Water can be your best friend or your worst enemy, it all depends on the circumstances.

On a hot summer day, water provides comfort in the form of a way to cool off if it’s confined within the lining of a swimming pool, or even a way to stay hydrated if presented in a water bottle.

However, the sinister side of water is revealed when it’s allowed to roam free in your home thanks to a clogged toilet or broken pipe. At that point, it’s only a matter of time before water goes from being a minor nuisance to a full-on disaster – and things only get worse as the clock keeps ticking.

Here’s a breakdown of the water damage that occurs when water attacks your home and is not addressed in a timely fashion:

Time Lapsed: Minutes

  • Water saturation spreads to surrounding areas, increasing both the scope and cost of your loss.
  • Visible furniture discoloration and carpet staining.
  • Paper products begin to swell, warp and split.

Time Lapsed: Hours

  • Wet drywall begins to absorb water.
  • Uncoated metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture delaminates, swells, warps, and legs begin to split.
  • Usual household odors become more apparent, and a “sour” odor may develop from standing water.
  • “Clean water” (category 1) damage begins to turn into category 2 water damage (aka “grey water”).

Time Lapsed: Days

  • Water damage is now classified as category 2 (“grey water”).
  • Uncoated metal surfaces start to rust.
  • Mold begins to develop, bringing a stronger musty odor with it.
  • Window casings and doors swell, warp, or delaminate.
  • Wood decking, joists, and studs begin to swell, warp, and split.
  • Electronic devices within the affected area may suffer malfunction.
  • Drywall, sheetrock, gypcrete & other porous materials exposed to water begin to swell and disintegrate.
  • Deteriorating indoor air quality poses a health risk to occupants, especially those with existing health conditions and/or compromised immune systems.

Time Lapse: Weeks

  • “Grey water” (category 2) damage left untreated is now classified as “Black Water” (category 3) damage.
  • Indoor air quality now poses a serious health risk and proper personal protection equipment is required to enter the affected area.
  • Liability increases on insurance claims due to the serious occupant health hazards presented by untreated category 3 water damage.
  • Mold associated with prolonged dampness damages natural fibers, paper covers on wet drywall, paneling, wood, and other building materials.
  • Claim costs on related water damage claims spike due to contaminated building materials requiring removal & replacement.
As you can tell, time is of the essence when your home has suffered water damage. The longer you wait, the more damage water does, so make sure you have a plan of action in the event that your property sustains water damage.

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