Category Archives: water damage clean up

Home Water Damage Restoration Tips

room restored and repaired after water damage with new drywallFlooding in your home is never a welcome sight, but the mere presence of water should prompt immediate action. Quick water removal and restoration is the key to getting your home back to its original condition—and you back to enjoying a water-free home. Here’s why, and other water damage restoration tips for a smooth and easy recovery process.

Why do I need to remove water and clean up water damage right away?

It doesn’t matter if the water damage is from a leaky roof or heavy rainfalls. Water damage needs to be cleaned up immediately (or addressed by a water restoration company). The Environmental Protection Agency recommends throwing away items that haven’t been dried out and restored within 48 hours.

Delaying the water removal and restoration work can lead to health hazards, both in the long- and short-term. In optimal conditions, mold can grow as soon as 24 hours after a home is flooded. Over time, mold can spread, cause more damage, and even become a major health hazard. This process can also lead to more expense and repairs.

What should I do when I find water in my home?

  • Never enter a flooded room if the electricity and gas is still on. Always turn off the power and gas (without wading through the water) to prevent electrocutions and accidents.
  • Be very cautious about wading into sewage back-ups and water that could contain chemicals. These conditions can cause injuries and may need more extensive disinfection and clean-up.
  • Always take pictures of the flooding and water damage for future use. These photos can be invaluable when communicating with the insurance company.
  • Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to initiate the water damage restoration process.
  • Hire a water damage restoration company that has experience working with insurance companies; these businesses are familiar with the process and can make the recovery process easier with less hassles.
  • If the water damage is caused by a repairable issue, such as a leaky roof, take preventative measures (i.e. putting a tarp over a hole, turning off the water) to keep more water from coming into your home (if possible).

What is water damage restoration?

Water damage restoration and repair is more than just water clean-up. Reputable water damage restoration companies come into flooded homes, remove the water (if needed), and start the drying out process with fans and de-humidifiers.

Professionals start cleaning hard surfaces (and disinfecting, if needed) and removing porous materials that absorb water. Removal of these materials is necessary because these materials are more susceptible to microorganism growth. Specifically, removing drywall and sub-flooring boards is a way to find any hidden water damage (and mold) and dry out wet surfaces.

The last step is restoration and repair, which returns the space (and many of its contents) back to the original condition. In a flooded room, insulation and drywall are rehung. The drywall is mudded and textured. When completed, the space should look as “good as new”—or at least, as good as it was before the water damage.

Commercial Water Damage Restoration Tips

water splash from frozen burst home pipeAll those heavy rainfalls may seem innocent, but the result (flooding) can wreak havoc on business facilities. Flooded rooms can interrupt operations and service delivery and lead to extensive commercial water damage restoration services. If not addressed soon enough, water damage can also turn into a major health hazard and cost more for remediation.

Water damage can occur because of a:

  • once-in-a-hundred-year flooding or major weather system,
  • pipe break or leak,
  • sewage system malfunction,
  • sprinkler system leak or malfunction,
  • machine malfunction,
  • leaking appliance,
  • pump issues.

When flooding does hit, it makes financial cents to know these tips for water damage restoration and removal.

Be careful about entering a flooded room.

Even the clearest flooded water can be hazardous, especially if there is electrical equipment and gas lines present. Before venturing into the flooded area, the gas and electric in the room or building should be turned off—UNLESS it cannot be turned off without going into the water.

Evaluate the type of water.

The amount of clean-up that can be done safely depends on the level and types of contaminants in the water. A small amount of water without any or a low level of contaminants (i.e. chemicals, sewage, etc.) can be cleaned up with minimal risk. If there are a significant amount of contamination, contact the professionals to remove the water and clean up any damage.

Contact the insurance company ASAP.

Once the immediate threat has passed, the damage should be carefully documented for future use. In addition to initial photos, an additional evaluation should be done for hidden damage, such as foundation cracks. Be cautious about initiating the clean-up process without insurance company approval; an experienced commercial water restoration service can often assist with navigating through the process.

Make sure the clean-up is thorough.

When the flood waters have saturated any materials, such as batting insulation, the clean-up may involve some replacement and repair. If these materials are not completely replaced, mold can germinate in as little as 24 hours (in ideal conditions) and become a health hazard. Flooding can also permanently damage electrical systems and computers.

 

6 Tips for Cleaning Up After a Burst Pipe

water splash from frozen burst home pipeWhen the mercury drops below freezing, your home becomes susceptible to a host of problems, not the least of which is frozen pipes. When a frozen pipe turns into your worst nightmare—a massive burst pipe spewing water—turn off the water and electricity (if the water is coming into contact with electrical appliances), thaw your pipes (we found good directions on how here) and call a plumber for repair. But what do you do after the plumber has repaired your burst pipe? What do you do about the drywall damage, wet floors, and soaked belongings?

Document the damage.

Take pictures of the flooded area and damaged pipes for insurance.

Start drying out your home.

Turn off the power if the water is coming into contact with electrical components.  Use a wet vac and towels to clean up the water. Don’t pull up a tacked-down carpet unless you intend to replace it because the carpet can shrink as it dries out. Plug in fans and dehumidifiers if you can do so safely without risk of electrocution.

Move your wet items to a dry area.

Move items to a dry area where they can dry out without doing any damage. For example, if you have a wooden table that is damp or wet, move it to your dry, warm basement where you can put fans to dry it out. Do not move your table to an area where there are wooden floors that could damage or warp from the moisture.

Contact your home insurance.

Call your home insurance company to find out if frozen pipes and the resulting damage is covered under your home insurance policy. Keep receipts of any expenses incurred during your clean-up and careful records of items that were ruined or damaged in the water. If your insurance company needs to send a representative out to survey the damage, make sure you don’t make any major repairs to the area until the representative has visited.

Fix the cause of the frozen pipes.

Once you have things squared away with your insurance company, fix the cause of the frozen pipes. You may have a problem with insufficient insulation or need to relocate your exposed pipes to prevent the problem—and all the mess—from happening again.

Call a cleaning service.

This may sound like an odd suggestion, but if the damage from your burst pipe(s) is severe, you’re going to need professional help to make repairs, clean up the water, and prevent any mold from creeping up in the affected area of your home. Don’t just call any cleaning service; call a cleaning service with experience with water clean-up. These cleaning companies have all the expertise you need, experience working directly with insurance companies, and the knowledge to make the repairs (drywall repair, floor replacement, etc.) to get your home looking better than it did before you had the frozen pipe.