Primary and Secondary Water Damage
A water intrusion can have immediate and long-term effects on building materials and contents such as furniture, electronics, art work, clothing and more. The immediate effect that water has on materials is known as primary water damage, the long-term effect that water has on materials is referred to as secondary water damage.
Immediate, primary water damage is evident when a large volume of water comes through an upstairs floor and into the ceiling below. The weight of the water which causes the ceiling to sag and the drywall tape to pull apart are examples of primary water damage. Another example would be when water comes in contact with particle board which is used to make many types of furniture; the swelling of the particle board is immediate and irreversible. Materials that are not made to encounter water and suffer immediate damage cause primary water damage.
Secondary water damage occurs over a period of time. Excess humidity caused by a water intrusion and materials that are hygroscopic, or easily absorb water, are susceptible to secondary water damage. Secondary water damage includes loss of structural integrity, dimensional changes and microbial growth.
Both primary and secondary water damage can be costly; however, the total impact and dollar value of the loss can be mitigated. It is important to start the mitigation process immediately, which includes extraction of water, setting drying equipment and implementing controls to prevent secondary damage. If you are experiencing a water damage emergency don’t delay – call SERVPRO of South Durham and Orange at 919-596-1242 any time, day or night.