How Fast Can Water Damage Ruin Your Home?

Neighbors have a water leak, water-damaged ceiling, close-up of a stain on the ceiling.

From leaky pipes to flooded basements, getting unwanted water in your home can result in extensive and expensive damage to your floors, furniture, walls and ceilings. Within just 24 hours of water infiltration, mold can start growing. Even structural issues can develop. That’s why it’s critical to call a professional to perform water damage restoration immediately after flooding occurs.

You may wonder: how quickly does water damage happen after a leak or flood? The answer is right away. Even the smallest of leaks can prove to be problematic later. Due to its fluid nature, water spreads quickly, absorbing into floors, walls, furnishings, and more. These are at risk of damage, but even more importantly, your home insurance may not cover the damage if it’s not addressed in a timely manner.

Here’s a breakdown of how fast water damage occurs.

First 24 Hours

As water spreads, it soaks everything it comes into contact with, from books and photos to couches and area rugs. After it soaks through carpeting, it gets into the subfloor and beyond. Your drywall, wooden doors, and window frames will all start to swell, while paint and wallpaper will blister and peel. Of special concern is the effect leaking water can have on your electrical systems.

When leaks originate in the roof, that water seeps down walls and through ceilings to damage beams and insulation. Mold starts to proliferate in as little as 24 hours.

The First Week

The water damage will continue to progress if left unchecked. Mold is spreading even more rapidly now, and that area of your home may become a biohazard. Metal surfaces will corrode and wood rot will occur, not to mention a nasty odor will develop.

More Than a Week

After a week, the cleanup job and resulting repair bills go up exponentially. It takes longer to mitigate the problem and it costs more too. On top of that, the spread of mold is out of control, as is the risk of lasting structural damage.

When to Hire a Pro

After the initial leak or flood occurs and you have deemed it safe to enter the home or the area in question, you can quickly assess the situation. Contain the leak, turn off the electricity at the breaker box, and contact your insurance company. For your part, you may be able to relocate furniture and mop up the wettest areas, but professional water damage repair should begin within 24 to 48 hours. This will minimize the spread of the water, its effects and the growth of mold.

You may not think the damage is too bad, but what you can’t see is usually where the worst of it occurs. A water damage restoration professional will be able to assess how much damage has been done, determine what needs to be done to repair it, and how long it will take to dry out.

Contact 1st Class Carpet Cleaning and Restoration Services

Don’t ignore water damage in your basement or any other area of your home. Call us instead. We can be there quickly to remove the water, dry it out, and clean up the after effects. To book an appointment for water damage restoration, contact us at (248) 491-3088.