Tips from a Professional: Deciding on a Water Damage Restoration Service Company is Key in Returning your Home or Business to pre-loss Conditions
Water Damage Service Pros serving Austin, TX uses advanced water damage inspection and extraction equipment to help them find the moisture and to remove it as quickly as possible. Our highly trained technicians will monitor and document the drying process so that you know your property is back to normal.
You arrive at home and walk into the kitchen or living room and, OH NO! It looks like it is raining from your ceiling! What should you do? First thing, remain calm. Do not turn on any lights or appliances in the area, to avoid electrical shorting or possible electrocution. Stay away from underneath the water damaged ceiling area (as best as possible) as sometimes a water damaged ceiling will collapse and could cause serious injury.
If the water damaged ceiling is on the first floor, check the second floor to possibly see where the water is coming from and perhaps shutoff the water flow. Some possible and common sources of water: Toilet overflow. Overflowing sink, or tub, that was left on and that is clogged or slow draining. Washing machine overflow. Roof leak (immediately call a 24 HR. emergency service roofer). For many of these issues you will be able to shutoff the flow of water by immediately correcting the problem. If the cause is a broken or cracked supply line (under a toilet or sink) try to shut off the corresponding valve at the source, thereby stopping the flow of water. If none of these solutions work, shut off the water main valve to your house. If this is not possible, call an emergency service plumbing company for help. Remember it is always a good thing to have an established relationship with a plumbing company, especially one who offers 24 hour emergency service.
After you have shut off the water source, you may want to carefully place bowls or buckets where the water was leaking through the ceiling, this will help to prevent water damage to flooring or cabinets below the water damaged ceiling. Remember though, safety first! Do not go beneath a ceiling that looks saturated or cracked. Often, water will drain through ceiling registers or can lights. In this situation this is a normal occurrence as water looks for the path of least resistance to travel downward and often these pre-cut light and heating / air conditioning holes in the ceiling are the easiest way for water to travel downward.
After these initial steps, because of the complexity of this type of water damage situation, it is recommended that you contact a certified water damage restoration specialist to evaluate the ceiling damage. A professional will be able to correctly determine the extent and size of the water damaged ceiling and what areas can be dried or what areas of finish materials will have to be removed and replaced. An important note, even though some of the ceiling may need to be removed, the exposed wood framing beams will still need to be dried prior to re-installing dry wall (sheetrock) over them. Drying of this type is usually accomplished effectively throught the use of dehumidifiers and turbo air movers (high velocity fans). This is a very important step in the water damaged ceiling drying process and should never be ignored.
Water damage cleaning involves numerous considerations. One of the most important considerations involved in repairing damage is that of restorative drying. Restorative drying incorporates four general principles: water removal (extraction), evaporation, dehumidification and temperature control. Understanding these water damage principles will help you ensure that your property is restored to its pre-loss condition properly and with the least amount of risk to your health, structure and belongings.
Drying requires that the affected property be brought back into a proper balance. This requires that water damage restoration professionals monitor and adjust air flow, humidity and temperature properly over time. The first principle of effective damage restoration involves water removal (extraction). You would be surprised how much water wet drywall, carpet and carpet pad can hold. These materials can soak up vast amounts of water. It is essential that as much water as possible be removed from these materials to facilitate the rest of the water damage cleaning process.
Whether you have had a small leak in one of your pipes or a full out flood, water damage mold is nothing to be taken lightly. Mold can be very persistent and hard to get rid of and it can also be hazardous to your health. Not only that but if left unchecked, mold will ruin any surface it grows on.
What Is Mold?
Mold is a fungi whose job it is to decompose things. We often think of it as decomposing vegetables, bread and other foods that have been left around but when it gets into your home, mold can decompose your carpets, your drywall, your clothing, your books and any other organic surface in your home.
Mold loves moisture which is why water damage mold is so common in flooded areas. Since mold spores are always present outside, it doesn’t take too much for them to get inside you all in all they need is a moist area, some organic material and the temperature of between two and 40°C. Needless to say, you don’t have to experience a major flood to get mold in your home.
What To Do When you water Damage to Prevent Mold?
If you have mold in your home whether it’s from a simple leak in a pipe or your basement flooding, you want to assess the extent of the damage. Get into the area and see how bad the mold is. If it is excessive, you probably want to check your insurance policy to see if mold damage is covered and then call the insurance company. In many cases a mold remediation company is necessary to remove the mold safely.
If you just have a minor leak at a pipe that has caused a little area of mold that you may be able to remove yourself. The first thing is to be sure of where the mold this. Remember, it can grow on wood, drywall, carpeting, fabrics and books so you want to check to make sure if any of these items around that they do not have mold on them.
When removing the moldy items, you want to be sure that you seal him in a bag so that the mold spores do not become airborne and find another place to grow in your house. If it is a big job, you want to section off the entire area and be sure to have ventilation to the outside. Also, wear protective clothing when cleaning or removing mold as water damage mold can be very hazardous to your health.
For countless numbers of people water damage to their home can be a very trying experience. Meaning that there is a feeling of being violated because all of your personal property and sentimental items have been destroyed. While this is discouraging the fact of the matter is that literally thousands of people go through this kind of situation every year. The important thing to remember is when something happens to you must be able to move on in order to move forward. Part of the process means being able to repair any water damage that occurs. Below are several useful tips to help you effectively clean up water damage.
Turn off the power: This is one of the first steps that you should always do before you doing any kind of repair. Water is a conductor of electricity, meaning that if you are working with water or standing in water you will be shocked by the electric current. To avoid being electrocuted means that you must always ensure that the power is turned off.
Determine what type of water you are dealing with: There are two types of water; clean water is from sump pumps or dishwasher and dirty water that comes from places like a broken ejector pump or sewage lines. This will help you know what kind of water you dealing with, allowing you to effectively begin the water removal process.
Remove the water: Next you want to remove the water using a wet / dry vacuum or a submersible pump. Please note that before you begin this process make sure that you have all the proper safety equipment such as disinfectants, deodorizers and body protection.
Create air pockets: After you have completed the water removal you want to then create air pockets in the base boards and walls. This will help dry out these areas so that any mold or mildew which is growing will not be able to survive.
Use dehumidifiers and fans: The next thing that you want to do is have a continuous air flow in your house. This is done using dehumidifiers and fans that can bring in fresh dry air to help dry out those areas that are suffering from water damage.
Clearly repairing water damage can be a very challenging task. However by using the above tips you can be able to begin repairing those areas of your home that were damaged by water. This will help you to be able to move forward with your life after dealing with the emotional effects of water damage.
Water Damage - Cleaning and Drying
Flooding and water damage can be devastating to your home and belongings. Many people do not consider the fact that there are different types of problems related to flooding and different causes. The type of damage caused by water in your home will determine the appropriate course of action to get the problem resolved so you can go back to normal life in your home. One of the first considerations is how the flooding occurred. Flooding can happen in storm periods or near bodies of water from the outside environment surrounding the house. Flood damage is a common problem after a fire, because what is necessary to put out the fire affects multiple areas in the home. However, flooding can also originate within the home, from broken or malfunctioning plumbing or pipe work.
When you find the source of excess water, you can determine the type of water causing damage in your home. There are three main categories of water: clean, gray, and black. Clean water has very few harmful substances in it, such as when water supply lines are broken, spilling forth clean, fresh water. It can still cause water damage, but there is little chance of bacteria or chemicals causing disease in the wake of the flooding. When sinks or tubs overflow, the water is also usually considered clean.
Gray water, formally known as category 2 water, can cause sicknesses and physical problems because the level of contaminants in the water is significant. These contaminants may be chemical, biological, and/or physical. Gray water will have micro-organisms present as well. Some examples of water damage with category 2 implications are sump pump failures, discharges from dishwashers, malfunctioning washing machines, or overflowing toilets (containing urine but not feces). Black water, or category 3 water, has a severe level of contaminants and is very unsanitary. This water is highly disposed to cause physical problems, diseases, or discomfort.
Black water has bacteria, fungi, chemical contaminants, and other dangerous substances. Category 3 water damage may come from lakes, streams, rivers, seawater, ground surface water, sewage leaks, overflowing toilets with feces, and stagnant water that stands for 48-72 hours after a category 1 or 2 flood problem. The standing of the water increases its dangerous contaminants. Black water clean-up requires the use of protective gear and special equipment to prevent disease or health problems as well as preserve the structure. Trusting clean up and restoration to professionals can help you get your home back quickly and safely.
How to Repair Water Damage
If you have been confronted by water damage in your house or commercial property, you will be best advised to hire the services of a professional fire and water restoration company. Though the restoration is something that you can achieve on your own, there is too much at risk to take it up as a do it yourself project. Here are some highlights about the services that a well established fire and water restoration company will be able to provide.
- Available 24/7 - The best fire and water restoration companies will operate throughout the day and night. Time is of the essence when it comes to water damage restoration and lost time will often result in dramatically increased losses and additional restoration expenses. Shut off the water supply that caused the flooding and call a professional water damage repair company as soon as you can
- Expert help with insurance claims - The fire and water control and clean-up company is more than just a professional service to restore your home. The restoration company will often award you an insurance specialist who will help you with the insurance claims process along the way. Ideally, claiming insurance should be easy for homeowners who have suffered property damage although the reality is that the insurance company will do anything to give you a check with a lower amount than required. Having professional help in the form of an insurance specialist will save you a lot of stress and effort and will also get you that check that will cover all the restoration expenses.
- Professional equipment - restoration companies will have several commercial grade machines such as dehumidifiers, blowers, truck mounted water extraction units, portable water extraction units, moisture gauges, humidity gauges and so on that will help them remove the water and restore your property in the fastest way possible. If you approached the process on your own, it will take you a very long time as you will generally have just one dehumidifier or just one blower which might not even be powerful enough to do the job in the first place.
- Technical know how - This is where water damage control and clean-up companies offers the most value. It will take you several hours of research and learning to figure out the best restoration plan for you house while a professional restoration company will often have years of experience on their hands. Their experience and their expertise will allow them to immediately go to work on restoring your property in the most time efficient and cost efficient manner. They will also be able to advise you about potential problems with the construction of your house that might lead to future water damage problems.
Thus, in conclusion, it is advised that you call for the services of a water damage restoration company if you haven't done so already. The sooner your call, the lesser your losses will be. Water damage restoration companies will also guarantee you that their repair estimates will be accepted by the insurance company which means that you have almost nothing to lose by hiring professionals.
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