Article by David Selter
In situations involving water damage and drying processes, acting swiftly is vital to minimize further damage, reduce costs, and ensure your insurance claim is accepted. Experts in water damage restoration emphasize the crucial first 24 to 48 hours to inhibit microbial growth and avoid what’s known as secondary damage.
Water damage inherently follows the principle of “wet seeks dry”. This means, what may seem like localized water damage in your home is actually spreading, as the water moves towards other dry materials. For instance, if you place a partially wet sponge upright on a counter, soon the entire sponge will be damp. Despite gravity, the water will climb up the sponge searching for dry areas. Similarly, water in your home will move under walls and cabinets, soaking into walls, insulation, wood structures, cabinets, and furniture. The more extended the moisture lingers, the further the water and damage will spread, increasing the likelihood of microbial growth, including mold.
The moisture in your home will start to evaporate, raising humidity levels to points your air conditioner may not be able to manage. Rapidly reducing humidity to 40% or lower is critical, making high-capacity dehumidifiers essential for water damage recovery. Elevated humidity means the air is nearly saturated with moisture, leading to condensation on various surfaces. A common example is the fogging of a bathroom mirror during a shower. This condensation damages surfaces and, coupled with natural air dust, creates an ideal environment for mold growth. The longer these moist conditions persist, the greater the risk of additional damage to your home and belongings.
Moreover, homeowner’s insurance policies typically require that immediate measures be taken to prevent further damage following an incident. Neglecting this can lead to your insurance claim being rejected, as insurers aim to avoid covering unnecessary repair costs. Insurance companies often advise promptly hiring a restoration company for drying, not for expenditure purposes, but because it ultimately reduces the overall damage repair costs.
Delaying the drying process after water damage can lead to significant expenses. The water will persist in spreading to dry areas, exacerbating damage to walls, floors, cabinets, and belongings. Excess air moisture can harm other surfaces in your home and your possessions, while also encouraging microbial growth. Additionally, not taking immediate action to address water damage may lead to the denial of your insurance claim.