Recent Water Damage Posts

What are the Three Primary Phases of Water Mitigation in Mount Vernon?

9/20/2020 (Permalink)

flood in a house with furniture floating Water removal is essential to mitigating the situation after a flood. Contact TEAM SERVPRO immediately. We are available 24/7.

Preparing your Mount Vernon property for restoration and recovery after a disaster requires several initial steps.

After a water disaster of any kind, your Mount Vernon home can begin to absorb moisture and adversely react to these changing conditions. Even with a prompt reaction to the situation, the recovery of these events often demands the knowledge and experience of professional restoration technicians like our SERVPRO team. Because we stay prepared for these situations at all times, we can mobilize quickly even when emergencies occur after traditional operating hours. The initial actions taken to protect your property set the tone for the entire restoration process.

Water mitigation in Mount Vernon properties is a critical element to all restoration projects. These preliminary actions reduce the potential for the situation to get out of control and prevent more materials and areas of the house from becoming impacted by unexpected emergencies like pipe bursts, appliance failures, and leaking fixtures. Mitigation involves several individual actions working as part of a whole to protect the damaged property from further irreparable harm. Stages involved in these processes include:

  • Job Scoping 
  • Water Removal 
  • Repairs/Controlled Demolition 

Is Job Scoping Necessary?

A pre-restoration evaluation of the property ensures that the right measures protect and restore an impacted home. Often this assessment occurs before physical mitigation begins, as this inspection catalogs several aspects of the work area. By determining specific data points and tracking the damage's progress, our SERVPRO professionals can better understand what must get done. There are several tools used and evaluated aspects of a water-damaged property, including:

  • Moisture Detection Tools – Determining the severity of the moisture and dampness damages to exposed surfaces, contents, and the open environment is critical. While extraction might have to happen first, evaluations with detection devices show pockets of moisture that must get addressed before microbial growth results.
  • Structural Integrity – Severe water damages can often quickly compromise structural elements throughout the residence. This can be evident when materials begin to sag or collapse entirely.
  • Pre-Existing Conditions – Not every concern we find during our inspection resulted from the water disaster, which can be vital in finding the most efficient approach for reaching preloss conditions.
  • Content Damage – Your personal belongings can often hold as much importance as the entire structure, meaning that we carefully inspect and evaluate these items' conditions for restorative actions that might be necessary. 

Are Different Machines Necessary for Water Removal?

Extraction is one of the foundations of efficient water restoration for your Mount Vernon home, meaning that the most suitable machines must get selected based on the current conditions. While electric submersible pumps often play the most significant role with standing water without the threat of debris and solids, extenuating circumstances could make other extractors in our inventory more suitable options instead. The position of the damaged areas, the accessibility of the work zone, the amount of standing water, and several other factors play a role in choosing the best extraction device. Some options include:

  • High-Pressure Pumps – When you consider the likelihood of water to migrate and collect in your home's basement, or when pipes burst on the second floor of the house, long-range pumps offer a greater lift. These units efficiently remove clean water from damaged areas without losing power.
  • Self-Priming Trash Pumps – Power is not always readily available after water disasters, making the management of this resource critical for our SERVPRO team responding to the situation. Self-priming trash pumps run on gas, meaning that more outlets and available electricity from portable generators are available for other tools.
  • Truck-Mount Extractors – These are the most powerful tools in our arsenal for removing water, and we can use these machines to extract at 300 psi. Thousands of gallons of water can get moved quickly, making these options ideal for widespread and severe loss incidents. 

Why Do Repairs Happen Before Other Restoration Tasks?

Repairs must often occur before almost any other restorative actions occur because vulnerabilities continue to threaten the property otherwise. Breaches in the plumbing can continue to feed water to the damaged areas, and repairs also allow for the re-pressurization and restoration of the water service to the house.

While multiple actions describe water mitigation, this entire phase and stage of the restoration process is critical to saving customers time and money. No matter how severe damage might be in your home, you can count on the fast and experienced response of our SERVPRO of Skagit County team. Give us a call anytime that you need us at (360) 873-8744.

I Just Discovered Water Damage in My Burlington Property. Which Water Restoration Company Can Help?

8/25/2020 (Permalink)

Close-up Of Flooded Floor In The Living Room From Water Leak After a water loss, call SERVPRO of Skagit County at (360) 873-8744 to restore your property to its preloss state.

Contact SERVPRO Restorers in Burlington to Handle the Water Damage in Your Residence

When you notice a broken pipe in the kitchen, it can be tempting to fix it yourself or ignore it. However, the water can slowly sip into various surfaces causing mold growth and severe damage to the structure. Therefore, it is essential to act fast by engaging with certified restoration experts in Burlington, like SERVPRO technicians, to save your property.

Are you experienced in water damage repair?

Our team can use approved and the most advanced equipment to handle the water damage in your Burlington residence. We are among the water restoration companies that have been in business for decades. During this period, we have seen and fixed every kind of water damage imaginable. The common causes of water damage we come across in homes include:

•    Faulty water heaters

•    Sump pump failure

•    Leaking appliances

•    Plumbing problems

What does your water damage restoration process involve?

Our team can take several steps to restore your home, depending on the severity of the water damage. Some of the things we do when restoring homes include:

Mold cleanup and prevention
We begin the mold cleanup procedure by locating any leaking pipes, which could encourage more mold growth. Our technicians also check areas with poor ventilation to avoid condensation, which can lead to mold growth. We can examine the areas close to your windows and doors to ensure efficient ventilation.

Dehumidification
This is where we dry mold-causing moisture in the affected property. Our technicians can identify the source of water damage by using sophisticated equipment. For instance, we can use a thermal imagining camera to come up with a moisture map. This can help us to determine the best tailor-made drying strategy to ensure efficiency. We can use conventional refrigerants alongside fans to increase the airflow in the affected property. The equipment increases the rate of evaporation in the affected items and the structure, enhancing the drying process.

Deodorization
Odors can persist even after cleaning and drying your property effectively. However, we can use odor removal products to combat the odors and get fresh air into your property. Our SERVPRO technicians can use a photocatalytic oxidizer to do away with the smells. The equipment shines ultraviolet rays on surfaces and produces hydroxyl radicals. It oxidizes and breaks down odors into carbon dioxide, leaving your property with fresh air.

After a water loss, call SERVPRO of Skagit County at (360) 873-8744 to restore your property to its preloss state. We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster.

Some Tips to Help With Water Damage Remediation in Mt. Vernon

4/19/2020 (Permalink)

guy sitting on couch in middle of water damaged living room Trust your water damaged home to our SERVPRO technicians. We arrive quickly and make it "Like it never even happened."

What Can You do to Limit Losses When Large Bodies of Water Enter Your Home?

By contacting SERVPRO, you are reaching out to a Mt. Vernon team of expert technicians with training in all aspects of water restoration. You can trust us to get the job done honestly, on-time and on-budget.

How can I prevent a water emergency in my property?

While water spills can seem like a random event or an act of god, there are many things you can do to prevent the need or water cleanup in your Mount Vernon home. Conducting regular maintenance of your property can go a long way toward preventing water emergencies from occurring, and you should take special care during the fall or winter months to avoid a costly disaster. 

What can cause water damage in my home?

  • Malfunctioning washing or drying appliances
  • Pipes with poor insulation, installation or age
  • Large amounts of rainfall or overflowing gutters
  • Sump pumps as well as crawl space vapor barriers
  • Human errors like leaving on faucets 
  • Road overflow, flash flooding or other external events

What should I do in a water-related emergency?

Your safety is the priority, which is why you should call your insurance provider to check coverage and then a professional restorer to perform the cleanup. In some cases, you may be able to stem the flow of water, which can be vital. You can shut off the water supply at the source or unplug malfunctioning appliances to prevent more water from releasing into the home. Closing doors and sealing them using old towels or sheets can also help to prevent the migration of water while you wait for a SERVPRO technician. 

How can you extract water from the home? 

Moving water can be a challenging task that requires equipment with sufficient lift capacity as well as volume. Water can damage a Mt. Vernon home vacuum cleaner while different types of water, as well as where in the house it is, can influence the type of extraction you need. Most residential properties benefit from a combination of light and weighted extraction tools. Weighted extractors are suitable for fabrics or carpets, whereas lighter wand extractors are suitable for smaller spaces where there is limited moisture absorption. 

How quickly can you extract water from the home?

The initial extraction phase is possible to complete within a day. More copious amounts of standing water that reach over two inches in height may take longer; however, by using electric submersible pumping equipment, we can remove a massive amount in a short period. SERVPRO trucks have storage tanks of up to 100 gallons for clearing away wastewater from residential properties. Usually, the extraction phase is significantly quicker than the drying stage, which takes more attention to detail and expertise. 

Does water damage lead to mold growth?

Increases in moisture and humidity can lead to microbial growth issues. However, these issues are not an inevitable symptom of home with exposure to moisture. The critical factor in whether or not mold becomes an issue is a time. Mold colonies take around seventy hours to form. SERVPRO can apply safe, antimicrobial chemical products to your home during cleaning that can disrupt the stages of microbial growth. By preventing mold spores from moving through the stages of growth, we can focus on effectively drying the property and eliminating the issue.

Will the interior of my home dry naturally after a water spill?

In nature, water evaporates naturally. Natural evaporation occurs because there is air movement, temperature, and low-relative humidity in outdoor spaces. Your home is an enclosed space, which means there may be areas of the home that do not receive enough exposure to evaporating naturally. Commonly, the center of the room dries without too much input, however areas beneath furniture, wall cavities, crawlspaces, or hallways can dry slowly or become damp spots, which can lead to mold issues. 

How can you dry the home thoroughly to avoid microbial growth issues?

By using a combination of various pieces of equipment and knowing the evaporation process inside-out, we can effectively dry your home. Evaporating water from wet surfaces raises the indoor humidity. With little air movement, evaporating moisture can form a barrier that slows drying at a surface level. SERVPRO uses air movement equipment in combination with dehumidification equipment and temperature to ensure that we create the optimal conditions for a reduction in drying times.

What can I use to measure dryness in the home?

  • Borescopes for cavities or areas that are challenging to reach
  • Moisture meters for walls, ceilings, and floors
  • Moisture sensors for testing moisture content inside materials
  • Thermal hygrometers to assess the relative humidity within the affected area
  • Thermal imaging cameras to assess water migration in cavities and floor spaces. 

To test if your home is adequately dry or not, you can take humidity readings from an unaffected room of the house. This reading is your home's natural humidity, which means you can use it to measure the effectiveness of the drying setup. You may also need to use invasive measures to assess wetness within walls or other cavities within the home. 

Overcoming water emergencies is challenging without the correct equipment, training, and qualifications. Contact SERVPRO of Skagit County at (360) 873-8744.

Water Removal and Cleaning Terminology in Your Mount Vernon Home

3/4/2020 (Permalink)

"Call Now" Call us today, SERVPRO of Skagit County at (360) 873-8744 and we can take a look for you!

Learn the Lingo used by the Professionals

Water can be one of the most damaging things to home in cases of leaks or overflows. Most damage occurs in the bathroom or kitchen area, which can impact textiles, upholstery, carpets, walls, and other materials within your home. 

Quick and efficient water removal in your Mount Vernon home after a spill can mitigate secondary damage like warped flooring and the growth of mold infestation. Knowing some of the cleaning terms explicitly associated with the cleaning and restoration industry may assist in understanding the process to restore your home to its preloss condition. 

Absorption

This is the action where gases and liquids go into the fabric or material fibers through chemical, osmotic, or capillary action. In cleaning, absorption transfers soils or liquids from fabrics and upholstery to something else like towels or stain absorb powder.

Adsorption

The transference of substance from one surface to another surface. This means that the substance does not absorb into the surface but is instead attached to the surface. SERVPRO restoration technicians use the adsorption process when applying topical treatments like fire or stain retardants. 

Agglomeration

The process of agglomeration stops the re-depositing of fine particles of soil into small openings such as scratches, fibers, or pores. In agglomeration, these fine particles merge together to form a larger mass. 

Agents

Oxidizing bleaching agents break down soils by adding oxygen while reducing bleaching agents to remove oxygen to counteract oxidation. Chelating agents are cleaning products like Powdered Emulsifier that reacts with hard water salts to make them water-soluble. 

Dispersion

Breaking up of solid soils in order for separation and suspension to occur within the cleaning solution. This process, also known as deflocculation, suspends soils to stop re-depositing of soils onto the surface. 

Foam Modifiers

Chemicals that increase or decrease foam, allowing technicians to customize detergents depending on the amount of foam needed for the effectiveness of the cleaning process. 

Penetration

Even the smoothest surfaces have small crevices that can hold dirty that becomes difficult to remove. Penetration ability refers to the ability of the cleaning product to get into these small crevices. 

Surfactants

Surfactants lower the surface tension of water-based cleaning products. The thick-skinned surface tension in water causes it to slow penetration; a surfactant fosters faster penetration into porous materials.  

For assistance after any water or fire emergency, contact SERVPRO of Skagit County at (360) 873-8744. We are available 24/7 and are Faster To Any Size Disaster.

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Pre and Post Construction Cleaning After Mount Vernon Water Losses

2/13/2020 (Permalink)

Carpet padding being pulled up off of subflooring with mold spots. We want to make sure your home is mitigated properly after your Mount Vernon water damage, don't let it get this bad.

Your Mount Vernon water loss will take vital build back efforts, let SERVPRO help.

There are many instances in which our SERVPRO professionals must respond to emergencies swiftly and implement demolition and extraction for Mount Vernon homes to help prevent further and more considerable losses. These emergency services are less calculated and precise as controlled demolition later during the mitigation phase. Cleaning technicians with cutting-edge equipment and potent cleaning agents can help to improve the look and function of your home before and after vital build back efforts.

Water cleanup for Mount Vernon homes can encompass many of the steps necessary to fully restore the property. Controlled demolition is often an essential component to recovery, as it provides access for our technicians to use positive pressure systems, low profile centrifugal air movers, and other evaporative drying techniques to manage current loss conditions.

Pre-construction cleanup involves both eliminating debris and preparing the area for the reconstruction to follow. Prepping the workspace can often begin with shoveling out any loose debris and construction material remnants such as deteriorated drywall or wet insulation. Removing this debris, along with deliberately controlled demolition techniques, allows us to remove overly saturated materials and better protect undamaged areas from migrating moisture.

During both the demolition and the reconstruction phases of this process, our SERVPRO team can employ air scrubbers and other HEPA filtration devices. These tools can help to reduce harmful contaminants or particles circulating in the environment until the rebuilding completes. Any loose dust and debris from the new construction by our licensed in-house contractors can get removed using dry vacuums. Wiping down surfaces near to newly installed components can also help to return the property to preloss condition without requiring sophisticated equipment or tactics.

Offering customers a comprehensive approach for restoration can ensure that each phase of scoping and ultimate recovery get accomplished as efficiently as possible. We can help damaged properties through the initial stages of mitigation and clean up the property both before and after build back. No matter how our SERVPRO of Skagit County professionals can help, give us a call today at (360) 873-8744.

To learn more about Mount Vernon, click here.

We Are The Right Choice For Your Mount Vernon Water Damage Restoration

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

Shelves in our warehouse housing our restoration equipment We are available 24/7 and understand that being able to get equipment on-site to begin the drying or cleaning process is crucial.

Water Damage Left a Funky Smell In My Home

Sometimes we forget just how beautiful Mount Vernon is. Our lush landscape and proximity with nature make the air feel crisp and clean. As homeowners, we are lucky to invite that sense of purity and cleanliness into our homes and lives. However, every so often, accidents happen in our home and leave behind consequences that tarnish the wholesomeness of the environment around us. For example, when plumbing issues cause water to seep into carpets or upholstery, you may find yourself with an odd smell lingering in your home well after the water extraction process.

Our professional SERVPRO crew mitigates water damage to your Mount Vernon home. Our technicians prepare in the classroom and on the job to tackle jobs of all sizes, including water restoration and deodorization. As much as store-bought air fresheners promise to eliminate any unwanted scents, it takes a professional team to neutralize the odor instead of merely masking it. By placing a call to our 24/7 hotline, you gain access to a wide array of deodorizing methods suitable for eliminating the smell once and for all.

At SERVPRO, we pay close attention to the chemical composition of the smell in your home. For some smells, we may use water-based solutions, while other times, we might opt for a solvent-based deodorizer. It depends on the smell we are trying to counteract and its severity. Aside from the solutions, we apply to the surfaces of your home, you might see us employ industry-grade filtration devices and air movers. These tools encourage air circulation to complete our deodorizing efforts. In some instances, we may choose to deodorize your home by vaporizing deodorizing agents and applying them with a thermal fogger. One of the advantages of using a fogger is the penetration of the agent into crevices within your home.

How you tackle the smell left in your home following water damage does not need to be overwhelming. Our SERVPRO of Skagit County team is ready to guide you through the pros and cons of each deodorizing option. Call (360) 873-8744 and let our teamwork to leave your home “Like it never even happened.”

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How Refrigerators Cause Water Damage in Mount Vernon

12/19/2019 (Permalink)

Silver modern refrigerator with water and ice dispenser in front Water lines for ice makers are frequent causes of leaks in homes. Inspect your line often for damage.

Technicians Provide Fast Refrigerator Water Removal in Mount Vernon 

While appliance leaks are not uncommon, particularly with items like dishwashers and washing machines, refrigerator leaks can pose many challenges for homeowners. Approximately 10% of homes have water leaks that can waste as much as 90 gallons of water per day. To put this another way, that's 131,040 gallons or more each year that can potentially damage possessions, furniture, and structures. 

If an appliance leak requires water removal in your Mount Vernon residence, you can count on SERVPRO technicians to come to your home within hours of your call to restore your home to a preloss condition. No matter the scale of the disaster, this team brings cutting-edge tools and reliable techniques backed by scientific theory to thoroughly clean, disinfect, and dry your home.

Preventing Refrigerator Water Damage

Install a water alarm. These battery-powered devices can detect any water that touches their sensors and can be especially helpful for detecting leaks behind your refrigerator.

See if the fridge is tilted. While water naturally accumulates in the fridge from temperature variance and condensation, a fridge that is tilted forward or sitting level can cause floor leaks.

Look for clogs. Lines that drain water from the fridge or freezer can sometimes get clogged, but a little bit of cleaning can usually clear this up.

Check on the ice maker. Ice makers are a common cause of refrigerator leaks, as the tubes connecting them can sometimes come loose or get damaged. Shut off the water connection to the fridge and see if the leak stops.

Check your fridge's insulation. Condensation that's developing outside the unit might mean that the door gasket is not tight enough. 

How SERVPRO Saves the Day

There are two main types of systems that SERVPRO technicians use to restore a home after a water loss disaster: open and closed. Open systems use dry outdoor air and exchange it with moist indoor air to accelerate drying and improve ventilation. Because of the specificity of the conditions, open systems are not always feasible or ideal for drying.  

Closed systems, on the other hand, contain the affected area, and we use dehumidification equipment to dry indoor air. Technicians can hang plastic sheeting to create drying chambers for a more effective closed system. Relative humidity in a closed system drying chamber should not exceed 40% for porous materials.  

SERVPRO of Skagit County wants to make sure your home looks, "Like it never even happened." Call (360) 873-8744 today for a cleanup service you can count on every time. 

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Mount Vernon Water Loss? Attention DIY-Selfers--Call SERVPRO for Cleanup and Restoration

11/25/2019 (Permalink)

moisture droplets inside of a window Removing Moisture is a Key Factor in Water Loss Mitigation in Mount Vernon Homes--So Call SERVPRO!

How Dehumidifiers Assist in Turning Around Water Damage in Mount Vernon Homes

If you have water damage in your home, you might be tempted to handle it on your own. In some cases, this works out okay, and in other circumstances, it can make the damage even worse.

Doing DIY cleanup of water damage in your Mount Vernon home may involve mops, towels, wet/dry vacuums, and fans. These are fine for drying surfaces, but blowing a fan on a damp carpet, for example, may only manage to dry the tops of the fibers. That means the padding and lower part of the carpet remains damp. This leaves the residence open for further damage from damaged subflooring, mold, and musty odors.

Professional Detection and Extraction Equipment
The technicians use many kinds of moisture detection devices to determine all areas of water migration. When SERVPRO technicians work on a water spill in a home, they use portable pumps and different types of removal equipment dependent on the types of surfaces they are working on.  

Dehumidification Makes the Difference
The dehumidification equipment used in tandem with the air movers starts a cycle that thoroughly dries carpets and surfaces. As the air movers send high-velocity airflow over the wet areas, it causes moisture to rise. The dehumidifiers capture that moisture and remove it from the room. As the cycle continues, progressively drier air circulates. SERVPRO technicians often "float" carpets where they loosen one side and direct air movers to blow both above and below, resulting in a completely dry carpet and padding.

Monitoring the Process
As a water loss area dries, technicians take moisture readings during and afterward to ensure drying goals are reached. This attention to detail assists in the inhibition of both mold and foul odors happening in the home. The average indoor humidity goal is 50% or less, so naturally occurring mold spores do not germinate.

Contact SERVPRO of Skagit County at (360) 873-8744 when your home has water damage. The technicians show up quickly, dry, and clean the property to make it "Like it never even happened."

The Basics Of Water Damage Restoration Training

12/4/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage restoration training is one of the important skill sets that a team of professional cleaners need in order to offer comprehensive services. This is a service that involves going into a home or business after a wet disaster, such as flood, burst pipes, or snow destruction, and not just cleaning up the mess, but actually drying and repairing the substructures that high volumes of moisture will affect, such as plaster and drywall, wood, concrete, and metal. Mold is a concern, of course, but there can be many other problems related to moisture damage; crumbling drywall and plaster, weakening beams and supports, rusting metal surfaces, and more. If the moisture is left to sit long enough, it will eventually bring the house to ruin. By having professional water damage restoration training, a cleaning crew will be able to properly assess the situation and devise the best plan for repair.

According the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification), which sets the standards for the cleaning industry and water damage restoration training, there are several different levels and classes involved in liquid destruction. From the IICRC’s S-500 standards, there are three categories describing the type of liquid involved.

•    Category 1. This is liquid from a clean and sanitary source, such as faucets, toilet tanks, drinking fountains, etc. But, category one can quickly degrade into category two.
•    Category 2. This category of liquid used to be called grey water, and is described as having a level of contaminates that may cause illness or discomfort if ingested. Sources include dishwasher or washing machine overflows, flush from sink drains, and toilet overflow with some urine but not feces.
•    Category 3. This is the worst classification and is grossly unsanitary. It could cause severe illness or death if ingested. It used to be called black water, and sources include sewer backup, flooding from rivers or streams, toilet overflow with feces, and stagnant liquid that has begun to support bacterial growth.

Next are the classes of destruction.

•    Class 1. The lowest and easiest to deal with, this has a slow evaporation rate. Only part of a room or area was affected, there is little or no wet carpet, and the moisture has only affected materials with a low permeance rate, such as plywood or concrete.
•    Class 2. With a fast evaporation rate, this level affects an entire room, carpeting, or cushioning, the wetness has wicked up the walls at least 12”, and there is moisture remaining in structural materials.
•    Class 3. This class has the fastest evaporation rate, and ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet and sub-floors are all saturated. The liquid may have come from overhead.
•    Class 4. This class is labeled as specialty drying situations, which means there has been enough liquid and time to saturate materials with very low permeance, such as hardwood, brick, or stone.

The education involved in water damage restoration training teaches the technician to tell the difference between all the classes and categories and form a restoration plan based on those factors
. Whether the work is done with a professional, broad-spectrum cleaning company, or if it’s a company limited strictly to moisture damage work, it’s important to make sure the technician has the right knowledge and tools for the job. Infrared probes are used to tell the extent of the destruction, as well as air movers, air scrubbers, different sizes and types of dryers and blowers, special hardwood dryers, and dryers designed specifically for drying the sub-floor and inner wall cavities.  Armed with water damage restoration training and the proper tools, most situations are salvageable.

http://www.IICRC.org/the-basics-water-damage-restoration-training-a-23.html

Safe Flood Clean-Up Tips

12/4/2018 (Permalink)

Before entering a building where flood damage may have occurred, make sure it’s safe: check for electrical hazards and structural damage, and use proper protective gear like boots, gloves and respirators. Before you start any construction or repairs, check for common hazardous materials like lead paint and asbestos, which may require help from professional and State-licensed contractors.

Then, follow these tips:

  • Act quickly
    The severity of damage escalates the longer water sits and building components and contents stay wet, so time is of the essence in the aftermath of a flood. In fact, mold will grow within 48-72 hours, so aim to start removing water and drying the environment within 48 hours. Have a list of professionals on hand to call, and understand your insurance policy, as some only cover mold damage up to a certain amount, while others don’t provide any reimbursement for mold.
  • Ventilate affected areas to prevent mold growth
    Mold loves moisture and organic materials such as paper or particleboard. In order to mitigate or slow damage, open windows if weather permits and place fans inside of them to keep air moving and maintain moderate temperatures. Work toward the fan as you clean to minimize cross contamination.
  • Assess damage to items and materials
    Assess the type of water absorbed by items, such as rainwater, water from broken pipes, contaminated river water or bacteria-filled sewage. There are ways to salvage specialty items but the decision on whether to save or trash an item will vary depending on the dollar and sentimental value to the owner. It may not be worthwhile to salvage drywall, carpets and pads, mattresses, pillows, box springs and particleboard. On the other hand, it might be worthwhile to restore costly Persian rugs, leather couches and antiques or heirlooms. Wet clothing and many household fabrics may be salvageable through machine washing, and a 10-minute soak in detergent and hot water, to remove contamination and stains. The IICRC strongly recommends that in water damages where there are contaminants present (e.g., bacteria, sewage, mold) or where small children or immune-compromised individuals are present that an inspection be conducted by an appropriately trained restorer and remediator.
  • Expose pockets of saturation
    Hidden and concealed pockets of saturation need to be opened for cleaning and drying. Layers between building materials hold water that must be discovered and removed or dried. On walls, find the water line and inspect at least a foot beyond it to make sure all damage, wet materials and mold are discovered. Remove and discard the damaged drywall and wet wall insulation. Wet carpets can usually be dried by professionals with the right equipment, but carpet padding, which is like a big sponge, should be discarded. Wood base trim and hardwood can also be saved with the right equipment if they can be accessed and completely dried on both sides. Remember to investigate concealed cavities such as behind walls, in mechanical spaces, under cabinets and furniture, and in crawl spaces.
  • Conduct a thorough cleaning
    Durable, non-porous or semi-porous materials, such as studs and joists, hardwood flooring and vinyl products, can be cleaned with common cleaning products or specialized products with detergents. During cleaning, take care to protect areas that are unaffected by the water or mold. After a thorough cleaning of salvageable materials, a disinfectant solution may need to be applied in case of harmful bacteria from sewage, river water debris or even standing water that has gone bad. Professionals like water restoration and mold remediation contractors and indoor environmental professionals can help you decide what is best for your situation. Once you’ve cleaned the wet materials, conduct another round of cleaning. If you choose to vacuum, use a HEPA-filter vacuum to remove allergens, fine dust and spores.
  • Confirm drying before reconstruction
    In order to prevent dry rot and structural damage, it’s important not to reconstruct or cover wood and other wet materials until the moisture content has been adequately reduced. A water restoration professional can confirm proper drying before reconstruction.

Water Damage Overview

12/4/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage can be deceptive. Water penetrates into structural cavities creating trapped pockets of saturation. The detection of water in these areas can often only be discovered with sophisticated moisture detection meters. Undetected moisture will continue to cause damage. This damage, at a minimum, will cause odors. Greater damage will surface when materials delaminate, shrink, split and further deteriorate to where costly repairs are required.

More than just removing excess water, IICRC-certified restorers have the knowledge and equipment to further dry a home or facility (including substructure materials) completely back to preloss conditions. Through timely response and the careful monitoring of water damage, mold and other health issues can be prevented. If water damage has been present too long, mold will occur.

All IICRC-certified professionals have the training and experience to identify moisture sources, evaluate mold growth (visible or suspected), contain damage, remove contamination and dry materials to ensure that mold will not return.

Professional restoration technicians understand the need for quick response. Immediate remediation is key to controlling any escalating costs. The longer the remediation is delayed, the higher the cost of restoration. Certified restorers have the knowledge to test materials and apply the restoration techniques required to return the items to their preloss condition.