Water Damage Timeline – Why You Must Act ASAP

Water damage happens fast. Left unaddressed, excess moisture can become destructive in the blink of an eye. All it takes is a few minutes for water to absorb into porous materials and cause ruin. Even worse, standing water that has saturated a property for over a week prompts serious structural damage.

The length of time a property is exposed to water determines the extent of its destruction. Understanding how quickly water damage spreads can motivate homeowners and business owners to promptly address a water damage issue sooner rather than later.

Water Damage Timeline – Why You Must Act ASAP by RestorationMaster

How much damage occurs within minutes?

water damageWithin minutes of a washing machine hose breaking and spewing water all over the floor, water damage starts. The surrounding floors, walls, nearby furniture and belongings become saturated with excess moisture. Finishes on upholstered furniture start to bleed and permanently stain the carpets.

Homeowners who leave books, paperwork, photographs and other porous materials on the floor nearby the broken washing machine will find these goods warped and swollen with water. Moisture will cause problems to all the structure and belongings it affects.

How much ruin happens within hours?

Perhaps the homeowner is out for the afternoon when the dishwasher leaks. Within 1 to 24 hours, various types of water damage will occur. The drywall in the kitchen swells and breaks down. The water tarnishes the metal surfaces it touches. A damp, musty odor begins in the kitchen area.

The wooden table legs, cabinets and flooring in the kitchen absorb the water. The dyes in the maroon dinner napkins or decorative paper products will stain the surfaces they touch because of absorbing the leaking water.

How much destruction takes place within a week?

Upon returning from a weeklong vacation, a homeowner may discover a water-logged home. The pipes burst during the homeowner’s absence. Within 48 hours to a week, mold spores will colonize the moist space. Doors and windows swell and warp, making them difficult to open.

Wall paint blisters, leaving an unsightly mess. The wooden floorboards swell and warp within this brief span of time. Metal appliances and objects rust. The furniture, warped by the excess water, smells of mold, since spores have made the moisture-rich upholstery their new feeding ground.

How much damage occurs beyond a week?

The homeowner’s unoccupied vacation home is flooded after torrential rains. With no one to spot the calamity in over a week, severe water damage takes hold. Restoration costs soar due to the necessity for major structural rebuilding and replacing contaminated items.

This vacation home is unsafe to occupy as a result of the extensive water damage. The building itself is structurally unsound after its wood components are oversaturated with water. Extensive mold colonies seize the property, making the home’s environment unhealthy for inhabitants.

What are drying tips?

Water damage always requires immediate attention. Liquid spills should be wiped or mopped up right away to prevent secondary damage due to penetration even within minutes of a spill. When appliances fail, homeowners can respond quickly by shutting off the water.

With appliance failures, turn off the water to the unit. Next, shut of the water supply to the home. The main water valve can be found in the basement or outside the home. Promptly taking these steps will prevent additional water from flooding the rest of the property.

Most homeowners know that water and electricity are a lethal combination. Before entering a home submerged in even an inch of water, turn off the power to the home. When it is safe to do so, shift electrical equipment away from standing water or prop them up above floor level.

Since photos, artwork and paper documents can be easily ruined by water saturation, store these belongings high up rather than on the floor. While water damage restoration companies can restore paper goods to an extent, protecting them from water exposure in the first place is recommended.

Homeowners who encounter a flooded property should take immediate steps to dry out the premises. A wet vacuum can suction out excess moisture. Set up fans throughout the space. Clear out wet furniture and rugs to allow the floor to dry.

A professional-grade dehumidifier is essential to help dry out the space and can be rented from local hardware stores (a standard dehumidifier will hardly stand up to the task). Set up the dehumidifier in the center of the water-logged room and run it continuously for several days.

What to Do in Case of Water Damage – ServiceMaster Video


Is a contractor or restorer ideal?

While consulting a contractor might be a homeowner’s first response to a water damaged home, it is less beneficial than calling a water damage restoration professional. A contractor will generally recommend removing and replacing the damaged structure. A restoration service will attempt to restore the salvageable, existing water damaged structure.

Hiring a contractor may be necessary after drying is completed and it is apparent as to what structure had to be removed and needs to be replaced.

A restoration service is ideal when the homeowner aims to preserve the contents and structure of the home, postponing the cost of replacement associated with contractors. Water damage restoration professionals are skilled and experienced in returning a home compromised by water to its pre-disaster condition.

Call ServiceMaster DAK

servicemaster water damage cleanupServiceMaster DAK reliably serves Illinois’ northern suburbs. As a water damage restoration company, ServiceMaster DAK responds to emergency situations with speed every day of the year. Water certified technicians arrive onsite to assess the damage and begin restoration services.

Once an initial inspection determines the class of water that caused the damage, the specialists begin the water mitigation process using advanced water extraction equipment. Air movers are installed to accelerate the drying process. Moisture testing ensures the treated area is thoroughly dry.

Consult the best in water damage restoration, ServiceMaster DAK. With crews available 365 days a year, our technicians will respond quickly to your water damage crisis, reducing the chances that further water damage will spread and destroy your property.


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