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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

What To Do With Water-Damaged Building Materials

3/13/2019 (Permalink)

Some building materials damaged by water may be capable of being restored. Here are a few guidelines regarding what homeowners should do with swelling wood, damp drywall and other building materials after a supply line break or any incident involving contaminated water.


Some materials can be restored after exposure to water. This is particularly the case if an incident involves clean, Category One water. The following materials may be dried and restored:

  • Drywall
  • Metal
  • Plaster
  • Solid wood

After water pipe repair is complete, these materials should be thoroughly dried. Any corrosion on metal should be removed. Swelling wood may need to be sanded, scraped, refinished and possibly even retrofitted depending on the degree of damage.


Building materials may need to be replaced after extensive water damage or incidents involving contaminated Category Two gray water or Category Three black water. Porous materials such as drywall exposed to contaminated water pose an increase mold risk and should be torn out and replaced. Other materials that may sustain irreparable damage include

  • Composite or engineered wood
  • Electrical components
  • Insulation

These materials may be irreparably damaged or increase the risk of mold growth at a residence. Water damage restoration specialists can recommend whether any building materials or contents are viable candidates for restoration or should be thrown away and replaced.

Seek an Expert Opinion

Residential restoration experts can provide informed opinions about the cost-effectiveness of restoring building materials and the likelihood of success. In some cases, the category of water damage and extent of exposure or saturation may make it possible to restore some materials that might otherwise be discarded.

Homeowners who are uncertain whether swelling wood or other building materials are worth attempting to restore should contact residential damage mitigation and restoration professionals in Levittown, PA. These specialists can take measures to prevent further damage and offer advice regarding restoration and replacement.

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