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Water Damage Common Causes for Restoration

Tuesday, May 25th, 2021
water damage

If a common water damage incident occurs in your house, is restoration by qualified professionals always necessary? Maybe so, maybe not. Water can affect a structure in a spectrum of severity ranging from relatively minor events to widespread, extreme damage. In certain cases, fast action by homeowners to stop a minor source of water, then remove the small amount of moisture present before it spreads further, may be sufficient to avoid the need for professional restoration.  

However, there are many other causes and scenarios that make the services of professional water damage recovery experts necessary. If water damage is enough to trigger an insurance claim, for example, most homeowners insurance companies require restoration by certified professionals. Common causes that make the difference between a possible DIY scenario and one which requires water damage restoration experts include:

Amount of Water

If water released does not exceed a small pool on a hard surface floor and has not migrated beyond that limited location, timely clean-up with mops and drying with fans may be sufficient.  

If the water volume is sufficient to seep under baseboards and spread into other rooms, penetrate flooring material, or drip through ceilings into rooms below, qualified water damage recovery services are required. If carpet is present and saturated, this is also often an indicator for professional services.

Source of Water

If water originates from tainted sources like an overflowing washing machine or toilet—or it is the result of a sewage backup—this is a potentially hazardous scenario and requires professional water damage recovery.

If the damage is caused by outdoor flooding, all floodwater is considered toxic and restoration must be handled by properly equipped, certified personnel.  

Duration of Damage

Once water from any source has been present in a house for 48 hours, the requirement for specialized mold remediation becomes more likely. Active mold growth requires proven, effective techniques to sanitize affected surfaces and building materials and prevent the spread of contamination throughout the entire house. Restoration of a mold-contaminated house is always a job for professionals.

Water Damage Causes: Foundation Cracks

Tuesday, September 29th, 2020
water damage foundation cracks

While water damage causes foundation cracks and other issues, this same process is likewise the origin of indoor or structural damage that frequently ensues later on. Because a concrete foundation is porous, water pooling on the surface or contained in the soil surrounding the home soaks into the concrete foundation and initiates gradual deterioration. Eventually, foundation cracks develop and/or the foundation destabilizes. Subsequent water damage causes a variety of long-term issues including the following:

Basement Damage

Water infiltration through a cracked foundation can be an intermittent problem as groundwater occasionally seeps upward through a cracked basement floor or leaks through damaged basement walls.  Eventually, however, occasional water damage causes long-term issues inside the basement, such as toxic mold growth as well as rotting exposed wooden structure. Vulnerable electrical components like the main breaker panel installed in the basement are at risk from water, as are the home’s furnace and HVAC ductwork. A finished basement usually includes drywall that readily absorbs water and deteriorates, as well as carpeting and other materials susceptible to damage.

Structural Changes

Defects in the house structure are also among the water damage causes that can that be traced back to foundation issues.  During winter weather, water infiltrating foundation cracks may freeze and expand, gradually deforming and/or shifting the foundation. As changes in the foundation may eventually cause separation at the joints between exterior walls and/or between walls and the roof, subsequent water damage occurs to the structure during rainy weather.

Plumbing Issues

Among the major water damage causes inside a home, broken pipes rank high on the list. These events may actually be initiated, however, by previous foundation water damage. When severe outdoor flooding—or long-term standing water from any cause—occurs, the ground beneath a house may become unstable and the foundation may gradually tilt and/or sink. Foundation instability and movement eventually stress house plumbing, particularly water supply lines, potentially triggering an indoor pipe rupture that causes flooding inside the house.