Water damage is a very time-sensitive issue. Initially, the damage usually isn’t so severe. Yet, the damage can progress quickly and become very serious in just a short amount of time, and cause water damage restoration to happen in your home. To help you understand the progression of water damage, the five stages of water damage are listed below. If your home is ever flooded, make sure to give us a call at Sierra Restoration in Utah as soon as you can.
This initial stage includes two components, the flow of the floodwater and the settling of the floodwater and gravity levels it out. It will level out as the water finds cracks in the flood and other openings. Given enough time, it is likely that the water will eventually find a way to leak down into your basement. Quick action at this stage is critical as it will minimize the overall damage and costs of restoration.
Stage 2 is the wicking of moisture into materials that are in direct contact with the floodwater. The damage continues to increase as materials like wood, gypsum board, drywall, carpet, and furniture are exposed to the floodwater. This damage accumulates quickly for these materials since they are not designed to withstand high moisture levels. Once again, quick action is key since the wicking of moisture into these materials will stop as soon as the floodwater is removed.
Stage 3 includes damage from high humidity. This occurs when the moisture on and in the wet materials begins to evaporate, saturating the surrounding air. Previously unaffected materials now take on moisture. Early signs of high humidity damage include condensation forming on walls, ceiling tiles sagging from high moisture content and paper stock taking on moisture to the point it cannot be used for copying. The damage at this stage can be mitigated by controlling the humidity levels through the use of fans, dehumidifiers, and opening doors and windows near the flood.
In Stage 4, active microbial growth begins. This happens because the materials in your home will have taken on sufficient moisture at this point to foster mold growth. The mold threshold for most cellulose-based materials is reached when their moisture contents reaches 20-25 percent of their weight.
Finally, Stage 5 includes the spread of mold to other, previously unaffected areas of the building. This can occur through numerous different ways such as air circulation systems and the movement of people throughout the building. If this stage of water damage is reached, the situation has become very serious and requires an intensive effort from a water damage restoration company to take care of the damage.
If your home ever floods, the best thing you can do to minimize the damage is call a certified cleaning and restoration company as soon as possible. At Sierra Restoration in Utah, we are one such company dedicated to helping you with all of your water damage restoration needs.