Six Facts about Water Damage


When it comes to water damage to a residential or commercial property, there is more than meets the eye.

Here are some water facts and figures as they pertain to the restoration industry:

1. Water is capable of dissolving a variety of different substances. In fact, water is known as the “universal solvent” because it dissolves more substances than any other liquid.

2. A sheet of drywall standing upright with its edge sitting in a ½” of water can wick water up to 6 inches in less than three hours.

3. Mold typically begins to grow in 24 to 48 hours in an untreated moist environment.

4. A good indication of a failing hot water heater is a puddle of water underneath it, indicating a slow leak, or rusted or corroded fittings on the top of the heater. If you don’t investigate the leak ASAP, you may quickly flood your home because water heaters are under a great deal of water pressure.

5. There are three categories of water contamination defined in the restoration industry:

  • Category One – Water from a clean water source with no substantial risk of causing sickness or discomfort. Examples include water from a broken water supply pipe or an overflowing bath tub.
  • Category Two – Water that has a significant degree of chemical, biological, and/or physical contamination. Examples include water from aquariums, dishwasher or clothes washer leaks, and water entering the structure from below grade. Discharged Category One water that sits untreated more for more than 24 hours becomes Category Two.
  • Category Three – Water emanating from a grossly unsanitary source or carrying disease causing agents. Examples include discharges from sewer or septic systems/pipes and flood waters. Discharged Category One water that sits more for more than 48 hours becomes Category Three. Discharged Category Two water that sits more for more than 24 hours becomes Category Three.

6. Controlling pathogenic microorganisms during a restoration project may require the use of chemical agents that act as biocides. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has defined three levels of biocidal activity:

  • Sanitizers – Designed to reduce the number of microorganisms.
  • Disinfectants – Designed to destroy or inhibit the growth of microorganisms but not necessarily their spores.
  • Sterilizer – Designed to destroy all microorganisms (fungi/molds, bacteria, viruses, etc.) and their spores.

Some relevant conversions:
 14 cubic feet of air weighs 1 lb.
 1 gallon of water weighs 8.34 lbs.
 7.48 gallons in a cubic foot.
 1 cubic foot of water weighs 62.4 lbs.

No need to remember all of this scientific stuff, at Massaro Restoration Services we put our expert knowledge to work in getting you quickly back to normal after a water loss disaster.


Article by Franco Tavella, Business Development Executive

April showers bring may flowers… and potential flooding

restoration dehumidifier and air movers

Pictured: air movers and dehumidifiers used to dry areas affected by water damage/flooding

Western PA is at a higher risk for flooding during springtime and summer storms, but it’s important to remember that flooding can occur during any season due to a variety of causes including: [1]

  • Large amounts of rain or snow-melt that overwhelm rivers and lakes
  • Excessive rain or snow-melt cannot be fully absorbed into the ground
  • Waterways are blocked with debris or ice and overflow
  • Water containment systems fail (i.e. levees, dams, or water or sewer systems)

While the impact of flooding can vary, just two inches of floodwater indoors can cause approximately $10,000 worth of damage to a 1,000 square foot home. [2]

In addition to property damage, flooding can put your safety at risk. The first step to preparing for the potential of flooding is to know your risk. To check the flood risk in your area, learn about flood safety/evacuation, and create a plan, use the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) website.

Some general tips for protecting your home or office from flood damage are: [1]

  • Consider purchasing flood insurance
  • Elevate heating systems, water heater, and electric panel if their location is prone to flooding
  • Install “check valves” in sewer lines to prevent floodwater from backing up into your drains
  • Waterproof your basement
  • Install sump pumps with battery backup
  • Keep gutters and drains free of debris

Do you know the flood risk of your home, office, and other areas where you spend your time?





Article by Jennifer McGee, Marketing Coordinator