WATER DAMAGE F.A.Q
How serious is water damage?
Water damage is a cumulative process. The longer you wait to do something about it, the worse the situation gets for your carpets and the rest of your property. Here’s the kind of trouble you can expect when you let carpets stay wet or moist for long stretches:
- Easier Tearing and Ripping – While you may not see the immediate structural damage on your carpets, water weakens its fibers and latex backing over time. This makes the carpet more susceptible to tears and rips from footsteps and furniture movement. Even if the carpet survives the initial flooding, its overall lifespan is greatly diminished if proper cleaning and restoration measures aren’t applied.
- Fire Hazard – Some homes and facilities have the bad habit of having electrical wiring run under their carpets. Over the years, the weight of human traffic and the movement of heavy objects on top of the carpet can wear out the insulations that cover the wires underneath it. When a live wire is exposed and it comes into contact with wet patches of carpet, you’re looking at a serious fire hazard that can cause severe property damage and potential loss of human life.
- Mold Infestation – Harmful fungi such as mold love damp surfaces where there’s ample food to keep them nourished. A carpet that’s been exposed to water fits that description perfectly. At its onset, mold growth can be hard to spot on your carpet. It’s only after the fuzzy fungus forms small colonies that it becomes clearly visible to a lot of people. Touching, cleaning, or treading on mold can be dangerous because the slightest of forces can send its spores flying. Skin contact or inhalation of spores have been known to cause irritations, respiratory disorders and even poisoning. Please call us for mold removal (add link) sevices if you are in need of mold remediation.
- Musty Odors – Stale moisture on carpets and mold growth produce musty smells that are hard to get rid of. Air fresheners only mask these odd smells but don’t necessarily remove their causes.
- Pest Attraction – Common household pests are drawn in by damp surfaces. Rats and roaches love it even more when that surface is your carpet. These pests can haul in deadly germs which can infect people and pets that come into direct contact with the carpet.
Steps to take after water emergency?
Call a water restoration company ASAP. While you’re waiting for their arrival do your best to stop the any excess flow of water like taping off a pipe leak or putting a bucket under a rook leak. After you’ve tried to stop the water flow remove as much excess water as possible from the floor or walls. For instance, take a mop and dry up as much water as possible and take a towel to dry off the walls.
To salvage your belongings take the following precautions. Towel dry wood-furniture and relocate all of your belongings to a dry place especially electronics. Place wood blocks under furniture if there is flooding to keep the furniture away from the excess water. Pin up draperies and upholstery skirts as well.
The Don'ts of water damage?
- Don not wait till the last minute to call a water restoration company
- Do Not go near contaminated (sewer) water
- Do Not use electrical appliances and outlets in wet areas
- Do Not use your household vacuum to extract water
- Do Not place wet items on any absorbent surface
- Do Not enter rooms if the ceiling is wet and sagging
- Do Not turn on your heating and/or air conditioning system if you think water may have entered the ducts
- Do Not leave absorbent materials like boxes, papers or pillows in the wet area
- Do not let children or the elderly enter the affected areas
How can I safely inspect my house after water damage?
Dangers are not over when the water drains. Do not endanger yourself or your family after a water event. Keep children and pets away. Try to protect yourself and your family from stress, fatigue, and water-related health hazards. Follow these basic safety rules:
- Determine Structural Stability
- Cut off power supply
- Turn off water supply & gas supply
- Beware of animals that can spread infectious disease
- Use protective gear like gloves and rain boots if available
What is best way to secure my property after water damages?
Lock and secure your property when not occupied to prevent looting. Keep in mind that alarms may malfunction if the electricity or telephone service has been interrupted.
How can I estimate the extent of the damage?
Start with a closer inspection of the property to assess the damage to the exterior. Only if determined safe, walk around the building and lot to observe and gather information. Mark the water levels on the walls for reference. Now enter the structure. Taking extreme precautions, start from the top and document the damage.
What are the electricity related safety rules after water damage?
There 3 basic safety rules:
- Turn off the power to your home or business by disabling the main circuit breaker panel. Even if the neighborhood power grid is down assume all power lines are active and functioning.
- Do not use regular household vacuums to remove excess water.
- Do not use electrical appliances while standing on a wet floor
How can I know if I have water damage in the kitchen?
Leaks under the sink, slow draining pipes, cracked tile or missing grout, soft or stained walls and floors, leaks under and around the base of the dishwasher, and moisture behind the refrigerator.
Where do I need to look for water damage in the bathroom while inspecting?
Start with the toilet; check the water lines, the floor around the toilet, the tank and the toilet rim. Make sure no leaks are visible. Then inspect the Shower and Bathtub. Inspect the tiles, the grout, drain and visible plumbing. Confirm that all seals are tighten and dry. Be attentive to discolorations or soft areas around the bathtub walls.
How can I dry my insulation?
After getting wet, most insulation is useless. It is difficult to dry out insulation and therefore it will retain water and create high moisture conditions. It is strongly recommended to find and fix the leak source and replace all damaged insulation.
What are signs of internal leaks?
If there is discoloration on the wall and it if the wall feels softer then it usually means there is any internal leak. Fixing these pipes usually requires professional help. To verify the problem, consider hiring a water restoration comapany for infrared inspection.
What are the recommended tests for a sump pump?
- Check the outlet pipe to make sure it is not clogged or frozen. Follow the pipe and confirm that water are directed away from the property.
- Check that the pump is clean. Plug in the pump and remove the lid (if there is one). Use a flashlight and look into the pump and see that the inlet pipe is clean and free flowing.
- Test the pump by pouring at least 5 gallons of water and pumping it out. Be sure to pour the water in a way that will simulate the average flow into the pump. Force the pump to turn on and off 2-3 times and watch the action of the on/off switch while listening to the pump.
What are the warning signs for water damage in the refrigerator?
- Moisture behind or under the refrigerator including on the coils in the back of the refrigerator.
- Leaks from hose connection and seals. (Commonly found in the icemaker’s water supply line)
- Growth of mold is a major sign because it indicates an ongoing problem that must be treated immediately. This problem is usually detected in the drain pan if your refrigerator has one.
Should I install an exhaust fan in my bathroom?
Installing an exhaust fan in the bathroom is highly recommended. When running, the fan ventilates the bathroom by circulating air and therefore preventing damp air overloads. It helps to maintain low humidity levels, promoting good indoor air quality and reducing the chance for mold growth. It is important to turn it on while using the bathroom and for 5-10 minutes afterwards.
Do I need to throw away all my kitchenware after a flood?
Not necessarily. Dishes, cooking utensils and food preparation areas can be sanitized, disinfected and then reused. Throw away wooden cutting boards, plastic utensils, baby bottle nipples and pacifiers, since it’s nearly impossible to safely clean them.
My washing machine is leaking drops of water when it's not in use. Is that normal or is it a sign for water damage?
You probably need to replace the shut off valve. Consider installing a single-handled valve that makes it easier to turn off the water supply to the washing machine.
What can I do to salvage my photos?
If you cannot dry out your photos immediately, you can delay further damage from happening by freezing your photos. Start with rinsing them gently, then place your clean photos in a plastic bag (zip bags are recommended), place them in a container and put in the freezer. Be sure to consult a professional conservator before freezing any photos.
How can I salvage my damaged books after a water event?
Assuming your books were soaked in clean water for less than 24 hours and mold is not present, you will have to start by prioritizing salvage order: collection books and valuable books must be dried before all other books. The best method for paper drying is freezing. Insert the books into plastic bags and place in the freezer. To prevent pages from adhering to each other, place a baking sheet every 20-30 pages.
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- 03 May, 2017
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