Water Damage to Structures

Mother Nature can wreak havoc whenever she wants to. And if your home is in her way, watch out! Wind and water damage can occur in a number of ways: hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, storm surges, torrential rains… you get the picture. Don’t forget man-made damage as well, like a busted water pipe or overflowing toilet. Even safe tubs can overflow!

The damage done by a hurricane/cyclone depends on wind speed. While 75 miles per hour is the threshold for hurricane status, winds twice that high have been clocked fairly frequently. Your house will be buffeted by driving rain and high winds, but if its sturdily built and you’ve protected your windows, you might escape unscathed. Of course, an uprooted tree could be hurled by a hurricane into your house – there is no protection against that. A tornado is another story. The winds can exceed 300 mph and will destroy everything in their path. All you can do is take cover.

Water is the most common cause of structural damage. Driving rain from a severe storm or hurricane can penetrate any roof openings and cause a major leak. Damage to rugs and carpets are inevitable. The owner of a top-rated rug cleaning concern commented: “When water damages your rugs, carpets or upholstery, you should bring in professional cleaners and restorers right away to minimize damage.”

Floods can collapse a house if they are fierce enough. Everyone remembers the disastrous results of the 2011 tsunami that hit Japan. Thousands of lives and homes were destroyed. Less dramatic flooding occurs frequently all around the world. Many a basement has been inundated by high river waters. As the waters continue to rise, you can see residents scramble to their roofs and wave at rescue helicopters – a chilling reminder of the scene in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.

More prosaic but no less annoying is a broken water pipe in a wall or ceiling. Not only is there interior structural damage to wallboards and flooring, but there is also all the ruined carpet and furniture to contend with. If the broken pipe happens to be connected to your toilet bowl, you have also a health hazard. Under these circumstances, you will need to sanitize the surroundings once the damage is fixed.

There is no doubt about it, water is your best friend in the right amounts, and your worst enemy when too scarce or abundant.