What to look for in a water damage company ?

You can save yourself many hours of frustration just by knowing what to look for in a water damage company. By dealing with companies with the proper credentials, you can also save money in the long run by staying away from less than stellar contractors who are just out to make a buck. These types of contractors often perform drying shortcuts and provide horrible services that will require you to shell out even more money.

how-to-find-the-best-water-restoration-company

The water damage restoration of interior space structures 10-15 years ago is very much primitive compared to how it is done today.In the old days, the technician peddled or set up, dried as much equipment as needed, and handled every damage in the same way.Standards had not been developed to specify what should be done in every situation.

water damage restoration

To say an industry has come a long way is an understatement. After years of careful analysis, today’s drying solutions are based on objective factors like: building size, type and amount of moisture present and materials involved. Precise instruments are used to measure the drying progress so that the technician is sure all moisture has been removed. There are a variety of equipment and solutions available to the contractor to remove water.

When you are evaluating a water damage professional sometimes it is better to look for a person that has the following

  • Certification and training from an independent body like the IICRC. These individuals have been exposed to the basic and in some cases advanced methods of structural drying.
  • The correct type and limits of liability insurance. Many companies doing this work are not insured for claims that arise as a result of improper drying.

The company you choose should also be able to offer excellent references for this type of work. People hate to go through a disaster, but if they have worked with a committed, caring professional; the experience is not nearly as frustrating.

Mold Spores on Wood

Removing mold from wood is a problem that many seek to resolve but first you must understand how mold actually comes to form on wood.

Wood is like mold’s little playground. Wood fibers contain all the necessities that molds need to form and spread. The protein, sugar, and other biological materials provide the necessary food for mold. Add in other factors such as warm temperature, oxygen and moisture and you may find yourself searching for the best mold removal tips to remedy your problem.

Mold Spores on Wood

How to Remove Mold from Wood

Removing small amounts of mold is pretty simple and you likely have the necessary materials laying around the house. Bleach is commonly recommended for specifically handling mold issues in wood and as always you should handle it carefully. The water damaged wood should first be dried to remove moisture before any cleaning takes place. Once it’s dry, make sure to wear protective gloves and eye wear while scrubbing the wood with diluted bleach. Or if you prefer, use a commercial cleaner for mold problems and follow the same safety precautions. Bleach also helps with the discoloration you usually see when mold and wood

Mold Spores on Wood

One of the biggest obstacles with removing mold spores from wood is preventing the mold from going airborne while cleaning. This can be prevented my first spraying the mold down before wiping. Also, utilizing a hepa vacuum cleaner in the surrounding area will also help reduce the amount of spores released in the air. A HEPA vacuum has high quality filters that remove 99% of allergens, dust, ragweed and other particulates from the air.

If the job is too large, then go ahead and hire a restoration company to handle the problems. There are sure to be many local companies that provide the necessary services and equipment needed to address the mold problems in your home. Otherwise it is likely that you will be able to do it yourself with just the tips mentioned above. Whatever you decide, the most important thing is to take immediate action when mold stars to form. Letting mold sit and continue to spread is harmful and toxic to yourself and others.

hepa vacuum cleaner

How to Tips to Removing Mold Spores

Mold Removal Tips

Molds live all around us. Mold spores float in the air like pollen. So you breathe them and they may be deposited in your lungs, as well as your nose and throat. Common sources of airborne molds include bathrooms, damp basements, carpeting, poorly ventilated closets, old upholstered furniture, humidifiers, even decaying leaves, stored fruits and vegetables, old wallpaper and home air ducts. Some may even be found on leather, cloth, rubber, wood and paper products. Mold and water damage go hand in hand and is definitely a huge problem for most homeowners.

If you want to control molds around you, change the settings that support their growth. Here are some mold removal tips to eradicate and prevent molds from growing and spreading.

 

Mold Damage
  • Remove mold from wood floors with dry cleaning fluid; if the mold is deeply embedded in the wood, use bleach or disinfectant. Rewax to restore the shine. Since mold needs a damp and wet environment, keep it from coming back by making sure that the area is well ventilated. Severe yellowing and darkening of older wood floors is most likely caused by the buildup of many years of varnish applications and may not be mold problem. All you have to do is refinish the floor.
  • Bathrooms should also be clean at all times or they may be susceptible to mold growth if left dirty for a long time. If you can’t get around to cleaning the bathroom every day or every other day, sponge down the bathroom areas from cleanest to dirtiest at least once a week and use a liquid disinfectant cleaner. The ideal order would be mirror, sink, tub, toilet, wall and floor. Wear rubber gloves, safety goggles and protective garments.

  • Prevention is still the best method for eliminating molds. Exhaust fans can do a good job of removing excess moisture in the bathroom. If it’s dry outside, leave the window and door open to allow proper ventilation.
  • Installing an UV light bulb inside closet can keep molds at bay.
  • Regularly wash, air and sun mattresses, pillows and rugs to kill mold and prevent them from growing or multiplying.


Molds can cause all sorts of respiratory problems including severe allergies, headaches, sore throat, runny nose and asthma. If your house has been contaminated with mold and water damage, these mold removal tips may help. But if the problem has gotten so big for you to handle on your own, it may be wise to hire a knowledgeable mold remediation person or company to take a look at your home and see if he can recommend structural changes that can prevent moisture or suggest ways to reduce mold growth.

Carpet Cleaning After A Flood

Because of the abnormalities in our weather conditions, it is not so surprising to suddenly have severe drought or severe flooding in places which enjoyed predictable weather before. Flooding has caused millions of dollars worth of damage. But flooding is not necessarily caused by natural forces. Sometimes flooding is caused by a leaking pipe, leaking toilet, blocked sink or bathtub or other problems in the home. A lot of people go through the problem of having to do floor and carpet cleaning after flood comes into different areas of the home.

water damage carpet

If the flooding was caused by problems in your home, you have to find the cause and fix it right away otherwise the flooding will not stop. If it was caused by natural causes, the first thing you need to do is remove as much water as possible. If the water that flooded your carpet is clean, you can just remove the carpet after vacuuming off as much water as possible. Hang it out in a drying area to dry using heavy duty fans or in direct sunlight, making sure the back side is the one exposed to sunlight otherwise the carpet will fade. Otherwise you can just fold it on itself and turn on your fans to make them dry faster.

 

The carpet should not be left wet past two days because then it becomes a breeding ground for molds. If it is not possible to dry out the carpet within two days and see some molds growing, immediately remove the molds with a mold and mildew killer or a homemade cleaning solution. The place where your carpet is being dried should be well ventilated and free from moisture as molds thrive on moisture.

If the flood water is dirty and might contain contaminants that will be dangerous to your health, it is best to call in a professional to assess the damage and suggest some remediation measures. Some may advise professional carpet cleaning and carpet restoration. If the damage is really bad and the carpet becomes a health hazard, the professional might suggest just disposing of the carpet altogether and replacing it with a new one. The whole floor has to be thoroughly disinfected and sanitized though before a new carpet is installed.

 

Carpet cleaning after flood waters submerge your carpet should be handled immediately otherwise you may not only lose your carpet, you may possibly endanger your family and your health.

Black Mold

Water Damaged my Digital Camera! What Should I Do ?

Gone are the days when the film camera was the in thing. Today it is digital cameras, from the cute candy colored point-and-shoot ones to the most expensive commercial digital single lens reflex cameras. You bring the camera with you everywhere you go as you do not want to miss taking photos of whatever moments you experience, be they everyday activities or special once in a lifetime moments. A camera is essential for recording special memories. Wherever you go, there is always the danger that the camera meets its nemesis, water. The microprocessor and electronic components of a digital camera cannot withstand water. Water damage a digital camera would usually encounter can come from spilled drinks, pool splashes, rain, or worse seawater immersions.

water is good for people but not for cameras.

After the initial panic, what do you need to do when your camera gets wet?

 

First thing is to assess whether the wetness is just on the surface or whether it has penetrated the insides of the camera. If it is just surface splashes, wipe it off. But the number one thing to remember is to never turn on your camera if it is off but immediately turn it off if it is on. Keeping it on puts it at a risk of a short circuit in its electrical components. Immediately remove the battery and the memory card. You would want to save whatever is stored in that memory card.

Be Careful

Next, open all the doors and compartments of the camera then turn the camera upside down so that the water immediately drains out. Blot out whatever water you can see using a soft dry cloth. Some say put the camera in a bag of rice, letting it sit for a day and making sure the camera is completely covered by the rice. Rice apparently draws out the moisture of the camera. After one day, take out the camera and open the battery and memory card slot then put it in front of the fan such that the air is blown directly into the open compartments of the camera.

Others say to let it sit in the hot dashboard of a car for a few minutes to dry it out. Still others say get a vacuum cleaner and using the hose, suction the camera dry then let the camera air dry for several days before attempting to turn it on. A hair dryer on a low setting can also be used to gently dry out the inside portion of the camera. The whole point in all these is to immediately dry the camera as best as you can in order to prevent water damage to your digital camera.

It is slightly a different process when the camera is submerged or was splashed with sea water, which is corrosive. You need to immediately clean it out and wipe it with clean fresh water. Then follow the same procedures as above. If you are anxious though about the condition of the camera or think that the water damage digital camera has is worse than you think it is, seek professional help and bring it to a reputable camera repair service center. The brand’s in-house service center would be the best choice.

Is Water Damaging Your Wood Floors?

Check Out These Helpful Solutions To Keep It From Happening Again

Wood floors are one of the most beautiful flooring options. It exudes a certain warmth to the area where they are installed. Not all wood floors are the same, though. Some types of wood used for flooring are very hard wood while others are softer. Soft woods are as beautiful as hard ones but they are more prone to rotting or splitting compared to the hard type. Hardwood floors are more durable and can withstand heavy traffic and long years of usage. However, it is still very much possible to water damage hardwood floors even with its characteristics of hardness. Wood floor water damage repair is expensive.

water damage wood floor
Water Damage to Wood Floor

If you have wood floors and did not know the right way of taking care of them, chances are you may have experienced water damage and worse, floor replacement or repair. Water is a standout amongst the most ruinous components that can harm wood floors.  Pipe leaks can come from many sources, such as floods, dripping roofs, rain splatters, or leaking sewers.Another source of water damage hard-wood floors frequently encounter is the very simple housekeeping task of mopping but using a very wet mop.

 

Water Damage to Hardwood Floors

If water sits too long on wood, it will penetrate into the wood and will cause it to warp. When the wood warps or swells, it will push against the side walls which will eventually cause the floor to crack.  If the flooring is nailed, the nails may rust or loosen if it is constantly soaked in water.  If the flooring is glued together, the water will release the glue and loosen the boards.

First, make sure your wood is finished with a protective coating of urethane, polyurethane, or acrylic. These protective wood finishes will shield your floors from water, scratches and stains and will also transform your floors into a beautiful piece of work. If you frequently notice water on the floor, check where it comes from and fix that problem at the source. If there is a leaky pipe or sewer, close it or change it If it is a leaking roof, repair or replace the shingles or shakes, mend a blister or crack in a flat roof, reseal flashings and valley and if worse comes to worse, you would probably need to replace the whole roof. For rain splatters, find out where it is coming from and put in some sort of cover or protection so the splatter does not reach your wood floors.

For daily maintenance, vacuum your floor using a vacuum specifically for wood floors which will not damage the finish and expose the bare wood. Mop with a damp mop, never with a wet mop. Do not believe in the water and vinegar solution as the acid in the vinegar will only damage the wood. If you need to, use water and soap but immediately follow with a dry cloth. With the right preventive and maintenance measures in place, your wood floor water damage repair works will never be necessary again.

6 Handy Tips to Prevent Water Damage to Hardwood Floors

Handy Tips to Prevent Water Damage to Hardwood Floors

One of the most beautiful focal features of a home is hardwood floors. They add class and warmth to your home. But while they may be durable, proper maintenance and care must be exercised to ensure that this investment will last you for many years. The number one enemy of hardwood floors is water. Water damages wood floors in such a way that it could cost you thousands in water damage cleanup or worse, in floor replacement.

No matter what you do, there is always a possibility that you will have water on your hardwood floors, be it an ordinary spillage from a glass of water or a disastrous flash flood. Here are 6 handy tips that would help prevent water damage to your expensive hardwood floors.



Here are 6 Handy Tips

  • Put some finishing, whether acrylic, urethane or polyurethane on your hardwood floors, if you can. Finished floors are more water resistant and would be easy to clean with a sweeper, vacuum or damp mop. Unfinished hardwood floors are more prone to water damage.
  • If there is always water on the floor, find out where it came from and do some repair or replacements to prevent that source from causing water damage to your floor again. Some sources of water damage hardwood floors may have encountered are leaking pipes, leaking roofs, leaking drainage and rain splatters.
  • If there is water on the floor, do not let the water stand but immediately dry the floor. If the amount of water is excessive, get everything off the floor including rugs and furniture. Mop or wipe off as much water as you can. Use a blower or fan to help dry the floor as soon as possible and move the fan around.
  • Do not mop your floor with a very wet mop. The excess water will seep into the pores of the wood and cause warping or rotting. When you see excess water on the floor after mopping it, immediately follow-up with a dry cloth or a dry mop to absorb excess water before it penetrates into the wood.
  • Put mats or rugs in areas where spillages can possibly occur such as under the tables, next to sinks or counters. However, make sure that these are always dry underneath.
  • Have an absorbent cloth or sponge ready so that when there is an accidental spillage, you can immediately absorb as much liquid as you can.

Knowing what to do when there is a threat of damage to your hardwood floors will save you a lot of money in water damage cleanup and floor repairs.

8 Ultimate Tips to Mold and Mildew Removal in Basement

Mold and mildew are both similar in that they are known as moisture type molds, meaning that they thrive and proliferate in moist environments. They like to grow on organic materials like wool, leather, wood, cotton and paper but can be seen in walls, floors and ceilings.

Mildew and mold in the basement are common but it is not safe to continue with this condition just a few feet away from where you sleep and eat. When they are left to grow, the molds and mildew will eventually develop a natural defense which is known as myotoxins. These are very toxic and can cause illnesses to the upper respiratory system which may be difficult to diagnose if nobody knows that it is caused by them. If you see any sign of them in the basement, immediately do mold mildew removal procedures.


Mold and Mildew Removal Tips

  • If you are undertaking this yourself, you need to put on protective gear like goggles, face mask, disposable clothing and long rubber gloves to protect yourself from coming in contact with the molds or the chemicals that you will be using to clean them.


  • Identify the source of moisture in the basement. Look for leaking pipes, laundry piles, water heaters or carpets which are ideal places to grow. Fix them immediately to prevent future growth.
  • Open up the windows to let the sunshine and fresh air in as it will immediately get rid of mold and mildew.
  • Immediately remove and dispose of affected materials in sealed plastic bags to prevent the molds and mildew from spreading.
  • Spray on undiluted white vinegar to severely affected areas or a mixture of 1 part water and 1 part vinegar to prevent the molds and mildew from becoming airborne.

  • Scrub off the mold and mildew stains with a stiff and sturdy brush using specialized mold and mildew killer chemicals or a mixture of baking soda and white vinegar, a homemade cleaning solution which is just as effective in killing them.
  • If you are using the natural cleaning solution, disinfect the area with a bleach solution using 1/4 cup of bleach diluted in a gallon of water. If you are using a chemical solution, there is no need to follow-up with a disinfectant because it already has a disinfectant included.
  • Remove water from the area well using a blow fan, heater and/or control future humidity levels with a dehumidifier.

5 Essential Tools to Fix Flooding a Basement Yourself

While most instances of home floods are minimal and usually damage only the carpet and floors, there are instances when these floods will fill up the basement. Since the basement is the lowest portion of the house and is designed to be waterproof to keep water from entering it, letting out the flood water is also a problem. You cannot delay applying remedial measures to fix water damage in the basement. The longer basement water repair works are delayed, the higher the chances of permanent water damage. Even worse, molds will develop in just 48 hours and this can be toxic to you and your family.


Flooded Basements

There are two instances when you want to do the basement water repair work yourself. First is if you do not have homeowner’s or flood insurance and the expense of hiring a contractor would be more than you can afford. Second is when the water that flooded the basement is clean and the volume is not too much. But in order for you to successfully fix your basement flooding, you need to be equipped with the right tools to do the job.

Buckets

If you really want the most basic method, bailing out the water using buckets is the cheapest way to go. You may not need to buy if you already have this at home. But the volume of water you can haul out with a bucket is very limited so the work will be slow and backbreaking.

Buckets

Sump Pump

You can remove more water with a sump pump. The requirement for the sump pump to siphon out the water is that it has to be submerged so when the water is very low, the sump pump will no longer work unless you have a prepared sump pit in your basement where water can flow to.


Wet/Dry Vacuum Cleaner

Your vacuum cleaner would be a great help in removing water in your basement, provided that it is clean and does not contain contaminants will could be a potential health hazard.


Industrial strength submersible pumps

These can be gas-powered which is useful when the flood caused a power outage in your place. These pumps can remove a lot of water in a short time and can be rented out from basement water repair contractors or bought from reputable dealers for consistent protection.

Flood Water Pumper Extractor

This can be rented out from contractors and can come in portable and truck mounted type. Both have tanks that will collect sludge and debris which can be safely disposed of later.

However, when the work is massive, it might be a better option to get a contractor to fix water damage than do it yourself. Working with a contractor will give you the guarantee that the work is being done properly and there is nothing left that will add further damage to your home and your health.

How Did My Basement Get Flooded?

Because basements are located underground, it is always prone to flooding. Whether your home is new or old, there will always be a possibility of a basement water problem so it is important to constantly inspect the basement for any signs of water leakage or seepage. When your basement gets flooded, there will not only be costly repairs required, especially if your basement is finished, but there will be health concerns and the risk of electrocution.

There are many reasons why your basement can get flooded, even if your home is new.

Flooded Basement

Flooded Basement

  • Your sanitary and rainwater sewers may be combined so excess water from outside can enter through the home’s drainpipes in the floor, sink or toilet. To prevent this, standpipes should be connected to the floor drain so that when water backs up into the floor drain, it stays in the standpipe instead of getting out. In new constructions, the Clean Water Act prevents routing of rainwater to the sewer systems.
  • Water that has congregated in a sidewalk, driveway outside next to the foundation wall may seep in through the cracks in the foundation. There may also be excessive rainwater in the grounds around the foundation which can also cause water to come into the basement. Many home owners have basement water sealing done to their home or install sump pumps as a preventive measure but this will not guarantee against floods or leakages.
  • Leaking toilet or leaking or busted pipe. It may not necessarily be in the basement itself. It may be in the upper floors but the water ends up dripping down to your basement. This has to be fixed or replaced right away.
  • Clogged tubs or sinks. Again, it might be in the upper floors but the water will end up in the lowest part of the house, the basement. The only remedy would be to unclog and fix the drains or the pipes so the water flows down to the drain pipe instead of to the basement.

  • For those who perpetually suffer basement water problems, it may be a good idea not only to waterproof your basement but to install a sump pump as well which can immediately remove whatever excess water there is before it does damage to your basement.

Hopefully, these suggestions will give you an idea as to why there is a water problem in your basement.