Did you leave the water running??? A story of water damage in Brighton Colorado

Water damage can happen in a lot of different ways. Even a little bit of water can cause extensive water damage and possibly mold growth if not extracted and dried out quickly.

 

Have you ever accidentally left the water running?  Not usually a big deal, unless your sink drain is clogged!  And even just a little water can cause big problems if it gets into the right or wrong places. For instance; if it gets into your walls and flows down through the wall cavity soaking drywall and insulation as it goes. If drywall and insulation are wet you probably want to bring in an expert to extract the water and dry things out.

bathroom sink, clogged drain, water damageOne of our clients had that experience with a sink overflow in their home in Brighton, Colorado. The water had accidentally been left running slowly and the drain was clogged. That unfortunate incident proves you can never be too careful about drying water damage in your home.

wet insulation, mold growth

Wet insulation can promote mold growth. Cellulose insulation like this will never dry inside a wall cavity, it has to be removed and replaced.

Our client had turned on the faucet in the bathroom sink only to discover that the water had been turned off due to some plumbing work.  In their haste to investigate the lack of water, they failed to turn the faucet off.  Later that day, while the client was at work, the plumbing work was completed and the water service to their home was turned on. Unfortunately the faucet in the bath was still on position from the morning’s confusion and that drain was still clogged. By the time the homeowner arrived home from work that day, the slow draining sink with the water running all day had created quite a mess!  Water had overflowed the sink, soaked the carpet in the bathroom and had found a path into the wall and down through the wall cavity into the garage below.

wet insulation, wet walls, drying walls, drywall

All of the wet insulation was removed and now we could dry the remaining structure

When we arrived we could see evidence of the extent of the water damage but we didn’t know whether there was any insulation in the wall cavity behind the garage walls.  We always try to dry things out without demolition and our insurance company partners always prefer that as well so we started our drying process. Step one is to create a drawing with the extent of the water damage and moisture mapped out. Then we identify specific points within that area that will be measured and monitored daily. We then immediately started drying everything out with dehumidifiers and air movers. Within 2 days all except for a 3 square foot section of the drywall had dried to dry standard.  We consulted with the insurance company and decided to continue drying for another 24 hours. After that time specific points on the wall were still was not drying. That’s a good indication that there is something behind the drywall that has soaked up the water, probably insulation. So in discussion with the insurance company we decided to cut out that 3 square feet of drywall and found that there was blown-in cellulose insulation in the wall cavity.  That insulation was wet. Wet cellulose insulation is a huge concern because cellulose is an excellent food source for mold.  Further investigation demonstrated that the insulation inside the wall cavity was wet all the way up to the ceiling. We had to cut a two foot wide section in the drywall all the way up to the twelve foot high ceiling and remove all the insulation. Then, we could finally finish drying the structure. Two days later the structure was dry, the insulation had been replaced and drywall had been patched. The house was dry and all concerns of mold due to this event were eliminated.

wet drywall, dehumidifier, drying walls

We create a drying chamber with plastic sheet. This concentrates the hot dry air coming from the dehumidifier in the wet wall cavity which speeds drying.

If you have a water leak that gets walls or floors wet be cautious. If you think that everything is dry from a small leak, but are noticing one area that still seems wet, it is probably time to call PuroClean Disaster Response.  We make sure that everything gets dried correctly. In every job we map out the extent of the moisture and specify multiple points within that area to be measured and monitored daily. We watch drying patterns carefully so that we can catch any areas of concern and investigate.  If this one small area in our clients home had been missed or left wet, they could have ended up with mold and or rot that would have been far more damaging to the house and their health.

Once the wet insulation was removed and the drying chamber established the walls and structure dried quickly. Replacement of insulation and drywall could proceed with no concern of mold or future problems.