How Does Water Damage Cleanup Affect Metal Surfaces?

water damage cleanup cedar rapids, water damage restoration cedar rapids, water damage repair cedar rapidsIn your home, when the water from an accident meets with metal and air, an electrochemical reaction happens. For example, when metal rests on a wet carpet, the hydroxide ions form rust.

At home, steel furniture often causes rust to stain the floors. Other metal items that can cause marks are lamps, metal caps on furniture legs, and old nails. 

When You Need Water Damage Cleanup In Cedar Rapids

What causes corrosion? 

Corrosion is the gradual breakdown of material, usually metal, by a chemical reaction with its environment. All water contains some dissolved oxygen and is therefore somewhat corrosive. The rate of corrosion depends on many factors including the water’s pH, electrical conductivity, oxygen concentration, and temperature. When you combine metal with water and oxygen, it creates iron oxide, more commonly known as rust.  

While this chemical reaction happens instantly, you may not notice right away. Visual signs of rust on steel might appear in as little as 4 or 5 days. Two factors will accelerate the damage: thinness and texture. For example, a thin sheet of steel with holes will rust fast. 

Are All Metals Equal?

Zinc, nickel, copper and aluminum and many other metals in the home will have a chemical reaction to water. 

The term “stainless steel” describes coating the steel with a thin layer of chromium oxide. This is one of the most used metal in homes, especially in areas that can get wet. The process gives the steel a clean and polished appearance that makes it practical for a wide range of applications- especially kitchen and laundry appliances.

Steel that is coated in with an aluminum-silicon alloy can better resist corrosion than steel. Therefore, aluminum steel is often used when the material must hold up to high temperatures while not rusting over time: ovens, water heaters, HVACs

Technically, copper doesn’t rust. The copper plating corrodes or oxidizes, resulting in green surface tarnish.  The result is what you find on old pennies.

Does Corrosion Ruin Electronics?

Also related to rusting metal, electronic devices can suffer from water damage as well. Depending on humidity levels, severity and category of water damage, length of time submerged, and type of appliance, the degree of damage can vary wildly. In some situations, appliances could begin corroding a few hours after a water damage incident. If the device was made to prevent water damage then exposing it to water won’t affect it at all. 

It is really hard for a homeowner to know how damaged an appliance or electronic device is. Challis Restoration has years of experience helping Cedar Rapids families recover from floods. Trust the team for advice about your situation.

General Signs Of Water Damage

Other than rust, the most common symptoms of water damage are:  

  • Active water leaking on floor, wall or ceiling areas from pin-size or larger holes in metal pipes
  • Paint streaks, bubbles or discoloration on the walls
  • Sticking doors and windows
  • Moldy or damp smell
  • Loose or damaged tile, grout or caulk

No matter what steps you take to protect your home, there is always a potential for water damage and cleanup costs that follow. If your home suffers from a broken pipe or flood, call in Challis Restoration as soon as possible. With over 25 years of experience, this is the team you will want on your side to help you clean up safely and quickly. Call now for a visit today.


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