Flooded basement and secondary damage
Per the S500, the water damage restoration bible — Primary damage occurs when building materials are directly exposed to standing water.
This type of damage is witnessed in the forms of saturated and bulging drywall, trim/baseboard physical warping, carpet and padding damage, high structural material moisture content, damaged furniture and other contents and electrical related damage just to name a few of the most commonly damaged items. This type of damage sometimes can be prevented by prior planning.
Most homeowners don’t ever plan to have a flooded basement so most people wind up being caught off-guard. One of the most important preventative measures is to make sure that your current or new insurance provider offers a solid coverage plan to cover any damage or losses that might be incurred after a flood or water damage.
Some other things that can be done before hand is to make sure that your basement drains are functional. Your basement drain should also be located at the lowest point in the basement so that water flows to it and reduces any chances of having “pooling” areas. Sump pumps should be checked regularly and it is also a good idea to have a backup sump pump at the ready.
All valuable items such as birth certificates and other important documents should not be stored in the basement and if so they should be kept in a plastic water-proof storage container. Basically if it is too valuable to be lost, don’t store it in the basement. If it is possible to store things up high then this is also a smart idea.
This type of damage is incurred mainly because of the drastic change in the environment inside of the structure.
When a structure goes from a state of having the ideal humidity conditions to having one where the amount of H2O in the air is grossly elevated, this super wet air will start to soak into the dry porous building materials.
This state of high humidity is also now perfect for mold and bacterial growth and amplification.
Also eventhough the water level was at a certain height, the porous structural building materials that are in direct contact with the standing water will start to absorb water and the walls will be wetter a lot higher than the original water level. I have seen instances where drywall was wet from the floor-to-the-ceiling eventhough the water depth was not nearly that high.
Other porous materials such as drywall will start to absorb moisture from below and also from the extremely wet air.
Harmful bacterial growth that increases to a dangerous level can contact the entire house and hvac system. A foul stale smell of mold can be indicative of air deterioration brought about by secondary damage.
Time is of the essence here. Secondary damage costs can match or exceed the primary damage costs.
Many homeowners who have experienced a flood initially try and correct the problem themselves and lot of times they spend a couple of days on the project and then decide to call in a professional. By this time, they wind up costing themselves more money than if they would have called a water damage restoration professional in on day 1.
Prolonging the act of calling on a professional restorer can easily cause a job cost increase of 50% to 150% or more. So when in doubt, seek out a water damage professional. Most of the reputable companies will provide a FREE estimate. For questions or if you have a water damage emergency, call Floodtechs – Water Damage Restoration and Clean Up
at 800-563-4131. We provide service in over 32 major cities.