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Does Water Damage Get Worse Over Time?

by Allied / Friday, 04 September 2020 / Published in Flood Restoration, Water Damage

Just like you can spot the difference between an old and new shirt, the same could be said about noticing your home has water damage. There are revealing signs.

There are discolored parts on the wall or the ceiling. The wall paint could be flaking. Puddles appear out of nowhere. Moreover, there’s that unmistakable stench of dampness, a clear indication of mold. All this points to the presence of water damage.

The sooner you act on the issue to try and resolve it, the less problematic the damages and repair would be later on. The question you’re probably thinking is, will the water damage get even worse in time, or are you looking at the real deal today? Sadly, the damage can get more critical, the longer it is left untreated. We’ve listed below a few reasons why you need to act fast.

If you do have water damage, DON’T WAIT. Our water damage experts are prepared to fix your home and save you money down the line.

Water Damage Can Cause Electrical Short Circuits

Water is a conductor of electricity. Hence, water and electricity combined could prove to be lethal. Someone could get electrocuted by touching a pool of water that is connected to an open wire. Turning on the wrong switch could also damage the whole electrical system or could bring fire hazards.

Before turning on the home’s main power, electrical wirings and appliances should be checked first by an electrician. Wirings and cables custom-built for humid conditions could still be repaired. Others might need to be replaced, especially when they have been submerged in water for an extended period. Everything that concerns electricity should be dealt with carefully to prevent fire and smoke damage.

Water Damage Could Bring Irreparable Damage to Furniture and Appliances

Water can ruin any electrical device in your home. Some gadgets could still be salvaged when given time to dry and after being inspected by an electrician. Others, however, would immediately stop to function and can no longer be repaired. An appliance or any electrical device for that matter could also show no visible water damage, but could still be wet on the inside. Plugging them into power sockets could cause a short circuit. Worse, it could even start a fire.

Some wood furniture discolors when exposed to water. They turn white as soon as the water has touched them. When left ignored, the water would seep deeper into the wood. Once this happens, the stains would become darker. Dark brown or black stains are harder to remove and would give the furniture an unsightly appearance.

Water could also remove paints from the furniture. These removed paints could scatter stains on the surrounding area. Moisture also weakens wood and could shorten the lifespan of the furniture.

When the furniture has not been thoroughly dried, it could eventually swell. It would also attract the growth of molds. Over time, it would start giving off an unpleasant odor.

Water Damage Could Lead to Structural Damage Over Time

Water damage can cause cracked load-bearing walls. It can also cause the foundational metal structures in the home to weaken or rust. Windows or doors may not be as easy to open as before. The roof may tilt to one side. These kinds of damage may look minor, but they may be signs of more significant problems elsewhere. When left alone, they could lead to extensive major home repairs. Some structurally-damaged homes may even need rebuilding of load-bearing walls. The longer the water damage is neglected, the worse the structural damage could become. And the more extensive and expensive the repairs would be.

Water Pipes Could Suffer Corrosion

Other types of water—like floods—could cause corrosion in water pipes. Corrosion could slowly dissolve metal. Over time, it would cause the deterioration of the water pipes. Through corrosion, toxic chemicals like copper and lead could leach into the drinking water and bring health problems. Drinking water that has been contaminated with copper may lead to gastrointestinal issues. Prolonged drinking of this kind of water may lead to liver and kidney damage. Meanwhile, lead-contaminated water could pose risks in children’s physical and mental development. Adults could have high blood pressure and kidney problems.

Molds Continues to Grow in Moist Conditions

Once something is soaked in water, it only takes 24 to 48 hours before molds start to appear. Immediate steps should be sought before molds get a chance to thrive in it. What is worse is that molds could come back even after a thorough cleanup. Prevention is necessary because mold is dangerous to breathe, give off a nasty odor, and cause health problems.

These spores could worsen respiratory health problems like asthma. Allergies could get aggravated. Exposure to molds could cause sneezing, stuffy nose, watery eyes, and sore throat. It could also cause fatigue, headache, skin, and lung irritation.
Water damage attracts bugs and insects.

Water damage that is not quickly addressed invites infestation. Roaches, carpenter ants, termites, and other bugs migrate to moist environments. Some of these insects and pests could drastically damage a house or building over time.

  • Roaches spread diseases and give an awful smell. Aside from foods in the kitchen, they also feed on paper and leather.
  • Carpenter ants do not eat wood, but they damage them to make nests. As they grow in number, the more wood they need to chip off.
  • Termites could cause severe damage as they feed on wood. They could destroy foundational wood and walls, as well as windows and doors.
  • Silverfish may not be harmful to humans, but they love chewing books, clothing, and other belongings filled with sugar and carbohydrates.
  • Mosquitoes, mold mites, centipedes, drain flies, and earwigs are among the other bugs attracted to moisture.

Extreme situations like a flooded house could push you to evacuate the soonest time possible. On the other hand, it could be alright to stay when broken pipes or plumbing leaks have caused the water damage. But no matter how severe the water damage could be, it is highly recommended that you seek professional help. Save yourself from trouble by calling water damage restoration experts as soon as you see problems arise. They use modern equipment, and they have trained professionals capable of assessing the extent of the damage.

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