-The online resource for property owners and tenants, iPropertyManagement, reports that household water damage costs up to $20 billion annually. Catastrophic damage that results in severe damage to building structures is certainly part of the overall cost, but the most common causes of water damage are the smaller long-term leaks, burst pipes and plumbing back-flows and Mark Powers from SERVPRO of Santa Maria has prepared a report about some of the more common results and precautions to prevent them.
More water damage is caused by faulty pipes and plumbing, and leaking appliances than by storms and floods. That drip, drip, drip from the kitchen or bathroom faucet, even an outdoor faucet, can contribute to water damage over time when it creates a permanent wet area. Water seeps into surrounding structures like counter tops or the building foundation and the areas just get wetter and wetter over time. Wood and other building material (even masonry) absorb water and moisture and begin to break down. Mold thrives in moist environments and also breaks down the material it’s growing on. Prolonged contact with water, even in small amounts at a time, has serious impact on floors, carpets, walls, and furniture. The Santa Maria water damage team reports that water damage can lead to:
- Mold and mildew, even on hard surfaces like masonry.
- Rotted wood that may compromise a building’s structural integrity.
- Damage to carpets, rugs, drapery and other personal items.
- Spread of bacteria and pathogens from contaminated sources such as sewers.
- Odors from mold, mildew and bacteria.
- Additionally, due to the dangers when electrical systems come into contact with water, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has published the report “Guidelines to handling water damaged electrical equipment.”
Once the damage is done, these issues are more costly to remediate than simply fixing leaks and persistent back flows. It’s important to periodically inspect areas that might experience water damage from leaks and backflows, especially those areas that are out of sight like under cabinets and crawl spaces.
- Dripping faucets can usually be repaired by replacing gaskets or washers.
- Recaulking showers and bathtubs can prevent water from seeping through into the surrounding structures.
- Replacing the rubber flapper in the toilet tank can stop a running toilet.
- Replacing the floor seal of a toilet might stop the leak.
- It’s cheaper to replace a cracked or damaged toilet than to replace the bathroom floor.
- Burst pipes, severely overflowing toilets or other appliances can flood surrounding areas and damage carpeting and other possessions.
- It’s less expensive to call a plumber than to replace floors, cabinets, portions of walls or other structural elements.
- One important hidden cost is the possibility that insurance will not cover water or mold damage that is the result of the property owner’s neglect.
Water damage of any kind should be addressed within the first 24 to 48 hours to prevent mold, rot and other problems from developing. Small areas of moisture can usually may be easily taken care of by do-it-yourself remedies. These include removing standing water and directing fans onto the damp spots to dry them out. Drying can take 48 or more hours, depending on how wet the area is.
The Santa Maria water damage team is always ready to assist regardless of the size of the water spill. It’s especially important to call the Santa Maria water damage experts when sewage is involved because special training, certifications and equipment is required for handling sewage water and anything it has touched.
SERVPRO of Santa Maria provides 24-hour emergency service by highly trained water restoration technicians using advanced water inspection, extraction and drying equipment. The team uses moisture monitoring equipment to effectively measure and document the drying process, making sure everything is dry before leaving the property.
SERVPRO of Santa Maria
1279 W. Stowell Road, Suite C
Santa Maria, CA 93458