Water trapped in enclosed sub-floor spaces can result in mould growth that can affect your family's health, and moisture that remains in wooden floors can also spread to other areas of your home including nearby walls and carpets.
Standing water under suspended ground floors is an all too common sight. Water may come and go depending on the seasons and amount of rainfall. The source of water ingress could be any combination of the following: Ground water due to high water table.
What Happens If Water Gets Under Floorboards? Water under floorboards presents a danger to electrical components and can also become a health hazard by promoting mold growth and damaging surrounding materials. Tap water contains ions with electrical conductivity.
Water damage happens when water is allowed to saturate a hardwood floor often the result is a condition often referred to as cupping. This happens because more moisture is absorbed by the unfinished underside of the boards causing the bottom of each board to expand more than the top.
Water in the crawl space can sit there for months or years
Because of this, water leaks or flooding can go undetected for months or even years. Worse, standing water under the house can damage the foundation, rot wooden beams and joists, and cause mold and mildew, contributing to unhealthy air inside the home.
If you have standing water under your house, you could end up with damage that's costly to clean up. It could also have significant negative effects on your home's foundation, furniture, walls, and more.
A leak can leave visible water stains and other damage that's irreversible, plus it can cause mold, which is hazardous to your health. Lastly, it can cause structural damage. Beware – a lot of insurance policies do not cover water damage so read the fine print.
Water always travels to the lowest spot it can. This means, even if you have removed excess or standing water from the top of your flooring, there may still be water that has seeped underneath your floorboards into your subfloor. Water underneath your flooring does not dry out as quickly compared to surface moisture.
Mold growth is a result of water damage, moisture & condensation. Whether in the ceiling or under the floorboards, mold growth is a result of several factors - a slow water leak, a broken water pipe, or high levels of indoor condensation.
Depending on the severity of water ingress, it can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to dry a wet property out.
A water-damaged subfloor will quickly become a problem for the structure of your house. Unfortunately, it is also a common problem plaguing homeowners. A leaky refrigerator or invasive rainwater can seep and settle into the subfloor and cause rot in just a couple of days.
Wet floors present a huge slip hazard that can injure workers and while it's impossible to completely prevent wet surfaces, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of falling. Here's how to do a super quick wet floor risk assessment.
Any body of water (whether a puddle, bathtub, river, or ocean) poses a hazard because someone could slip, fall, or drown in the water. But the risk changes if a person is able to step over or easily walk through a small puddle (small risk) compared to diving into an ocean without being able to swim (significant risk).
mildew and mold will develop within 24-48 hours of water exposure. Even worse, it will continue to grow until steps are taken to eliminate the source of moisture, and effectively deal with the mold problem. Use the diagram on the facing page to assess the extent of mold in your home.
The Most Common Reasons Damp Gets Under Floorboards
So, right away you should be able to understand that the key reason that damp has taken root underneath your floorboards is due to moisture that has permeated into the floorboards (or what lies beneath), and it's the source of that moisture that is causing the damp.
Can a one-time water leak cause mold? Short answer: yes. People often believe that only extensive water damage leads to mold growth. However, this is not true.
An occasional spill isn't enough to damage a subfloor. However, just one gallon of water can penetrate a floor's covering and soak the wood structure below. Multiply that small amount by any of these home mishaps and plumbing disasters that cause water-damaged subfloors.
If walls get weaken by water, definitely you might experience building collapse.”
How long does it take for water to damage wood floors? According to the EPA, mold is capable of growing on most materials (including wood) within 48 to 72 hours. Other damage, such as staining or buckling, can show up in as little as two to seven days.
1. Toilets. The toilet is one of the most common sources of water leaks in the entire home. In fact, experts estimate that anywhere from 20% to 35% of all residential toilets lose water.
Installing a dehumidifier in your crawl space can help dry it out after a leak. It will help remove moisture from the air, which, in turn, will help any bodies of water evaporate as well. You can either install one permanently or place one in the crawlspace to be removed later.
Put a plastic cover over dirt in crawlspaces to prevent moisture from coming in from the ground. Be sure crawlspaces are well-ventilated. Use exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens to remove moisture to the outside (not into the attic). Vent your clothes dryer to the outside.