible.


It’s also important to pay attention to an area’s smell. If there’s a musty or other unpleasant odor, it’s likely that the water damage is old and that the underlying issues are worse than initially thought.


Lastly, it’s essential to check for any metal objects in the damaged area and note whether there are any signs of rusting. Rust typically indicates that the underlying metal has been exposed to water for a long period, meaning the problem is more serious than initially thought and that further repairs will be needed.


If you’re considering buying a new home, be sure to get professional estimates on any water damage that may be present. These estimates can be used in the negotiation process, giving you a better deal on the property’s price. You can find qualified companies in your local area by visiting our Everett business directory.


Once water damage has occurred, it quickly leads to more serious issues as materials and electronics rot, mold thrives, drywall crumbles, wood warps, paint blisters, and electrical systems short circuit. The faster a homeowner discovers and addresses water damage, the less likely it is to lead to expensive repairs, insurance claim denials, and other issues impacting home value.


When a leak or flood occurs, it’s important to shut off the water and electricity at the source to minimize damage and prevent mold growth and other problems. Next, you’ll want to thoroughly examine the area to determine how bad the damage is.


The best way to do this is with a professional tool like a moisture meter or an infrared (IR) camera. Moisture meters use radio waves to test walls without making holes, while IR cameras detect the evaporating heat of wet walls and can find water in hard-to-spot areas.


After the water is stopped, it’s important to dry out the affected area as quickly as possible. Within an hour, drywall can begin bulging and breaking; furniture swells, wood warp and rot, and metal surfaces corrode. Water also spreads quickly, affecting all materials and creating an even bigger problem.


Porous materials like carpet, insulation, and fabric will absorb the water and may be permanently damaged. Mold spores can also grow in these areas, making them unsafe to live in or sell.


If you suspect the drywall or other materials in your home have been exposed to water damage, you can try disinfecting them with a bleach solution. However, they should be replaced if the materials are severely warped, rotting, or develop mold/mildew problems. You should also consider replacing wood flooring, especially if it’s near the affected joints. This will allow for better floor support and reduce your risk of structural damage. 


Once the floors are removed and the space is cleaned, you can vacuum up the remaining moisture and use fans to help speed up the drying process.


When water damage has occurred, it needs to be completely dried out before the restoration process can begin. Water that is still around can cause secondary damage to the property by contributing to mold and mildew growth, causing musty odors and compromising the structural integrity of the building. It can also create unsanitary conditions by promoting bacteria and viruses that can harm human health. In addition, water that is left behind can seep into porous materials like wood and drywall, creating long-term issues like wood rot and foundation damage.


Depending on the type of water damage, drying out the area can take longer than cleaning up the initial water damage. Category 1 water damage, which is clean water, can be dried quickly as it only affects materials that can be safely cleaned without contaminating them with harmful bacteria and toxins. This category of water damage typically comes from burst pipes, toilet overflows, washing machine leaks, and clogged sinks. Category 2 water damage is grey water that may contain waste and chemicals, which will require disinfection before the area can be used again. Category 3 water damage is black water that comes from sewage and other harmful contaminants, which will need to be decontaminated and the home thoroughly cleaned.


If you’re experiencing serious water damage, it’s best to call a professional for proper cleaning and drying. They can use a moisture meter to determine the water level in your walls and floors, remove the wet materials, and dry out the space. They can also repair damaged electrical components exposed to water, such as breaker boxes and outlets.

Leaving water damage to dry on its own can lead to various issues that will be expensive and difficult to correct. Even a small amount of water can spread through porous materials in a few hours, so you must act quickly to minimize the damage. If you need clarification on whether your home has water damage or want to know more about how to prevent it from occurring, contact us today. We have over 30 years of experience helping our clients restore their properties following all types of property damage, including water damage.