Below the Surface: The Water Damage You Don’t See October 24, 2016 – Posted in: Blog, Industrial

Anytime a structure suffers water damage, that damage is evident. You’ll find wet carpets, warped hardwoods and puddles covering surfaces. There’s also the smell that comes with water damage, as mold starts to appear.

However, there’s so much more going on in situations like flooding where water damage has occurred. There’s significant damage beneath the surface, too, damage that can affect the integrity of a building’s structure. As a water-damage restoration professional, it’s important that you be able to help your client’s understand that flood damage can also mean significant structural damage. Here’s a look at the ways in which water damage can harm a building’s core:

  • Pressure: We all know that massive amounts of water can exert massive amounts of pressure on its surroundings. For example, in a flood situation, rising waters push forcefully against the exterior walls of a building, which can create structural damage. Similarly, if floodwaters dissipate quickly, it can create internal pressure on the walls as the floodwaters seek a way out of a building. Floodwaters typically create a little more than 60 pounds of pressure per square foot, so use the flooding depth as a multiplier – that is, a 5-foot flood will create more than 300 pounds of pressure on a building’s walls. That’s a lot of pressure for a structure to withstand, and it’s important that water-damage restoration professionals have an understanding of these structural integrity issues in addition to traditional water and moisture removal procedures.
  • Flow: Not only does flood damage lead to pressure on a building’s walls, the flow of floodwaters can also create damage – depending on the building’s shape and how quickly floodwaters are moving. For example, upstream flow can impact the front of a building while downstream flow creates drag on a building’s rear. The pressure from fast-flowing floodwaters can lead to the collapse of floors and walls, and it can even pick up a structure and move it from its foundation. This type of damage can also affect electrical and plumbing systems, which render a home unlivable and oftentimes dangerous.
  • Impact: Floodwaters by their very nature carry with them lots of debris. This debris can affect a building in many ways, including flood damage caused by everything from tree limbs to boats and vehicles. Sometimes this structural damage isn’t always evident at first, but a closer examination of the building and its integrity can reveal a more serious problem. Some floods even lead to waves depending on the specific situation, and the impact of these waves can lead to structural damage.

As water-damage restoration professionals, it’s important to develop relationships with engineers who can assist with addressing structural damage that appears in addition to traditional flood damage like mold. When you first see a job site, look for cracks in the walls and other signs that the structural integrity has been compromised. This will allow you to make the recommendation to your clients that an engineer should be brought in to address structural damage. Not only will this help your client to better assess the situation, it will help keep your team safe as well.

Aer Industries: Your Water Damage Restoration Equipment Provider

At Aer Industries, we’re here to support water damage restoration professionals with the tools needed to create outstanding results for their clients. That’s why we offer a comprehensive selection of dehumidifiers, air movers, scrubbers and other tools. In our selection, you’ll find high-quality products from leading industry manufacturers like B-Air®, BlueDri™, Soleaire® and Abatement®. We offer these high-quality products to help ensure you get the quality and durability you expect from an investment in your business. Tackle the toughest of water-damage restoration jobs when you choose quality, durable, effective tools and equipment from Aer Industries.

Check out our selection of water-damage restoration equipment and contact one of our experts with any questions you may have by calling 855.345.3555.