Consequences of Delaying Water Damage Repairs

Published On: January 17, 20190 Comments on Consequences of Delaying Water Damage RepairsTags: , Last Updated: February 13, 20243.2 min read

Consequences of Delaying Water Damage Repairs

Water damage extraction and repairs are more complicated than home and business owners may think.  The main problem is that many issues associated with delaying repairs do not manifest themselves until days or weeks after the original damage event.  The 9 most common consequences of waiting before making repairs fall into three categories which are lack of proper equipment, health, and added costs.

Lack of Proper Equipment

A mop and disinfectant may result in what appears to be a dry surface after minor water damage but that is not the case.  A wet/dry vacuum and a floor fan will result in carpeting feeling dry but there are other layers of flooring to consider.  The fact is that only those trained in the extraction and mitigation of water damage will have the equipment, products, and techniques to do the job completely.  There are tools to determine particles and moisture levels in the air.  Compromised air quality is a consequence of waiting.

A variety of anti-microbial sprays are available to professionals to kill contaminants.  Since many are not offered to the public, lingering germs and bacteria are another consequence.  Infrared moisture detection equipment, used by those at, is used to discover where moisture has hidden or collected during the event.  Walls, sub-flooring, corners, closets, or cabinets may contain moisture or water that will not be detected by property owners, which is the third consequence of delaying the proper clean up and repairs of water damage.


There are three common health consequences to incomplete water damage repairs.  These are costly because they are not immediately attributed to the damage event.  It often takes several doctor visits and a battery of testing to conclusively indicate the source of the health issue.  One is the exacerbation of allergy and asthma symptoms.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) symptoms increased in asthmatics living in water-damaged homes where mitigation was not immediately completed.
Consequences of delaying water damage repairs - floor problems

An increase in headaches, infections, and other illness among family members or employees is the second health consequence.  These conditions are passed off as stress, colds, and overdoing activities by sufferers who do not go to the doctor for treatment.  The development of respiratory conditions in those exposed to bacteria, mold, and contaminants from water damage is the third common health consequence.  Extreme cases of health problems have resulted in death.

Extra Costs

Water damage repair costs at the time of the event depend on the actual damage but are not typically very expensive.  Waiting to have repairs completed incurs extra costs that add up quickly and be as high as tens of thousands of dollars.  A flooded basement, for example, that originally could have been completely dried with rapid drying professional equipment will have crumbling areas of the foundation that will require bracing in as soon as one month after the damage.   Another consequence is the loss of items that must be removed from the home and replaced because the damage is too extensive to repair.  This can apply to carpet matting, couch cushions, home décor, and furniture, among other items.

Business owners may face heavy fines for not reporting the event and allowing people to enter the place of business prior to proper cleanup and repairs according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).  The loss of inventory, repairs for sensitive equipment, and lawsuits for neglect may also lead to extra costs.

Water damage is not something that can be mopped up or vacuumed in a home or business.  There are far too many factors that lead to consequences if people assume the area is dry and just wait to see what happens in a few days.  Take care to minimize costs, health issues, and bad air quality whenever water damage occurs.

Share This Tip With Your Friends!

About the Author: Handyman tips team

The Handyman Tips Team is a group of authors that provides tips on the Handyman Tips website. The Handyman Tips team consists of real handymen, contractors, carpenters, woodworkers, and experts in home repairs, appliance repairs, and landscaping. The team is always there for visitors to the Handyman Tips website. If you can't find the answer to your question on the Handyman Tips website, one of them will reply to you almost immediately if you contact them through the Ask the Handyman page!