Three ways that water intrusion can damage the garage and create the need for water removal
Blog Summary: SERVPRO® of Media advises homeowners to be aware of the damaging effects water damage can have on the garage.
Homeowners may be under the impression that heavy and prolonged rainfall, high moisture levels, and flooding will not cause significant water damage in the garage, and they may assume that they will not need water removal services. After all, the space consists of a concrete floor, bare walls, and a garage door. Windows are few, and no one takes their muddy shoes off to enter the garage. However, serious water damage is quite possible in the garage.
Water damage in the garage may go unnoticed or ignored until the damage becomes evident. If left unchecked, the water damage will require repairs and even restoration. Delays in dealing with water damage will impact the insurance claims process and the eventual payout. Neglecting a property damage issue, especially water damage, may result in the forfeiture of an insurance claim since the damage was more the result of neglect instead of the original water damage incident. Below are some examples of the damaging effects water can have on the garages of homes in Penn Wynne, Wynnewood, PA.
1. Primary and secondary structural damage to the home
Though it may appear that the concrete floor of the garage is rock-solid, in reality, the slab is porous. When the floor becomes saturated from flooding, it cannot absorb any more water. The water in and on the concrete releases moisture that can seep into any wood framing that might be present in the garage. Adjacent rooms and the attic above the garage can be damaged by the water and moisture from the concrete floor.
2. Damage to items stored in the garage
A typical two-car garage ranges in size from 400 (20X20) to 576 (24X24) to 720 (24X30) square feet. The temptation to use some or all of the space for storage is sometimes unavoidable. Items stored in the garage include junk, old magazines, important financial documents, clothing, holiday decorations, unused furniture, memorabilia, recyclables, antiques, and other valuable keepsakes and heirlooms. Constant exposure to moisture and the occasional mini-flood from heavy downpours can ruin these items. Antiques, old records, and photo albums may not be worth much in the event of an insurance claims payout, but their sentimental value is priceless.
3. Mold infestation
The typical garage is warm, moist, and dark. Add to this recipe limited ventilation and lots of organic matter for food. The garage is a prime breeding ground for mold. From the garage, mold and mildew can easily migrate to the rest of the home, including the attic or bonus room above the garage.
Key indicators of water damage in the garage
Watch for these warning signs that can tip off a homeowner to water damage in the garage. Catching and resolving the water damage can save thousands in water damage cleanup and restoration.
- Unexplained water puddles on the garage floor
- The deterioration of sections of the concrete floor into small flakes and chips, also known as spalling
- Large cracks in the floor
- Exposed structural steel in the concrete floor
- A musty smell and black, green, or brown stains on the floor, walls, and items in the garage
How to deal with water damage in the garage
First, the homeowner needs to identify the source of the water intrusion and resolve it. Action steps may include the following:
- scheduling a gutter inspection by a licensed roofing contractor
- adding a ventilation system in the garage to increase airflow
- having a landscape architect check the grade around the foundation of the home
- lowering the garage door when inclement weather is approaching
The best way to take care of any water damage is to hire a reputable property damage cleanup and restoration company to remove any standing water, dry out the affected areas with industrial-strength dehumidifiers, restore any damaged personal belongings stored in the garage, and mitigate mold issues. Do not be surprised if the mold infestation extends far beyond the garage. The crawl space, attic, and any rooms attached to the garage may also be affected.
The professionals at SERVPRO of Media are available 24/7, 365 days a year, including holidays. The rapid response and quick water damage cleanup process return life to normal as soon as possible. The homeowner or business will receive a detailed estimate. SERVPRO of Media can handle all aspects of the project, including the demolition and reconstruction of the damaged structure, and the team manages the claims process from beginning to end with no headaches or hassle for the property owner.