Houses are not designed to get wet on the inside, certainly not deep within the structure, and they use long-standing design concepts and materials to keep unwanted water at bay. However, it is never possible to protect against every conceivable outcome and flood damage to homes is an issue affecting people across Australia, whether it is the result of natural phenomena or internal plumbing issues.
Here at Pircsa Pty Ltd, we have more than 45 years of experience in property damage repair and restoration. In this article, we will discuss water damage in a house. We will also address the best ways to prevent it, the telltale signs of water damage in walls, and what to do if disaster strikes.
Causes of Water Damage in Homes
The causes of water damage in a house are not usually complicated and tend to be the result of:
- External flow waters caused by significant or excessive rainfall
- Internal plumbing issues and leaks
- External plumbing and sewage issues that spill over into neighbouring properties
Two are reasonably straightforward to protect against, and the other is the exact opposite. If your property lies in a position where it is susceptible to flooding after heavy rain, it is an uphill battle to do anything constructive to prevent flooding once the heavens open.
Water Damage Repair and Restoration
One crucial element of repairing water damage to a house and restoring properties afterwards is known as structural drying. Unless excess moisture is removed from existing building materials, flood damage to homes and other properties will not end because the flood waters have subsided. The potential issues are myriad, and include:
- Mould growth
- Timber decay
- Expansion/contraction of structural materials
- Reduced adhesion and failure of any glue, particularly that used in flooring systems
- Concrete degradation
- Metal corrosion
Not many events are more potentially catastrophic for a house than interior flood damage, but if the worst happens, all is not lost. Provided the property can be thoroughly dried out, there is a strong chance that many of those issues can be mitigated or avoided altogether. Either way, no attempt to repair any damage incurred can begin in earnest until the moisture is all gone. Once the water has successfully been driven away, it is essential to engage the services of a professional water damage restoration service.
The Role of an Inspection in Preventing Water Damage to a House
If you think you have discovered signs of water damage in walls, arranging a professional inspection is crucial. Likewise, if you have experienced a small flood and are unsure whether it has penetrated any deeper and caused water damage to a wall. Schedule a regular service for your plumbing system, and your providers will check for any problems and potential leaks. Keep an eye out for some of the giveaway signs of water damage, including:
- Musty odours
- Mould growth – often first encountered in the seams of floors and ceilings
- An unexplained increase in your water bill
- Stains and discolouration
- Warped or buckled wood and other materials
- Peeling paint and wallpaper
If in doubt, contact the team here at Pircsa and let us give you the benefit of our decades of experience in the industry with open, honest advice and guidance.
How bad is water damage to a house?
There is no use beating around the bush – water damage to a house can be catastrophic. There are methods of restoration and repair that can return a property to some of its former glory, but the ideal situation involves never letting it get wet in the first place.
How long does it take for water damage to show?
Some water damage in a house will be immediately apparent, but elsewhere, for example, if there is water damage to a wall, it may take days or weeks to reveal itself.
How much does it cost to fix water damage in a house?
There is no fixed formula for assessing how much it will cost for repair and restoration after a flooding event. The house may have sustained minor damage and merely needs drying out. Or it may have been subjected to weeks of being undermined and weakened by water and be almost irretrievable. Every situation is unique and must be assessed accordingly with an official inspection.
What causes water damage?
The main problem with interior flood damage is that almost none of the building materials used inside homes are unaffected by the presence of water. Even largely impervious materials are susceptible to mould and other issues if it is present for any significant time. Seemingly dense materials like concrete will also absorb water and degrade from the inside out. Mould and rot can set in and eat away at other materials, and wood often swells/changes shape when saturated.