What Are the Effects of Water Damage?


Water damage is one of the most common and costly problems homeowners and businesses face.

Whether it’s the result of a broken pipe, a leaky roof, or flooding from severe weather, water damage can cause significant problems for your property. Not only can it lead to costly repairs, but it can also create health and safety hazards and create an ideal environment for mold growth. Below are some of the consequences of water damage and how to avoid them.

Health Hazards

A home or business exposed to water damage is susceptible to harmful bacteria and other microbes. If the damage is not addressed correctly, toxins can linger on your affected furniture, carpets, and inside your HVAC system long after the water has dried. Those bacteria and microbes can lead to several health hazards, including respiratory problems, skin infections, and gastrointestinal illness. The health hazards can be even more severe if the water is contaminated with sewage or chemicals.

Mold Growth

Mold growth is one of the most common consequences of water damage. It thrives in damp, dark environments, so if your property has water damage, it’s essential to dry the area out as quickly as possible to prevent growth. Mold can grow in as little as 48 hours and can be difficult and expensive to treat and remove. If left untreated, it can spread and cause adverse health effects, including respiratory issues and skin irritations.

Structural Damage

Water damage can also cause structural damage to your property. If not dealt with quickly and correctly, it can warp and split the subfloor, cause paint to peel, and deteriorate drywall. Even solid materials that foundations are made of (such as masonry, concrete and stone) can soak up small amounts of water through their cracks and pores. Unless these pockets of water are removed, it can create defects in the building foundation that will eventually weaken the entire structure. All affected areas will need to be replaced or restored, which can be a costly fix.

Electrical Damage

If your home or business has been damaged by water, it’s crucial to have a professional inspect your electrical systems before using them again. Water can cause severe damage to wiring, outlets, and electrical boxes, creating a safety hazard. Electrical water damage usually occurs in kitchen appliances, washing machines, dryers, hot water tanks, and furnaces. Low-mounted electrical outlets are also susceptible to water damage.

Loss of Personal Belongings

Water damage can quickly destroy many personal items, including books, photographs, electronics, furniture, clothing and personal documents, among other things. If you have valuable items damaged by water, it’s essential to take them to a professional restoration company as soon as possible for assessment and treatment.

Emotional Toll

If the water damage is severe enough, you may be required to relocate your business, tenants, or residence temporarily. Relocation can be especially tough, as it is a significant inconvenience and adds additional financial, mental, and physical strain for all affected (including property owners, business owners and tenants). A study by the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation and The University of Waterloo recently found that flooded household members experienced significantly higher worry and stress than non-flooded households in the first 30 days of experiencing a flood and up to three years afterwards. Water damage can also cause loss of work, lost rent and business interruptions, negatively impacting your business reputation. Read this blog post for more information about the emotional toll of water damage.

Water damage can have a severe impact on your home or business. Not only is it costly to repair, but it can also lead to health hazards and structural damage. So make sure you take steps to prevent water damage and know what to do if it does occur. For more information on protecting yourself from water damage, visit our website or contact us today.

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