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Even though every water damage situation is different, one thing that is common between all of them is that damage from water happens fast. Water can, and will, absorb into porous materials within a matter of minutes, and water damages only compounds with time. The longer water damage is present in your Carmel home, the worse the damage will be – which means cleanup will become a more extensive project. Understanding just how quickly water damage spreads can help you respond faster when you find yourself faced with water damage. The following timeline will show you just how important it is to begin water damage cleanup right away.
Damage that occurs in the first few minutes following water damage: From the moment unwanted water enters unwanted areas, damage starts. Surrounding materials will begin to absorb water as soon as it is exposed to them, which means that porous materials will reach saturation pretty quickly. Upholstery, carpet, wood, and rugs are some examples of porous materials that will start to absorb water right away. Finished on furniture pieces or colored textile goods can start to bleed right away, resulting in spreading colors and staining on surrounding materials. Paper products like books, photographs, documents, and paintings have a short window to be removed from the water before they are broken down by the moisture and become irreparable.
Damage that occurs within a few hours following water damage: Within only a few hours of exposure to water damage, most materials will have reached maximum saturation, resulting in the breakdown and deterioration of these materials. Drywall and sheetrock are examples of materials that will swell with water absorption and then begin to fall apart within a matter of hours. Wood pieces that are exposed to water will begin to swell, wrap, and change in color, while metal objects will begin to show signs of tarnish, rust, and corrosion.
Damage that occurs in the first 2 days following water damage: By this point, water damage is not the only problem that will need to be cleaned up – mold begins to grow within 24-48 hours of water exposure. Since mold spreads and travels through microscopic air-borne particles called spores, not only is the damaged area of the home at risk, but the entire home is now susceptible to mold problems. Materials that have swollen under the weight of the water will no longer be structurally sound, and cracking, bending, warping, breaking, and even rot will begin to be apparent. Wood floors, baseboards, and trim may have to be replaced, while drywall and insulation will have sustained irreparable damage.
Damage that occurs if water damage is present for a week or more: At this point, water damage is considered ‘black water’ and is highly contaminated. All contact with water that has been present for this long should be avoided, as it could lead to serious health complications. Microbial growth will be a huge issue, and the very structural integrity of your home will be compromised. Most materials still exposed to water will have to be discarded and replaced, and water damage cleanup will be a very time-extensive and labor-extensive project.
The good news in all of this is that no matter how long your water damage has been present, Total Restoration is able to handle the entire cleanup process. While the best thing for your home is to call for water damage cleanup right away, it is also important to remember that no matter how big or small your water damage situation is, whether it is a new problem or something that has been going on unnoticed for extended amounts of time, we are here to help.