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Drywall Woes: Water Damage Restoration

It doesn’t take much to make the walls wet. A leaky pipe upstairs drenches drywall in the rooms below. Rain water seeps under window sills soaking sheetrock. Once you figure out the problem and get it fixed, you still have a soggy situation on your hands. When water damage occurs in a home, you can count on adjacent drywall turning into a sponge. Its porous material quickly absorbs moisture and wicks it up into the wall. The damp spreads behind trim, bleeds under baseboards and saturates insulation.

This particular material isn’t load-bearing, but its condition affects surrounding infrastructure. When it becomes wet, the material turns into a breeding ground for unhealthy mold growth. Fast-growing microbial colonies multiply quickly by releasing airborne spores.

So today, let’s talk about how to dry out wet drywall.

Drywall woe: Gauging the extend of the damage

It’s easy to spot wet areas on wall surfaces, but how to tell if drywall is wet below the surface isn’t always obvious. Trust your visual inspection to determine the general location of water damage, but gauge the extent of the problem with a moisture meter. Any reading above 1 percent or out of the meter’s green zone indicates compromised drywall material.

Power Tip: Make your inspection easier and speed up drying time by moving everything out of the room. Be sure to check carpet and padding for water damage, and pull it up if necessary.

Drywall woe: The type of wall covering or paint

If you can easily see the damp in your sheetrock, the walls are probably painted with one or two coats of flat or semi-gloss paint. These finishes don’t seal up moisture in the drywall, and that makes the drying job easier. Areas covered with vinyl wallpaper, high-gloss enamel or more than one layer of wallboard take much longer to dry and may need professional attention.

Power Tip: Remove baseboards and trim to help speed up the wall drying process, and be on the lookout for any and all signs of mold growth.

Drywall woe: Equipment rental

You probably don’t own heavy air-moving equipment necessary for this kind of job, but you can rent high-volume fans and large dehumidifiers at home improvement centers.

Explain your project to store personnel, and ask about equipment specs. You want a dehumidifier that generates temperatures around 115 degrees Fahrenheit at no more than a 14 percent relative humidity.

Drywall woe: Using the equipment

Make the room as airtight as possible. Start up the equipment and monitor it carefully. The collection well of the dehumidifier needs to be checked fairly regularly. On average, it takes three days to completely dry wet drywall.

Drywall woe: Making sure everything is dry

Put the moisture meter to work one last time to be certain that your sheet rock walls are completely dry. When you’re confident that the job’s finished, paint over affected drywall with a thin coat of alcohol- or oil-based primer.

Feather into surrounding areas that don’t need repainting, and let dry. Repeat the prep process, and then finish off your now-saved drywall with a fresh coat of paint.

Sounds like a lot of work? Because it is. 

If you address the damp right away, you can usually dry out wet walls with good results. If you’re facing extensive damage, call in a professional restoration company. Some projects are just too big to tackle by yourself. Don’t ever hesitate to bring in experts who are trained to handle this sort of job for you.

Spare yourself the headache and call in your trusted water damage restoration company.

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Mold Issues: Let’s Talk About Them

When water enters your home, it’s safe to expect water damage to follow it. Before things get too bad, it’s best to get cleanup started. The longer you wait, the better chance your property will sustain secondary water damage. A fairly common form of secondary water damage is mold.

Today, we’ll be talking about that and why you shouldn’t delay if you find any in your home.

Mold and Your Health

Exposure to damp and moldy environments can cause a variety of health effects. Some people are very sensitive to molds. For these people, molds can cause nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation. It may even spur skin irritation. People with such allergies are going to have severe reactions. Immune-compromised people and people with chronic lung illnesses. Those with obstructive lung disease may get serious infections in their lungs when they are exposed. These people should stay away from areas that are likely to have moldy growth. Such places are: compost piles, cut grass, and wooded areas.

In 2004, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) found there was sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to moldy growth with upper respiratory tract symptoms. Some symptoms are coughing and wheezing in otherwise healthy people. Others include hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals susceptible to that immune-mediated condition. The IOM also found limited or suggestive evidence linking indoor exposure and respiratory illness in otherwise healthy children.

Other recent studies have suggested a potential link of early exposure to development of asthma in some children. Particularly, among children who may be genetically susceptible to asthma development. Selected interventions that improve housing conditions can reduce morbidity from asthma and respiratory allergies, but more research is needed in this regard.

Further studies are needed to find out what causes acute idiopathic hemorrhage and other adverse health effects.

Mold and Your Home

Spores needed for growth can be found both inside and outside a home. It can enter your home through open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. Spores in the air outside can also attach itself to clothing, shoes, bags, and pets can and be carried indoors. A sure way it gains entrance is through water damage.

It will grow in places with a lot of moisture, such as around leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes, or where there has been flooding. They grow well on paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood products. It can also grow in dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery.

Getting It Under Control

You can control the mold growth in your home by:

  • Controlling humidity levels
  • Promptly fixing leaky roofs, windows, and pipes
  • Thoroughly cleaning and drying after flooding
  • Ventilating shower, laundry, and cooking areas

If you find growth in your home it isn’t enough to just get rid of it. You also need to find and address the source. Growth, which often looks like spots, can be many different colors, and can smell musty. You do not need to know the type of spore growing in your home, and CDC does not recommend or perform routine sampling for growth. No matter what type is present, it must be removed. You can make use of bleach to get rid of growth.

If you choose to use bleach to clean up mold:

  • Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. Mixing bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products will produce dangerous, toxic fumes
  • Open windows and doors to provide fresh air
  • Wear non-porous gloves and protective eye wear
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using bleach or any other cleaning product
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Benefit From Calling In Experts For Your Water Damage Restoration

When it’s time to clean up after water damage, it can be pretty daunting. Depending on the sort of water that enters your home and where it’s from, the sort of cleanup may vary. A lot of homeowners tend to rely on DIY articles found en masse online. However, they don’t really consider the risks or labor involved water damage restoration. Sometimes the job can be massive that it may overwhelm the average homeowner. You know what? That’s completely fine. When experts are called in, that’s nothing to be ashamed of. Today, we’ll talk about what benefit you have to gain from calling in experts for water damage restoration jobs.

Benefit 1: Professional Assessment

Professional teams are trained to suitably assess and survey various properties. They’ll be able to determine the depth and scope of work needed for your property. This is also where they develop a customized and thorough cleanup plan.

Some of the services contractors provide to accomplish this objective include vent cleaning, air duct cleaning, odor removal, smoke removal, deodorization, sanitation, and content restoration.

Benefit 2:  Quick Restoration

When you hire a professional team, they make sure to complete your cleanup, repair, and restoration as quick as they can. Any restoration process is not simple. It involves a vast ranger of services which include cleaning and different repairs.

Moreover, it is important that this process is started at the soonest opportunity. This mitigates any further damage to your property. Restoration firms will typically send multiple contractors for you. These specialists will be able to preclude your home from falling prey to further water damage.

Benefit 3:  Mold and Mildew Growth Prevention

One of the underlying threats that water damage bring is the growth of mold and mildew. Experts help stem any potential growth of mold in your home. They make sure to remove any excess water from the property. Mold thrives where moisture persists.

In the event that mold is already present in your home, experts will make use of heavy duty cleaning techniques for you. This may include industrial grade cleaners and disinfectants. These ensure the elimination of any fungus. This is particularly important as mold and mildew can be hazardous to your health.

Benefit 4: Proper Disposal of Damaged Items

Water damage can be a nightmare, especially for your belongings. It is more than likely that you will have to say goodbye to some of your pieces. Expert teams take care of this for you. This avoids any sanitary issues that may arise.

Professional teams can get the job done on-site. They may event send them out to facilities for completion. In any case, it’s something they can deal with so you won’t have to.

Benefit 5: Suitable Documentation

A common issue that arises from water damage would be insurance disputes. When damage isn’t documented, the insurance company can refuse any claims. It’s a good thing, then, that experts are good at what they do. When they assess your property, they document everything.

Not only does it help them find out what needs to be done, it helps you as well.

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Mattress Saving: What To Do

It can be quite disheartening when water damage happens. Furniture can start to warp. Electronic devices may end up badly damaged. It is good news though that there are ways to restore furniture and electronics. What is a bit more tricky though is your mattress.

Today, we discuss ways on how to save your mattress from water damage.

Attend to your mattress ASAP!

The worst thing you can do is to leave your bed soaking. The longer you let it soak up water, the harder it will be to truly clean it up. When water seeps into porous surfaces, moisture is allowed to form. When moisture forms, mold and fungus may start to grow.

It is still possible to save mattresses that have received water damage. However, it is important to act fast. Mattresses that have been exposed to water from more than 48 hours can be next to impossible to restore.

Harness the power of the sun

When a mattress is soaking, the best weapon you’ve got in drying it is the sun. Take the bed away from moisture and shaded areas. It’s best to bring the wet mattress somewhere it can come into contact with direct sunlight. You can help the drying process along with a blow dryer. However, for a truly penetrating dry, the sun is the best bet.

All soaked mattresses will need at least two day to dry. The longer you set it out to dry, the better it will be.

Vacuum the mattress

Once you get the material to dry completely, it would be in your best interest to vacuum it. It would be good if you use a nozzle vacuum cleaner. Be thorough in your vacuuming–every nook and cranny should be touched.

There is no assurance that every bit of dirt would be lifted. Overall, the bed should be a heck of a lot cleaner than it previously was. A lot of mattresses have the option wherein the topmost covering can be opened up for a deeper clean. If you happen to own such a one, don’t hesitate to remove the cover and go in for a closer vacuuming.

Once you’re satisfied with your vacuuming, it will be time to wipe down your bedding using a cloth soaked in alcohol. This helps to thoroughly disinfect the uppermost layer of the bed. Alcohol evaporates quickly so there’s no risk of it staying in long.

When unsure, call in experts!

This is actually one of the best things you can do for both your bed and yourself. Water damage is tricky and having it in mattresses is even trickier. While we’ve listed out some ways you can get the cleaning started out on your own, there’s no shame in asking for help.

Pros are able to use their trained eye to effectively assess if mattresses can still be saved. They can also tap into their years worth of hands-on experience to select which method of cleaning is most applicable to your situation. It is important to remember that there are different types of water damage.  So it would be in your best interest to let the experts take over when you’re uncertain of how to save your mattress.

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Flood: What To Do After It Hits

Flood can be caused by bad weather or the home water system malfunctioning. After the waters ebb, it’s important to act fast. This will better ensure the safety of your home. It can also provide the best outcome possible with your insurance company. Today, we discuss what to do after a flood hits your home.

After a flood, offset any additional risks

If it’s safe enough to return to your home, keep an eye out for any visible structural damage. These can include cracks, warping, holes, and loosed foundation. Get in touch with your utility companies if you think there’s damage to the water, gas, and electric lines. Put on safety gear before entering your home and switch off the fuse box.

After a flood, document everything

Before you start up with the cleaning or repairs, document everything. Make use of a camera to take photos or better yet, record the damage. Digital copies are your best friend. They’re easy to store and easy to duplicate. This helps build your case when it’s time to talk to your insurance provider. Having documentation to show the crew company also helps. It will give them a pretty solid idea of what they’re going to deal with.

After a flood, get in touch with your insurance company

When struck by disaster, one of the first things you should do is to contact your insurance company. Always save your insurance agent’s number on your emergency phone. If the agent isn’t available, contact the company headquarters directly. It is important to note that groundwater is not normally covered by insurance companies. So you may need to work with your insurer to establish the cause of the flood and the extent of your coverage. Tell your insurance representative about the state of your home and any repairs you intend to do immediately.  Follow the insurance company’s direction about whether or not to wait for an adjuster to inspect the property before making repairs. At least then, you won’t risk losing your coverage.

After a flood, remove lingering water

After getting a go signal from your insurance company, it’s time to get started. You can make use of a pump from a local hardware store. You can also have the crew you hire to take of it with their equipment. Whatever you decide, make sure that the windows are open to ventilate your home.

After a flood, stem mold growth

Mold and flooding go hand-in-hand sometimes. It takes less than 48 hours for mold to grow if conditions are right. Remove any and all wet fabrics from your home. Hang them somewhere to dry if you want to salvage it. If valuable and insured items, like rugs, are damaged don’t forget to document it. Don’t be afraid to throw out large pieces of furniture that have been thoroughly soaked. Large pieces are often very hard to dry. Always document before removing wet wall boards and baseboards since insurers will want to see the height of any water damage to walls.

After a flood, secure your home

After documenting the existing damage, it is now your responsibility to avoid additional damage. Cover up any holes in walls even if it means using plastic wrap or planks. If your roof has been damaged, use a tarp to secure it. Don’t forget to take photos of your quick fixes. This shows your insurance company that you’ve done your part in mitigating more damage.

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What can Affect Water Damage Restoration Costs?

There’s several details to factor in when it’s time to tally what the overall cost of water damage restoration will be faced by the homeowner. Companies will usually send in a couple of their personnel and offer estimates. There is more to water damage restoration than just draining away the water ad clearing away debris. Moisture can get trapped in between the spaces behind walls, in air ducts or even under your floor. If undetected or left alone, this can lead to some extensive damage to your home both aesthetically and structurally.

The extent of the damage incurred will more than likely be he largest factor in determining the cost. While some companies bill by square foot, others may offer an overall billing–so it’s important to be discerning of who you hire.

The secondary determiner would be the cause of the water damage. When dealing with water damaged caused by clean tap water, or rain, the hazard isn’t as high so cleaning this up or water damage restoration won’t necessitate the use of heavy equipment or protective gear–provided that mold has not developed. The categories wherein the sort of equipment needed increases and with that, the cost will increase as well. For example, when the water damage is caused by discharge from appliances like washing machines, certain chemicals which are harmful to humans may be present. This will necessitate the use of certain protective gear and processes. It isn’t only your safety that the water damage restoration company needs to consider, it’s also their crew’s safety as well.

The location of the destruction or damage will also add to the cost as there may be some pieces that will require replacements. For example, water damage on dry walls can be pricey and time-consuming.

Now, the type of company you get will also affect the cost of the water damage restoration job. Some sketchy companies out there may offer you a low price but their substandard work may result in even more costs in the future. So it is important that you check the certification of the water damage restoration company that you’re getting. Certified companies never hire people who lack training or experience so you’ll be sure that you’ll be getting the most out of your contract price. Certified experts will never leave the job unless its complete. This is important to keep in mind because if the house is not cleaned out thoroughly, moisture will snowball into larger damages later. For example, excess moisture that was not removed will foster the growth of mold, mildew, and other bacteria. Homeowners with asthma will suffer more than most in a home that has a mold infestation.

It is also important to note that moisture that is also not removed properly will cause the slow decay of carpeting, clothing, wood and other organic materials in your home. Certified companies understand that importance of this and factor this into the overall cost of your water damage restoration contract.

Be a savvy homeowner and hire a certified company rather than settling for a substandard one. As cost is a determining factor, don’t forget the fact that hiring a good company now will save you more money in the future.