If you experience a broken pipe or overflowing toilet, you might believe cleaning up an inch of water in your home is a situation you can handle. Unfortunately, tackling water damage repairs yourself can lead to more problems. This article will discuss some of the problems water damage can cause.
Time Is Not On Your Side
Realistically, a mop, paper towels or rags are no match for a significant amount of water. You may spend hours trying to clean up the visible water on your floor, which means the water has more time to absorb into the floor and walls. If the water damage occurs on an upper level of your residence, working against the clock can be even more critical. Water may start leaking through to the first floor, which can cause additional damage. Depending on the location of your standing water, there is an increased risk of the water damaging electrical wiring and becoming an electrocution hazard.
What You See Is Not What You Get
The superficial layers of your floor and walls can appear dry, but without advanced knowledge of repairing water damage, you have no way of being certain. Soon enough you will begin to notice the smell of mildew or rotting wood. Other signs the area is not completely dry can include buckling and swelling of building materials.
You may notice swelling and peeling of paint or wallpaper shortly after the leak, but swelling of floorboards and drywall can take longer to become apparent. Water damage contractors use sophisticated equipment that can detect moisture content in building materials, which cannot be assessed by the look and feel of the materials alone.
With moisture comes a hospitable environment for mold growth. Once mold becomes a problem, it is not always easy to eliminate. Some surfaces inside your home will need to be replaced and require professional mold remediation services, because mold spores can simply become disbursed into the air and regrow elsewhere. When you experience significant water damage and the temperatures are mild enough for water to evaporate, this changes the humidity inside your home.
Once the humidity inside your home becomes elevated, it can be difficult to control without extensive dehumidification. Additionally, dehumidification is useless if you cannot dry the source of moisture. Humidity itself can cause other problems throughout your home. You may begin to notice basic vacuuming and dusting are no longer sufficient to clean your home, because dust and dirt will stick to surfaces. High humidity also makes indoor allergies more severe and difficult to control.
Cracks And Pests
If the water damage occurs in the colder months, and you live in an area that experiences freezing temperatures, the excess moisture can have additional effects on the underlying structures of your home. As water freezes, it expands and causes, or exacerbates, cracks in building materials. The effect is magnified with repetitive freezing and thawing, which causes building materials to split or crumble over time. In addition to creating structural problems, areas of damage are a welcome mat for pests.
Most pests enjoy a damp environment, and waterlogged building materials create a comfortable location for pests to live and reproduce. One of the most nightmarish pests that enjoys a damp environment is termites. Termites are particularly troublesome because infestations are difficult to detect and treat. Furthermore, termite infestations can cause significant damage to your home before you notice a problem. The structural problems caused by improperly addressed water damage can create entry points for both small and large pests.
Significant water damage is not the time for a DIY project. Although the basic cleanup can seem simple, water can quickly cause costly damage that is not readily apparent. Evaluation by a professional from a company like Central Flood Management Inc is the quickest and safest way to prevent additional problems and escalating repair costs.