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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How Water Affects Common Building Materials

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

Leaking faucet filling sink with water Water leaks can cause serious damage in your home or business.

Large volumes of water can destroy your home’s internal structures. To minimize swelling wood and other forms of destruction, you need to quickly and efficiently remove standing water and eliminate moisture. Understanding how water destroys various building materials can also help you assess the salvageability of water-damaged items inside your home.

Dry-Soaked Objects

Eliminating water and moisture is one of the first steps of the cleanup process and is essential for damage control. You can utilize a variety of methods to expediate drying:

• Open windows
• Use fans and a dehumidifier
• Employ a shop vac to soak up pooled water

Wooden Materials

A common indication of water damage is swelling wood. Wooden structures inside your home that may be influenced by excessive water exposure include:

• Subfloors
• Baseboards and door frames
• Cabinets

When exposed to water, plywood may warp and delaminate. Particleboard can also bloat and distort. As a result, you may need to replace saturated subfloors. However, your ability to salvage wooden items will largely depend on the extent of water exposure.

Drywall Saturation

Both drywall and insulation absorb water. When saturated, drywall becomes soft and weak while insulation loses its R-value, thus reducing its effectiveness. Wet drywall and insulation can also become breeding grounds for mold and mildew. For this reason, saturated drywall and insulation should be promptly removed and replaced once the damaged area is dry.

Carpet Replacement

Like drywall and insulation, carpets and padding absorb water. Because wet carpets can also harbor mold and mildew, drying them quickly is essential. If the floor is extremely saturated, you may need to replace both items.

Professional Assistance

Every home in Mount Prospect, IL, is potentially susceptible to water damage. Removing standing water and quickly drying the area is crucial to minimizing destruction, including swelling wood. If your property suffers significant damage, you may want to hire a professional cleanup and restoration team. A licensed plumber can also inspect the water supply line, complete a water pipe repair to the damage and offer suggestions to minimize bursting pipes.

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