Water damage is never a skin-deep problem. Significant amounts of water in your home cause numerous issues, and water can seep into many unseen and hard-to-find areas. Once your home or a section of your home floods, you can expect that water to travel to other parts of the structure. This excess moisture can damage personal belongings, ruin walls and floors, and lead to mold. 

Unfortunately, the damage can often go much further. In addition to these problems, water can also impact the structure of your home. When moisture reaches structural elements, it can affect the house's safety or create mold hazards in much more challenging-to-reach places. Addressing these problems is crucial to restoring your structure to its original condition.

Understanding Secondary Damage

Secondary damage occurs when water or moisture remains in place for too long. The initial flooding will usually result in some amount of damage, but the problem worsens as water soaks into wood flooring, drywall, or other relatively porous parts of your home. Long-term contact with moisture reduces the likelihood of saving these components while potentially leading to more damage down the line.

For example, insulation and wood framing can collect moisture if you can't quickly drain and dry a flooded area. Water that seeps into the walls raises the overall humidity, allowing dampness to spread to these otherwise hidden areas. The longer the problem goes on, the more damage you can expect to find throughout your home.

Given enough time, this secondary damage can also ruin subflooring or even result in higher humidity levels in otherwise unaffected parts of your home. Higher humidity can, in turn, damage items, ruin furniture, or even corrode metal braces and screws in your home's framing. These problems are typically much costlier to deal with than the initial damage.

Avoiding Secondary Water Damage

Quick action is usually the best way to avoid or mitigate secondary water damage, and it can help you save other parts of your home, as well. If you've experienced a significant flooding event, it's always a good idea to contact a water restoration expert as soon as you can. Waiting too long can often give water the time it needs to begin wreaking havoc throughout your house.

In addition to helping you get things dry as quickly as possible, a water damage team can also help you evaluate the overall extent of the damage. This inspection process is crucial to determine if there already are any secondary damage concerns and, if so, how you can best address them. Finding and repairing these problems as soon as possible will give you the best chance for a total restoration. Reach out to a water damage team as soon as you notice the issue.