Water events, in and of themselves, can lead to a variety of visible and damaging effects on a structure. But the risks don’t end there. There are many hidden components to homes and businesses that, when affected by water, can yield hazardous results.
For this reason, it is crucial that property owners of affected establishments seek professional remediation care within 24 hours of the water event in question to avoid the often irrevocable aftermath of excess moisture.
Primary and Secondary Damage
Water damage can be broken into two main categories: primary damage and secondary damage.
The first, primary damage, refers to the initial defacement done to materials, flooring and surfaces as a consequence of having direct contact with water. These damages can include wet floors, soaked furniture, dampened drywall and more.
Secondary water damage, however, is what remediators desperately try to prevent. This type of damage typically occurs over a period of time, and, before long, can result in a laundry list of safety and health hazards, often experienced by the property owner and other occupants.
What Goes on Behind the Scenes
Because secondary damage can quickly become a hazardous situation, it is important that property owners contact a remediation expert the moment that water damages arise. Once a remediator appears on the scene, he or she can take the necessary approach towards redeeming the environment, for a healthy and safe living atmosphere for all involved.
Unfortunately, many property owners do not realize the importance of calling for professional help, and end up reaping unsavory results. The following are a few of the secondary damages that a structure, building or home can occur, if remediation is not sought, immediately:
Floors can be tricky to assess.
While many property owners might assume that a water loss situation involving damage to flooring doesn’t require remediation if the floor appears dry on the surface, the reality is that water has the ability to penetrate many flooring elements, and can even leave foundational subflooring susceptible to impairment.
So, what’s the big deal? The issue is that leaving moisture at the base level of a floor can lend itself to a host of negative outcomes, one of which is the loss of strength. Depending on what the subfloor was made out of, you may have 72 hours, at most, before your subfloor will become weak or damaged, and will need to be replaced.
Apart from subfloor damage, comes mutilation of the aesthetic appearance of many floors touched by water loss. As time goes by, unattractive characteristics such as bubbling, cracking and wrinkling may appear. Likewise, floors composed of hardwood may experience crowning, cupping or buckling, all of which may or may not be remediated, depending on the severity of the situation.
Wall boards are another tricky, and potentially hidden, component of a water-impaired home or building, that will need to be professionally assessed by a remediation technician.
Drywall, a popular pick for panels that line the walls and ceilings, are often horribly affected by direct and indirect moisture. Because drywall is shrouded with wooden pulp, it can easily become a “breeding ground for mold and bacteria, once wet. As such, water-affected drywall should always be quickly addressed before microbes begin to form.
Another concern involving drywall is its ability to collapse. Because it doesn’t tolerate moisture well, drywall has the propensity to cave in on itself. Needless to say, this is a situation that property owners should seek to avoid, at all costs.
Framing and Insulation
Framing and insulation are key components to keeping a home or business warm and structurally safe, but if these materials become impacted by water, a structure can be put in grave danger.
The effect that water has on unseen framing and insulation can be startling. From warped wood to mold growth, these effects on inner-structural components within a residence or structure can be hard to spot. Nevertheless, it is crucial that these issues are assessed professionally and promptly, before further damage takes place.
The Difference Professional Care Makes
As with any restoration project, but especially for water damaged homes and facilities, it is imperative that property owners not assume that damage hasn’t occurred based on their inability to see it. As previously mentioned, many components of residences and buildings affected by water go unnoticed until unsavory health symptoms, or worse, start cropping up.
In order to avoid the risks associated with hidden moisture and secondary damages, property owners should swiftly contact their local water remediation team following a water loss event.
Moreover, property owners should refrain from attempting to handle water loss situations by themselves, outside of safely impeding the water source and cleaning up spills involving less than a few gallons.
Once a remediation expert arrives, he or she will locate the source of the water and determine the safety of the situation. Through the use of moisture meters, the technician will devise a plan of action for how to remediate the affected business or structure.
After a plan has been created, the remediation team will use a variety of methods, techniques and equipment to reach an effectual dry that is both comfortable and safe for property owners and occupants.
These methods of stabilizing a water-impacted structure cannot be handled apart from a remediation specialist. Property owners should refrain from any attempts to replace structural components, such as flooring, wall board or framing, on their own.
Stay in the Know
If your building or structure has endured a water loss event, bear in mind that not all remediation companies offer the same services. Upon receiving professional help, be sure to ask questions that pertain to what can be done by the remediation specialists, and which services, such as floor replacement and drywall repair, will require outside help.
The Effects of Unseen Moisture Is Serious Business
All in all, when a water emergency strikes, it is important to not only seek immediate assistance for the damage that is visible, but also for the damage that can’t be seen. The effects that moisture can have on subfloors, wall boards, foundational framing and even insulation, can become major issues if not stopped, quickly.