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Some Questions To Ask A Water Damage Restoration Company

Water damage restoration companies provide an incredibly crucial role at a time when many of us will need it most. Water damage can be extensive and permanent and left unchecked and for that reason it’s crucial that you’re able to respond quickly with a company that will act efficiently to help salvage the situation as much as possible while minimizing the damage to your belongings.

Don’t wait until your home is subjected to water damage to look around for a good water damage restoration company. While your home is safe and sound, that’s the best time to look around and find a company with offerings that will work best for you. The only question is: how do you tell a good company from a bad one? Read on and we’ll look at some questions that can help offer distinction and hopefully save your home from extensive damage.

How long have you been in business?

This is a pretty good point to start at. Reputable water damage restoration companies know where they began and will know where they are going. They will have a proper answer for you when it comes to your questions about their origins.

Do you provide sanitation services?

There is more to a post water damage event than just cleaning up. Experts will need to make sure that the area is also hygienic. Experts will never risk the health of their clients so if the company you’re speaking to does not offer this, run away now.

Do you offer mold remediation?

Mold can be pretty risky to our health if left unchecked. They can cause a variety of health

If they don’t, then you may move back in only to find that you have toxic black mold that begins to build up and make your home smell musky and once again be unhealthy to remain living in. Studies have linked indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people; with asthma symptoms in people with asthma; and with hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals susceptible to that immune-mediated condition.

So it can get pretty bad in a short amount of time. This is why it’s important to find a water damage restoration company that can get rid of the problem before it spreads.

Are your people certified?

Reputable water damage restoration companies don’t waste time with people who are not suitably certified. This stems the events of any unsatisfied customers and potential lawsuits in the future.

Do you help remove or move furniture?

Your water damage company should even be able to help remove your belongings for you like a removal company. This way, they can protect your items from getting damaged further and what’s more, they can create enough space for them to work in. This includes removing carpets which have absorbed lots of contaminated water, so that they can then install new ones for you afterward.

How fast is the cleanup process?

A reputable company with an experienced crew should be able to give you an estimate of how long it should take them to do the cleanup. They will be able to speak of their past clients and past jobs and even give you a list of references.

Let’s Talk About Mold

Once a home has come into contact with invasive water, it isn’t a far off chance that an unwanted guest will start to thrive. We’re speaking about mold of course. Mold, if you’re not familiar with it is a furry growth of minute fungal hyphae occurring typically in moist warm conditions. They particularly favor food and organic matter.

Fungi that exist as single cells are called yeasts. Some molds and yeast cause disease or food spoilage. Others play an important role in biodegradation or in the production of various foods, beverages, antibiotics, and enzymes.

Mold is also found in damp building materials where it oftens appears like stains and comes in a variety of colors. A musty sort of smell is an indication of microbial growth even when there is no visible growth. If mold is allowed to grow in homes, it can contribute to poor indoor air quality.

Water damage, when not suitably treated, promotes growth of fungi since it requires moisture. Even when water damage is not involved, there are several sources of moisture in a home. Some of these are washing machines, plumbing, air humidifiers, condensation, leaks, etc.

Molds release small “spores” into the air. So, when mold grows indoors, the number of mold spores and fragments is usually higher indoors than it is outdoors. These spores are small enough that people can actually inhale them deep into the lungs. Inhalation of spores poses risk of developing respiratory problems. With the exception of winter months mold spores are always present outdoors.

Other types of mold can be a bit more damaging to a home, depending on the size of an infestation. You may begin to notice a damp, musty odor in a specific area of your home. This means you should check for damp walls, carpet, flooring and any other spaces that may be breeding grounds for mold. The key is to treat a mold problem immediately, before the infestation becomes worse or causes permanent damage.

Now, you may be wondering how to keep mold away from a home. Here are some tips for you:

  • Keep all wood studs dry, and check inventory to make sure it’s being stored appropriately.
  • Allow framing to dry before putting up drywall. Mold can begin to grow on wet surfaces within 48 hours, so the home could have a mold issue even before the homeowners move in.
  • Use mold-resistant drywall and paints, especially in bathrooms and kitchens.
  • Install ventilation fixtures in the bathroom and kitchen. Make sure these are vented to the exterior.
  • Waterproof the home to prevent bulk water intrusion. This means everything from kick-out flashing on the roof to French drains in the foundation.
  • New methods, technologies and products are hitting the market every year, so take advantage of free information from government programs to keep up to date.

For those with a green thumb, you’d be happy to know that there are certain plants that you can have in your home that help keep mold at bay. What’s important is to keep quality indoor air and moisture away so that mold shan’t visit your home.

Sure Signs Your Home Has Water Damage

Water damage in a home can be particularly terrible when it’s been undetected. The longer water damage has been allowed to run amok, the more you’ll need to fix. With this in mind, it would be in any homeowner’s best interest to learn some signs and symptoms of water damage. When you’re armed with necessary knowledge, you’d be able to spot any potential sources of water damage and nip it at the bud.

Discoloration

When you see any streaks or stains on any surface, you should take that as a sign that there’s a leak or source of water that needs to be addressed. Discoloration occurs most on walls when water rolls down unchecked.

It would be best to check your gutters. When gutters are blocked, water tends to overflow. They can flow down the sides of your home or worse, into your home from the ceiling. The areas in a home which are also spots where discoloration occurs is at basements, kitchens, and bathrooms. So it’s best to check these places fairly regularly.

Weird Smells

When you get a whiff of a musty smell from any part of your home, there’s a large chance that there’s mold growing. Mold is always caused by excess moisture. Another way to describe the smell would be wet cardboard or rotting newspapers.

The stronger the smell, the closer you are to the main source of the problem.

Mold

When you spot mold in any surface that isn’t usually exposed to water, it’s a good indicator that there’s a persisting water issue in the area. Mold is fairly hard to miss. They come in patches in shades of black, brown, or green.

Mold spreads fast in dark, damp areas, such as closets, within walls, or under floorboards. Mold poses significant risks to respiratory health and it must be eradicated before it puts your family in danger. So once you see it in your home, it’s best to clean the affected area immediately. When you’re done with that, track down the source of the moisture buildup which led to the growth of the mold to begin with.

Doing that will help keep mold firmly away from your home.

Warped Doors or Windows

Water damage can affect doors and windows subtly. If you have any doors or windows that don’t shut or open as well as they used to, that’s a sign that there may be an underlying issue. It is possible that this can also be because of cement expansion–however if you spot any cracks leading to or from windows or doors, it’s best to call an expert.

It may be signs of structural integrity issues.

Walls and Floors are Changing Shape

Depending on the material, the changes on floors will be distinct. Tiles become loose in different areas. Linoleum will start to peel. Wooden floor drastically changes color and can come loose. Some types of wood start to curve–this is often called cupping. When these start to show up in your home, it’s best to check your crawlspaces and see if there’s any water that’s been pooling there to affect the floors that way.

As for walls, they’re more easy to detect. Water makes walls bloat, swell, or warp. If it’s constantly exposed to water, they may feel a bit soft to the touch. When you see paint bubbling or cracking, you should take that as a sign that there’s water or moisture pooling there.

 

What You Need to Know About Water Damage

Having your home ravaged by flooding whether by nature’s wrath or even faulty plumbing is never a pleasant event. It can be easy to panic but it would be in your best interest to keep calm and collected. While water damage can be intimidating, arming yourself with helpful information will help you address the crisis better.

First off, the insurance policy for flood damage is different from water damage. Most policies cover sudden damages like flooding or a broken washing machine. What they don’t cover is preventable water damage like leaky pipes or you didn’t maintain your property. In either case, it’s in your best interest to familiarize yourself with your insurance policy so you won’t get caught with your pants down when it counts.

Next, understand that once water damage occurs, you’re racing against the clock. When water or moisture builds up in your home, this makes your house a natural breeding ground for spores and mold. Vermin may also find your water ravaged home appealing. So it’s important that you get cleaning as soon as you can.

Before you do that, however, inform your insurance company of the damage your home has received. There’s no sense in delaying, particularly if you want to minimize any issues in your claim. Ask the agent if you can go ahead and clean or if you have to wait for them to send a representative to survey the damage. Your insurance company can also direct you to their trusted restoration specialist to help clean up your home. if you have your own trusted company, don’t feel pressured to make use of the one your insurance company recommends. However, if your policy requires that you use a certain restoration company, you may have your hands tied.

Next, the pollution level of the water comes in categories. Category 1 refers to water that comes from a clean source like your waterline for a dishwasher or washing machine. Category 2 refers to water that may cause illnesses through contract. Category 3 refers to water that is highly contaminated. Contact with this can cause severe illnesses and even death. Good examples of this would be sewage backup or an overflowing latrine. Unfortunately, storm waters fall under this category.

It is important to note that though water damage can start under Category 1–it doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll just stay there. Water is the perfect material for carrying anything it comes into contact with. This can include bacteria. So even if your water damage issue starts with a clean source, once that water comes into contact with soil or even dirty carpeting, the category will upgrade. The category helps determine how much work is needed to be done or how much the repairs can set you back.

The more contaminated your home is, the more aggressive the measures the cleaning crew has to put in place to ensure your safety. It also means that you have to be open to the fact that some of your furnishings may be discarded. When foam or mattresses have been soaked through by contaminated water, it’s often the safer course of action to replace it.

Keeping these details in mind when water damage occurs in your home can keep you level-headed and ready to get your home back on track.

Water Damage: What’s At Stake

It’s never a pleasant event when one’s home is the recipient of a calamity. It can come in the form of a leaky pipe or even outright flooding but it all ends the same way: with water damage. You will now have the task of clearing out your home before the damage becomes excessive. Water Damage Restoration companies may bill a pretty penny at the end of a contract but it’s important to understand why. Let’s take a look at what’s at stake when your home has water damage that isn’t addressed.

Your Home’s Re-sell Value

Water damage can permeate at a deeper level–sometimes at a level that will require specialist equipment to detect. So when water damage not addressed immediately, it can leave lasting mark and issues to the structural integrity of a home. On a surface level, water damage can mar the otherwise aesthetically pleasing facade of your home. If you were thinking of selling your home at a good price, having water damage will drastically lower your property’s re-sell value.

When water damage is ignored, no amount of restoration will bring the old value of your property back.

Your Keepsakes 

When your home is invaded by unwarranted moisture it can do some pretty heavy damage on your belongings. Water has a rather tenacious nature so if you’re in the middle of a flood, it will find its way to every corner of your home. If you were lucky to have an antique rug or any sort of keepsake passed on from generation to generation, you would definitely want to take care of it. Priceless treasures from loved ones are some of the recipients of damage that water and moisture brings.

Your Appliances

Let’s face it, home appliances aren’t cheap. So when you may end up replacing replacing appliances because of persistent water damage issues, you can accrue quite a bit of expenses on your end. Water damage restoration companies identify and target sources of water damage so there won’t be any more issues in the future.

Your Health

Water damage makes for moist conditions that’s quite ideal for the propagation of mold and mildew. It also becomes quite an inviting home for pests and other rodents. Bacteria always find water to be the perfect environment to live in so if continue to permit the existence of water damage in your home, you might as well turn your home into a culture lab. Floods carry with it a plethora of diseases like cholera and hepatitis. So you’re putting your health and your family’s health at some serious risk.

Studies have shown that wholly healthy people who have lived in homes with water damage contracted asthma later on in their lives. Those who had sensitive skin developed persistent rashes and eczema problems. When the wrong type of mold propagates in your home, you might be dealing with a bio hazard event in your walls.

So if you leave water damage alone, you’ll end up having bigger problems on your plate later on.

Tips To Prevent Wаtеr Damage

water damage

Mоѕt landlords encounter water dаmаgе tо their hоmеѕ. Althоugh іt may ѕееm lіkе ѕuсh a ѕmаll thіng but thе truth іѕ thаt even a ѕmаll leak оf wаtеr іntо your hоmе саn cause major damage tо thе оvеrаll ѕtruсturе аnd whеn nоt рrореrlу taken care оf, еvеn thе fоundаtіоn оf your home. Thіѕ іѕ thе reason whу іt іѕ іmроrtаnt that уоu еffесtіvеlу prevent wаtеr dаmаgе from оссurrіng іn уоur hоmе bеfоrе іt even ѕtаrtѕ tо оссur. Evеn though іt mау bе a ѕmаll thing tо уоu, thе reality is whаt уоu dо tо prevent water dаmаgе can ѕаvе уоu thоuѕаndѕ оf dollars in rераіr bіllѕ. Hеrе are thе mоѕt соmmоn ѕtерѕ аnd tірѕ tо hеlр уоu prevent аnd mіnіmіzе wаtеr dаmаgе.

 

Cracks

Yоu ѕhоuld сhесk fоr cracks аlоng уоur fоundаtіоnѕ, rооf, аnd walls. Some cracks fоund аlоng your fоundаtіоn, rооf and wаllѕ are thе mоѕt common wауѕ wаtеr seep a hоuѕе thereafter саuѕіng dаmаgе tо properties. Yоu ѕhоuld avoid thіѕ kіnd of ѕіtuаtіоn by simply lооkіng fоr сrасkѕ іn thеѕе аrеаѕ.                        When you discover ѕоmе cracks, thе next thing tо dо іѕ covering thеm. Yоu саn use some tаr tо соvеr the сrасkѕ аnd сhесk thе wоrk you’ve dоnе bу spraying thе cracks wіth a hоѕе tо еnѕurе wаtеr isn’t seeping thrоugh. Thіѕ саn hеlр ѕаvе a lot.

 

Clеаnіng

You muѕt оftеn clean your guttеr bесаuѕе another wау wаtеr dаmаgе оссur іѕ whеn your guttеrѕ and dоwnѕроutѕ аrе blосkеd. Thіѕ саuѕеѕ wаtеr tо flow оvеr аnd dаmаgе оthеr areas оf уоur hоuѕе. Tо avoid bad іѕѕuеѕ lіkе thіѕ whаt уоu ѕhоuld dо іѕ tо make ѕurе thаt уоur gutters аrе nоt blocked.

 

Sоurсе

You should lеt everyone in your house knоw hоw to turn оff thе water ѕоurсе аnd ѕuррlу. Whеn thеrе is a leak thаt wіll саuѕе dаmаgе, turning thе house wаtеr ѕuррlу іѕ the bеѕt way to prevent excessive damage. If this is turnеd оff еаrlу, there mау be nо need fоr repairs.

 

Plumbіng

Yоu muѕt rеgulаrlу check your рlumbіng as dаmаgе саn оссur frоm thеm. Thеѕе types of lеаkѕ аrе not easily noticeable. Alwауѕ сhесk уоur internal and еxtеrnаl pipes. If уоu notice puddles or drips, уоu ѕhоuld lосаtе the source of thе lеаk. It mау bе a loose соnnесtіоn nоthіng mоrе. Always rеmеmbеr thаt ѕtорріng the smallest leak can ѕаvе уоur home.

Rооf

You should сhесk уоur rооf fоr lеаkѕ. Heavy rаіnfаll іѕ еnоugh tо cause a grеаt аmоunt оf wаtеr dаmаgе. Chесk your rооf аnd drаіnріреѕ аnd сlеаn thеm of dеbrіѕ regularly. Always check fоr loose screws on уоur rооf. If уоu find оut thаt there іѕ a leak оn уоur rооf, it ѕhоuld bе tаkеn care of іmmеdіаtеlу tо avoid furthеr ѕtruсturаl рrоblеmѕ. Yоur rооf problems ѕhоuld bе dеаlt wіth аѕ ѕооn аѕ possible tо avoid the nееd of a complete rеnоvаtіоn. Yоu ѕhоuld bе careful аnd рrесаutіоuѕ about any lеаkаgе; аll ѕhоuld bе аddrеѕѕ wіth utmost саrе.

Water lеаkаgе, if nоt tасklеd іmmеdіаtеlу can саuѕе mold growth, аnd thіѕ саn be еxреnѕіvе to get rіd оf. But wіth thе right maintenance and саrе, уоu wіll bе аblе to reduce thе rіѕk of wаtеr damage tо your hоmе.

Water Damage Cleanup

Anyone who has watched the news in the past week has seen the devastation heavy rainfall and flooding can cause to an area, as is the case with Louisiana currently.

louisiana floodingThe flooding has been so intense that nearly half the state is under water.  So far 13 people have died and there are 7,000 people in shelters, and thousands without electricity.

This is being called the worst flood ever to hit the US, even overtaking the top spot held by Hurricane Sandy 4 years ago.  Thousands of people have lost everything they own.

The tips and tricks we share could never stop an event like this unfortunately, so at this point, all we can really do it pray for the victims affected by this terrible tragedy.

It’s been said that over 6.9 trillion gallons of water was dumped on the state of Louisiana with record rainfall.  Many of the water damage restoration businesses that would need to help out (eventually) in these situations are under water themselves.  In a normal (less severe) water damage situation, dumpster rental companies and water damage restoration providers work hand in hand to clean up the mess.

For a heavy duty flood like you see in the picture, there’s not much anyone can do to reverse mother nature.  From here, we help and save as many people as we can, donate to the cause, and wait until the water recedes.  If there is one benefit that can be seen from the terrible event, it’s that the economy will be revitalized with significant spending to repair the damage as Red Cross funds, donations, and water damage companies begin to repair the damage that occurred here.

This post was sponsored by our partner: Albany Dumpster Rental.

5 Quick Tips for Water Damage Prevention

Today, we’re going to share 4 quick tips to prevent water damage to your home or building:

Watch Your Landscaping

Be very careful with the landscaping near your home or building, specifically with what you choose to grow.  Trees are the primary targets for this statement.  How big will it be when fully grown?  As the tree grows, the roots will grow and can potentially penetrate the foundation of the home or building causing cracks and crevasses.  That’s not ideal for your home when the next rain storm hits, so watch out!

Empty the Gutters

Your gutters are a great feature because they take water and divert it from the building.  However, if the gutters are blocked, they become dangerous.  As leaves and sticks clog up the holes in the gutter and block proper water flow, water begins to build up.  This can cause leaking into the building and against the foundation.  Clean those gutters!  If you don’t want to get on the latter yourself, grab a pro to do it for you.

Monitor Your Water Usage

Every month, you have a similar water bill, around the same amount of money.  One month, the water bill is a bit higher than normal.  This should trigger an inspection of your house.  If nothing else changed in your household, you may have a leak!  Find it and get it fixed right away so you don’t suffer water damage.

Inspect the Outside of the Building

Every year, make an effort to walk outside at least once and take a brief look at the foundation of the house and all around it to make sure there are no holes, no wearing, and no cracks.  Things happen, and this is especially important in older homes.  Discoloration is normal, but cracks in the foundation is not.  A quick walk around can save you a ton of money down the road.  Make the time (10 minutes) to look around.  This small precaution can pay major dividends by preventing major repairs if water were to leak in.

The best preparation in the world can’t prevent every accident.  Follow the quick steps above to make sure your house is in reasonable condition and you’ve avoided the simple mistakes that can lead to a problem.  If you do experience water damage, call a professional company, like our partner Newton Fire and Flood to clean it up.  Calling the pro’s can mean saving thousands of dollars in repairs.