Let’s face it, dealing with the aftermath of water damage is never easy. Not knowing the real impact of water on the materials in your home can be stressful. Even a small leak can cause critical damage to an area. With severe water damage, the structural stability of your home can even be affected. Walls, the roof, floors, or even the foundation can show signs of disrepair. Here we have compiled some basic information about water damage, and the effects on various building materials.
- Wood- Semi-porous material and may have to be removed completely. If water is heavy and becomes hidden underneath or behind solid wood flooring, it should be removed to allow access to pockets of saturation and to provide room for proper cleaning and sanitizing before mold can form.
- Laminate- Comes in various types and grades that differ in water resistance. Some laminate floors have wax and oils that are beneficial in water absorption. However, most laminate floors are prone to deterioration with heavy amounts of water. Most likely, they will have to be removed.
- Vinyl- Naturally resists water absorption. However, if water is found underneath, removal of the vinyl is necessary for proper drying.
- Concrete- Can be very unpredictable. Releases water at a slower rate so may take more time to dry and damage impact may be delayed.
- Wiring can be easily damaged when in contact with water. This can lead to damaged electrical appliances, blown fuses, or even fire or electrocution in worst case scenarios. Turn off the power if water damage is near any wiring and wait for professional help to avoid further damage or injury.
- Drywall- The most common material found with water damage in a home. If not attended to properly and promptly, it can have a huge impact. It is very porous and susceptible to water damage. When saturated, it will lose its structural integrity. However, if dried properly, the structure may be regained. If it is soft, crumbly, or moldy, it must be replaced. Most likely, any walls or ceilings that were in contact with the water will have to be gutted to the frame for proper cleaning and drying to prevent mold.
- Insulation- A very porous material with fibers and foams that hold water. Depending on the damage and type of foam used, it will have to be dried or replaced.
- Brick- With proper water drainage, water repellants, or treatments, the impact of water damage may be minimal due to the nature of this material being used for harsh outside elements like wind and rain.
Being proactive by regularly checking for leaks or floods is the best way to prevent water damage. The impact of water damage on different materials in your home whether visible or not can be substantial so, the sooner damage is found, the sooner it can be fixed.
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