Floods can come from a lot of different places. Most of the time when you think of a flood, pictures of muddy waters flowing down streets and people stranded on their rooftops probably come to mind. These types of disasters are indeed tragic and heartbreaking for anyone who has had to endure them. These types of natural disasters cause billions of dollars worth of damage each year and claim many lives.
In the US, major natural disasters are not the only cause of flood damage. Any time a large amount of water is present floods can occur. This could be the cause of excessive rainfall, quick snow melt, poorly designed drainage systems or even a resourceful beaver in a nearby river. There are even some flood hazards in your home that you may not have considered. Things like your hot water heater, dishwasher or a plugged drain can cause a flood in your home that will cause the same amount of damage as a natural disaster and be just as difficult to clean up.
The most vulnerable thing in your during a flood is your flooring. Most of us will never experience a catastrophic flood where feet of water fill our homes or swift moving currents are strong enough to move furniture or buckle walls. The reality is that it only takes a thin layer of water to cover your floors and cause significant flood damage in your home.
Most of our homes have either carpet, hardwood or some combination of both on the ground floor. Both of these floor coverings have a very short lifespan when covered with water. In both cases, about 3 days is enough to cause permanent damage. Even if the standing water is removed, in just a few days of being wet the fabric fibers the carpet is made from has enough time to break down and backing pad can become destroyed. In this same amount of time, your wood floors will be absorbing water. Most wood floors can absorb some water and still maintain their size and shape, but beyond that point, they will begin to swell as they absorb more water. The swelling in the wood will cause the joints to buckle and each plank to either cup or crown making your floor uneven. Once this happens to your wood floor there is very little you can do to save them.
The length of time you floors can survive while wet is also dependent on the type of flooding. If you had a sewer drain backup the chances of saving carpeting are very small even if you discover the problem quickly. If you have stormwater flooding, the water will most likely bring with it plenty of dirt and contaminants that can be hard to remove. This can be equally true of dishwasher or washing machine floods as well. If you have a clear water flood, maybe from a burst pipe, it will be easier to clean and getting it dry fast will be your main priority.
You also have to consider the age of the flooring that is flooded. If your carpet is very old a flood may bring out unpleasant odors that are nearly impossible to remove even after it has been completely dried. Also, in this case, a thorough drying may end up being more expensive than the carpet is worth, and removal and replacement may be the best option.
I’ve you’ve experienced a flood either from a natural disaster or an in-home disaster you have some tough decisions to make and you have to make them quickly. Having someone on hand to help you make these tough decisions that have experience in flood recovery services can be a huge asset to you and your family. ServiceMaster of Charleston is your Charleston area flood recovery services expert. We are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to assist you in your flood clean up. We can get to most places in Charleston in 2 to 4 hours to make sure cleanup starts as soon as possible to save your possessions and keep your cost down. We can help you evaluate the best course of action whether that is to replace your floors or to use our exclusive 6 step water removal process and save your floors. For more information about our flood recovery services, visit the water and flood damage clean up page or give us a call at 843-760-0404 today!