Water damage is one of the most devastating catastrophes you can experience as a homeowner or business. From the smallest leak to a natural disaster, water damage is an issue that must be taken seriously. But how are we supposed to know when we can fix it ourselves, or if we should call upon professional help from an expert water damage treatment company like Brothers?
A major priority when dealing with flood damage is to prevent the growth of black mold. Mold spores are everywhere around us in the air. In small numbers they pose no threat to humans, however, when inhaled in larger quantities they can cause serious and long-term health problems. If black mold isn’t prevented from entering your home, it becomes frustratingly difficult and very expensive to eliminate. As overwhelming it can be to deal with fixing and repairing flood damages when addressed quickly enough, you may be able to avoid serious problems such as black mold.
The key to containing and controlling flood damage and preventing black mold is to completely dry the saturated area within the first 24 hours of the initial disaster. The first and most obvious thing to do is to find and stop the original source of the water. After the main source of the leak has been stopped, most people think water damage can be taken care of with nothing more than a lot of towels and a few industrial fans to dry out any wet areas. This however, is rarely the case. Flooding will often cause extensive unseen damage to your home behind the walls and floorboards or beneath the top layer of the carpet. If left untreated, this can cause severe health issues due to mold growth, and even structural damage to your home that can cost you thousands to tens of thousands to repair.
When debating whether or not to call in the professional, some of the most important factors to take into consideration are the water source, time or duration of wetness, and the overall size of the leak or flood.
When flooding occurs, if possible, the first thing you should do is stop the source of the flooding. If the source is non-toxic and non-contaminated like a ruptured pipe or an overflowing appliance it may be possible to save the carpets, drywall, and other areas of the house. If the water source is contaminated by an impure substance such as raw sewage or outdoor flooding, the contaminated areas will need immediate replacement.
The next factor to take into consideration is time. It is inevitable that your carpets will collect and become filled with airborne mold spores, making your carpet the perfect home for mold. Mold growth begins within as little as 24 hours of the mold spores in your carpet coming into contact with water. If a source has been saturated with water for over 48 hours, it is safe to assume that it has been contaminated by mold. Quick action from professionals like the Brothers is the best way to ensure the safety of your health and the protection of your home or business.
The overall size of the leak or flood is the next element to be considered. What areas were soiled? The hardwood floors? The carpet? What about the walls and floorboards? How high were the water levels? How high up in the insolation and drywall was the water absorbed? A thorough examination and analysis by professionals can make this process much easier.
When the padding beneath the carpet and structures behind the walls have been soiled, the walls and flooring must be dealt with or the damages may become permanent. In such a case, the replacement process should begin immediately.
Starting with the carpet, water extractors can be used to pull water from carpet fibers, and steam cleaners can be used to inject anti-microbial solutions to kill mold. When necessary, the saturated padding beneath the carpet should be removed. Industrial humidifiers and high-powered fans can speed up the drying process. Once the floor has been disinfected, the new padding can be installed, and carpet set in place.
Mold takes very little to grow. It simply needs water, a surface to multiply across, and warmth. Drywall provides mold with all of the above, allowing the mold to grow to levels that become dangerous to humans. Mold can also grow on cardboard and wood, so it is important to make sure everything gets dried out completely.
If any of the drywall and floorboards were subject to leakage or flooding, examine the area. Depending on the water damage, you may need to remove drywall, wall studs, cabinets, flooring, or even ceilings. Start by removing any cracked, crumbling, or sagging drywall. But if it’s just damp and the water source was something clean and uncontaminated such as a burst pipe, you can likely dry it. If the sheetrock is still firm after drying out the wet drywall, count your blessings as you may have lucked out and avoided replacing the whole section. If the opposite case has occurred, and water has seeped into the fibers that make up the drywall, you will need to replace it before it collapses and mold appears.
Dealing with water damage of any sort can be very difficult for any homeowner or business to cope with. Not only do you have to deal with the physical damage done to your home, but the emotional strain of dealing with such a loss and figuring out how to solve it can cause tremendous emotional strain. But don’t stress, and don’t worry. Brothers is here to help. Water damage is a difficult situation and we’ll come up with the best plan to help you maintain control over this stressful situation, and little by little Brothers will help you get your home or business back to looking like normal and living or working like nothing ever happened.