Ooh, that smell – it might be coming from water-damaged walls!

Many Vermonters will remember the Lynyrd Skynyrd song from the late 70’s “Ooh, that smell.” As spring approaches, you definitely do not want to be reminded of this catchy tune. A weird smell in the house, especially one that appears after sustaining some water damage, can spell disaster.

Water damage from a flood or frozen pipes usually manifests first in a big pool of water covering the floor and carpets of your home. This kind of visible damage is no fun, but clean up can be pretty straightforward. Things start to turn south, though, when the moisture begins to wick up the walls. Drywall, made of a gypsum core and a cardboard-like paper exterior, is like a thirsty sponge. It can wick water up to thirty inches! While most water damage is often visible, sometimes walls do not show signs of  moisture, especially on the inside where insulation and low air circulation can hamper evaporation. This is when things can escalate to the development of harmful molds and:

“Ooh, that smell
Can’t you smell that smell?”

But you can stop that progression. A restoration professional can mitigate your journey down that particular olfactory memory lane with proper moisture metering, a good drying system, and the right know-how. A typical water damaged wall remediation might include the use of:

Infared imaging devises – to pinpoint the moisture and potential areas for mold growth
High Capacity Air Movers – to remove the water molecules from the surface of the wall, allowing further evaporation to occur as quickly as possible
Low Grain Refrigerant dehumidifiers – state-of-the-science drying equipment that reduces the humidity levels and facilitates drying, thus helping prevent the occurrence of mold
Inner-wall Drying Systems – force air into the wall cavities through small holes made in the wall above the sill plate – often the best and fastest way to dry walls with water damage
Daily Monitoring – moisture measurements to determine when the materials are successfully dried

The successful drying of water-damaged walls is not just a matter of mopping up. Even if you love Southern rock, when it comes to water damage in your home, hire a professional and keep “Ooh that smell” on the radio instead of in the walls of your home.

image source morguefile.com

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