Floodwaters cause billions of dollars of damage in the US every year, and the number seems to be increasing over time. When your home floods, it can be a devastating and even life-changing event. Unfortunately, the effects of a flood can be disastrous even if the damage seems relatively minor at first glance.
One common scenario is floodwaters that only reach the first level of a home. However, even an inch or two of water on your first floor can be significant, and it may have wide-reaching impacts. If you've never dealt with flood damage before, then here are three ways that first-floor flooding can affect your entire house.
1. Structural Damage
Structural damage is one of the most insidious and dangerous issues that can arise from flooding. Water can impact your home's structure even if it barely enters your home. As floodwaters approach or move by your house, they put pressure on the walls and foundation. These forces are typically well beyond the original design specifications of your home's foundation.
Even if your home seems fine or water barely entered the house, you should always have water damage professionals evaluate your entire home for structural issues. Failing to address and repair these problems can result in critical damage that may lead to dangerous conditions or even cause your house to become unlivable.
2. Mold and Moisture Infiltration
Water tends to find its way everywhere. When your home's lower level floods, the moisture level throughout the entire house will increase. Water can also travel up your walls through capillary action, allowing moisture to enter drywall or structural members well above the water level on the first floor. This dampness can cause damage and ultimately lead to severe mold growth.
Water damage restoration experts will always check your entire home for signs of trouble following a flood, no matter the height of the water levels. This systematic approach is the only way to ensure that you fully restore your home without leaving any dangerous mildew or mold behind.
3. Basement Flooding
It should come as no surprise that your home isn't watertight, especially if you're dealing with the aftermath of a flood. Water may pool on your first floor, but some of that moisture will always make its way lower into your home. Floodwaters are likely to penetrate your flooring and subfloor, ultimately reaching and pooling in your basement.
Part of any whole-home water damage evaluation will include a thorough basement check. Since unaddressed moisture in this area can eventually cause problems elsewhere in the home, drying and repairing basement water damage is a critical part of any flood damage remediation project.
Contact a water damage restoration contractor to get help with flooding issues.