We’ve talked previously about different kinds of water damage that you might find around Cass County. But today, we’re going to take a look at a few of the dangerous (and non-dangerous!) side effects of water damage. We’ll talk about how to identify it when you see it, what to keep an eye out for, and what damage is dangerous. Let’s dive right in and get started!

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Mild effects of water damage

If you have anything in common with other folks living in the United States, most likely you’ve experienced some level of water problems or damage. Statistics show that 14,000 people experience a water emergency at work or home every single day. That’s a lot of water problems! We’re going to start by looking at a few mild effects of water damage. Keep in mind, these mild effects are often the warning signs for bigger problems, so you’ll help yourself out by watching out for them.

1 – Stains

One of the easiest tip-offs to leaking water is water stains. You may notice a brown spot on a ceiling or wall that’s never been there. Often, stains take a while to appear, even if something has been leaking for a while. Leaking pipes can be rather insidious, with their slow and steady dripping, and often harmful after-effects. 

Keeping a close eye out for water stains may save you a lot of trouble in the end. Because water stains can take time to appear, your pipe may have already been leaking for a while once you notice the stain. And while there’s not a way to avoid it, the faster you jump into action, the less damage the water will do. If you spot a stain, it’s generally the right move to call in the professionals right away so they can help you take care of things expediently! 

2 – Warping

It’s often easy to overlook a slight bump in your hardwood floor. But left for too long, a warped floor can turn into a rotting floor. This may cause problems for structural integrity, something we’ll talk more about later. 

If you notice your floor warping, checking exposed pipes in your basement can be your first order of work. Sometimes, you’ll be able to spot a leak right away (and we hope you can!). If not, it’s okay to keep a close eye on it for a few days and see whether the issue gets bigger or not. 

Worn wooden floor

Frequently, a warped floor will “re-shape” on its own, as long as it’s not continually being exposed to water. Many times, a floor might warp if someone spilled water on it, didn’t clean it up, and allowed it to sit for several days. We’d recommend setting up a fan to blow on the warped section of flooring, and seeing if it “unwarps.” 

Dangerous effects of water damage

Now that we’ve considered a couple mild effects of water damage, we’re going to take a look at a few dangerous effects, and how to identify them.

3 – Mold and mildew

Close to the top of the “home enemy” list, mold and mildew are common, irritating, and sometimes dangerous adversaries found inside your home. Water Damage Defense explains in their graphic that 10% of homes in the United States have a leak that spills 90 gallons of water every day. For one house alone, that’s over 3,000 gallons of water per year. 

With that amount of leaking water, mold and mildew are inevitable. Mold and mildew can start appearing within 24 hours of water exposure. For some people, mold and mildew can cause serious and harmful health problems. But for others, it may cause only allergy-like symptoms such as a runny nose, itchy eyes, etc. However, long-term exposure can be dangerous for any person, especially babies and toddlers. 

Keep a close watch on mold and mildew so that you can get it taken care of quickly, and protect your, and your family’s health. 

4 – Structural integrity

We don’t think much about the structural integrity of our homes on a regular basis. Houses were built to be sturdy, so structural integrity is not something we often have to worry about. But bring water damage into the picture, and you might need to start thinking about how safe your home is. Actually, 98% of basements in the US suffer from water damage during their life spans. (And in case you were wondering, that’s 37,240,000 basements!)

Basements with water damage are a risk factor when it comes to structural integrity. Because your basement is intimately connected to your foundation, the two often suffer together when it comes to water damage. In the case of a flood, pressure, flow, and impact of debris in the water can all play roles in hurting your structural integrity. 

But even slow, steady leaks can cause huge problems in the safety of your home. If you know you’ve had water damage, be on the lookout for rotting wood, crumbling cement, load-bearing walls that seem damp or un-sturdy, or soggy floors that groan under your weight. All of these could be signs of structural integrity problems. 

Old, rundown wall and floor

In the case of water damage, call in the professionals if you’re unsure whether there are structural problems. Being safe rather than sorry may help you save your house, and potentially save a life.

Be prepared but not paranoid

Because so many houses suffer from water damage problems, you won’t be alone if your house does, too. Being alert to potential water problems is fabulous. But don’t let your fears of water problems take over your life. Be prepared, but not paranoid. And if you have time, take a minute to read this other article on our blog about the steps to take when it comes to water damage.