Water and Sewage Tips

What is water damage restoration?

Restoration is the act of restoring or returning something to its former “normal” state. So the first and most important aspect of water damage restoration is to remove excess moisture from affected materials and return them to their original state. The restoration job is not complete until all the affected materials are completely dried and restored to their original condition.

How is water contamination level categorized?

Category 1 – Sanitary or “clean” water sources are one’s that do not pose an initial health threat. Category 1 sources include broken water supply lines, tub and sink overflows, hot water heater ruptures, appliance water line failures, falling rain water, and broken toilet tanks.

Category 2 – Unsanitary or “gray” water sources contain some degree of contamination. “Gray” water sources include but are not limited to, appliance overflows from dishwashers, washing machines, toilet bowls with some urine but without feces, aquariums and waterbeds.

Category 3 – Unsanitary or “black” water sources always contain pathogenic agents. “Black” water sources include municipal sewer lines, sea water, ground water, and water from rivers and streams.

What will happen after water damage has occurred?

Stage 1- The free-flow of water by gravity. Gravity will level out the available water and cause it to find cracks in the floor, plumbing penetrations and any other openings.

Stage 2 – The wicking of moisture into materials that are in direct contact with the water. Damage continues to increase as long as free water touches gypsum board, wood floor, furniture, and documents due to the tendency of materials to draw in moisture through capillary action.

Stage 3 – High humidity damage. This occurs when the moisture on and in the wet materials begins to evaporate, saturating the surrounding air. Previously unaffected materials now take on moisture

Stage 4 – Active microbial growth. This begins when materials have taken on sufficient moisture to be able to support mold and mildew.

Stage 5 – The spread of microbial’s to other, originally unaffected areas of the building.

How can I prevent water damage in my home?

Start with the roof – Your roof is “out of sight and out of mind” so it’s easy to forget until you have unsightly water damage from a leak. Regular inspections and maintenance can prevent problems before they begin.

Outside walls, doors, and windows – Inspect outside walls, doors, windows each spring and fall for unusual wear or tear. Water and moisture can penetrate these common areas if they are not maintained regularly.

Eliminate excess moisture – Today’s well built, well-insulated homes can trap excess moisture and condensation inside, especially if you have inadequate ventilation. Good preventive maintenance can help eliminate many moisture problems.

Inside your home – Obviously a dripping pipe can cause water damage inside your home.

To find problems before they cause damage here are some tips:

  • Listen for any unusual hissing sounds. This can be a pinhole leak in a water line within the floor or wall.
  • Periodically check hard-to-reach, seldom seen places around the water heater, under sinks, and behind clothes washers. Check the ice maker lines and filters for your refrigerator, too.
  • Look for discolored floor coverings or sub floors, these are unusually signs of a leak. Water stains and wetness are often caused by loose or damaged plumbing fixtures or fittings.

What factors should be considered when drying a carpet?

Age and condition of carpet – If a carpet is so old that it is a better value to replace than attempt restoration

Length of time carpet was exposed to water.

Type of water

The temperature of the water is important as well. A hot water heater with very warm water will affect the glue which is used to hold the carpet fibers together.

Will my upholstery be cleaned after I experience a loss?

Most upholstery can be cleaned using an upholstery pre-spray followed by cleaning with a specially designed wand. Some fabrics are more delicate such as cottons and silks, which may require cleaning compounds made specifically for those types of materials to prevent browning or yellowing of the material. We can test your fabric to determine its composition if you are unsure what it is made of.

Water & Sewage Tips

Shut off the water source, if possible.

Don’t use a regular vacuum to remove water.

Stay out of rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer; open windows to speed drying in winter.

Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping or blotting.

Don’t leave books, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpeting.

Wipe water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.

Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying. (Check for possible bleeding)

Do not wait. Call a restoration company immediately. Mold can being growing in as little as 24 hours.


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