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Thursday, May 25, 2017

When Water Damage Occurs Upstairs

By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff

Water damage is bad enough, but an upstairs leak can turn into a literal 'trickle-down' effect that can significantly increase repair costsIf you have ever dealt with water damage, then you know how bad it can be. Water has the ability to get everywhere, pretty much any nook and cranny of your home, which makes it all but impossible to successfully dry out and treat in order to avoid long-term aftereffects.

If water in your basement has one plus, it is the fact that there is nowhere else for it to go. It certainly isnít going to travel upstairs unless the leak is severe enough to produce that kind of depth. Water damage on upper levels, though, is another story. When a pipe bursts or a bathtub overflows in an upstairs bathroom or laundry room, the water is going to obey the laws of gravity to the letter, and that includes seeking the fastest way down into the lower levels of your home.

Immediate Action

If you experience such a problem, donít become immediately concerned with cleaning up the water. In cases like this, it is more important than ever to locate the source of the water and shut it off. If the leak is allowed to continue, you will just have that much more water coming down and affecting your ceilings and lower level drywall. Locate the shutoff valves for every appliance, sink, and tub in your home, as well as the main shutoff valve for the whole house.

Also remember that if enough water leaks down to lower level ceilings, those ceilings may begin to visibly sag under the weight. Do not enter a room where the ceiling is sagging, as it may give way without warning, bringing down water and debris into your lower level. A person standing in the wrong place could be seriously injured.

How to Spot Water Damage from Upstairs

Water damage from an upstairs location will initially manifest itself downstairs as a stain or discoloration on the walls and ceiling. Do not assume that the leak is located directly above the discolored location, however. Water can run along baseboards or piping for a considerable distance before finding a spot in which to settle and pool up. Donít be surprised if the source of the leak is actually located several feet away from where it appears to be coming from.

If you have this much water running through your walls, then you should also shut off all electricity to the home. Water getting into your electrical system could turn into a nightmare with the potential for serious injury as well as fire damage to your property.

As with any case of water damage, mold will also occur if the problem is not addressed in a timely manner. Locating mold growth is hard enough, but trying to find it among your insulation, piping, and support structures located between floor levels creates an entirely new level of difficulty.

Your local Clean Trust-certified water restoration professionals are available and equipped to handle even the largest water damage scenarios. Cases of water damage occurring upstairs are usually best left to the professionals due to the complexity of the problem and the steps required to properly remediate them.

Recommended Reading
Prevent Water Damage in the Attic
Repairing Water Damage in the Ceiling

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