You might not know it, but water damage can quietly lurk in the shadows of your home waiting to spring into action. Left unattended, water damage can snowball and become a major problem that sticks around for years or even decades. If left unchecked, boils on wallpaper and other hidden problems related to water damage can make their presence known long after the original issue has been swept under the rug. The longer water sits, the more difficult and expensive it becomes to repair. This is why it is crucial to enlist the help of Seattle water damage repair specialists at Robinson Restoration as soon as possible. They have the expertise and equipment necessary to extract water, dry out materials, and prevent further damage from occurring. So how long does water damage last? The reality is that it depends upon a wide variety of factors. Let’s dive in deeper and learn more about these factors.
The Extent of the Damage
The degree of damage also plays a role in predicting how long it will persist. For minor water damage, such as a spilled glass of water on a hardwood floor, the damage can usually be remedied with prompt cleanup and minimal repairs, and the effects will likely disappear quickly. However, with more significant water damage, the restoration process can be extensive, requiring professional intervention and lengthy repairs. Additionally, if water damage affects structural elements of a building, such as a foundation or load-bearing walls, the consequences can last for years and require significant repairs.
The Level of Temperature and Humidity
Temperature and humidity constitute a complex relationship that can either expedite or prolong water damage. Typically, it takes about 24-48 hours for water damage to set in and begin causing problems. However, this timeline significantly varies depending on the temperature and humidity conditions in the affected area.
Low temperature and high humidity levels can slow down the drying process, leading to prolonged water damage. High humidity levels can hinder the evaporation of moisture, preventing the drying process. On the other hand, hot and dry temperatures can cause rapid and efficient drying, leading to a faster resolution of water damage.
The ideal temperature range for efficient water damage restoration is between 70-80°F; this allows for optimal drying rates, preventing microbial growth from flourishing in humid environments. When combined with low humidity, optimal drying rates can be achieved, and the water damage can be resolved in a timely manner.
Type of Material Affected
Different materials react differently when exposed to water damage. For example, materials like concrete, brick, and other masonry generally have excellent resilience to water. Concrete being highly durable, can withstand the effects of water damage for many years with only a few blemishes. However, water damage to gypsum drywall, ceilings, and wooden structures can last longer and be more demanding to repair since those materials are porous and absorb water more quickly.
Duration of Exposure
The duration of exposure refers to the amount of time that a property is exposed to water. This exposure can occur due to a variety of reasons, such as a pipe burst, a roof leak, or a flooded basement. The longer the duration of exposure, the more severe and long-lasting the water damage can be.
For instance, if water damage is not immediately addressed and the property is left exposed to water for an extended period of time, the damage can become much more severe. This is because water can seep into the walls, floors, and other porous materials and cause long-term structural damage. Additionally, mold can begin to grow within 24-48 hours of water exposure, which can cause respiratory problems and other health issues.
Source of Water
When water damage is caused by clean water, such as a burst pipe or a malfunctioning appliance, it can take up to 72 hours for mold growth to occur. If the water is quickly removed and the area is properly dried, there may not be any lasting damage. However, if left untreated, the moisture can cause structural damage to the building materials, which can lead to long-term issues like weakened walls, floors, and ceilings. In addition, mold can begin to grow and spread, which can affect the air quality and cause health problems for those living or working in the affected area.
On the other hand, if water damage is caused by greywater, which is water from sources like washing machines or dishwashers, or black water, which is sewage, the damage can be much more severe and long-lasting. Greywater can contain harmful chemicals and bacteria, while black water can pose serious health risks. Both types of water can cause extensive damage to the structure and contents of a building. The longer the water remains, the more damage it can cause and the more difficult it becomes to repair.