Water Mitigation Basics

One of the biggest surprises a home owner can experience is returning home to standing water throughout their house. Whether the cause is a toilet overflow or burst pipe, it is important to act quickly so the damages do not spread and create damage to your home that could have been avoided. Here are a few steps to follow to in such an emergency: Locate the source – This can be difficult depending on how much water you discover and the extent of the damages. Ideally, you’ll be able to locate the source of the damages and turn off the valve to a localized water source. The most common sources can by supply lines to faucets, toilets or water heaters. These sources typically have dedicated valves that can turn off the water to that specific source without shutting the water off to the entire house. If you cannot locate the precise source, most homes have a main supply valve to the home which is typically located at the hose bib in front of the house. By shutting this valve, you will turn off the water to the entire home. Call for help – Once the water is no longer leaking the clock is ticking to save the damaged material. It is important to extract any standing water to keep it from spreading to unaffected areas of the home, and to save any material it may have already come into contact with. A water mitigation company can extract any standing water and set drying equipment to save as much of your home as possible. Fix the source – If you’re a DIY homeowner or need a plumber, it is important to repair the source as soon as possible to restore the water to your home. Contact your home owners insurance company – Home owners insurance is important in helping pay for the damages to your home. Insurance companies do provide coverage for certain types of water damage, and may cover the mitigation and repair process. If you have questions about that process or have concerns about filing a claim, contacting you agent is a great way to get clarity on the process and what to expect. Also, most reputable water mitigation companies are experienced in the insurance claims process, some even have claims specialists on staff, and can also help advise you on what to do and what you can expect. A burst pipe or toilet overflow is always going to be a difficult and unexpected event to overcome. It is important to rely on the experts who can help guide you through the process and make what can be an overwhelming and traumatic event more manageable. If you think you might have water damage in your home Call ServiceMaster Restoration by Elite For a FREE Estimate (916) 245-8862

A flood is a devastating occurrence. It can be costly to repair, take weeks, and you may never be able to regain some lost items with sentimental value. Once the flood is over and it’s safe to return you will be eager to get back into your home and return to your normal lifestyle, but it will take some time. It’s important to return home as soon as possible to gauge the damage and create a plan for restoring the property, but it may be some time before it’s safe to live in once again. Here are some guidelines for returning home after a serious flood. Return To Evaluate The Damage You will immediately want to assess the damage caused by the flood. However, there are some safety concerns you should keep in mind to prevent further damaging the home or harming yourself in the process. The first thing you will want to look for is fallen power lines. It’s much more likely there will be down power lines if the flood was accompanied by strong winds or storm weather. For example, it’s very common to see down power lines immediately following a hurricane. Do not approach or touch fallen power lines. While still outside you need to take a step back and examine the home for any visible signs of instability. This may include leaning walls or sagging in the roof. Separation in the foundation or diagonal cracks are also signs of structural damage. Make sure there are no fallen trees leaning against the home either as this could pose a serious threat if you were to go inside. Avoid Any Possible Contaminants Flood water is considered contaminated water and could pose a risk to your health. You want to avoid flood water wherever possible as well as other harmful contaminants. You should always assume that flood water is contaminated and toxic. Potential contaminants include mold, debris, and asbestos. If your home was built before 1978 then it’s likely to contain lead based paint, which is also harmful. Flood water can bring with it all sorts of large debris. Keep an eye out for sharp objects, fiber glass, or other potentially harmful items the water may have pulled into your home. Flooding may also lead to an infestation of pests. Snakes, rodents, and even fire ants may take up residence in your home directly after a flood. If you see any of the contaminants or signs of damage mentioned above, then you should not enter the building until it is examined by a professional. Using The Utilities You should never drink or use your water directly following a flood. Assume the water source is contaminated and wait until you receive notice from the city. If you rely on a private well, then you’ll need to hire a professional to flush and disinfect the water before it is safe to use or drink again. The electrical breaker and gas supply should both be shut off before inspecting the heating system…

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  Restoring a home after a natural disaster is a big job. More often than not, it is in your best interest to work with a professional restoration company. Employing contractors who have the tools and experience to handle the required restoration can make the job go by much faster. Don’t Wait To Begin The Restoration Work One of the biggest mistakes you can make after a natural disaster is waiting to call a restoration company or even to start the restoration yourself. Whichever route you are taking, you need to start working fast. This is especially true of a home that has suffered from flood damage. Water damage only grows worse with time and can lead to mold formation very quickly. You should begin the clean up and restoration process as soon as it is safe to enter the home. Use this time to decide what work, if any, you will handle yourself. Do you have skills or experience that could be useful in the clean up and restoration process? If not, then you should instead work with a professional contractor. The Problem With Flood Water Many times homeowners will clean up visible water, but forget water that has been absorbed into the floor or the walls. The drywall tends to absorb a lot of moisture and pull it away from the ground. It can remain hidden for some time, which allows mold to begin to grow. If you are cleaning the water yourself you should remember that flood water is classified as contaminated black water. It may contain a variety of different contaminants, bacteria, sewage, or chemicals. As such, you should always wear proper protective gear including gloves and respirators while working in or near the water. Getting Rid Of Mold It only takes a couple of days for mold to begin forming in a moist environment. Serious exposure to mold can pose health risks for kids and adults. Even small amounts of mold can cause problems in people with respiratory problems like asthma. Mold can be cleaned from some surfaces, but others must be removed entirely. Porous materials, such as drywall, cannot be properly cleaned and disinfected so they must be removed where there is mold growth. Once the mold is gone you must examine the home on a regular basis for new mold growth. Is There Lead Based Paint In The Property? If the house was built before 1978, then you should assume it was painted using some form of lead based paint. Lead based paint can lead to many serious health problems in people of all ages, but is especially harmful to young children. High exposure can cause lifelong problems in adults as well. You should only work with a contractor who has been trained and certified to handle lead based paint. Otherwise, their work could actually cause bigger problems. Resources At Your Disposal The best resource at your disposal is your insurance policy, but only if it covers the particular type of damage that occurred….

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