The Ways Excessive Water or Flooding Can Damage a House
Water is an extremely powerful element of the natural world, and there are several ways that it can cause lasting damage to a home or structure. The physical location of a home can be a factor in determining whether or not the structure may be exposed to flooding because of an overflowing body of water or after a large amount of rain in a short time. Living on the coast increases this chance by adding hurricanes or even wind-powered waves to the list of potential water woes.
No matter how it happens, water can cause quite a few problems if it gets into a home. Practically any part of a house that comes in contact with unexpected water can be at risk of damage. This can be anything from the warping and destruction of drywall or flooring to unseen damage to the electrical, heating, and cooling systems, or even problems with the foundation of a structure. With hurricane season, and in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, we’ve put together this article on some of the major ways water and flood damage can affect a home.
Dangerous Mold Growth
Although water itself can be a huge problem for your home, there is another problem that every homeowner needs to be aware of that can appear in the wake of water damage or flooding. In only 12 to 48 hours following an incident, mold can start growing on virtually anything that was affected by water. This can include everything from clothes and personal belongings to carpet and even drywall.
Mold can do more than cause damage to the things you own or harm the structural stability of a building – it can cause lasting damage to your health. Without taking immediate and swift action, mold could begin to spread easily throughout your home, and in the worst cases, create a situation where the structure will be condemned thanks to the toxicity of the air.
There are primarily three types of water that can be involved in a floor or other source of water damage:
- Clean water from a sanitary source such as a pipe or other system. This type of water is the safest, but also the least common source of water damage.
- Grey water from a home appliance or other sources that may contain chemicals. This is the type of water that could make you sick.
- Black water from highly unsanitary sources that could contain waste particles from humans or other animals. All floodwater from lakes or other sources is considered black water and likely carries pathogens that will make you extremely sick.
While it’s still possible to help a home recover from black water damage, it is a big investment. The chances are high that you’ll lose most or all of your furnishings and personal belongings, and you will probably even need to start replacing structural components.
Damage to Gas and Electrical Systems
One of the very first steps of any cleanup efforts following flood or water damage should be to turn off the electricity and gas lines. This is to make sure that no one is at risk of a dangerous electric shock, and that an unseen gas leak will not cause an explosion. A close inspection of both systems should always be part of the recovery process after an incident, and in some cases, rewiring or even installation of an entirely new system might be needed. This means that sudden water damage or flooding could leave you without power or gas for quite a long time.
Even just a few inches of water in the basement, crawlspace, or beneath your house can be enough to cause real damage to some appliances. The price tag that can come with replacing your water heater, furnace, AC unit, washer, dryer, stove, or other appliances is a big reason to be sure that any risk of water damage or flooding is addressed as quickly as possible.
Let the Professionals Help You Recover
Flooding and water damage can be devastating both financially and physically. In most cases, it is a problem that is almost impossible to effectively recover from without the right help. To get help with a situation in your home involving water damage, don’t hesitate to contact the 1st Choice Inspection Services. With decades of experience helping homeowners across North Texas, our team of knowledgeable professionals can help you assess the situation and take the most effective steps for reducing the damage and lowering the cost of repairs. At the first sign of trouble, be sure to contact our office to schedule an appointment so we can help you protect your home and your health.