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Water Damage Do’s And Don’ts

Water Damage Do’s And Don’ts

Property Damage Restoration Services Texas is pleased to provide you with the consumer information about water damage mitigation and how to choose a water damage mitigation company. For a list of helpful hints, read the bottom of this page.

Under the law, it is your right to determine what company will perform work in your home or business. Some insurance carriers have “preferred contractors” that they recommend, who have agreements with the insurance company to handle water losses in a certain manner, and at pre-determined prices. You should be aware that these companies might rely on these referrals from the insurance carriers for the company’s livelihood. This could create a conflict of interest. These companies might not hold the protection or your health and property as their top priority. Property Damage Restoration Services of Texas works for you: to protect your interest, not just the insurance company’s even if they do recommend Property Damage Restoration Services Texas.

Water damage mitigation is something that must be dealt with quickly and effectively. most insurance policies not only cover the cost of water damage mitigation, but also require the policyholder to take the necessary steps to prevent further loss and damage. Preventing the presence of mold is one of many concerns for those who have suffered from a water damage event, but it should not be the only, our primary concern. In fact, people have so many misconceptions about water damage in the potential for mold growth, that we decided to offer this consumer education message, so when you need to select a water damage mitigation company, you can make an informed and intelligent decision.

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Here are the steps you can take immediately following a water damage event to help minimize secondary damage as well as precautions that should be taken during the water damage mitigation process to protect your health and safety. Then, we will also list seven questions you should ask a water damage mitigation company before inviting them into your home.

Water damage mitigation is a specialized field requiring special protective measures, specialized equipment and testing capabilities as well as certain engineering controls to protect you and your property. Most restoration contractors know how to perform simple drying and site cleanup. Experienced companies, such as Property Damage Restoration Service of Texas, know how to provide restoration services that protect not only the structure, but also you and your family’s health.

Water damage can be the starting point for many serious problems that can affect a building, damaged personal property and present serious health risks to occupants. To restore property and protect health, a professional restoration contractor must carefully manage the project. He or she has to be knowledgeable in several disciplines…. Stopping bacteria for spreading, ready mold growth, preventing secondary damage in saving the structure in this many content. Additionally, he must be able to communicate with the water damage victims and insurance company’s representative with confidence and authorities. Water damage structure can be the perfect breeding place for mold. Poor indoor ventilation can also cause mold to thrive. Wet building materials in humid indoor air are mold best friends.

Sometimes the do-it-your-selfer or less experienced restorer will compound problems during water damage by not understanding the proper steps and precautions that must be taken and how critical the passing of time is. The EPA says: “Stop the water leak quickly and begin restoration during the first 24 hours. It is important to start drying water damaged areas and items within 24 to 48 hours to prevent mold growth”.

While mold requires high humidity and or wet surfaces in order to grow, it also requires a food source. Indoors, many molds can grow on leather paper in many building materials. Molds can also grow and thrive on biofilm such as cooking grease.

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The most effective way to prevent mold growth and water damages to begin the dry process quickly. Restoration companies which are aware of possible mold growth problems usually know how to dry-out structural materials by lowering the indoor humidity, judiciously move air and in some cases heat in the affected areas. This is usually an effective way to dry out a building because material removal is minimized, and mold growth is retarded.

Knowing how to determine exactly what is wet during a water loss is a critical part of the job. If areas of moisture are overlooked, molds and bacteria can grow. To protect your property and health, all of the excess moisture must be found and removed. Property Damage Restoration Services of Texas technicians use moisture meters, as well as infrared technology, that is capable of “reading” wallboard, masonry and wood to find hidden moisture that is often difficult to detect.

Sometimes water flows unseen down the inside of wall cavities. Other times standing water will wick up a wall. Unless water stains appear, this moisture could go undetected until molds and odor problems occur. This is one of the reasons a professional is equipped with the proper instruments to detect and locate wet areas before the drying process begins. Today’s restoration is more than drying wet carpets.

There are different types of water damage. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC) have developed the industry standard for water damage mitigation. The IICRC S-500. This document classifies water damage into three categories: Category 1, Category 2 and Category 3.

Category 1 or clean water is that in which the source of the water is from a clean source such as a plumbing supply line or that wet structure which has not “become” contaminated.

Category 2 or grey water damage is that in which the source of the water may contain chemicals other contaminants that could cause discomfort or sickness in the occupants. Some examples of this would be an appliance discharge, a broken waterbed or fish tank or overflows from toilet bowls. Category one water can become category two water damage left too long before appropriate drying efforts are employed.

Category 3 or blackwater contains pathogens agents and grossly unsanitary. Examples include toilets backflow that originate from beyond the toilet trap, flooding from seawater, ground surface water or rising water from rivers and streams. Category 2 water that is not removed properly, is appropriately re-classified as category 3 water damage.

When a sewage backup affects a structure, a unique set of restoration techniques must be employed to safely handle the situation. Federal, state and local government agencies agree that the best protocol of restoration is to follow the published standards and guidelines developed by the IICRC.

During sewage backups and other “blackwater damages”, large amounts of bacteria can enter the interior environment and pose potentially serious health risk to the occupants. In fact, the bacteria introduced to the structure could stay active for up to one month or longer if untreated. Advanced restoration method should be employed to rid the structure of all traces of sewage and make the structure clean and safe for the occupancy.

In black water damages, care must be taken not to disturb the bacteria in the water and make it airborne. When bacteria are contained in the water and not sent airborne, is not easily breathable by restoration workers or occupants. This means that doors and windows usually remain closed during the cleanup process. The typical fans and blowers used to dry a structure that experienced a “clean water damage” (non-sewage) should not be used in early stages of a sewage cleanup project.

Negative air machines, equipment with HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air “filters”) should be utilized to remove bacteria and other contaminants from the air during the restoration work. Standing water in bulk sewage must be extracted and self-contained vacuum equipment with proper waste holding tanks which must be disposed of properly. Hard surfaces that are impacted must be cleaned and sanitized. Soft structural material such as carpeting, carpet pads, plaster, drywall, sheetrock and insulation should be removed and properly disposed of. Any material that absorbs substantial amounts of moisture and cannot be adequately cleaned, should be removed. Once contaminated materials have been removed, a second application of sanitizer should be applied to all work surfaces.

Call PDR Services of Texas NOW at (281) 550-6100.

As you can see, time is of the essence when dealing with a water damage event. Steps that you can take to minimize the damages and protect your property are:

  • Eliminate the source of water if possible or contact appropriate parties to eliminate the water source or to make necessary repairs. Keep any parts that are repaired or replaced for your insurance company to inspect.
  • If there is no risk of electrical shock, turn off circuit breaker supplying electricity to wet areas; unplug and remove any small electrical devices currently located on wet floor coverings or other wet surfaces.
  • Remove and secure small furniture items to minimize rust or other stains and expedite restoration.
  • Place aluminum foil under legs of wood furniture, especially antiques that may permanently stain carpet.
  • Hang draperies and pinup furniture skirts to prevent contact with wet floor coverings, and to minimize damage such as watermarks, browning, dye transfer or migration.
  • Remove books, shoes, paper goods, fabrics, potted plants or other items that might stain the carpet.
  • Remove and secure breakable’s, moisture sensitivity or high-value items.
  • Make plans for restoration crews to remove large furniture items from affected areas.
  • Be aware that time is a crucial factor, and delays in loss mitigation and restoration might result in adverse health and safety effects, and additional damage to the structure and contents.
In category 2 and category 3 water damage you should also:

  • Turn off the HVAC or air handling system is safely accessible.
  • Protect yourself against contact with sewage or sewage-contaminated items.
  • Wear gloves, boots, goggles, protective clothing and a respirator if you absolutely must perform any cleaning or handling of the sewage-contaminated items.
  • Wash your hands after handling any sewage-contaminated items.
  • Contact your doctor if you have any adverse health effects.
Things that you should not do include:

  • Use your home vacuum (wet dry vacuum) since electrical shock might result, as well as damage to the equipment itself.
  • Place newspaper on wet surfaces since some newspaper ink transfers easily.
  • Walk on wet surfaces any more than necessary in order to minimize safety hazard and to keep from spreading damage and possible contaminants.
  • Activate the HVAC system if it has been directly contacted by water, or if it might serve as a means of spreading contamination.
  • Adjust indoor air temperatures unless instructed by qualified restoration technician.
  • Enter an area that has standing water because of the potential for electrical shock hazards.
In category 2 or 3 water damage do not:

  • Consume any food that has been left out in a contaminated environment.
  • Use personal hygiene items that have been left out in a contaminated environment.
  • Turn on fans to dry things out.
Do not stay in the building if you:

  • Have respiratory problems, including allergies and asthma.
  • You are under the age of 2 or over the age of 60.
  • Have a weakened immune system because of illnesses, medication or any other reason.
When selecting a water damage mitigation company for your project consider the following:

  • Is the company a member in good standing with the Restoration Industry Association (RIA)
  • Does the company employ individuals who hold advanced certifications to perform water damage mitigation by industry trade in associations such as the Water Loss Institute or the IICRC?
  • How many years of experience does the company have in the field of water damage mitigation?
  • Can they provide proof that the company is properly licensed, bonded and insured as required by the state of Texas?
  • Does the company follow accepted standard for water damage mitigation such as those published by the IICRC?
  • Does the company have the necessary testing equipment to locate areas of damage not visible to the naked eye?
  • Does the company have the necessary drying equipment to ensure a complete and competent mitigation?
There is much more to water damage restoration than is often is imagined. When water damage strikes, most people are concerned with the wet carpets, which are usually a soggy mess. An experience restoration contractor has many other concerns. He knows anyone can rent or buy fans to dry out wet carpet. In fact, in recent years, carpet and carpet cushion have been designed and manufactured to better withstand water. Using special microscopic applications on carpet fibers, many carpets are made to slow mold growth.

Today, with the widespread use of drywall vs. plaster, engineered wood products vs. wood, and the use of vinyl wall-coverings, moisture can become trapped and provide the needed environment for mold growth. Appropriate management of these water problems is the key to reducing microbial growth to help ensure the health of building and its occupants.

If you are currently having an emergency situation, call us at 281-550-6100 NOW! And we will dispatch a crew to your location usually within one hour. Our emergency service lines are answered 24 hours a day; 365 per year. We invite you to give us a call and our trained customer service staff who all certified mitigation specialist would be happy to assist you with any questions or comments

Thank you sincerely,

Gerald Alldredge

Call PDR Services of Texas NOW at (281) 550-6100.

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