Water Damage: Multiple levels
1003-D S. Industrial
Round Rock, TX 78681
Water Damage: Multiple levels of
Many people tend to think of water damage in very one
dimensional ways, namely that all they have to worry
about is their lowest level or basement. After all,
flood water isn't likely to travel up the stairs, right?
As a result, they take steps to defend the lower levels,
even moving valuables to a higher floor to prevent damage.
Unfortunately, they are overlooking a fairly large piece
of the water damage puzzle.
Upper level water damage accounts for a significant
percentage of all water damage cases. In many newer
homes, washer/dryer connections are found on upper levels,
and hot water heaters are commonly found in attics along
with air conditioning units, both of which may cause
significant water leaks if they malfunction.
When a leak or spill occurs upstairs, it is twice as
important to be proactive in locating it and shutting
it off. Water will always follow the path of least resistance,
going wherever gravity takes it. This includes down
through your walls to your lower level. So, unlike a
first floor spill which will remain confined to one
area, and upper level spill will eventually spread and
cause problems downstairs as well. Your drywall may
be severely damaged by running water, made apparent
by discolorations or stains, then softening of the wall
itself. Even worse, electrical wiring running through
your walls may be damaged, increasing the risk of fire.
Sometimes water will build up above the lower level
ceilings. When this happens, the ceiling may start to
sag under the weight of the water. Do not enter any
room where such sagging is apparent. The ceiling could
give way at any time, sending water and any debris that
has been built up falling into the lower floor. A person
standing in the wrong place may be injured. Even if
the ceiling remains intact, lighting fixtures in the
room are at risk for short circuiting and blowing out.
The electricity to the structure should be shut off
at the breaker to prevent risk of injury.
Due to the complexity of working between floor levels,
upper level water damage should always be handled by
a certified water restoration professional. They have
the training and experience to quickly determine the
source of the water, shut it off, and begin the restoration
process as quickly as possible. Acting rapidly will
go a long way towards minimizing the level of damage
to your home or business.
Once the home has been secured, loose items such as
furniture, appliances, and electrical devices may be
removed. If they have been damaged by water, they can
be cleaned and repaired elsewhere. This prevents them
from being an impediment to other restoration efforts.
At this point, the full extent of the damage can be
determined. All affected surfaces will need to be completely
dried out; failure to do so may result in the growth
of harmful microorganisms, such as mold. Carpets may
need to be taken up in order to fully dry out the flooring
beneath. Drywall may have to be partially or fully removed
to remediate the moisture remaining in the walls. Vinyl
flooring or tiling may have to be taken up in order
to locate all water that is affecting your home.
Restoration professionals know exactly where to look
for water damage that may not be readily apparent, as
well as the proper steps to take to return your property
to it pre-loss condition.
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