It’s Just a Little Water Spill.
There’s Often More Water Than You Think
When a property owner experiences a flooding event, they can see the water on the surface but do not necessarily understand how far the moisture can spread under the surface and into the structural materials. The amount of visible moisture and the hidden moisture present during a flooding event can be compared to an iceberg in the ocean; there is more ice below the surface than above. In other words, during a structural flooding event, there is usually more moisture below the surface.
If your structure experiences a flooding event, even a small spill, be aware that carpets, wood, sheetrock will absorb moisture. Moisture will also seep through cracks and seams and flow downward by way of gravity. As time goes by, the wicking action of sheetrock can draw moisture upward from water on the floor at the rate of one inch per-hour. Up to two feet of sheetrock can get wetted. To prevent this from happening, as soon as water damage technicians arrive, they often make a “flood cut.” A flood cut is defined as removing the baseboard and then neatly cutting and removing a horizontal portion of sheetrock to stop the wicking action.
SERVPRO of Yuma East, Foothills water damage technicians are trained and experienced in detecting how far moisture can spread. Our technicians also use moisture meters and thermal image cameras to assist them in detecting hidden moisture so they can focus restoration drying equipment to where it is needed. You may be asking how a thermal image cameras can find trapped moisture? Thermal image cameras detect temperature variations in structural materials. Damp materials will give a different temperature reading than dry materials.
What Happens When Hidden Moisture is Not Thoroughly Removed?
Structural materials that remain damp for extended time can contribute to microbial growth such as mold and dry rot. Over time, dry rot destroys wood and can damage the structural integrity of a building. Prolonged dampness in carpets and underlayment’s will produce stale damp odors. Indoor air quality will suffer when a building remains damp making it uncomfortable for the occupants. That’s why water damage drying professionals set their goal to completely dry a structure within three to five days, whenever possible. That’s also why the EPA recommends having drying procedures under way within 48-hours or less. In some cases, serious flooding events require longer than five days to dry. Fortunately, there are professional restorative drying techniques to reduce or prevent the risk of residual long-term damage. Controlled demolition and the use of anti-microbial treatment may be required in these circumstances.
Should your property experience a water damage event be aware the water may have spread further than you imagine, be sure to contact SERVPRO of Yuma East, Foothills for assistance. 928-247-1180.