3 Secrets Commercial Walls Can Hide After Water Damage
Commercial Water Damage
Commercial buildings in Charleston, TN, often contain sheetrock walls separating tenants, offices, and common areas. Although the plasterboard is sturdy and holds up well to daily wear and tear, it has a secret weakness – water. When sheetrock gets wet due to damage from a rampaging flood, broken pipes, or torrential rains the damage is typically much more extensive than what meets the eye. That is because the gypsum wallboard material can absorb many times its weight in water per square inch. The absorption alone is usually responsible for the three secrets the walls can hide after water damage. They are:
1. After drywall begins to absorb water, it can lose much of its structural integrity and become weak and crumbly. As the board swells, the water can push the paper covered edges until it slips off and the seams cease to align. Nail holes can suddenly pop and are no longer able to hold the crumbling wall against the wooden frames.
2. Wet drywall can stay wet for a very long time after water cleanup. Once the gypsum panel absorbs water, it can freely share the liquid with the framing boards holding it up. If the support materials are the typically used pine two by fours, the wood will commonly absorb and retain water as long as the sheetrock stays wet. The water can then weaken the building structure as it absorbs more liquid and the wood fibers swell and separate.
3. Mold growth can appear within 24 to 48 hours after the water damage first occurs. By the time most commercial water repair and restoration teams have begun to process the area, mold is probably already growing in damp, hidden spots within the walls. The fungus can easily survive on drywall’s paper-backed cellulose and may continue to grow for as long as the gypsum is wet, and the walls are left undisturbed.
Walls can hide most signs of water damage, but sagging walls and water stain lines are tell-tale indications the walls are keeping a secret. The most cost-effective treatment is usually the replacement of the gypsum boards.