When you come across water damage, the first thing you need to determine is whether that damage is old or new. Figuring out this information will help you understand the extent of the damage and what your next step should be.
In order to figure out the answer, you must first determine the materials because water affects every material differently. For example, if you notice that tough materials like tile and brick have been affected by water damage, it’s likely that the damage is old because it takes time for these materials to wear enough to create leaks; whereas drywall, hardwood floors and carpet are affected by water right away. If you spot damage in these latter materials, the damage can be new and even a little bit of water can wear away these types of materials fast.
The second step involves looking for rings, which are a result of water damage that has been occurring for a while. Soft materials like drywall and wooden floors develop a ring-like appearance when water soaks in, resulting in discolouration. It does dry out but leaves a stain and if it happens more than once, water rings of different sizes will appear, which is a sign that the water damage is not only old but also intermittent. This is a clear sign that you have a leak that happens from time to time but is not constant. It could be from a pipe that doesn’t run every day or from a leak in your roof that causes water damage whenever it rains.
Next, you’ll have to touch the spot because this will tell you a lot. Areas that have been affected by new water damage will be wet but not soft, whereas areas that feel soft means the water has had time to soak in and ruin the material, meaning the damage is old. After completing this step, you’ll then have to assess any mould which can start to grow within the first day of water damage. If the mould is easy to spot and visible you’ll know that the water has been soaked for at least 24-48 hours, while extensive signs of mould will indicate that the water damage is older than the two day period. It’s important to note that absence of mould does not mean the damage is new because in some cases it may be too hot or too cold for mould to grow, so keep this aspect in mind because other factors result in lack of mould growth.
Lastly, call in the professionals at ONT Restoration to take a look because you may not be able to get to the root cause on your own. Servicing both Mississauga and Toronto, they will help with water damage repairs, clean up and removal, so if you spot any water in your basement and require mitigation, give ONT Restoration a call today!