Water/Flood Damage Restoration – What You Should Know!
My house was flooded and I have cleaned up all of the water; how do I know if the walls are still wet?
Although your floors and walls may look and feel dry on the surface, there may still be potentially damaging moisture present inside the walls. Our certified technicians use a variety of specialized tools to uncover moisture that is not visible to the eye and to ensure that your structure is properly dried.
How will you dry my house/commercial building?
Our certified technicians typically use a combination of high velocity air movers and dehumidifiers in response to a water intrusion. Air movers increase the rate of water evaporation while dehumidifiers remove the evaporated moisture from the air.
How long does it take for mold to develop?
Mold can begin to grow in 48-72 hours. That’s why it is so important to start the drying process as quickly as possible.
How do I know that that my property has been dried properly?
Our technicians are certified by and comply with the drying standards specified by “The Clean Trust,” the main certifying body for the restoration industry. We conduct regular progress checks, monitoring the drying process with moisture meters to ensure that all of the affected areas are dried to industry standards. All of our moisture content readings are recorded and compiled in a report, complete with digital pictures to give you the assurance that all of the structural materials have been dried properly.
Is it true that when drywall gets wet it’s ruined and must be replaced?
No, when properly dried, drywall can almost always be salvaged.
If the carpet is wet, does it have to be discarded and replaced?
It depends on the class of water that the carpet has come into contact with. Here are the possible scenarios:
a) If the water was from a clean or “Category 1” water source such as a water supply line, then it can typically be dried in place and restored.
b) If the water had a mild degree of contamination, such as fire sprinkler discharge or an air conditioning condensation line, then it is considered “Category 2” and the treatment must be judged on a case-by-case basis. In a residential Category 2 flood the carpet pad is typically removed and the carpet dried in place.
c) If the water contains sewage or flowed in from the outdoors it is considered “black water” or “grossly contaminated” and is classified as “Category 3”. This water could contain blood-borne pathogens, diseases and/or chemicals of concern (pesticides, fertilizers, etc.). All porous materials affected by Category 3 water should be removed.
When structural materials get wet, will they grow mold and create a health hazard for the occupants of the building, despite the drying efforts of a professional restoration company?
If the moisture source is eliminated and the saturated areas are dried properly the chances for mold growth are diminished. Immediate response, the right technology, cutting edge equipment and procuring a knowledgeable, experienced restoration company are the key components in preventing mold growth.
What is mold?
Molds are fungi that occur naturally in the environment. There are thousands of different species of mold. They vary in color and form, neither of which determines their level of harmfulness. Molds are very good for our environment, but become a problem when they grow in homes and buildings.
Why does mold grow indoors?
Organic materials and moisture provide mold with the food it needs to grow. Your property is built from many of these materials that include: wood, sheet rock, drywall paper etc. and is an excellent source of nutrition for mold. Molds reproduce by making and releasing tiny airborne spores that drift through the air to find an ideal place to grow. When organic materials become wet and there is a lack of sufficient airflow in a building, it is possible for mold growth to develop. Aside from the potential health effects that can occur as a result of mold exposure, mold will compromise the structural integrity of your building. It will rot and deteriorate the building materials and can cause extensive property damage if it is not addressed properly.
What kinds of health effects are associated with mold exposure?
The most common symptoms associated with mold exposure are:
What levels of mold exposure are harmful?
The Environmental Protection Agency has yet to issue guidelines addressing airborne mold contamination levels. This stands to be a difficult task as each individual has different tolerances.
Mold usually has the greatest affect on people whose immune systems are compromised such as individuals that are suffering from cancer, HIV, etc., the elderly, people with asthma and allergies, or people whose immune system is still developing like young children. However, if you are a property manager, builder, landlord, realtor or a homeowner, do you want to take the chance of not addressing the issue if it arises in your building?
Are all water damages the same?
No, In the event of a flood coming from a fresh water source like a broken water line, hot water tank, or a ruptured washing machine hose, as long as the area that it flows over is clean there will be little in the way of contaminates.
If the water is left without being attended to in a reasonable time of within 24 to 48 hours it begins to deteriorate and thus requires more significant remediation steps.
Water coming out of a clothes or dishwasher may contain significant levels of bacteria and so would be treated as such when the remediation and drying takes place.
In the event of a sewer back-up or back-flow there may be high levels of bacteria and pathogens that make the remediation and restoration much more extensive for the protection of both the restoration much more extensive for the protection of both the occupants and the workers doing the restoration.