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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Secondary Water Damage

5/19/2019 (Permalink)

If you've had a burst pipe, toilets backing up, or other flooding problems in your business, a call to the plumber is only the beginning of clearing up the mess. Significant damage may occur due to the water and excess moisture. It's important for this to be cleaned up as soon as possible. Failure to do this can lead to secondary damage, which can include hidden structural problems and black mold. These can be extremely expensive to eliminate.

What is Secondary Damage?

In a nutshell, secondary water damage is any damage that's not caused directly by the flooding incident. This damage can manifest in a number of ways, including:

  • Vinyl and other types of flooring pulling up from the floor
  • Finish damage and buckling of wooden floors
  • Mold growth, such as trichoderma and stachybotrys chartarum (black mold)
  • Sagging and cracking sheetrock or drywall

This secondary damage occurs when the primary damage is not addressed properly, or the damage isn't found for a long while. Lingering high humidity may also be a culprit; if proper dehumidification techniques aren't used, moisture can remain to cause big problems.

How to Prevent Secondary Damage

If you are able to enter the building, you can take some immediate steps to help contain the damage. Ventilate the area as well as possible with AC in the summer, or by opening windows and turning on the heat during the winter. Remove as much water as possible by mopping and moving saturated rugs outside or to another dry area. Remove any items such as furniture, electronics, and documents as well.

The only way to be certain that you won't have to deal with secondary damage is to call a professional water damage restoration company right away. They will immediately do an inspection to assess the extent of the damage, then use specialized equipment to make sure everything is completely dried and disinfected to prevent any spread of harmful pathogens such as bacteria or black mold. They will also be able to make any necessary structural repairs and get your building back to its former condition. Armed with the information outlined above and the help of a professional restoration service, you can make sure that secondary damage is avoided.

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