After a flood or a burst pipe results in water accumulation in your basement, you need to put thorough effort into making sure all traces of water are cleaned up. This extends to any wooden posts or structures. If wooden elements in your basement are not properly dried out—and fast—there are a couple of problems you might soon find yourself dealing with.
Carpenter ants are large ants that are known to build their nests inside wood. They will eat wood that is in good shape if they are desperate, but they are most interested in wood that is moist. If the wood in your basement is not dried out quickly, you may end up with a carpenter ant infestation. Once the ants have hollowed out the wooden structures, they'll be weak, and they may need to be replaced to keep your home stable. And getting rid of carpenter ants can be really tough, requiring that you hire a pest control company to inject the wood with pesticides.
It may take as little as a day or two for moist wood to start growing mold. Mold does not just look ugly, either—it can do ugly things to your health. As air circulates through your basement and up into your home, it will pick up mold spores. Those mold spores may irritate your respiratory tract, leading to sneezing, wheezing, and coughing. They may also cause itchy eyes and an upset stomach. Once mold spores are in your home, it can take a long time to clean up all those spores, especially if there is still some moldy wood in the basement producing new spores.
The most common type of termites are subterranean termites. They live below ground, and when they're able to find moist wood nearby, they venture out of the soil to feed. Termites can make mincemeat out of a piece of moist lumber within weeks. They're really hard to get rid of, since doing so requires that you treat the soil and the wood. Once a home has suffered termite damage, its value goes down, even if you're able to get rid of the bugs.
If you recently had water in your basement, it's worth your while to hire a water damage restoration service that will not only remove the water, but also use vacuums and drying machines to dry out the wood. Doing so is a lot easier than dealing with termites, carpenter ants, or mold.