When you encounter excess water in your property, it is a major cause for concern. Excess water will soak the materials throughout the area, and the longer the water remains present, the more damage it will cause to your home or business. This is the case no matter what has caused the damage, whether it is natural flooding from heavy rainfall, or a pipe burst that has poured water into the property.
Water damage can be an understandably overwhelming situation, but it is important that you deal with the aftermath of it as soon as possible. Not only will the damage worsen with time, but it will also encourage the potential for mold growth. When mold colonies develop, you will have to worry about even more damage and a risk to your health.
Knowing this, do not wait to act to handle water damage. Use the following information to help your property recover in the aftermath of water damage.
How Does Water Damage Your Property?
When there is standing water or excess moisture in your residential or commercial property, it can be especially harmful to porous building materials and furnishings. The porous nature of these items means they absorb water which is concerning because the moisture weakens the structural integrity of the affected materials.
At first, affected materials may experience minimal harm such as discoloration, staining, and warping. But, with time, the affected materials will become unstable. If the building materials that make up your property’s structure are heavily damaged, then your building is at risk of collapsing.
As aforementioned, mold can develop as a result of water damage. This is because water damage creates the ideal environment for mold growth.
Mold is a type of fungus and its spores are naturally present in the air. Because of this, mold growth is always a possibility. Mold spores are triggered into developing colonies when they encounter an environment that provides them with both an organic food source and a moisture source. Often, mold will use the cellulose in drywall, wood, and other common building materials as a food source.
Knowing this, water-damaged building materials often provide the perfect setting for mold growth. Within just 24 hours of saturation, mold can start to grow.
When mold grows on a surface, it is using the material as a food source. As the mold colony affects a larger area, the material is being eaten away. With enough time, the mold can cause so much damage that the material becomes structurally unstable. This harm will happen in addition to the effects of the water.
Mold can do more than just harm your property, though. It can also cause health problems to anyone exposed to it. Mold exposure can cause people to experience breathing issues, nasal congestion, skin irritation, and other allergic symptoms. Prolonged exposure worsens these effects.
How Should You Respond to Water Damage?
Extract the Water
No matter the source of the water damage, eliminating the excess water and moisture is a key step in the water damage restoration process. Failing to remove the moisture will only allow the water damage to worsen and spread to new areas. It is imperative that the water is extracted right away.
If there is a minimal amount of water in your property, then you could manage with towels and rags. If there is standing water, then you could use a wet/dry vacuum to extract the water. Your local hardware store may have a wet vacuum available for rent. Otherwise, using a bucket to take out the water will work just fine.
Dry the Property
Once the water has been removed from your residential or commercial property, you then need to thoroughly dry out the place to eliminate the excess moisture that remains in the saturated building materials. This will limit the potential for structural damage and mold growth — if it has not already begun.
This step, however, can be tough for property owners to do due to the lack of essential equipment. If you have a dehumidifier, this can help quicken the drying process. But it is often insufficient.
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Hire Professional Water Damage Restoration Help
Most property owners do not have the ability, training, knowledge, or equipment needed to properly deal with the aftermath of water damage. But there are water mitigation professionals who can help.
ServiceMaster Restoration and Cleaning offers professional water damage restoration services to help homes and businesses in the Houston, TX, area recover in the aftermath of water damage. Within these water mitigation services, our professional technicians will use advanced water extraction and drying equipment to eliminate excess moisture and dry out the property. From there, we will work to combat mold growth.
With help from our water mitigation services, your water-damaged property will be restored to a safe, clean state.
Call (800) 303-5844 to learn more about the professional water damage restoration services that ServiceMaster Restoration and Cleaning provides in the Houston, TX, area.