Prevention of Secondary Water Damage

Here’s a common scenario many home owners will face in their lifetime. Imagine that you return from a day at the office and find several inches of standing water in your basement. The cause might be a damaged pipe, a leaking hot water heater, or a failed sump pump on a rainy day. Finding and fixing the problem is job number one, but what do you do after that? Many home owners under estimate the importance of removing the collected water and drying their property out as quickly as possible. If water damage restoration isn’t implemented in a timely fashion, dangerous and expensive secondary water damage issues may develop. A home owners best course of action is to prevent this, before expensive mold remediation or structure repairs are needed.

Types of Secondary Water Damage

Moisture damage is another term used when discussing secondary water damage. Moisture can collect in parts of your home that weren’t necessarialy in direct contact with water. Common types of secondary water damage include mold growth, rotting wood, and delaminating plywood.

Secondary Water Damage Signs

The following signs are common tip offs that secondary water damage has been suffered:

Crumbling and sagging dry wall or plaster
Curling, peeling laminate flooring
Buckling hardwood floors
Discolored wood
Mold and mildew growth

Causes of Secondary Water Damage

Undiscovered or Ignored Water Damage
Overlooked and ignored problems like leaky plumbing or roofs are one of the biggest causes of secondary water damage. Small amounts of moisture can lead to big problems, so always be on the lookout for discolored walls, ceilings, or flooring.

Shoddy Water Damage Cleanup Procedures

Secondary water damage can overtake and destroy a home if water damage restoration isn’t performed fully and completely. The industry standard for professional water damage restoration follows the IICRC S500 Water Damage Restoration Standard. Following this established procedural standard ensures that water damage has been dealt with in a manner that ensures the prevention of secondary water damage. Any certified professional water damage restoration company will follow this accepted standard.

The best way to reduce your home’s risk of developing secondary water damage by taking water damage seriously. Swiftly remove standing water, open all available windows and doors, and remove wet objects and materials. It’s only by quickly drying, cleaning, and disinfecting water damaged rooms or areas that you’ll be able to avoid secondary water damage issues.

Guidelines for Water Damage Restoration

Water damage can be a home owner’s worst nightmare. Rotten drywall, crumbling ceilings, stained carpet and furniture, yuck! If you take the right steps though, many of these things can be avoided. Read on to find out what you need to do when Edison NJ water damage strikes.

Open All Windows and Doors

Begin by opening all windows and door and allowing air to circulate freely. Moisture buildup in wood and walls is preventable by acting swiftly. You want your home to dry out as fast as possible.

Take All Damp Materials Outside

Leaving damp or wet materials in your home will only slow the drying process. Take all wet clothing, furniture, books, rugs, mattresses outside. By getting as much wet material out of your home and out into the open fresh air you’ll speed the drying of both the materials in question, and your home itself.

Remove Wet or Drywall

If your home’s drywall has been water damaged it must be removed. Wet drywall is heavy and can injure someone if it crumbles and falls. Leaving it in place is just asking for mold and harmful bacteria to begin feeding on it, reproducing, and spreading to other areas in your home as well. You can test dry wall you’re unsure about by probing it with a pin or wire. If it inserts with only a slight effort the drywall is wet and must be removed.

Leave Electronics Alone

Don’t try to turn on any damp electronics. You risk short circuiting and destroying them, or even bodily harm up to death. Just leave them alone and let them dry thoroughly. An electronics professional should inspect them and give you the thumbs up or thumbs down before you try to operate them.

Household Cleaning

The water damaged area should be well cleaned and disinfected. You can use simple common cleaning detergents when cleaning the soiled areas and materials. Once all contaminants have been safely removed, you can disinfect the area with the product of your choice.

Moisture Removal

The final step is to allow your home to completely dry out. You must do this before you can begin rebuilding or replacing any damaged building materials. If you neglect this crucial step in the water damage restoration process your home is likely to develop problematic and costly secondary water damage issues. Certified water damage companies use specialized equipment to speed this process and protect your home from developing further water damage related issues.

Tips for Flood Cleanup

A flood is a disaster none of us wants to experience, but many of us will. Cleaning up and restoring your property after a flood can be a monumental task. Don’t feel like you have to do it alone however. We’ve got some great tips to help you reclaim and restore your home or business from the water.

One of the first things you need to do is contact your insurance company to find out what is and isn’t covered. Flood insurance is often a separate type of insurance not included with standard renter or home owner’s insurance. The best case scenario is for you to be fully insured, and to have trained professionals perform the flood cleanup.

Here are the steps involved in cleaning up after a flood.

Water Removal

Before you can do anything else, the property needs to be fully drained of any collected water. If the property has been flooded for a period of time this water may have become stagnant, smelly, and infectious. Sewage is often present in flood scenarios. There will probably be mud under that water too. Remove it as well. A power washer can be used to remove mud from exterior walls or furniture.

Remove Damaged Materials and Furniture

Next you’ll need to remove all wet and water damaged fabrics, furniture, carpeting, and mattresses. They will all need to be disposed of. Also remove all waterlogged sheetrock, insulation, etc. Leaving wet materials in your home will prolong the drying out process and greatly increase your home’s risk of becoming infested with dangerous molds.

Decontaminate and Disinfect Your Property

After all wet furniture, carpeting, and building materials have been removed and all mud has been shoveled out it’s time to begin disinfecting the property. You’ll need to disinfect everything, not only the areas that were flooded. All present mold spores and infectious micro-organisms need to be destroyed. Skipping this process will leave your home vulnerable to mold and bacteria during the drying out process. You can use a disinfectant and water to scrub all surfaces.

Don’t forget to disinfect all washable undamaged furniture, and your home’s sundry items as well. Eating utensils, dishes, children’s toys, etc. must all be cleaned and disinfected. You can use a mixture of 1/2 cup of bleach per gallon of water for non-food surfaces, and 2 tsp. of bleach per gallon for food surfaces.

Allow Your Property to Dry

Now you have to leave all doors and windows open and allow your property to dry thoroughly. Professional water damage cleanup firms use powerful blowers and dehumidifiers to circulate air and draw away moisture. This process can take several days. If you’ve done everything yourself so far, it’s a good idea to hire a flood restoration expert to give your property a final inspection before you begin rebuilding and reinhabiting your home or operating your business. Your health and well being is too important to cut corners.