Nearly 40% of homeowners in the U.S. have incurred losses caused by water damage. Most of these problems are caused by leaky roofs, faulty plumbing, broken washers and water heaters. Natural catastrophes such as massive flooding and hurricanes also ruin houses with different scales of severity.
During a water damage disaster, many homeowners feel helpless, especially if most of the floor is still under water. The situation may appear bleak, but in most cases, there is a high chance of recovering your home from home water damage quickly. The first step is not to panic. Keep calm and figure out where to begin. Here is a short series of simple steps to guide you to a successful home recovery after water damage.
The very first concern should be the safety of you and your family. If there is stagnant water, begin by switching off electrical power to the entire house or the flooded area. Live electricity and water are a lethal combination. After that, close the main water inlet valve to prevent any possibility of contaminating the water system. In a large flood, you may also need to cut off the gas supply. Identify and dispose of any damaged food; this will prevent food poisoning by accidental consumption. Don’t wade through a flooded floor without proper protection, especially in murky water. Sharp objects may be lurking at the bottom of the water. Wear sturdy waterproof boots when walking on a flooded floor.
Dry Your House
The next step is to get rid of the moisture. In a heavy flooding situation, wait till the floods dissipate before you can start drying out your house. Use electric, gas or hand pumps to remove stagnant water. Locate the lowest part of the flooded floor and place the pumps there. Be careful with electric-powered pumps to avoid electric shock. You could dump the excess water into the sewage system, a tanker truck, or the backyard where it won’t cause any harm. After all the water is out, circulate dry air within the house. Open up windows and doors to let in the fresh air. If it’s safe to use the mains system, install electric fans to blow air to specific areas. Even better, if the heating system is still usable, power it up to warm the house and drive moisture away. Drying out the house prevents molding and keeps the rot away.
Pick Up Debris
Clear out any debris brought in by the water. Flood water is especially messy; there may be sediments, leaves, tree branches and even garbage. Identify anything that can be salvaged. This could be your precious heirlooms, rugs, furniture or drapes. Any salvageable valuables should be kept in a separate dry room if possible, or away from the house altogether. Anything that is severely damaged should be thrown out or retained for insurance purposes. Clear out as much clutter and debris as possible to reveal the extent of the house water damage.
Assess the Home Water Damage
With everything out of the way and mostly dry, you can now assess the level of damage. You may need to call in an inspector with a keen eye to examine the property. Check for damage or mold on the floor, walls and plumbing system. Get a clear picture of the extent of damage, what needs to be done and find out how much it should cost to fix both in terms of time and money.
Call the Insurance Company
After a detailed assessment of the damage, call your insurance company to find out how much of the damage they will cover. Your insurer will probably send a claims adjuster who will document all the steps you have taken so far and the valuation of damages. According to your insurance policy, the insurer could chip in a large part of the repair and restoration costs. Contact other insurers covering assets like your car or other valuables damaged along with the house.
Finally, it’s time to begin repairs. If only some rooms of the house are damaged, your family could still live in the safe parts of the house. However, if the house needs extensive repairs, you may have to find a temporal shelter. Get a reputable contractor with experience in water damage to carry out the repairs. Ensure you get a reasonable quote on the service, and that the contractor sticks to a strict time budget. Most water damage repairs include floor, walls and doors repairs or replacements. Check with the authorities whether certain repairs are allowed or require a city permit. The restoration period depends on the extent of the damage. Floor work usually takes a lot of time, so make sure you are prepared for that. After the repairs, make a few touch ups like paint jobs and restoring any peripheral systems such as plumbing and electrical systems in case they were damaged as well.
Finally Ready to Settle in
After all the repairs are done, the house is finally ready for you to move in. Bring in your furniture and belongings and prepare to resume your normal living. However, you may want to have a house inspector examine the house at least once shortly after the repairs. This is just to make sure that the house has been restored to its former glory and that there are no red flags to worry about.
If you have had the misfortune of home water damage, relax and follow a series of decisions that see to quick home restoration. Don’t make any snappy judgments or assumptions. You will count some losses, but at least the house is salvageable and that’s what matters.
Are you having trouble figuring out how to restore your house after water damage? SuRey Water Damage are here to help. We specialize in repairing damaged homes, and we have been doing it for decades now. Get in touch with us and find out how we can help you.
Approximately 600,000 children, age five and below, die from indoor and outdoor air pollution-caused diseases. In developed countries, the numbers are significantly lower, but it remains a grave concern. Mold is a trigger of both allergic reactions and asthma attacks. If left alone, mold can grow into a severe problem for your house. Don’t forget to check these common places where mold can thrive in the home.
What Is Mold?
Before exploring where mold grows, it’s essential to understand that mold is the colloquial term given to a group of filamentous fungi that grow on food or wet substances. Most species in this group produce spores which are allergens.
The easiest ways to detect the presence of mold in your home is by a musty odor and black, green or grey patches. The black mold, which is a dark black, is the most toxic. Molds occur naturally outdoors as important recyclers, but become a menace when they get into a house. The following are common places where mold grow.
Your bathroom has all the right conditions for mold to survive and thrive. It has a warm and wet environment that attracts mold and is ideal for their reproduction and growth. If your bathroom lacks proper ventilation either from a fan or window, or both, then you have a higher chance of encountering mold problems. You can find mold growing on your bathroom tiles, but there are other inconspicuous places you need to check.
Your bathtubs and showers are mostly damp, making them a prime target. Also, the grime from soap scum and body oils act as a source of food for the mold. If you don’t correctly ventilate before and after you take a shower, mold spores will grow. Spores are microscopic, and you might easily miss them. However, you can check for mold in the tile grout, on your towels, shower curtain, shampoo bottles, and in and around the shower head and the faucet. The toilet and the sink are other common areas in your bathroom where mold can grow. If these areas are not frequently cleaned and dried, you can be sure of finding colonies growing.
Remember to inspect toothbrush holders, under the bathroom sink, inside the toilet’s basin and behind the toilet. Immediately handle cases of any water leaks from your bathroom floors or walls. Lastly, don’t forget to wash your bathroom rugs regularly. They harbor mold if left unclean and damp. Cleaning your bathroom area with bleach, vinegar or borax can help you get rid of mold.
2. Kitchen is Among the Places Mold Can Grow
Your kitchen can have leftovers, dirty dishes in the sink, wet surfaces, high humidity from using the cooker and sometimes trash. All these create an excellent environment for mold. Proper ventilation is crucial because it helps decrease the humidity. Ensure you open your windows while cooking or while using running hot water from the taps. If you have a habit of piling dirty dishes for an extended period, then look out for mold. The leftover food on the bowls and plates combined with the dampness will accelerate the growth of colonies. Make sure you wash your dishes daily and remember to wipe them dry. If you store them while wet, you risk mold growing on them.
Also, make sure to check on and underneath your kitchen sink for mold. Inspect any leaks to prevent water damage. Don’t forget the refrigerator, microwave, pantry, stove, trash cans, kitchen windows and wooden cutting boards.
3. Garage, Basement and Attic
You spend less time in these rooms, yet they may harbor more mold due to poor ventilation. These areas are also dark, cold, and contain stored stuff. It creates an excellent atmosphere for mold to grow. The problem with these rooms is that once mold begins to grow, you might realize it when it’s too late. Water damage can also cause severe mold problems in such areas.
Check your attic regularly because it can be a source of mold in your house. You can check for colonies near the furnace or water heater, around any ducts and vents, in your insulation, on the walls and the floor. Inspect your basement and garage for mold on or in areas like the floor, any ducts or vents, insulation, walls and wall cavities, ceiling, storage boxes, furniture, pipes and wooden building frames. You can inspect these rooms for any possible leaks. If you don’t check frequently, then start and ensure you maintain the routine. Immediately repair leaks and keep proper ventilation to reduce the humidity and clean the air.
4. Living Room
It is hard to miss mold growing in your living room floor, wall, or ceiling, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other areas in the living room that mold can grow. You can find house mold in spots such as behind the wallpaper, furniture, curtains, fireplace, chimney, indoor plants and under floor rugs and carpets. Always keep an eye open for anything that doesn’t look right.
If your bedroom has proper ventilation, then you may never find any mold. However, you can should check on your mattress because it retains the moisture from your sweat. You can get a mold-resistant mattress to prevent any growth. You can also inspect your bedroom windows and window sills. Don’t forget the walls, air conditioning and heating vents and under the floor rugs.
Prevention and Removal
Some mold produce toxins such as mycotoxins which are harmful to the body. You can prevent home mold growth by keeping things clean, dry and installing proper ventilation. If you find mold, you can try using cleaning agents such as bleach, vinegar, borax or ammonia to kill the colonies. In the event of water damage in your home, you can call professionals like the ones at SuRey Water Damage to perform mold remediation.
When you’ve had a fire in your home, there are immediate and lasting impacts. You’ll be concerned about the health of everyone in your home, the damage to your property and what to do in the aftermath. One of the more unfortunate lasting impacts of a fire in your home is the lingering smell of smoke. Not only does it end up being a constant reminder of the tragedy that you’ve experienced, but it’s tough to ignore and it can actually have a toxic effect on those around it.
Getting rid of the smoke smell in the aftermath of a fire can be difficult. The reason it still smells is that the smoke is ingrained in your walls and in the fabric of your furniture. It’s not impossible, though. In this post, we’re going to share 5 tips for getting rid of the smoke smell in your home. You’ve got enough to deal with after a fire, don’t let the smoke smell bother you too.
Get Rid of That Smoke Smell ASAP
A serious fire will leave black soot and a strong smell on all your home’s surfaces. With time, the smell will leave hard surfaces, but the softer ones like carpet, drapes and furniture cushions will soak that smell in. You’ve got to take special measures to get that smell out. Here are 5 tips that’ll make the cleaning process easier.
1. Air It Out
The first logical thing that you’ll want to do is air out your entire house. Keep every door and window in the entire house open for a full day to let it completely ventilate and let as much fresh air in as possible. If you’ve got any fans in the house, ceiling or otherwise, set them up on full-blast facing out the doors. Getting as much of the smell out this way, before you get started with the real cleaning, will give you a leg up.
2. Positive Pressure
The act of airing out your property is necessary but it’s not going to do all that much in the grand scheme of things. Air the house out until you can’t tell if it’s making any difference anymore. Then, you’re going to use a positive pressure method. Positive pressure is when the air pressure outside the home is greater than the air pressure inside the home, resulting in the air inside leaving for outside. Theoretically, this will do an even better job of getting the smell out than just opening the windows and letting it go. Here’s how you do it:
Leave your front door open and stick a fan outside facing in.
Shut every other window and door in the house, save for one that will act as a ventilator.
Turn the fan on full-blast for 15 minutes and then close the open door and window.
Then, go through every room of the house and follow this method. Open the door and one window, using the fan to blow air in the room for 15 minutes.
When you’ve finished this, then you’re ready to start physically cleaning your whole home.
3. Baking Soda
One popular (and natural) method for getting smoke out of carpets, drapes and furniture is by using baking soda. Start with the carpets. Sprinkle baking soda onto all of your dry carpets and work it in deep with a broom. Then, leave it overnight and vacuum the carpet the next day. The baking soda should neutralize some of the smell. You can repeat this as many times as necessary. Take any fabric-covered furniture outside and give it the same baking soda treatment, sprinkling it thoroughly over every bit of the fabric. Leave it all outside overnight and then vacuum it up the next day.
4. Other Cleaning Methods
Toss everything else in the laundry machine. This includes drapes, sheets, blankets and clothing. Use your normal detergent, but before the rinse cycle starts, add a cup of vinegar to the load. Vinegar works well as a heavy-duty cleaner, so it should remove some of the smell that’s worked itself into the fabrics. The hard surfaces will be less affected by the smoke, but they’ll still need to be thoroughly cleaned as well. To give them the same heavy-duty treatment, you’ll have to create a solution that contains a gallon of water, a quarter-cup of white vinegar, and a teaspoon of dish soap. Put this solution in a spray bottle and spray every solid surface in the house with it. Cabinets, countertops, hardwood floors, etc. Give the solution some time to sit, then wipe the surfaces with a clean cloth. Anything that can be removed like light fixtures and window screens, take and put in a bathtub with some dish soap to soak for as long as you can manage.
5. Call the Pros
It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to completely eradicate the smoke smell from your home, even after a thorough cleaning with the previous methods. The best thing to do is call the professionals. They’ll have access to industrial cleaning equipment designed to give surfaces a deep and thorough cleaning. At SuRey Water Damage, we’re well-equipped to deal with the smoke smell in your home. We’ll come and assess the damage, then use our decontamination service to give your home a thorough clean.
Don’t Leave Your House Smelling Like Smoke
It’s common to be a little flustered after you’ve experienced a disaster like a fire in the home. Once the emergency services are gone, you’re left to make do with what you’ve got and you can only get so much of the smoke smell out yourself before you start to feel helpless. Visit us at SuRey Water Damage to find out what we can do to help you get back to living your life as soon as possible.
At SuRey Water Damage, we respond to all types of disasters: fire, water, microbial and storm. Sometimes the damage is contained to the contents of a facility and a few structural pieces. Often, however, the significant structural damage has occurred as a result of the damage. Once the “restoration” phase of the project is completed, the facility may still not be back to normal. This is when reconstruction comes into play. According to Wikipedia, the term “reconstruction” means “returning a damaged building to a known earlier state by the introduction of new materials.”
Why Does It Matter?
Once building materials have been introduced to foreign matter, such as water, soot or other debris, it will begin to deteriorate and may continue to deteriorate if appropriate action is not taken. The restoration phase of the clean-up may require removal of certain portions of the structure such as drywall, windows, flooring and other damaged materials. Once those materials have been removed, in a process called “controlled demolition,” a facility is left without many key components. Can you imagine going to a hotel without any walls? Or a hospital without any windows?
Business interruption is a major consideration after a facility has been damaged. For most organizations, if their facility is inoperable, revenue and production are lost. When a project is large enough to include reconstruction, time is of the essence. It is important to note that reconstruction and construction are two very different things.
Health & Safety
Health and safety evaluations should be performed for each loss. In general, individuals who may come in contact with water damaged materials should have current tetanus shots and protect hands, eyes, and mouth using personal protective equipment. When reconstruction is occurring, additional health and safety plans may be necessary to protect occupants of the facility.