How Water Damage Affects Your Home and What You Can Do

Water damage can be devastating to your home. A flood, major plumbing issue, or another water catastrophe can significantly affect your home in many ways. From losing precious and frequently expensive valuables to creating a breeding ground for insects, and even lingering odors, water damage can cause all this and more.

Assessing water damage

Assessing Water Damage

Depending on what may have caused your water damage, you’ll want to determine what type of category and class the water damage falls in. For example, the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) uses these metrics to assess water damage. The category means what type of water is in the area, and the damage refers to how much water is present and the level of difficulty in removing it. You’ll want to understand these classifications if your home suffers water damage. Professionals trained in water damage restoration should handle most water damage jobs.

Five ways water damage can affect your home include:

  • Your home can lose value.
  • Insects, mold, and bacteria can start to take over your home.
  • Electrical wiring in your home can be damaged.
  • An unpleasant, lingering odor can remain in your home.
  • Loss of valuable belongings.
Devalued home and property

Devalued Home and Property

Your home is built on a foundation. This foundation can become unstable when a heavy amount of water is introduced and builds up around the home’s base. When you have a basement, the effects can be even worse because the water can cause the basement walls to flex inward, becoming structurally unsound.

Water damage can also ruin drywall, wood, concrete, stone, and other solid materials, as the water can soak through the cracks and pores of these materials. Water damage will cause hardwood floors to swell and discolor walls and carpets.

If not treated within just a few hours, the structural effects of excessive amounts of water can permanently damage your home’s structure, foundation, and building materials.

Insects, mold, and bacteria

Insects, Mold, and Bacteria

Insects are attracted to moist, warm environments, especially where the interior of a home has suffered water damage and has water standing. A house with standing water is an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes, roaches, beetles, and other pests. Insects can also move into your home in just a few hours after water damage, hoping to make your home their own.

Even though it takes a bit longer to begin to grow, mold can cause highly adverse health effects to your family. For example, after just 48 hours, mold spores can start to grow, spreading quickly through your home, causing allergies, respiratory distress, and even mental impairments.

Bacteria can become a severe issue if mold grows near a water source, like a flood-damaged house. As a result, your home has become an area where dangerous bacteria and microorganisms will start spreading rapidly. Your family can risk exposure to severe skin conditions, respiratory issues, and other health problems without adequately removing these contaminants.

Damaged electrical wiring

Damaged Electrical Wiring

Electricity and water do not mix, and they especially don’t when interacting with each other. Water damage can ruin electrical wiring, boxes, outlets, and light switches. The dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, and water heater are the most significant damage. Be sure to have a licensed electrician certify that all of the wirings are safe to use.

Unpleasant, lingering odor

Unpleasant, Lingering Odor

When water sits for an extended period, it becomes stagnant. When floors and walls become saturated with water, mold is easier to grow. This growth produces a strong odor that air fresheners or deodorizers cannot mask. If the water damage is left untreated, the odors can remain, even if you cover up affected areas.

Loss of Valuable Personal Property

As a result of flooding, a leak in the ceiling, or faulty plumbing, you could lose your valuables and personal property. Think about everything you have in your home sitting on the ground: furniture, bookshelves, family heirlooms, and electronics. The same water that destroys your carpet, hardwood floors, and the wallpaper will destroy your personal effects.

It’s not a good idea to try and tackle a water damage repair on your own. Even with the best intentions, quality equipment, and hard work, water damage restoration takes a lot of knowledge and diligent effort. By acting as quickly as possible to have a professional water damage restoration service, like PDQ Restoration, address water damage cleanup in your home, you can reverse some of the effects water damage can have on your home and salvage your items.