The memory of Superstorm Sandy is still fresh inside every New Yorker’s mind. And as authorities do their best to prevent and be prepared for these kinds of disasters in the future, it is our duty as citizens to be informed of the effects and consequences of residential water damage in New York City.
How Can You Be Affected?
Residential water damage is often the effect of one or more events: natural disasters, broken pipes or damaged appliances, such as water heaters and washing machines. In all cases, the effects are the same. First and foremost, and not to be taken lightly, serious residential water damage can lead to structural damage. In severe cases, buildings can come crumbling down if the damage isn’t sorted out quickly or water continues to pour into the foundation or basement.
However, in most cases, you’ll probably have to face a multitude of problems which can be equally distressing in the long run if action is not taken immediately. Floods, malfunctioning plumbing or broken appliances can let a lot of water seep into your home in a very short amount of time. And the key to managing this problem starts with being prepared for it. The first thing you’ll need to do is make sure you drain as much water as you possibly can, as fast as you can.
Taking out carpets, rugs or other household items that can retain water is also a very good idea once the leak has been fixed. Next, you’ll want to dry out the place as much as possible for the following couple of days after the incident, to make sure that long-term effects won’t make themselves noticeable. Which brings us to our next point:
The Long-Term Effects of Water Damage
One of the most serious effects of residential water damage in New York, especially if the problem hasn’t been dealt with accordingly immediately after the spill is mold. Water and moisture can be retained for a long time in carpets, in wooden floors and even walls which are not properly insulated or sporous. In time, and in certain conditions like continued high humidity and mild temperatures, mold can develop in all these places.
Many people consider mold or mildew a simple problem to deal with – simply remove it and you’re done! But the truth is, mold spores can reappear if the infestation hasn’t been dealt with accordingly. A good cleaning, along with airing out the affected location can go a long way in preventing this. Carpets and upholstered furniture should be taken outside to dry out in the sun, or a team of professional cleaners can be employed to take care of the problem.
How to Prevent Residential Water Damage
While you cannot really prepare for a natural disaster, there are steps you can take to minimize the damage in those cases as well. Firstly, you’ll need to make sure you use water-resistant building materials as much as you can, especially if the threat of flood or leaks is high. Secondly, make sure you raise your appliances a bit off the ground – it can save you a lot of money in having to replace them. Another worthwhile investment would be making sure the ground around your home slopes away from the basement or foundation. And last, but definitely not least, make sure your drain pipes are unclogged and fully functional at all times.
Given that residential water damage in New York isn’t a far-fetched idea anymore, it’s best to be prepared. Keeping this information in mind can help you not only deal with the damage faster, but also at a lower cost and with much less discomfort for you and your family.