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Water Emergency Timeline

Time is of the Essence During a Water Damage Emergency

It is critical to act quickly during a commercial or residential water damage emergency since water will continue to cause damage for weeks after the initial loss. Here’s the destructive pattern water tends to follow:

Less Than One Hour

Water Damage

  • Moving water quickly spreads to other areas.
  • Furniture may stain carpet permanently.
  • Moisture-sensitive furniture may discolor.
  • Paper goods are ruined.

One to 24 Hours

  • Furniture delaminates or swells; legs can split.
  • Pressed wood swells and disintegrates.
  • Bacterial odor becomes apparent.
  • Uncoated metal surfaces may tarnish.
  • Normal household odors strengthen.


Two to Seven Days

  • Mold and mildew may appear, accompanied by a musty odor.
  • Musical instruments swell and warp.
  • Drywall swells and disintegrates.
  • Uncoated metal surfaces begin to rust.
  • Door and window casings swell and distort or delaminate.
  • Wood decking and studs begin to swell, warp, or split.
  • Electronic components may malfunction.
  • Occupants with respiratory problems or compromised immune systems can experience distress.

One Week and Beyond

  • Mold and mildew may appear, accompanied by a musty odor.
  • Wood components warp and split.
  • Chemicals within wood dissolve, discolor, or destroy finishes.
  • Claim costs escalate dramatically.
  • Serious occupant health hazards may occur.