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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

The Dangers Of A Slow Leak

5/12/2022 (Permalink)

Slow leaks can devastate the condition of the materials in your home that come into contact with them.

A slow leak is an extremely inconvenient occurrence that happens constantly in the residential homeowner’s world. Slow leaks can go on for weeks or even years without being noticed. Thus they can cause so much more damage than an average leak that is addressed right away and discovered right away. Water that sits for a while without being addressed can cause mold or dry rot to happen.

Water that does not sit and is taken care of right away completely prevents mold and the possibility of dry rot occurring from the water loss. Water, even if it is from a clean source such as a supply line, can become contaminated if it sits for long periods of time un-mitigated. For example, if clean water runs into a crawl space, but there are rodents in that crawl space and feces from the rodents spread throughout the space, the job automatically fits into a Biohazardous one because of the extreme contamination of the water, especially if it sits for a while.

Another example of clean water becoming contaminated is if it slowly leaks between vinyl and the underlayment, damaging glue and adhesive from the vinyl. Many times the vinyl contains chemicals and even asbestos, the older the home the more likely it is to contain hazardous building materials.

Here are some examples of slow/long-term leaks in residential homes that we have encountered. A slow leak behind the valve in a stand-up shower. This was impossible to detect due to a full shower surround and a wall on the other side of the leak. The slow leak was spraying onto the drywall behind the shower surround. This caused black mold to grow and required demo of the shower and replacement of the drywall affected as well as the flooring.

Another example of a slow leak was in a high-end home. The owners noticed the flooring starting to buckle in a single place in the kitchen area, then not long after they noticed it buckling in other areas of the home. Finally when we were called in, we found a hot water supply line in the crawl with a minuscule pin-hole leak that was off-putting a small amount of steam each time someone in the house used the hot water. It is crazy to think that one small leak (smaller than a pinhead) can cause mold to grow throughout a 2,000sqft crawlspace. But that is exactly what happened. This was exacerbated also because the customer ignored the first signs of loss with the floors in their home. The subfloor and underlayment became fully saturated, and all the floors had to be replaced in the home due to warping of the laminate backing.

So if something seems off within your home, there is a musty smell, the floors have started showing discoloration or warping, or you spot a water stain on the wall or ceiling, take action and call SERVPRO! We are here to help and even a single day can prevent the damage of hardwood flooring throughout a home. So never hesitate to take care of you home, it is one of your biggest investments.

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