Does Water Damage Happen Immediately?
Water damage can occur quickly, or it could take place over several months. Most housing materials aren’t likely to become damaged immediately after being exposed to water, but it has been known to happen.
Of course, certain materials break down and disintegrate immediately upon contact with moisture, paper, and cardboard being some common examples. Thankfully, these materials are seldom used in typical house construction.
That being said, some types of materials may not show signs of damage immediately, even if the disintegration process has begun underneath the surface. This is often the case with plywood, chipboard, veneer, or other types of porous material. A thorough inspection of the affected section will help you determine if damage exists and the extent of it.
Why You Should Be Concerned About Water Damage and Act Fast
Water exposure might seem insignificant, but it can cause some issues over the long term. If you don’t fix the problem, wood rot could set in. There is even a risk of mold growth, which in itself could cause serious health issues. Some potential issues related to water damage are:
Mold growth is always a risk whenever standing water or moisture is left unaddressed. It doesn’t even take that much moisture for mold spores to take root and spread.
This can be especially alarming considering the many health issues related to mold exposure, including allergies, asthma, rashes, and headaches. In addition, some types of mold can cause even more severe and life-threatening problems, including respiratory conditions and immune-system disorders.
Damage to Furniture and Appliances
Prolonged exposure to moisture can wreak havoc on wooden furniture, appliances, and electrical devices. When rot sets in, your wooden furniture and the wooden section of your home could be damaged beyond repair.
And, of course, water and electrical components don’t mix. Moisture-related problems range from malfunctions and erratic behavior to short circuits, electrical shocks, and even fires or explosions.
Water or moisture can severely affect the structural integrity of your home. Walls and flooring are some of the most commonly affected areas, but your doors, windows, and ceiling can also be at risk. And if the damage extends to the foundation of your home, the entire structure could be in jeopardy.
What Causes Water Damage?
Water damage can be caused by many factors, including natural calamities, accidents, direct human action or neglect, and systems or equipment failure. Any time excess water or moisture accumulates in places where it shouldn’t, water damage could potentially occur. Some of the most common causes of water damage are:
- Natural calamities such as storms, hurricanes, and floods
- Broken plumbing or burst pipes
- Water buildup in saturated soil or depressed land areas
- Faulty appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines
Water damage can be caused by direct action, neglect, or by accident. It could also occur due to natural phenomena, in which case there is little that can be done to avoid it. Even so, vigilance and taking some sensible precautions will reduce the risk of these incidents from happening.
What Can You Do About Water Damage?
It would be best to determine where the water or moisture is coming from at the first sign of water damage. Common sources include leaky faucets, burst pipes, leaky roofs, or faulty doors and window seals. Once you have identified the water source, you can call in the appropriate professional to fix it.
It isn’t quite so simple if you don’t know where the water is coming from. Suppose there aren’t any obvious plumbing or roof-related issues. In that case, it may be a case of groundwater coming up from underneath your house or hidden plumbing issues that require more extensive analysis and repair.
After the water source has been identified and fixed, the process of repairing the sections damaged by water can begin. This could be as simple as replacing the affected areas of drywall and repainting the repaired spot. However, it could also involve more extensive repair and renovation work that could put your house out of commission for several weeks or even months.
If the damage is pretty extensive, it will be necessary to seek professional help. A water remediation service will conduct a thorough inspection of your property and determine what parts have been affected. They will then choose the best course of action to take to replace damaged sections and resolve the problem for good.
Water damage is something that you should take seriously, even if the problem seems minor or insignificant. Even if it appears that the water or moisture has affected only a small section in one area of your home, it could indicate more serious underlying conditions. Getting water damage addressed as soon as possible helps you avoid costly problems and ensure your family’s continued health and safety.