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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How Can a Small Water Leak Become a Substantial Concern?

10/19/2020 (Permalink)

water damaged ceiling, insulation fallen SERVPRO assess, plans, removes debris, shores up structural weaknesses, fixes the leak, and restores this Reading water damaged home

Over time, steady leaks can overwhelm building materials and create a considerable mess to clean in Reading homes

Water damage emergencies do not always get recognized immediately in Reading homes. In fact, there are many instances where a leak can persist for days or weeks without notice. These situations significantly test the limitations of building materials. When drywall, insulation, and other ceiling system materials become impacted by a water leak, we must work quickly to clean up the mess and repair these damages.

A water leak in your Reading home can be much more of an immediate concern when it quickly begins to impact areas of your ceiling system closest to the plumbing breach. From frozen pipes in the winter to scaling and throttling of galvanized and lead service lines from older homes, breaks, and holes can form that can result in substantial water loss. You might also only experience a leak that persists unnoticed for many days before it becomes overbearing on the nearby installed materials and collapses.

What Materials Exist in Ceiling Systems?

There are no installed elements of a ceiling system and subsequent floor system in your house that cannot become overwhelmed by saturation concerns. A consistent, even minor leak on this hidden network of plumbing can quickly expose immediate materials to this clean water. The longer a threat like this persists, the more likely the damage goes farther than the surrounding materials. Because the closest areas become the most overwhelmed by the steady flow or presence of water until they succumb to the added weight and collapse, the windows of opportunity for repairing and replacing those elements are highly limited.

The standard composition of a ceiling system includes:

  • Drywall 
  • Insulation
  • Floor Joists 
  • Subflooring
  • Utilities 

Can Leaks Get Identified Before Irreparable Damage?

While in situations where structural collapses have occurred where the ceiling falls out under the immense pressures and presence of water, you might not notice these concerns all at once. Instead, potential flooding or leaking of fixtures and plumbing can leave our professionals seeking the best possible solution for efficient water removal and cleanup. If you are attempting to find where a leak or drip in your service lines might be, inspect the ceiling and wall materials for a few telling signs:

  • Damp spots
  • Water staining
  • Sagging Materials 

What Immediate Repairs Must Occur After a Ceiling Collapse?

Repairs are among the essential services our SERVPRO team can offer after a structural collapse and widespread water damage. One steady leak could substantially impact the entire property, so knowing what repairs and reconstruction are necessary is vital. Because you are not pursuing a secondary company for building trade services, we can be much more versatile in the tasks that these professionals of our team perform when working on your house. Some of these actions include:

  • Debris Cleanup – After a ceiling collapse, you have heaps of material in the middle of the room as shown in the Photo. You cannot begin to assess the full scope of the damage until ruined materials get removed and discarded. 
  • Plumbing Repairs – When our team first arrives, especially if a ceiling collapse has already occurred, we must note the exposed plumbing and determine where a breach might exist. 
  • Controlled Demolition – We must determine the extent of the damage to materials still installed to the ceiling studs and second-floor joists. Wicking of moisture can lead to further collapse and deterioration, so we establish dry lines and remove any impacted materials still in the damaged area like insulation and drywall. 

Is Extraction Necessary Without Pooling Surface Water?

Extraction can often be a misleading term for water restoration services that our SERVPRO team provides. While this word often leads to images of several inches of standing water getting pumped out with advanced, high-powered tools and equipment, it can also showcase some of the more subtle tools in our inventory. Extracting water can also mean the trapped water inside porous materials near the damage site, including plywood subflooring, carpeting, and cabinetry. There are multiple elements used to reduce water and moisture pockets in the walls and structural cavities, often this falls to a combination of extraction devices and evaporative drying techniques like centrifugal air movers, heaters, and positive pressure systems.

Because there are so many different types of water damage incidents that could impact your home, it is recommended to seek the experience and advanced technologies of our SERVPRO of Reading team. With a fast response and experienced technicians available 24/7, that leak in your kitchen or second floor does not have to become a must costlier concern over time. Give our team a call today at (610) 779-8189.

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