8 Tips For Water Damage Repairs
Shut off the electricity
After any type of water damage, everyone is in a hurry to get things cleaned up and back to normal. When water damage is a problem, the first step is to take electricity out of the equation altogether.
From electrical fires to electric shock and even death, the dangers associated with live electricity during and following water damages should be taken seriously. While any disaster can cause electrical safety hazards, the mixture of water and electricity is very serious and requires specific safety precautions. This is done by shutting the electricity off at the source, the electrical box. If you are unable to reach the electrical box or are unsure of the risk involved, bring in a professional electrician. Do not place yourself at any risk of electrocution.
Floods are a different matter
Flooding provides its own set of electrical hazards. Heavy rains often cause flooding in lowland areas, homes and basements. Never step into a flooded basement or other room if water may be in contact with electrical outlets, appliances or cords. The water could be energized and could shock or electrocute you.
Before the Flood
If you live in an area where there is a possibility that flooding might occur, there are ways to minimize your risk long before bad weather shows up. Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) electrical outlets have been required for bathrooms for years. But they can be used throughout a home with little to no alteration. GFCI outlets have a built-in circuit breaker that will automatically trip if the plug becomes grounded. This safety feature cuts off the flow of electricity.
When the threat of flooding is imminent, it is a good idea to turn off the power in your home while it is still dry. How should you turn off power at the electrical panel box? The panel box has circuit breakers for each circuit as well as a main shut-off switch. You should first flip each individual circuit breaker one at a time and then turn off the main circuit breaker.
If your breaker box is located outside or in a basement that might already be holding water, don’t attempt to turn off the power yourself. Contact your utility company and ask them to kill the power at the meter. Until that can be accomplished, unplug all electrical devices. If possible, move them to higher locations in the house so they don’t become submerged or even touched by water.
During a Flood
If your home or business has begun to flood, keep these safety measures in mind to reduce your risk of electrocution:
– Do not touch any electrical devices or appliances while standing in water.
– Do not touch anything electrical that has been in contact with water.
– Do not enter any area where the water has risen above the electrical outlets.
– Beware of areas where any wiring may be underwater.
– If you need to evacuate or leave your home, beware of fallen power lines that create a risk of electrocution. Do not touch or come into contact with downed power lines.
– Contact Heroes Restoration Inc. at 804-410-1800 24/7 for emergency services to restore your home or business.
If you did turn your power off, you should not attempt to turn it back on yourself. Have your wiring checked by a licensed electrician and have them re-energize your circuits. Any appliances that have become wet should not be plugged back in until they can be checked by a technician and found to be safe. A small amount of moisture trapped inside an appliance can cause major damage. Some damaged appliances can be refurbished and returned to use. But none should be tried without being properly
Water and electricity are not a good mix. Always err on the side of caution when there is a risk of encountering the two in the same space.
Determine the source of the water leak
Not all water damage is created the same. Every time your home or facility comes in contact with water there is a potential risk for high costs associated to it. The cost could vary significantly depending on the category of water damage that has been sustained. It’s quite a difference between an overflowing sink and a sewage leak! Types of water damage are categorized into three types. All three of them can cause significant damages, but some are easier to clean up than others.
Category 1 is referred to as “clean water” sources from freshwater pipes, refrigerator water hoses, accumulated condensation from humidity. They also refer to the result of overflowing bathtubs or sinks, appliance malfunctions, melting ice or snow, rainwater, or broken toilet tanks and bowls. Your property may not suffer from contamination from Category 1 water damage, but it is still essential that the cleanup is done promptly and appropriately. The smallest traces of sitting water could cause mold growth in a matter of hours or days if left untreated.
Category 2 is referred to as “gray water”. It is the result of water mixed with chemicals, or water with biological and/or physical contamination. This type of water carries microorganisms and some contaminants, but no biohazards. They may be responsible for making you feel sick. Category 2 water damage could be the result of broken dishwashers or washing machines, overflowing toilets with urine only, sump pump failures, fire protection sprinkler water, damaged roof and siding, and chilled or condensate water. It is imperative to not only do a regular clean up, but make sure all the damaged areas are properly and promptly decontaminated.
You may have guessed that Category 3 is the worst possible type and the most dangerous. This category is referred to as “black water” since it usually contains biohazards and bacteria from waste and other hazardous contaminants that can cause grave health problems if not properly handled, contained, and removed. Sources may include rainwater mixed with sewage and rising water from rivers or streams. A more extreme source is the result of Category 2 water damage that wasn’t properly cleaned up or handled. This is why it is essential to get professional help from a trustworthy restoration company, like Heroes Restoration Inc., as soon as you realize there is sitting water anywhere in your home or facility. Not doing it in a timely manner or correctly could result in additional costs for removal.
Inspect for mold
Mold can start growing within 24 hours or less and can be very damaging to the materials it infiltrates and invades. Mold is a serious problem and can be very toxic. It can cause thousands of dollars in damage to a home and create serious health risks. That is why it is so important to have any type of water damage or flooding handled by an IICRC-certified professional.
Water damage can be deceptive. It penetrates into structural cavities creating trapped pockets of saturation. The detection of water in these areas can often only be discovered with sophisticated moisture detection meters. Undetected moisture will continue to cause damage and this damage, at a minimum, will cause odors. Greater damage will surface when materials delaminate, shrink, split and further deteriorate which may lead to more costly repairs. More than just removing excess water, IICRC certified restorers have the knowledge and equipment to further dry a home or facility (including substructure materials) completely back to pre-loss conditions. Through timely response and the careful monitoring of water damage, mold and other health issues can be prevented. If water damage has been present too long, mold will occur.
As an IICRC-certified professional, Heroes Restoration Inc. has the training and experience to identify moisture sources, evaluate mold growth (visible or suspected), contain damage, remove contamination and dry materials to ensure that mold will not return.
But what if you have decided to try to clean the mold yourself? Keep in mind that many things can kill mold and its spores, leaving the surface sanitized and resistant to future mold growth. But using a surface cleaner is only effective if the mold is growing on nonporous materials such as tiles, bathtubs, glass, and countertops. A surface cleaner cannot penetrate into porous materials and does not come into contact with mold growing beneath the surface of materials such as wood and drywall. Using a surface cleaner on these materials will kill the mold above the surface, but the roots within the material will remain and the mold will soon return leading to more costly repairs.
Internal mold or serious water damage should always be handled by a mold removal and experienced IICRC-certified company to fully remove toxic mold and eradicate any future mold growth.
Thoroughly dry affected areas
Simple drying techniques are often not enough when removing water after damages or a flood. The carpet, walls, and floor coverings are porous which means a basic cleaning will not suffice and extensive water damage restoration is required.
Once you discover moisture, your first instinct may be to open windows to help with the
drying process, but this may not be your best move. For example, if your home or facility is mechanically ventilated, the systems need constant pressure levels to work correctly. You also want to avoid excess coolness or heat and humidity, or you may end up complicating the drying process.
It’s important to quickly eliminate all moisture when repairing water damages. Heroes Restoration Inc. can equip your home or facility with the proper equipment to circulate air and remove moisture using dehumidifiers for thoroughly dry carpeting, wood, and other materials affected. We are certified professionals that specialize in handling every part of the water restoration process: water extraction, removal of unsalvageable contents, flooring and drywall, clean the affected areas, apply disinfecting agents, deodorize and thoroughly dry the structure.
Remove all damaged materials
Permeable materials such as carpets, drywall, furniture, and insulation should be thrown out. Wood will mildew and warp if fully soaked from water damage and may need to be removed as well. Best practice solutions suggest getting rid of these affected materials when handling a repair from water damages, especially if you’re dealing with gray or black water.
There are many chemical and natural mold removal products to effectively inhibit mold growth after removing all damaged materials. While it may be tempting to treat the affected area with general household products, most products cannot penetrate porous materials like wood and drywall to kill mold.
Repair & replace
Replace damaged materials such as doors, drywall, flooring, wood, and external siding. We take it a step further by applying caulk, paint, and sealant to surfaces, as needed, to complete the restoration of your property. We completely repair and restore the area fast, often making it better than before.
Call An Expert If You Have Significant water damage
If you have significant water damage to your property due to leaky or burst pipes, condensation, or flooding contact contact Heroes Restoration Inc. at 804-410-1800 to quickly mitigate all of your water damages. We guarantee our work and can be on site within an hour or less** to immediately begin repairs.
Our certified water remediation experts use a proprietary 10-step approach to eliminate excess water and moisture from your indoor environment restoring your property back to a dry and healthy normal. Our goal is to preserve and restore your interior by following CDC, EPA, and ANSI/IICRC guidelines without using harsh chemicals. We administer fast-acting extensive water removal and drying treatments to make your property safe and toxin free. Dedicated to our clients health and the environment, we provide eco-friendly, green cleaning, moisture removal by using plant-based products to treat water damages.
We work for you, our valued customer, and have no connection with the insurance company, its adjusters or agents. Part of our services include billing insurance companies directly, giving you peace of mind for a stress-free claim. So there is less disruption to you, we utilize 3D imaging as well as help you work through the insurance process to aid in quickly restoring your space. This camera shows underlying damage that is not readily apparent on the surface allowing us to remove only what we have to in order to safely restore your property from water and flood damages.
If you have sustained water damage of any kind, do not hesitate to contact Heroes Restoration Inc. in central Virginia at 804-410-1800. Our trusted, experienced, and certified technicians are available 24/7 to come to your aid because after all, when disaster strikes, YOU NEED A HERO.
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