You come home and find your basement drowning in 3 inches of standing water. What happened? What do you do now?

Well, if a broken water pipe is the culprit, you need to first turn off the water source and call a repair service. Did your sump pump fail? Then, get a plumber out as soon as possible to repair or replace the sump pump. In either case, the source needs to be addressed before any clean up can begin. And remember, quick response is the key to mitigating, or minimizing, the loss in water damage.

Failure to react swiftly can lead to secondary damage, commonly referred to as moisture damage. Secondary damage is damage that is not caused as a direct result of the primary damage or incident. Primary damage would be wet carpet, drywall, and anything else that came in direct contact with the initial water source. Below are some common causes of secondary damage:

  • Typically accompanies a water damage incident that is either extensive or not cleaned up in a timely manner, perhaps one that was undiscovered for an extended time.
  • Damage that is caused by improper recovery procedures such as dehumidification that is inadequate to the facility size or rate of evaporation.
  • Damage caused by unknown conditions that are either missed or not accessible during the initial assessment phase.
  • Damage that is caused by either failure to respond in a timely manner or inability to respond in cases such as buildings under investigation.


If the cleanup process does not begin immediately and the water begins to evaporate on its own you can begin to suffer the effects of secondary damage. Eventually the air will have absorbed as much moisture as it can and will become fully saturated. As the evaporation continues, that moisture will have to go somewhere else. That somewhere can be in items such as drywall, ceiling tiles, as well as other levels of the home. Examples of secondary damage include:

  • Sheetrock and plaster crack and sag
  • Hardwood floors begin to buckle and the finish is damaged
  • Vinyl and resilient flooring can release from the floor
  • Mold spores can begin to colonize

As you can see, secondary damage can really increase the claims cost. And if the water damage in question is not covered under your insurance policy, this can put a big dent in your wallet.
Below are some more tips you can follow that may help you minimize the amount of damage your house will suffer after water damage.

  • Elevate all furniture on aluminum foil to prevent bleeding stain onto the carpet.
  • Ventilate wet areas. Turn on the A/C in the summer, and in the winter, alternate opening windows and heating.
  • Remove water from flat surfaces by mopping.
  • Take up saturated oriental rugs from hardwood flooring.
  • Open drawers/doors on furniture for interior drying.
  • Remove all artwork, paintings, photographs, and electronics to a safe and dry area.
  • Hang draperies and furniture skirting up and away from wet flooring.
  • Call Carrara Property Restoration for assistance.

Remember, quick response is the key to minimizing or eliminating secondary damage. Failure to act in a timely fashion will only make things worse.