Water Damage Timeline
When flooding or water damage happens at your home or business, time is of the essence. The faster you call team SERVPRO for help, the less damage that unexpected water will be able to do.
According to the American Insurance Association, 37% of all homes will suffer water damage each year. Of the water damage that occurs, the association says 93% of that damage is preventable. According to the association, the first 24 to 48 hours are the most crucial when dealing with water damage.
SERVPRO has a timeline that lists the damage you can expect following a flood or water loss:
- Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
- Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
- Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
- Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.
Hours 1 - 24:
- Drywall begins to swell and break down.
- Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
- Furniture begins to swell and crack.
- Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
- A musty odor appears.
48 Hours to 1 Week:
- Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
- Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
- Metal begins to rust and corrode.
- Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
- Paint begins to blister.
- Wood flooring swells and warps.
- Serious biohazard contamination is possible.
More Than 1 Week:
- Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
- Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.
The message here is that if water ends up where it does not belong, you should NOT WAIT to call for help. Getting someone on the scene ASAP will only save time and money in the long run.
We’ve heard before that people will sometimes not even realize they’ve experienced a water loss until days, maybe even weeks later. For example, they may have a basement they don’t go into very often that floods. So, we recommend checking those isolated areas on a regular basis and after any major weather event, like torrential rains.
There are some steps you should also take while waiting for help to arrive. SERVPRO recommends as follows:
- Stop the source of the water: if, for example, you have a broken pipe, make sure to turn off the water supply to prevent anymore leaking.
- Remove items of value: move any valuables and furniture away from the water, to prevent permanent damage to those items.
- Prevent the spread of moisture: as best you can, try to soak up any water by toweling or mopping the area. This will be a good temporary help. (Only do this if the water is clean!)
- Take notes and photos for your insurance company.
- Stay Safe! Make sure to turn off any electrical connections that could pose a danger in the flooded area. DO NOT mop or towel up any water that may be contaminated, if it came from a sewer backup, for example.
As we have said, time is not on your side when it comes to water damage. So, the sooner you call for help, the better!
You can always contact us a SERVPRO of Greater Smithtown at 631-265-9200. We’re faster to any size disaster!