St. Paul is a bustling, energetic city with historic and beautiful structures. From the Minnesota State Capitol to the Historic Fort Snelling. While these edifices may seem beautiful and nearly impenetrable, every structure has a potential weak spot, including water damage. If a building is erected using any of the following materials, it has the potential to absorb water and weaken or become faulty. To better understand commercial water damage and the steps to restore it, here are five building materials found in buildings that are water absorbent:
Bricks are rectangular blocks typically made out of clay or clay-like substances. While certain bricks are specially engineered to withstand wet environments, many buildings are built with the classically porous and effectively limited clay brick. This is particularly true for brick buildings constructed in the pre-modern era. Because bricks are porous,
Insulation is used to reduce heat loss by filling the air space with material that inhibits heat transfer, keeping the room at a regulated temperature and utility costs lowered. Insulation is often made of fiberglass, cellulose, or rock wool, and is placed between the two layers of a wall. Improperly installed insulation causes water to seep through and potentially pool up in between the different layers of the wall.
Drywall is a panel made of gypsum used to construct interior walls and ceilings. While modern-day drywall often has additives that help reduce water absorption, it is still a highly absorbent material, simply due to the nature of the ingredients, including gypsum and paper. Drywall will quickly become soft when exposed to water, and will eventually turn gooey when exposed to water for too long. Fortunately, in many cases, commercial water damage restoration experts can mitigate the issue if handled within 48 hours of initial water exposure. By using rapid drying techniques, the restoration experts can help you avoid the cost, inconvenience, and difficulty of removing and replacing the affected drywall.
Plaster is used as a protective coating on walls and ceilings. It usually is manufactured as a powder, but is then mixed with water to turn into a thick toothpaste-like consistency. Like drywall and bricks, plaster is often made with gypsum, which we have learned is not a strong material. It can’t take much load bearing, and is instead used as a finishing touch before painting. While plaster is often used for waterproof structures, if too much water is added during the initial mixture stage, the concoction will end up being softer than desired, and will not be as effective.
With a similar recipe as bricks, mortar is a malleable paste used in masonry that usually consists of pitch, asphalt, and clay. Though there are actually a fair number of different uses for mortar, it is often used to seal bricks together. As with bricks, there are certain recipes and ratios of mortar that are more water-resistant, such as cement, lime, and packing mortar. However, if proper research wasn’t done and the incorrect mortar was used in the building, small cracks and divots throughout the material create little rivlets across the building.
ICC Restoration & Cleaning Services is a commercial water damage restoration company located in St. Paul, Minnesota. The IIRC-certified team offers the widest range of restoration services in the Twin Cities area and Western Wisconsin including:
ICC offers all of their efforts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for any water damage emergency need. St. Paul is a thriving town with celebrated buildings throughout the city. Many of these buildings mean a lot to us Minnesotans, and it’s important to keep them protected from Mother Nature. ICC Restoration & Cleaning Services will make sure they are.