In the event of water leakage, flooding, or other water disasters, it is a sure bet that a little bit goes a long way. A small, slow drip and a sudden, significant flood can both do extensive damage to your home and property and present serious health risks if left untreated. In many cases, the safest way to clean up a water mess is to call on the expertise of water damage restoration professionals who can remove the water and affected materials by following a safe and thorough process that eliminates contaminants. Attempting a clean-up on your own is risky because you place yourself in danger of coming in contact with contaminants, and you can’t be sure that you’ve properly removed all dangerous or damaged materials. If you have a persistent water issue in your home or have incurred water damage of any sort on your property, acting quickly to remedy the situation is the best way to limit property damage and protect your family from health issues that arise as a result of neglected water damage.
Risks and Consequences of Untreated Water Damage
Threats to Home:
Weakened Structure and Ruined Flooring and Drywall- Flooring soaks up water and becomes prone to mold. Wood structures that support walls and floors become soft and weakened. Drywall can become brittle, warp, and develop mold, requiring it to be cut out and replaced.
Corroded Pipes-Flood water contains elements that can break down pipes, which are made to come in contact with only tap water.
Damaged Electrical System-When water comes in contact with outlets, wiring, or electrical boxes, the system can become compromised and unsafe. This calls for immediate inspection.
Damaged Concrete or Brick-If they are not sealed correctly, water can erode concrete and brick, compromising the structure.
Mold- Within 24-48 hours after water damage, microscopic amounts of mold can begin to grow. It may not be visible until 1-2 weeks later.
Musty Odors- Certain surfaces will become smelly after only a short time following water exposure. Carpets often begin to smell quickly and become a breeding ground for more bacteria and an attraction for bugs.
Permanent Staining on Walls and Floors- Water that’s not cleaned up immediately and appropriately can leave permanent stains on walls and floors. Sometimes paint cannot cover up these stains on the walls, and flooring stains are unattractive. Any staining will decrease the value of your home.
Threats to Health:
Chemicals, Toxins, and Bacteria- Depending on the source of the water, chemicals and toxins can be present and create serious health threats. If water came from a flood or from a burst pipe, it contains dirt and toxins and can easily develop harmful bacteria.
Bugs, Fungus, and Mold- Bugs are attracted to moisture. They seek out wet areas in which to lay their eggs. The hatching eggs and dying bugs spread bacteria and attract more bugs. The humidity caused by the water allows for mold, fungus, and mildew to develop and spread easily. Mold can cause a host of ailments such as respiratory infection, worsened allergies, and chronic headaches.
In addition to being harmful to your home and your health, neglected water damage will likely be detrimental to your wallet. The amount of money spent on the fixing the damage caused by water is directly tied to the amount of time that lapses between when the damage originally occurs and when it actually receives the attention it needs. If you’ve got water damage or suspect that you have a leakage issue, contact ServiceMaster of Greater Pittsburgh today at 412-826-1010. We are water damage restoration professionals, prepared to clean up your water emergencies safely and immediately.