If your home or business has suffered water damage, we are ready to assist you immediately. We have IMMEDIATE RESPONSE teams that are on call 24 hours a day; 365 days a year, and will be onsite within one hour or less to start the water removal and cleanup process. We’ve been helping property owners in Vancouver and Portland recover from water damage disasters for years. Call one of our certified experts today!

Contact i5 Today!

Water Damage Info

Water damage is the loss, destruction, and damage caused to a structure and/or property by excess water. Some water damage is due to an act of nature, but most is a result of plumbing failures or faulty appliances.

The negative impact water damage can have can be devastating. Not only can the structural integrity be greatly compromised but the foundation can also be negatively impacted. Excess water can cause erosion and cracking, putting your home a risk. Settling or collapsing is a real threat.

Typical water damage is divided into 3 general categories:

Category 1

Clean Water: Poses no immediate threat to humans. Example: water 
coming from supply lines.

Category 2

Gray Water: Unsanitary, not consumable. Example: overflow water from washing machine, dishwasher, or toilet bowl.

Category 3

Black Water: Contaminated and unsanitary. Example: sewage, ground water, rising flood water.

Small, clean water spills can be a DYI project if cleaned up and dried immediately, but if any amount of water makes it to baseboards, take it seriously. Drywall, trim, sub-flooring, carpet, etc. can wick the water up quickly and show no signs of damage, becoming the perfect breeding ground for mold growth.

Water damage can happen suddenly or slow and methodically over a period of time. If damage is due to an indoor issue, it’s good to know how to shut the water supply off under sinks, on the toilet or the main supply valve to the house (located outdoors).
Within a 24 hour period:

A 1/4″ supply line for an ice maker can pump 1/2 to 1 gallon of water a minute = 700 to 1400 gallons of water.

A 3/8” line from a toilet supply can pump 3 to 5 gallons of water a minute = 4300 to 7200 gallons.

A 5/8” hose from a washing machine can pump 10 to 12 gallons a minute = 14,000 to 17,000 gallons.

Note: If water damage of any scope, big or small, is not mitigated properly, the negative effects can be compounded by mold growth. Mold and other dangerous contaminates can begin to colonize and grow in as little as 24 to 48 hours. No matter where the unwanted water comes from, quick and thorough water extraction and structural drying is imperative.

Typical Causes of Water Leaks & Damage:


  • Damp or poorly ventilated crawl space
  • Roof or chimney leaks
  • Water pooling at foundation
  • Flooding – excessive storm water, over flowing rivers, flash flooding, etc.
  • Poorly installed or missing flashing
  • Sprinkler hitting house or foundation
  • Faulty irrigation and valves
  • No gutters or downspouts draining away from the house
  • Window and doors not properly sealed
  • Damaged siding
  • Damp garage, basement
  • Improper grading, not sloping away from house


  • Broken pipes and hoses
  • Accidents – Overflowing tubs, sinks, toilets
  • Heating and Air Conditioning Units
  • Sewer back up
  • Faulty appliances, including water heaters

Dangers Associated With Water Damage

Most homeowners are unaware how damaging water related disasters are. There are many dangers associated with water damage that put you and your property at risk. The severity of the damage is often underestimated, which can lead to extensive structural damage and serious health issues. One of the most dangerous effects of water damage is mold. It can pose a serious health risk for you and your pets.

Water Damage Warning Signs

1. The most obvious is standing WATER and /or MOLD. If you have water where it shouldn’t be, you have a problem. If you notice any darkening, stains, or leaking around the toilet, signs of water or leaking under sinks and under or around appliances, excessive sweating or condensation on walls and ceilings it’s imperative to find the source and STOP IT, then inspect and check for further damage.

2. Water damage is not only invasive, it’s progressive. Homes and offices are filled with materials that quickly absorb water which become saturated in a short period of time. Water breaks down the fibers and structural integrity of the materials it comes in contact with, causing them to become spongy, swollen, or soft. Check for damage by walking on floors barefoot. Use your hands to check along baseboards and trim, feeling for any give or areas that are not firm. Be on the lookout for peeling or bubbling paint and any sign of crumbling, bowing, or soft drywall. Also look for staining or any discoloration on drywall, ceiling, and flooring, darken grout on tile, carpet or furniture.Note: Stains may or may not be obvious. Even though you can’t see any damage it doesn’t mean there isn’t any, it is best to call for an inspection.

3. If you notice your water usage has increased for no apparent reason, know there IS a reason for it. There are leaks that may be undetectable and some you may be able to find, simply by listening. Turn off anything that makes noise, i.e. tv, radio etc. and listen intently. Water running through walls or floors can create a dripping, hissing or rushing sound. If you are unable to locate the problem, call a professional for help.

4. If you notice a strange smell, an earthy musty odor, you most likely have a mold problem. Check for visible signs of mold. Be aware that mold can be out of sight, hidden within wall cavities, under carpet and flooring, behind wall paper etc. You may also notice a change in your health and your pet’s health. If you suddenly develop allergy like symptoms, sneezing, coughing, water eyes, it may be due to mold. Mold is dangerous and will continue to wreak havoc until remediated. Cleanup should not be attempted by anyone that is not qualified. Call a water professional immediately. Fire and and Smoke damage requires more service and expertise than an ordinary contractor or house cleaner can provide to restore property.