The High and Dry Blog
Toronto’s structural clarity in a sea of confusion.
Why is Water Damage so Dangerous?
November 10, 2019
Regardless of the season, water damage can happen at any time of the year. Whether it is caused by snow and ice thawing or a torrential downpour, if water enters your basement, it can become very dangerous. When most people think of water damage, they mostly think of dollar signs. A flood in your finished basement can destroy everything it touches, but most people don’t think about how dangerous basement water damage can be.
A basement flood can be devastating, and most insurance policies don’t cover water in your basement, regardless if it is a flood. You may be immediately concerned with the damage of your possessions, but when it comes to flooding, these items aren’t the only thing that you should be worried about.
Keep reading to learn more about the dangers associated with water damage in your basement, along with how to prevent water damage, how to spot water damage, and what you should do if your basement floods.
What To Do If Your Basement Floods
If you notice that your basement has flooded, the first thing you should do is contact the professionals. You may be tempted to enter the basement to save your personal items, but this can be very dangerous! There are several items located in your basement that require electricity to function. This means that these items may have come in contact with the water which can lead to electrocution if you are not careful.
Mould, Mildew, and Fungus
Another dangerous aspect that is associated with water damage is mould, mildew, and fungus. Mould, mildew, and fungus love to grow in environments that are wet or damp. There are many serious health concerns when living in an environment that is growing mould, mildew, or fungus. Some of these issues include:
- Eye irritations
- Respiratory problems
- Skin rashes
There are many other issues that can be caused by exposure to mould, mildew, or fungus. These issues are even more severe for the eldery, children, and those with medical issues such as asthma. Long term exposure to mould, mildew, or fungus can lead to serious issues including memory problems and brain damage. The best way to avoid mould, mildew, and fungus from growing in your basement is to ensure that your basement is completely water free.
Another aspect that you must consider when you have water damage in your home is the effect it has had on the structure of your home.
Beyond the damage to your foundation, the water can also damage wood and support beams. The water can cause them to rot which can severely degrade the structural integrity of your home.
The complicated part about structural damage that is caused my water entering your basement is that it might not always be obvious. That’s why even if there is a small leak in your home, we suggest that you contact the basement waterproofing and basement foundation repair experts at GJ MacRae. Our team has decades of experience, and knows what to look for to ensure your home remains safe for years to come!
Another aspect of water damage in your basement is property damage. Your drywall and floors may be destroyed, and so will all of the personal items that you’ve stored in the basement.
Drywall and water don’t mix. Drywall is the product that your walls are made of, and when it comes in contact with water for an extended period of time, it cannot be saved. Not only will the drywall sheets lose their integrity, they will also become a perfect place for mould to grow.
Many people never expect to see their sofa floating in their basement… but sometimes floods happen! Furniture that gets wet is often hard to salvage. Couches hold water and begin to grow mould and wooden items begin to peel and smell. You may be able to save these pieces if they aren’t exposed to the water for too long, but often times it is best to cut your losses and replace them in order to keep your home and your family safe.
It is not safe to enter the water damaged area until all the power to your home has been shut off. We suggest leaving this to the professionals so that there is no risk of injury to you or your family.
Water damage and electrical outlets and appliances can cause serious issues. When water enters your home, it travels wherever it can. This means that it can enter your electrical outlets and all of your appliances including:
- Water Heaters
- HVAC Systems
- Washer & Dryer
These items can become corroded by the water which can put your and your home in danger is they are used after getting wet. We suggest that you contact an expert to examine all your appliances prior to using them after any water enters your home.
Another thing that is attracted to wet, dark spaces is pests. From mice to rats, cockroaches to other insects, when you have water damage, they will come. Not only are these unwanted creatures unpleasant, their waste has been linked to triggering asthma attacks and other respiratory issues. It is important to make sure that the damaged space is dry and that the source of the leak is fixed so that you don’t have to call in an exterminator!
Determining the Cause of the Leak
The first step in the repair process is to determine the cause of the leak. Without knowing what caused the leak, you won’t be able to know how to fix it. There are many different reasons why a leak can occur. Here are some of the most common reasons for a leak in your basement.
One thing that can cause water damage in your basement is plumbing leaks. These leaks can be from a broken hose for your washing machine, an issue with your water heater, or even a burst pipe.
Hatchway Doors And Stairways
Did you know that hatchway doors and stairways are usually sealed to your home’s foundation walls? This means that water can seep into your basement through these seals!
Leaky Basement Windows
Does your home have window wells? These window wells can, if not properly maintained, fill with water which can leak into your basement. The team at GJ MacRae can help you keep your basement dry by repairing your window wells!
Leaky Basement Foundation
One of the most common reasons for a basement to sustain water damage is a leaky basement foundation. If you have a leak, contact the experts at GJ MacRae to diagnose where the leak is coming from. If it is as a result of a leaky basement foundation, our team of experts can help eliminate the problem – for good!
Signs of Moisture
One of the most obvious signs that you have an issue is when you find your basement filled with water. There are however, more subtle signs that can let you know you have water damage issues. If you notice any of these issues, we suggest contacting the experts at GJ MacRae to help diagnose the issue. These signs include:
- Damp or humid air
- Respiratory issues
- Strange smells
- Visible mildew, mould, or fungus
- Pools of water outside your home
- Cracks in your walls
If you notice any of these issues, call our team today! The quicker the issue is discovered and solved, the less damage that will be done to your basement.
There are many things that you can do to prevent your home from sustaining water damage. One of the main things is basement waterproofing! The team at GJ MacRae has decades of basement waterproofing and basement foundation repair experience. Our team will visit your home, identify the issue, and then work with you to solve it! If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!