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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Water Damage Timeline: From Minutes to Months, How Does it Affect Your Structure?

9/19/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded Commercial Property in Spartanburg County Standing water in a flooded warehouse space. Water is constantly moving to find equilibrium, but the sooner SERVPRO comes out to extract, the better.

Untreated Water Damage

"What's a little water going to hurt," you say? Structures continue to deteriorate when water damage is left untreated. When left untreated, water damage goes through a general timeline:

Within Minutes

  • Carpets, padding beneath, and subflooring becomes saturated.
  • Furniture on wet carpets start to leach and stain.
  • Wood/wood products start absorbing water.
  • Personal belongings may be completely destroyed.

Within Hours

  • Humidity and other factors begin to generate unpleasant odors.
  • Particleboard cabinetry and furniture becomes distorted and the integrity of the material weakens, crumbling over time.
  • Dyes from non-colorfast fabrics bleed (clothing stored together, upholstery, etc.).
  • In 48 hours or less, clean or grey water can deteriorate to black water, and areas that experience water intrusion from clean water initially can quickly become contaminated.

Within Days

  • Mold can become visible and cause musty odors.
  • Allergen sensitivities can be caused by microbial organisms.
  • Wood may severely warp and cup, making most wooden floors unsalvageable.
  • Painted walls blister and wallpaper begins to peel away.
  • Structural wood within home, such as framing, begins to swell and split.

Within Weeks

  • The structure may become hazardous to human health and may need to be evacuated if health conditions become a concern.
  • Mold infests organic materials, rendering it unsalvageable.
  • Drywall crumbles while the home’s structural integrity declines.
  • Damage to the foundation becomes apparent.
  • Home may be salvageable but may need to be gutted down to the studs.

Within Months

  • Damage to the foundation may be significant.
  • The cost of repairs is likely more than the value of the home.
  • Damage that could have been prevented over time (i.e., neglect) disqualifies the owner from insurance claims.
  • The home may be unsalvageable

Don't go at it alone. Just because it "looks dry" doesn't mean it is dry.

Call the professionals at SERVPRO of Spartanburg County today at 864-576-2430

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