Common Mistakes You're Making with Your "Small" Water Damage
When finding themselves in the midst of a water damage event, many people immediately react by jumping in and cleaning up the mess. Beginning the restoration process as soon as possible is important, but starting before you have taken the necessary steps or know exactly what you are doing could actually make things worse in the end. To help avoid these mishaps, a few of the most common mistakes in water damage clean up are listed below. The most critical mistake to not make is failing to hire a professional restoration company to do the dirty work for you. SERVPRO of Fayette/S. Fulton Counties is your local expert to help you navigate the “waters”.
Mistake #1- Not Having the Job Done RIGHT the First Time
Adopting the “do it yourself” approach when it comes to water damage clean-up is often the go-to mindset. However, this is usually a more difficult process than people think. It can be a long process and following the proper procedures is very important. For example, if you neglect to begin airing out your home by opening up windows and doors for ventilation and using fans to dry things out as soon as possible, the damage will eventually be worse.
Mistake #2- Not Being Completely Thorough
As mentioned above, the water damage restoration process done right requires that you be very thorough. Cutting corners and major shortcuts will not make a big difference and can actually cause more damage. It is better to have the job done right up front, but it will not happen overnight. To ensure all the water is removed and mold will not begin to grow on and in your walls, ceilings, and carpet, you will want to make sure your contractor is certified to do the work needed in an appropriate time frame.
Mistake #3- Waiting Too Long
It can be tempting to put off dealing with flooding or water damage when it’s just a small incident, especially when life is hectic. Even minor flooding can lead to major damage in the long run. The water seeps into walls and flooring over time when not dried properly and can cause structural damage and mold growth. It’s not worth the risk to procrastinate. It could save you a lot of time, heartache, and money in the long run.
Mistake #4- Not Involving a Certified Restoration Company
Trying to tackle the water damage restoration process on your own is great undertaking. Having it done right the first time requires the proper expertise, the right equipment, and enough time to be as thorough as required. Though it may seem like you have the time and resources to clean it up, you will soon realize the process is more involved than originally thought. Should you ever find yourself in a situation where your home or business has been compromised by flooding or water damage, don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Fayette/S. Fulton Counties.
Let SERVPRO of Fayette/S. Fulton Counties help you recover your property properly following a water damage event. Call us today – 770-316.3595.
Sources of Outside Water Damage
There are many ways that water can infiltrate your home, often when you least expect it. It will destroy everything in its path and take over your entire world. In addition to increased stress levels, unexpected water damage can cause displacement for you and your family. Only a certified and insured restoration company should be trusted to mitigate the damage to your home. SERVPRO of Fayette/S. Fulton Counties is your local resource to get your home back in working order.
Water damage can occur from both interior and exterior sources. Below are some ways you can help prevent water damage inside your home that comes from outside sources.
- Ensure that shingles, flashings or tiles on your roof aren’t missing, broken, cracked, curled or damaged in other ways.
- Cut tree limbs that hang above your roof so they don’t cling to shingles and trap moisture.
- Make sure the vents, flues, chimneys, air conditioners, and evaporative coolers are properly installed and in good shape.
- Check for leaks around rooftop air-conditioning units, vents for exhaust or plumbing, or other specialized equipment.
Gutters and Downspouts
- Clear gutters and downspouts from leaves, twigs, and other debris. Also check that they are in good condition so that water can flow freely. You can do this by installing metal screens to help prevent clogging.
- Ensure downspouts direct water at least five feet away from your home’s foundation. This helps direct water away from the foundation. Downspout extensions can be added if needed.
Doors and Windows
- Install window well covers to help prevent water and debris from getting trapped and causing water to eventually seep into your basement.
- Check for leaks near the corners of your doors and windows. Signs of leaks include peeling paint, paint discoloration or swollen frames.
- Installing overhangs or awnings above exterior doors and windows protects them from the sun, rain, and snow.
- Check for a tight fit on closed doors and windows. Any cracks between the sash and frame Close your doors and windows to check for a tight fit. Repair or replace damaged flashing or weather-stripping.
- Check for and repair cracked or broken siding boards, bricks, stone or another masonry, and structural sheathing.
- Remove any shrubs and other landscaping features from along the walls, and avoid directing water towards the house when irrigating the garden and plants to prevent excessive water near the foundation.
- Seal any openings from wiring, plumbing, phone, cable, and heating and air conditioning lines with foam or caulk. Repair any damaged or unpainted wood surrounding these openings.
- Termites can eat wood, plaster, and even metal siding causing holes and compromising structural integrity. Check for signs of termite activity on the walls and the wooden structures around your foundation.
- Ensure that the exhaust vent doors properly open and close.
Following these steps can help protect your home from exterior water damage. If water does happen to sneak into your home, make sure to have SERVPRO of Fayette/S. Fulton Counties on speed dial. We’ll be there to make it “Like it never even happened.”
Commercial Water Damage
Many commercial business owners know that moisture is often the enemy especially when it can shut your business down. With an average of 50% of businesses not reopening following a major disaster, SERVPRO of Fayette/S. Fulton counties can help make sure your business isn't one of them.
Water can penetrate into any space and take advantage of even the smallest crack, causing damage to the structure. How it enters the building is irrelevant; the response should be the same. Calling in a professional commercial water damage specialist can help ensure there are no lingering health threats to you or your employees once the water damage has been eliminated.
SERVPRO of Fayette/S. Fulton Counties is your local professional for all your commercial water damage needs. Call us today – 770-716-3595.
Commercial Sewage Damage
Floods, sewage backups, and other contaminated water can cause some of the worst damage to your commercial property. Contaminated water is often filled with deadly substances including bacteria, fungi, and viruses. This can be compounded by the composition of your commercial building. Organic materials such as drywall, wood, and debris found in carpet is prime breeding ground for pathogens and other bacteria and parasites to grow. The health risk to you and your employees is greatly increased when exposure to flood waters, sewage, and other types of contaminated water.
SERVPRO of Fayette/S. Fulton Counties will dry the commercial building quickly and apply antimicrobial agents to all surfaces that had contact with the water to help make sure that they can eliminate any lingering contaminants. This can help ensure you and your employees that they can return to a safe working environment. If your commercial building is in need of water damage cleanup and repair, contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Fayette/S. Fulton Counties at 770-483-1212. We are available 24/7 to help you get your business back “Like it never even happened.”
Understanding the Fire Restoration Process
The fire restoration process should be started as quickly as possible following a fire damage. The longer you wait to contact a certified restoration company, the more likely it is for damage from water and smoke to intensify. It’s bad enough there was a fire, but the water and chemicals used to extinguish it can cause secondary damage. The remnants will continue to do damage long after the flames are extinguished. *
The average person will attempt conventional cleaning methods like renting a steam cleaner and using common cleaning agents available at the store. Unfortunately, this will barely make an impact on the problem and could cause bigger issues. Chemical agents could react with the residue and cause permanent damage, and in some cases, they may cause toxic fumes. Fire damage cleanup is one of the most difficult jobs out there, and it should be left to a professional for the best results. *
Let SERVPRO of Fayette/S. Fulton Counties be your certified professional when facing your own fire damage. We will walk you through the process step by step to ensure that your home is properly restored. Our team of professionals is available 24/7 to help you put your life back together and restore your normal as much as possible.
Call us today at 770-716-3595.
Smoke Damage Cleaning
Smoke damage cleaning is, perhaps, the most complicated form of treatment for a homeowner to accomplish themselves. Not only does it take a thorough approach and deep remediation of nearly every surface in the building, it can only be done effectively if the areas behind the building’s walls receive treatment as well. This is a massive challenge to anyone but certified professionals, as these experts have the know-how, manpower and equipment to complete the task properly. SERVPRO of Fayette/S. Fulton Counties is your local expert in smoke damage cleaning and restoration.
Once the fire dies out, the problem is only beginning. Soot and smoke have a tendency to get everywhere, and these particles are so small that they can pass through walls effortlessly. They will also cake onto furniture, countertops, floors and walls if not dealt with right away, causing discoloration and overpowering odors. Smoke damage cleaning has to address both issues to be completely effective.
The professionals at SERVPRO of Fayette/S. Fulton Counties are certified through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and have the expertise and materials needed to do the job right. With powerful treatment solutions, the soot and smoke can be removed during a deep scrubbing of the building. Professionals have access to thermal fogging technology to take care of the odors emanating from behind walls. The thermal fogging produces a cloud of odor neutralizing particles that can go where the smoke does.
*Information courtesy of https://www.IICRC.org/blog/tag/smoke-damage-restoration
Be Prepared: Earthquakes
An earthquake, as defined by the U.S. Geological Survey, is a term used to describe both sudden slip on a fault, and the resulting ground shaking and radiated seismic energy caused by the slip, or by volcanic or magmatic activity, or other sudden stress changes in the earth. Earthquakes may cause household items to become dangerous projectiles; cause buildings to move off foundations or collapse, damage utilities, roads and structures such as bridges and dams, or cause fires and explosions. They may also trigger landslides, avalanches, and tsunamis. Earthquakes can occur any time of day at any time of year without warning. They can’t be predicted and usually last less than a minute. Aftershocks, on the other hand, can last up to months after the initial event.
Many think that because we live in Georgia we won’t have earthquakes. However, all 50 states and 5 US territories are at some risk. Over the last several years, there has been an increase in the reports of earthquakes in our area of the country. Whether you felt them at your home or not, it’s important to be prepared and know what to do in the event of a significant earthquake event.
For more information on how to be prepared in the event of an earthquake, visit ready.gov/earthquakes.
Be Prepared: Winter Weather
A winter storm occurs when there is significant precipitation and the temperature is low enough that precipitation forms as sleet or snow, or when rain turns to ice. A winter storm can range from freezing rain and ice, to moderate snowfall over a few hours, to a blizzard that lasts for several days. Many winter storms are accompanied by dangerously low temperatures.
Winter storms can cause power outages that last for days. They can make roads and walkways extremely dangerous or impassable and close or limit critical community services such as public transportation, child care, health programs and schools. Injuries and deaths may occur from exposure, dangerous road conditions, and carbon monoxide poisoning and other conditions.
For more information on how to be prepared before, during, and after a winter storm, visit ready.gov/winter-weather.
While there is no way to completely eliminate all of the molds and mold spores in your home, there are some steps you can take to control the amount of moisture and subsequent mold growth. While this isn’t an exhaustive list, the following are several ways to accomplish moisture control.
One way is to stop any water that could creep into your home. Fixing any leaks from appliances, pipes, or supply lines; using waterproof or water-resistant materials such as tiles, deep-sealed concrete, galvanized/stainless steel hardware, etc.; using moisture barriers over exposed dirt and having proper ventilation in crawl spaces to prevent water from the ground; and making sure gutters are properly cleaned and maintained are ways to prevent unwanted water from invading your home. Keeping this water out is key to preventing microbial growth.
Another is to keep it clean. Fabrics that are not cleaned regularly and kept in well ventilated places will breed mildew. Mold and mildew thrives in soiled, damp places. Dirty duct work can cause mold spores to circulate throughout your home without you really noticing.
The next thing to remember is to keep it dry. Using dehumidifiers, fans, and opening windows, especially during hot weather, to regulate the humidity levels in your home help inhibit the ability of mold to grow. It is ideal to keep humidity levels below 40% and reduce potential for condensation on cold surfaces by insulating around them.
Disinfecting surfaces regularly can prevent microbial growth from occurring or returning. A 10% bleach solution – 1 ¼ - 1 ½ cup bleach to a gallon of water – or a commercial disinfectant is recommended by FEMA to be most effective in removing/preventing microbial growth.
If you do find yourself with mold in your home, trust a certified professional, like SERVPRO of Fayette/S. Fulton Counties, to remove it properly.
*information courtesy of FEMA Mold & Mildew Guide
The Mold Remediation Process
Every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our “typical” process:
- Emergency Contact - (770) 716-3595
The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call us. Our representative will ask a series of questions to help us determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel.
- Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
We carefully inspect your property for visible signs of mold. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view. We use various technologies to detect mold and hidden water sources.
- Mold Containment
Our professionals use various containment procedures to prevent the spread of mold. We may use advanced containment procedures like negative air chambers to isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process. All fans and heating and cooling systems will be turned off to prevent the spread of mold.
- Air Filtration
Our specialized filtration equipment allows our Professionals to capture microscopic mold spores out of the air. We utilize powerful “air scrubbers” and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in process.
- Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. We’ll use antifungal and antimicrobial treatments to eliminate mold colonies and to help prevent new colonies from forming. It may be necessary to remove and dispose of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and carpeting, to remediate heavy mold growth.
- Cleaning Contents and Belongings
We clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, clothing, and other restorable items affected by mold. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and disinfect your belongings. We’re also trained to remove odors and deodorization using fogging equipment.
Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may have been removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business. The restoration step gets your home or business back to normal.
Trust the professionals at SERVPRO of Fayette/S. Fulton Counties to help with any mold remediation needs.