06 Jan Learn How Water Damage Can Weaken Your HomE
Water damage is one of the most common consequences of flooding or leakage. It is a leading cause for home insurance claims each year. It can lead to toxic mold growth, which is dangerous for your personal items. But the greatest threat to your home’s foundation or structure is it.
Water damage that isn’t addressed promptly will cause significant structural damage to the property and reduce its resale price. This guide will show you how water damage can affect your home.
How water damages the foundation
There are many ways that moisture can cause foundation damage. It is important to know that foundation damage can be structural or non-structural. When water exposure is prolonged and extensive, structural damage can occur. The home begins to shift as a result of the increased water exposure.
The structure sinks further into the ground and often loses its vertical stability. Additionally, basement walls that are structurally unstable may start flexing inward as they become weaker. Non-structural moisture is when water seeps through cracks in the foundation or between the basement wall joints.
The former is obviously more dangerous than the latter, which can occur in severe storms, tornadoes, or when water leakages are not detected for longer periods.
How water damages your walls
Walls are a crucial part of water-led structural problems. Water can penetrate the drywall depending on its complexity and cause structural problems inside. Water can soak up walls at a rate of 1 inch per hour, which is alarming. If water damage is not addressed within a day, it can reach 2 feet up the wall.
In addition, water damage can cause drywall to buckle or warp. This is the most severe form of water damage. Gypsum, the main ingredient in drywall, absorbs water easily and becomes heavier.
The drywall can collapse due to the excess moisture. Your ceiling made from drywall can also collapse under its own weight.
How water damages wood paneling
Wood paneling is safer than drywall. Wood paneling is not susceptible to buckling but it can sustain damage. This is especially true if the wood has not been treated to prevent it from rotting. Many people prefer decorative lumber. Untreated lumber is more appealing from an aesthetic standpoint than treated lumber.
Lumber is also susceptible to appearance issues like discoloration. A wet wood wall can have more problems with appearance than structural ones. They can be just as costly to repair as drywall.
How water damages flooring
Floor moisture damage can cause more than just warping or stains. Regardless of what type of flooring you use, untreated water damage can cause bigger problems. Let’s now look over how water damage affects common flooring types found in homes.
Carpeted floors should be avoided in areas that are susceptible to flooding. It absorbs water quickly and can become a breeding ground to mold. Carpets that have been damaged by water can only be restored in very rare circumstances. They will have to be replaced if they are not dried immediately. You can also replace the carpet padding, but not the carpet.
Hardwood flooring can add great value to your home. However, it is best not to use in moist areas. Hardwood floors won’t be found in bathrooms or kitchens because it doesn’t like water.
Hardwood flooring can be damaged by water. You will notice soft spots, bulging, splitting, cracking and warping. The hardwood may become darker due to water stains. These stains can be difficult to remove.
While water damage won’t directly cause damage to the tiles, it will remove the grout that holds them together. This can cause tiles to lift and allow water to seep beneath, opening the door to mold infestation.
This is where the key factor lies: The tile’s material. Some materials are stronger and more resistant to water than others like ceramic. The former is more expensive.
To figure out the water resistance of tile materials, a rating system is used. The materials are divided into these four categories based on their ability to absorb water.
- Impervious High water resistance; can absorb up to 0.5% water
- Vitreous Very water-resistant. It can absorb between 0.5% to 3% water.
- Semi-vitreous Water absorbed between 3% to 7%
- Non-vitreous Less water-resistant. It absorbs more that 7% of water.
Use of non-vitreous and semi-vitreous materials when there is flooding risk can cause serious problems. Consider impervious tiles or vitreous tiles for the best protection against moisture damage.
Water damage is far more complex than we think. You are probably aware of the obvious problems that water damage can cause and the higher water bills that can result from untreated water leakages. This guide explains how moisture damage can affect the structure of your home. Now you should have an idea of how water damage affects your home.