As a homeowner, encountering water damage of any kind can be a cause for concern. That is why it is so important to understand how quickly and in what ways water damage can affect your home. While flooding causes immediate and visible damage, there are some situations where the water damage cannot be seen immediately. You may not see pooling water, wet floors and walls, or trickling water, so any damage resulting from dampness and moisture is not apparent.
For instance, a foundation leak can often develop and progress quite slowly. If you have a finished basement, you may not even realize you have a leak until you smell and/or see mould. When you do, it is a sure sign of water damage.Another example would be a slow roof leak. The insulation would continue to absorb the water, hiding the issue. Eventually the wooden structure and insulation in the attic space become breeding groundsfor mould. You probably wouldn’t notice this damage until the ceiling started to show water stains, mould or even a small drip.
Don’t wait! Call a water damage restoration specialist right away if you see anything similar to what we have described above.
At Go Pro Restoration Inc., we want to help you deal with the resulting damage associated with water leaks or flooding. Whatever the source of your water damage, it is best to work with certified and experienced restoration professionals to help you deal with the clean-up process from start to finish. Read on to learn more about the main causes of water damage, secondary damage, the categories and classes of water and answers to your most frequently asked questions.
What You Need to Know About Water Damage
Water and the building materials of your home do not mix. When water penetrates your premises, it is possible to save and dry the wooden structure such as studs, joists, and sub flooring. However, drywall and insulation need to be removed and replaced. Your wooded structure can develop mould and rot if left untreated and the water source is not addressed in a timely manner. Not only does this affect the hygiene, sanitation and appearance of your space, but prolonged exposure can cause health problems for the occupants. What’s more, water damage often lurks behind walls and underneath floors, hidden from sight until the problem can no longer be ignored. As a result, you may notice that significant structural damage has occurred before the leak was discovered.
Fortunately, our water damage and restoration experts are here to answer your questions and provide you with the insight you need to effectively handle these types of situations if and when they occur.
What are the main causes of water damage?
While there are many causes of water damage, the more aware you are about potential triggers, the better prepared you can be to prevent a leak or flood.
You will also be able to recognize when water damage occurs as soon as it arises and put a stop to it before it leads to additional damage. Some of the main causes of water damage include:
- Burst pipe
- Leaking pipe/ drain
- Sewer drain back up
- Storm drain back up
- Sink/ bathtub/ toilet overflow
- Dishwasher/ fridge/washing machine leak
- Clogged drain
- Sump pump failure
- Foundation leak
- Roof leak
- Ice dam
- Window leak
- Chimney leak
What does water damage do?
When water invades your home, it can result in a range of issues. Generally, water affects the materials used to construct the home and often leads to rotted wood, rusted metal, mouldy insulation, mouldy drywall, and warped wood applications. Because wood is fairly resilient, it may take a while before you see signs of rot. It’s not the same with drywall. In any water damage emergency situation, or over a period of time, any affected drywall and insulation within the structure that has been damaged by the water or moisture, will need to be replaced.
Homes can be impacted differently depending on how the water enters the home. For instance, a small, continuous leak can cause damage over a longer period of time, whereas flooding is an immediate issue. Water damage may impact your home in the following ways:
- Discolour walls and ceilings, peeling and bubbling of paint
- Tiles lifting or becoming loose
- Warp, swell and split building materials
- Create a musty smell due to dampness or the presence of mould
- Encourage mould growth which may aggravate asthma and allergy symptoms, in addition to increasing your risk of acquiring other respiratory diseases and medical problems
- Increase heating costs as water in the air draws heat from the walls to help evaporate moisture.
How bad is water damage for a house?
In an emergency or flood situation, the longer water sits, the more damage will be done to the materials that make up your home. For instance, if you have a flood in the basement, the bottom portion of the drywall and insulation should be removed. For every subsequent 24 hours the water sits there, more drywall and insulation will need to be removed. Failure to address the problem correctly can lead to secondary damages.
What are the secondary damages caused by water?
Whatever the cause of your water damage, it is never a good thing to happen to your home. Aside from damaging the finished touches of your home, damaging the drywall, paint and flooring, or causing structural damage, water can create an extremely damp environment, resulting in the presence of mould and mildew. If mould is left to fester in your home, it may cause health issues for everyone who is living there or exacerbate conditions that already exist. In addition to affecting your physical health, water damage can also impact your finances. Neglecting the problem can increase eventual repair costs and impact the structural integrity of your home.
Some of the most common secondary damages caused by water include:
- Mould growth
- Rusted and corroded metal
- Rotted wood and drywall
- Buckling floorboards and other material damage
What are the categories and classes of water damage?
The categories of water damage are classified as the type of water that causes the damage. If you know the source of your water damage, be sure to let your restoration company know, so we can correctly identify the category and proceed with best practices for restoration and remediation. The 3 categories of water damage are:
- Clean Water – Damage caused by water from a sanitary source such as a faucet, toilet tank, or broken water supply line. To prevent Category 1 water damage from escalating to a Category 2 or 3, it is important to have your damage taken care of as soon as possible.
- Grey Water – Damage caused by water that is contaminated, causing illness or discomfort if ingested. This water could come from sources like your washing machine, dishwasher or toilet.
- Black Water – Damage caused by water that is grossly unsanitary, causing severe illness, or in some cases, death, if ingested. Sources include sewer backup, flooding from outside sources and standing water with microbial growth.
Water damage is also categorized into 4 classes depending on its severity. The more damage incurred, the higher the class.
The 4 classes of water damage are:
- Class 1 – The least severe and easiest to handle due to a slow absorption rate. In this case, moisture has only affected materials with low permeability such as concrete or plywood. Light repairs may be necessary.
- Class 2 – An entire room may be affected, including moisture that has settled into your cushioning or carpeting. Moisture may also be found in other structural materials and could result in lasting damage if left untreated.
- Class 3 – Floors, walls and ceilings are saturated with water, which may have come from overhead or seeped up from the foundation. In recent years, residents and commercial buildings in Ottawa have experienced severe water damage with spring flooding along the Ottawa river.
- Class 4 – Deep pockets of saturation are found in concrete, hardwood or plaster, which can prove difficult to remove. Low-level humidity may be used to treat the problem which can take a longer period of time to correct.
How long does it take to dry out your home after water damage?
Usually in an emergency situation, after all the wet materials have been removed, it would take approximately 48-72 hours to dry the structure. However, the length of time it takes for water damage to dry out depends on a number of factors. You can expect most areas of your home that have been exposed to water or moisture to dry within 3 days on average. For smaller areas, or areas that have been less affected, will dry faster while areas that are saturated, due to instances like a major flood, will take longer
How fast can mold grow after a leak?
Mould and mildew usually develop on surfaces within 72 hours after exposure to water. Moreover, these organisms will continue to grow until the proper steps have been taken to eliminate the source of moisture and until the affected area has been repaired or replaced. For professional mold removal and remediation services, contact us today.
How do you handle water damage or flooding?
If you experience an emergency situation such as a burst pipe or sump pump failure, it is your responsibility to ensure your house is restored to safe conditions in order to prevent further damage. For instance, if you allow water to sit after discovering it and don’t act to minimize the damage, your insurance company may not extend coverage to include damage that could have been prevented. If you are faced with water damage or the potential of it, the most responsible thing you can do as a homeowner is to be proactive. Contact a professional water damage restoration company right away.
Is water damage and/ or flooding an emergency?
If water damage or flooding is not treated immediately, it has the potential to escalate into a hazardous situation. Contaminants in the water and mould growth can pose serious health risks, not to mention that water in the home can present a number of hazards including your gas and electrical supply. Therefore, any water damage must be dealt with by a professional as soon as possible. The sooner you address the water damage, the sooner the damage can be mitigated, helping you stay safe and reduce the costs of remediation and repairs.
Who do I call if I have water damage and why?
If you have water damage, it’s time to call a specialist from Go Pro Restoration. While it can be overwhelming to face the challenges that water damage presents, our local restoration professionals can work quickly and efficiently to assess the damage and remove any excess moisture using the advanced drying equipment. Once everything is dry, we can perform any repairs that are necessary, in order to restore your home back into a safe and useable space.[MJ1]
Dependable Water Damage Restoration Services by Go Pro Restoration Inc.
At the first sign of water damage, Go Pro Restoration Inc. is here for you. With our advanced equipment, quality products and professionally trained technicians, you can be sure that your home is protected from the potential long-term effects of water damage. We offer water damage restoration solutions for residential and commercial buildings throughout Ottawa and the surrounding area, providing immediate support for when you need it most.
For more information about our water damage restoration service, please call 613-221-9900 or fill out our online form and our team will get back to you soon.