5 Ways Water Damage Can Take a Toll on Your Home and Health

Water damage doesn’t just occur during serious floods. Homes can also be substantially damaged by leaky roofs, burst pipes, and even minor leaks if they aren’t caught early and the consequences can be worse than homeowners might think. Read on to find out about five ways that water damage can take a toll on residents’ homes and houses to learn why.

1. Mold Infestations

Mold starts growing as soon as a home develops a moisture problem, and it doesn’t take much water for an established colony to thrive. Not all mold growth is obvious. Sometimes, mold hides in walls, ceilings, floors, or carpet pads, causing untold damage before homeowners even know they have a problem.

If left unchecked, mold growth can destroy wood, drywall, carpeting, and many other materials. It can also wreak havoc on residents’ health, causing stuffy noses, chronic coughing and wheezing, shortness of breath, fever, headaches, and other worrying symptoms. If not addressed, prolonged exposure can lead to severe illness, so find Portland water damage services that can help as soon as a flood or a leak occurs.

2. Rotted Wood

Flooding and leaks can cause structural problems in wood-framed homes. Water damaged wood becomes weak and is more prone to dry rot and insect infestations, so even if the wood isn’t completely rotted through before the water damage gets addressed, homeowners may have problems in the future. The cost of repairing frame rot can add thousands of dollars to homeowners’ repair bills, so it’s important to dry moist wood out as quickly as possible following a flood.

3. Electrical Damage

The first thing homeowners should do after a flood or a serious leak is to turn off the electricity running to their homes. The electricity should be left off until the home has been thoroughly inspected since water damaged wiring can pose a risk of electrical fires. Appliances affected by water damage should also be inspected before use, as even a few inches of water in a basement can substantially damage water heaters, furnaces, air conditioner units, washers, driers, and other appliances kept in the area.

4. Foundation Damage

Even a small amount of water infiltration either inside the home or in the soil immediately surrounding it can cause substantial and expensive to repair foundation damage. Most foundation damage occurs slowly over time as a result of hydrostatic pressure. The water builds up in the soil surrounding the home, putting pressure on the foundation that can lead to cracks, leaks, and more flooding in what can quickly become a destructive cycle.

As the floodwater drains away from the basement, it can cause even more damage. The soil erodes, causing the foundation to settle. Over time, this settling causes cracked walls, uneven floors, and structural damage throughout the rest of the home.

5. Blackwater Contamination

Blackwater contamination occurs when sewage lines burst or a drain back up into the home. Blackwater damage can be even more devastating than regular flooding since it is extremely unsanitary and often contains pathogens that are damaging to human health. Make sure to find a water remediation contractor familiar with black water cleanup.

The Bottom Line

Homeowners sometimes underestimate the potential damage that can be caused by even minor floods. No matter where the water came from, it’s important to take action immediately to remove it and repair any damage. Scheduling water damage remediation services as quickly as possible is the best way for homeowners to protect their properties and their families’ health.

Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

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