Friday, April 18, 2014
   
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Water Damage Restoration

Damage

Twenty percent (20%) of homes have water damage to some degree each year.  Some are from leaky windows or roofs during severe rainfall, some from flooding, but 92% come from appliance or plumbing failures.  When this happens to your home or business, you need help and you need it fast.  Water damage is progressive, so if it isn’t dealt with in the first 48 hours, some items could be beyond saving.  RestorePro has 24-hour emergency service every day of the year for water damage.  Our Service Personnel are well trained and experienced in water mitigation, and we use the most efficient equipment and methods to totally dry your entire structure—not just your carpets—as quickly as possible.

You might think about tending to the problem yourself, and use a shop vac.  This will not do an adequate job.  It will pick up standing water, but what about furnishings, wallboard, and the water under baseboards and sills?  You might think that every company that does carpet care will do the job, but they might only have the equipment to dry carpet, not subfloor, walls, and other parts of your structure.  Drying up the water isn’t the only problem.  If inside humidity isn’t controlled, items that escaped initial damage could now be damaged because of the extra moisture in the air.  The fact is, that if your building isn’t completely dried, and dried quickly, your property will sustain further damage over time.  This hidden damage also promotes the growth of health-threatening mold and unpleasant odors.

Of course, when you have any type of damage to your home or business, you want to start cleaning it up right away.  Some of this cleanup however, is best left to the professionals.  The wrong action can make restoration more difficult and increase the time it takes to get your structure back to normal.

The top appliances contributing to water damage are:

  • Hot water heaters
  • Washing machines
  • Refrigerators with icemakers and/or water units
  • Dishwashers

In the event of water damage, do the following:

  • Turn off the water source if possible.  If you don’t know how, call a plumber or the Water Department.
  • Stay calm! Call RestorePro.
  • Turn off the breaker in the wet areas before unplugging or removing electrical devices located on the wet carpet or other surface.
  • Place aluminum foil under the legs of any furniture resting on with wet carpet. This might prevent furniture stains on your carpet, and keep the moisture from wicking into the furniture legs.  If the water is more than surface deep, stand the legs in plastic bowls or something similar.
  • Lift draperies away from wet carpet.
  • Pin up upholstered furniture skirts if they are in danger of touching the wet area.  They could wick up water and become stained or bleed color into the carpet.
  • Remove books, shoes, paper goods, fabrics, potted plants, and other items which may stain wet carpet or wick up moisture.
  • Turn on the air conditioner (no lower than 72 degrees) to speed up drying in the summer or in high humidity areas  If the a/c unit is in a wet area, DO not turn it on.
  • Carefully punch holes in a sagging ceiling.  This lets trapped water out and places less strain on the ceiling.  Use a non-metal container to catch the released water.  NEVER turn on ceiling lights or fans if the ceiling is wet.
  • Remove area rugs from wet flooring or carpet.
  • Move clothing or other fabric items to a dry place.  Empty drawers of all items in order for the cupboard, bureau, etc. can dry more easily.
  • If the walls are wet, remove any decorative items from them.
  • Call your insurance agent to report the damage.  If you have to stay elsewhere while restoration is being done, be sure that your agent and your restoration company know how to reach you.

Do not attempt the following:

  • Don’t use your home vacuum, since electrical shock may result, as well as certain damage to the equipment itself.  You can mop or squeegee standing water however.
  • Don’t place newspaper in traffic areas to walk on, since newspaper ink transfers easily to the wet carpet fibers and may result in permanent staining.

Although none of us can do a lot about Mother Nature, we can do some preventative things to lessen the chance of other types of water damage from plumbing, gutters, and appliances.  The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) recommends taking these steps:

  • Inspect (or have inspected by a plumber) any room that has plumbing for leaks or sings of deterioration in supply and waste lines,
  • In the bathrooms, be sure that the tub, shower, and toilet are sound, firmly affixed to the floors or walls, and that any grouting is sealed and in good shape.
  • Replace any rubber hoses on appliances with stainless steel braided hoses.
  • Run dishwashers and washing machines only when you are home.
  • Check water heaters and boilers for corrosion and/or leaks.
  • Replace water heaters every ten years.
  • Think about putting water alarms on appliances.
  • If you have central air conditioning, check the unit for good drainage.
  • Inspect attic a/c units and swamp coolers a yearly t the minimum.
  • Refrigerator ice-makers can cause a lot of problems,  Check the supply lines for brittleness or leakage.
  • Consider having  lever-type water shutoffs on your appliances and building water lines instead of the wheel type.
  • Clogged gutter and downspouts let water backup under shingles.  Clean them at least once a year.  If you have a lot of trees around, you may need to clean them twice a year.
  • Even if you have freeze-proof exterior faucets, you still need to remove hoses before winter.
  • Ice dams are a common cause of leaks, so be sure that your attic is well insulated and ventilated.  Check once a year for missing roofing materials and be sure that flashing that is tight and in good shape.

Removal

Anyone living in this part of the country is probably familiar with frozen water pipes—frozen water pipes that break, turning your home into a swimming pool.  Or maybe someone left the water running in the bathtub.  Or your washing machine or ice maker supply line breaks.  Your floors, your furniture, your books all ruined you think.  However, RestorePro can treat and reclaim water-damaged carpet, upholstery, hard flooring and other parts of your flooded home.

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), a certification registry that develops and monitors educational programs and standards for the inspection, cleaning and restoration industry, recommends that you do not attempt to treat water damage yourself.  RestorePro restoration professionals will assess and repair the water damage as well as track down the ongoing, often hidden, damage to ceilings, walls and contents caused by moisture in the air.

RestorePro technicians are all IICRC certified.  This means that they have had a formal education in water damage restoration and health and safety procedures.  They have certificates of continuing education on new techniques and technology and technician certification.  All RestorePro service personnel have worker and liability coverage.  They are experienced in the restoration field.

The old way of removing water and drying was opening windows and running fans.  Improper water removal techniques and incomplete drying can be a health hazard because they encourage mold, mildew, and microbial growth.  A fast response to water damage prevents progressive material damage, accelerated microbial growth, and minimizes the need for replacement or reconstruction of contents and structures.

RestorePro Service Professionals use state-of-the-art equipment and technology, such as Rapid Structural Drying, to dry your entire structure as quickly as possible.  We use moisture meters to measure the amount of saturation as well as the location of “hidden” moisture in order to be sure that all wet materials are thoroughly dried.  Since bacteria and other microorganisms thrive in moist places, we will also deodorize and disinfect to stop the growth and odor of such contaminates.  And you can rely on RestorePro to provide emergency response and quick professional service 24-hours a day, every day of the year.

Each instance of water damage is different, so every removal strategy has to be tailored to the circumstances.  There are standards however, that are used to define criteria and methods to be used for assessment of the damage and establish restoration procedures.

Loss Assessment and Evaluation.  This determines the degree of loss to the structure and contents. It can include site inspections, interviews, and instrumental measurements.  The results aid the restorer in determining health and safety priorities and prioritizing mitigation and restoration actions.

Categorization of Water in Water Damage. Water is classed three ways:  “clean”, “gray” (minor contamination), and “black” (major contamination).  The level of contamination of water in a damaged structure is ascertained in order to use the proper restoration and sanitizing method.  Obviously, “black” water s more threatening, so those areas need attention first.

Principles of Drying. All four of these drying principles are used to properly dry water-damaged structures and contents--excess water removal, evaporation, dehumidification, and temperature control.  They are considered in every phase of the drying job.

Structure and Content Considerations. Structural materials and contents are examined for damage and necessary restoration measures.  This includes HVAC systems, basements, crawlspaces, attics and structural components and materials.

Monitoring. The damaged structure must be monitored starting with the initial loss assessment and evaluation, and continuing throughout the restoration process. RestorePro establishes a moisture content or drying goal for affected building materials and contents. Daily monitoring procedures may include temperature and humidity readings, updating progress reports and checking the moisture content of structural wood and other materials with a moisture meter.

Final Inspection and Completion. A final inspection, including the implementation of completion procedures, is performed. During the final inspection and completion procedures, it is important to confirm that the structure and contents pose no health or safety risk and is completed to the owners satisfaction.

Make sure that your insurance agent and the certified water damage restoration professional communicate so that each are clear on the general policy provisions and procedures. Certified water damage restoration professionals generally divide insured losses into three phases: mitigation, coordination and restoration.

Restoring your property and possessions after water damage can be frustrating, but with RestorePro, an IICRC-Certified Firm, you can be sure that the job is conducted according to high industry standards, and finished as soon as possible.

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