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How to Fix Water Damage in Your Home
Springtime is great. But sometimes springtime means major snowmelt, floods, and other water damage events. This is the time of year when gutters clog, rivers overflow, storm sewers back up, and the ground water table rises. All of these events can cause water damage problems in your home.
If you’re a homeowner, be on the lookout for problems.
It’s important to be vigilant. Check your home regularly for signs of water damage. Ceilings may show water stains. Even if you don’t see stains on the ceiling, poke your head up into the attic now and then. A single missing shingle can cause a roof leak. It will eventually seep into your home. Outside, standing water near your home’s foundation may be a sign that water problems are developing in the interior of your home. Check it out. If, you have a basement, inspect it. Some homeowners stack belongings against basement walls. Avoid doing this; you may be in for a nasty surprise.
Some of these causes are avoidable, but some aren’t. If your home experiences water damage, it’s probably not your fault. But whether it’s your fault or not, you’re likely to feel overwhelmed. By taking action, however, you can get control of the situation.
Water damage restoration falls under the old adage: A stitch in time saves nine. This warning means that it’s best to address water damage problems as soon as possible. You’ll save yourself time, money, and heartache.
First, decide if you need to call a professional water damage restoration company. You may be able to address some minor problems yourself. For major problems, call the pros at 1-888-443-3110.
Here is some information to help you decide:
If the water damage is caused by a sewer backup, you definitely need to call in a professional water damage restoration company. There are significant health problems associated with a sewage water backup. Cleanup requires protective clothing, including shoes and headgear with breathing filters. Cleaning agents must be appropriate for the job.
Similarly, if more than ten square feet of mold is present, call the pros at 1-888-443-3110. Mold is a serious health issue also. Inhaling mold spores, especially in an indoor environment, can exacerbate asthma and other respiratory conditions. Some studies even say it can cause asthma.
A professional water damage restoration crew will be equipped with appropriate protective clothing, filter masks, and the necessary gear to thoroughly restore your home.
You’ll need to find out what kind of water has created the damage. This sounds like a stupid question. Water is water, right?
Category 1: Clean Water
- For example, if someone leaves the kitchen faucet running while he answers a phone call, returning later to find water all over the kitchen floor that’s bad news, but it’s not a tragedy. Typically, water coming from a faucet is clean water. (We’re not talking Flint, MI here—that’s another problem!)
Category 2: Gray Water
- If an appliance malfunctions, say your dishwasher or your washing machine, the water coming from it will be cloudy or grayish in color. That water has chemicals or cleaning agents that might make you sick.
Category 3: Black Water
- Black Water, and usually this is the term applied to sewage backups, has a high pathogen count with a high probability of making you sick… very sick. It’s the most serious problem, obviously, and should be dealt with by professionals.
These three categories determine the approach a professional water damage restoration company will take to get your home back to the way it was.
- Category 1: Depending on the situation, category one may only require thorough drying.
- Category 2: Because of the presence of chemicals, category two events require thorough drying and in most cases cleaning to remove any chemical residue.
- Category 3: This is a dangerous situation, and category three water damage situations require the most thorough kind of cleanup. It will probably necessitate a several step procedure to restore your home to a safe condition. Unfortunately, if your belongings have been contaminated with sewage material, they’ve got to go. This is for your safety and the safety of your family. They cannot be effectively or safely cleaned. They must be removed and then replaced once the premises have been decontaminated.
When in doubt, call a professional water damage restoration company.
When they come, and the larger water damage restoration companies will have emergency 24 hour service, they’ll assess the situation and let you know the appropriate cleanup procedure. Each situation is different, and there’s a variety of factors to take into consideration. For example, laminate flooring that has become saturated will have to be removed and discarded, even if the water damage is category 1 (clean water). That’s because laminate is made of layers of paper glued to a sub floor. It cannot be dried and reclaimed. Think of the library book you left outside in the rain when you were a kid. Even dried those wrinkled papers are just never the same.
Mold is another factor that must be taken into consideration. This is where the A stitch in time… adage comes into play. Mold generally starts small and grows, sometimes exponentially. They don’t call it a mold invasion for nothing. If you have water damage in your house, you can pretty much count on the growth of mold. Water plus oxygen combined at the right temperature, plus a little time, equals mold. Aside from being unsightly, a mold problem is a health issue, especially for children or adults with a compromised respiratory system. Some studies indicate that mold can even cause respiratory problems in otherwise healthy adults.
After you call a professional water damage restoration company, these are the typical steps they will follow:
Item removal. This can include furniture, books, boxes, belongings. Your belongings can be taken to an offsite storage area where they can be thoroughly dried and, if possible, reclaimed.
Find the source of the water and get rid of the water. This sounds simple, but it isn’t always. The small leak from an interior pipe may travel along the exterior of the pipe and drip many feet away, so that spot on the ceiling may not be where the drip is originating. After the source of the water is found, a good water damage restoration company will typically tackle water extraction issues using pumps and industry-sized fans to dry the premises.
Mold prevention and eradication comes next. This can include a seventeen step procedure, recommended by the EPA.
A thorough drying of the premises comes next.
Finally, a reconstruction or rebuild phase begins. This is when your water damage restoration company rebuilds walls, replaces carpet or other flooring, repaints, and moves your reclaimed belongings back home.
So, whether it’s a big problem or a small problem, by arming yourself with information and taking action quickly, you’ll be in control of the situation.