How long does it take for water to cause damage after a leak, fire, or flood? The short answer is almost immediately. The clock starts ticking as soon as the carpet soaks through or tiles are submerged.
Homeowners and business owners who want to minimize the amount of water damage before mold grows and other problems develop should start a cleanup process within 24 hours. A service like Prime Restoration provides excellent support for these types of emergencies, helping property owners identify the problematic water source and moving quickly to handle ensuing damages.
Below, the Prime Restoration water damage experts discuss how to deal with repair damage from leaking pipes, flooding, condensation build-up, and more.
How Long It Takes for Water to Actually Cause Damage
Where is the water coming from, and how much of it is leaking out into the building or surrounding areas? Understanding the timeline of delaying a cleanup could help with more informed decisions. Here are what the first seven days may look like after a flooding disaster:
Water spreads over, under, and through everything, including:
- Personal mementos, like books and photographs, will absorb moisture, buckle, and warp.
- Upholstery or soft furnishings become waterlogged.
- The floor and walls absorb moisture into the structure of the building.
- Wooden elements swell, including furniture, frames, doors, and floorboards.
- Wallpaper or paint peel.
The overflow might drip along the inside or outside walls, causing structural damage, and dangers arise where the water makes it into electrical outlets. Roof leaks drip through into the ceilings, and the moisture activates any mold spores that then begin to grow.
Days Two to Seven
The water spread even further from Day Two to Seven, with mold becoming especially noticeable on moist surfaces. The stagnating water is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and possibly mosquitoes. Property owners will also notice that wooden furniture and drywall begin to rot, and metal starts to show signs of rust.
At this stage, the entire area becomes a biohazard zone. It needs urgent attention from professionals like Prime Restoration before it will be safe for residents or employees.
After Seven Days
By the end of the first week, the water levels will probably have begun to subside, and surfaces will start to dry. However, any moisture in the furniture or soft padding takes significantly longer to dry, and mold proliferates.
The Next Step
Water may cause significant property damage if left to its own devices for longer than a day or two. Professionals recommend that cleanup begins immediately after shutting down the water source so that there is enough time to drain puddles, remove waterlogged items, and open windows before damages become overwhelming.
Hiring a professional restoration company like Prime Restoration makes sense—the cleanup is quick, and equipment like industrial fans ensures faster recovery.
What Does a Restoration Service Involve?
The team of professionals from Prime Restoration will start by evaluating the situation and looking for all types of water damage. Typically, the team will:
- remove personal belongings from the home to see if anything is salvageable
- check the drywall, flooring, and insulation
They pinpoint the worst areas and draw up plans for the cleanup operation, which always aims to repair what they can so that the costs remain as low as possible.
When to Call a Professional
Is there only a small leak in a basement pipe? Someone with plumbing knowledge may be able to handle the cleanup and repair themselves, but it depends on how significant the damage is across the floor, wall, furniture, and other surfaces. Time is of the essence to stop mold and other bacteria; if it does not look like the place will dry completely within 24 hours, calling a professional water damage restoration service becomes absolutely essential.
How long does it take for water to cause damage? Do not wait to find out—contact Prime Restoration at (801) 509-6899 today and let the cleanup begin!