What Is Wall Water Damage and How Does It Affect You?
Water damage can occur from natural circumstances like storms or flooding, or even from plumbing. A leaking pipe, a cracked tile, even extreme temperatures in a new home can cause pipes to burst. No matter how the water dampens your wall, the end result is always the same when left untreated: the structural damage can become dangerous and procrastinated repairs could turn costly. Mold and mildew could grow and contaminants could get in the water, causing a hazardous environment inside the structure. Here’s a not-so-fun fact: floodwater is more damaging than rainwater. Florida’s drywalls act as sponges to the moisture around them, which could spell more money out of your wallet in the long run. Following the three simple steps can help prepare you for the potential outbreak of wet walls.
Repairing Wall Water Damage
1.) Prepare to Repair
- Photograph the damage. This is meant to document the damage as proof for insurance adjusters.
- Turn off all power to the house. Electricity plus water is always a bad idea. Assume all power lines are on, which could be hazardous.
- Turn off all heating, air, or gas units. The environment has enough possible danger, so do what you can to ensure the cleanliness of the air you work in.
- Wear protection. Wear protective gear over your eyes, nose, mouth, and hands. The water involved could contain sewage or animal waste that could prove harmful to the health of you or your family.
2.) Make temporary repairs to roofs and windows. This prevents extra water from entering. The objective is to keep as much moisture outside of the structure as you work to get the inside moisture out.
3.) Work from the Top, Down
- Start in the attic. Remove personal items to avoid the extra weight. If your attic has windows, open them to allow the natural process of drying.
- Work your way down and save the basement for last. Inspect all ceilings and take note if any bulge. If a ceiling is bulged, it may be supporting a puddle of leftover water. Inspect for loose plaster. Keep in mind that different types of water lead to different types of water damage. Drain any water by drilling holes and catching the water in a bin below. Remove wet insulation and give the wall time to dry itself.
- Open all windows and vents to let the building dry naturally. Use window fans to breathe fresh air throughout the structure.
- Remove wet carpet and furniture. Removing wet items reduces the indoor moisture level.
- Wash wood features, such as trim, doors, etc. Remove mud and silt, and wash any wet household items accordingly.
- Take care of your basement. Don’t be hasty in the basement cleanup. If the ground surrounding the basement is moist, this may cause uneven weight in the wall which could ultimately hurt the overall structure. Once the outside ground is dry, gradually lower the flooding (if any) by two or three feet at a time.
Call a professional if you notice odors, mold, or structural damage. You may need to contact a plumber if the damage was caused by faulty pipes. Don’t force your structure to dry faster; this could cause more problems down the road. When a structure is dried naturally, there is less warping upon the completion of the drying.
If your house or building has been damaged by water, give us a ring. We’re ready for all of your needs!