Does Water Damage Get Worse Over Time?

Water loves to flow.

From hills to streams, from bedrocks to rivers, and from the sky to our sewer systems.

When buildings get in the way of this water flow, there’s only one winner – water.

Water-logged foundations, moisture-packed walls, and flooded crawlspaces are all subject to severe weakening.

The more water these structures are exposed to the more extensive the damage they experience.

Excessive water damage can make any home unsafe. Here’s how water damage gets worse with time –

Contamination and Infestation

The water that enters your home is never the cleanest water.

Be it rain, sewage water, or even atmospheric moisture – the water particles that breach your property almost always contain contaminants.

Mud, dust, bacteria, and all sorts of other contaminants enter your home along with the water.

That’s why any item that’s over-exposed to water needs to be replaced after a while.

  • Steel items (e.g., electrical appliances) get corroded.
  • Carpets and furniture items absorb water particles and lose their structural integrity. The same happens to hardwoods, laminates, tile, and baseboards.
  • Walls, especially drywalls, are highly porous structures that get bloated and severely weakened due to excessive moisture exposure. These items don’t just become weak – they create the perfect conditions for pest and mold infestations.

Moisture-damaged drywalls, flooded basements, or wet kitchen spaces have all the conditions necessary for pest and mold growth.

The bacteria that enters along with the water adds to these conditions, making these spaces ripe for contamination.

Health Risks

A home that’s constantly exposed to liquid or atmospheric water will have intruding H2O particles seep in everywhere.

When water fills countless cracks and crevices in a home, it creates more cracks.

Water can also accumulate inside electrical outlets and wiring structures and pose serious health hazards.

Constant Pressure on the Home’s Structural Components

When left unchecked for several years, the home’s structural components become the final victims of water damage.

Three to four years of consistent water exposure is more than enough for any home’s foundation to crumble and fall.

Here’s how this process plays out:

  • Water builds up in different pockets of the home’s foundation during spring melts and rainstorms. These buildups levy extreme amounts of pressure on the home’s foundation.
  • During the dry, summer months, the water evaporates. The water pressure is relieved for a while. Different components of the home’s foundation shift back and forth, expanding & contracting along with the seasonal changes. These changes add more stress to the home’s substructure.
  • Since the hydrostatic pressure on the home’s foundation is never uniformly distributed, different components degrade at different times. For instance, your home’s basement may experience more strain than your living room. These types of tension cause horizontal fissures in the home’s foundation.

All of these damages add up to severely compromising the structural integrity of the home.

Even the ground under the home can be severely compromised leading to settling.

Any building that settles too much starts getting large and wide creaks in the floors.

Thankfully, getting timely water damage clean up and restoration services can help homeowners avoid such fates.

If you’re a homeowner, get these services before water ruins the exteriors and interiors of your home.

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