Hey, It’s Only Spilled Water – What’s the Big Deal?

ImageNearly every house or commercial building will have water damage issues at some time during it’s lifetime. Whether a plumbing leak from a water line, toilet or hot water heater, washing machine overflow, ground water seepage, roof leak, ice dam. Inside as a liquid, solid or vapor, water poses a serious problem when it isn’t contained. Even the newest or best maintained buildings and systems spring leaks without any warning. There should be no shame in being normal.

We find that many property owners do not initially recognize the urgency of response needed when water intrudes into a normally dry room of their building. Most building materials are never supposed to become damp or wet. Paint or varnish offers little protection from immersion. Common building materials, including hidden lumber, exposed sheet rock and wood flooring or carpeting and insulation are porous and will act like sponges and quickly begin absorbing significant amounts of water. Water which must then be removed by some means other than slow evaporation.

When clean, fresh water coming out of a water line spills into a carpet it very quickly becomes contaminated with dust or dirt and activates resident bacteria and a myriad other lurking micro-organisms. Over a few hours time in a warm room, that initially clean water begins to swarm with microscopic life feeding on the organic stuff now in contact with the water. Within a day or two, that initially clean water turns into grey water and begins to smell offensive and becomes unhealthy to contact. After 48 hours or so, grey water progressively transforms into ‘black water’ which, like sewage, is considered a dangerous bio-hazard.

The big issue with drying out a structure is time passing which increases the costs of drying. The faster the dry-out begins, in almost every case, the less the cost of the dry out. Once building materials become soaked, the longer it takes to dry them out. Restoration companies charge for the days their equipment – fans and dehumidifiers – are running on a job after the initial water extraction. Worse, materials that become saturated with nasty black water may not be savable. Estimates of demolition and reconstruction costs are usually a shock to owners, even if those costs do ultimately get paid by insurance.

Our very best advice is: Treat any water surprise as an emergency. Get experienced, certified water technicians on scene at once. Faster will usually be cheaper, even if after-hours or weekend charges apply!

When water appears where it should not be, don’t hesitate or delay, call the pros at Floodco for help. 406 892-1717.