Water damage can occur in several different ways. There are pipe leaks, weather events, and damping. Damping can occur when the basement or the attic is very humid. That humidity can seep into the walls. You can oftentimes identify damping by noticing water damage near the floor or the ceiling without clear drip lines. Any of these three kinds of water event can cause water damage. Water damage is particularly insidious because it is a multiplying catastrophe.
The Initial Water Damage
A water damage problem obviously begins with the initial water damage. If it’s damping or a slow leak, you might not even notice it until it has gotten bad. If it’s a weather event or a burst pipe, the problems will quickly arise. The first problem is electrical. The electrical wires and connections in the walls must be protected from water. Shorts, fires, and wire damage could result if the water is not stopped quickly.
Water can also undermine the structural integrity of water-soluble materials such as drywall and wallpaper. If they’re not quickly dried, they’ll likely need to be replaced.
Mold and Mildew
Within a few days of the initial water damage, you’ll start to see mold and mildew. It will grow up in corners, under cabinets, and in any dark space. Mold and mildew grow in damp, dark spaces. When your walls get wet, that becomes basically your entire home. Mold spores are always present in the air; therefore, the only way to stop the proliferation of mold is to stop the water.
Wood is not as susceptible to moisture damage as drywall, but it’s not immune. If wood is allowed to stay moist for too long, it will begin to degrade. The wood will sag and lose structural integrity. Since wooden supports are still used for most floors, walls, adn ceilings, that will pose a serious risk to the house’s integrity.
Lastly, you have to worry about termites and other types of pests. Termites are known to eat wood but they generally don’t eat dry wood. Dry wood, especially treated wood, is generally too hard for termites to bore into. Instead, they look for moist wood. They eat the moist wood and bore into it to create their homes. If you are experiencing water damage to your house, you’re opening yourself up to danger from termites.
All of this can be avoided by calling a restoration specialist the moment you notice water anywhere in your house.