Water damage loss to a person’s home or business can occur in many ways. Avoiding this damage is a simple as a little common sense and routine maintenance.
Foreclosed/Vacated Homes and Businesses – Unheated structures can have frozen pipe bursts
When a house or business is left unheated, and the temperature drops to 10 degrees below zero, water pipes can freeze and burst. Later when the temperature rises, the ice melts and water flows freely from the pipes. The property is now flooded and the typical homeowner’s insurance policy may not cover the loss if the home was unoccupied and had no heat. The claim could be denied because of failure to upkeep maintenance that may have prevented the damage. A heads up for the snowbirds; before turning off the power for the winter, check your policy and take the necessary precautions against freezing weather conditions.
In the case of foreclosed homes, it is a common and cheap practice by banks to make a property ‘look’ good but not safe. This superficial “house-lift” causes a wet weakened structure with hidden biohazards like bacteria and mold spores. When these properties are purchased by an investor or new home owner, prior to moving in, make sure to have microbial samples taken to rule out that these types of shortcuts have been used. Property owners should leave a minimal amount of heat on to insure the pipes do not burst. The minimum amount of heat required to make sure the pipes do not burst in an empty home or business is 58ºF/14ºC. Although the ambient temperature of the interior of the home may be well above freezing temperatures, the temperature within the walls and basement will be much cooler, depending upon how well it is insulated. Winterize your home properly.
Bathroom – shower or toilet overflow
You can simply be taking a bath and overflow your bathtub or shower tub. In some instances, children can flood a bathroom floor and cause the ceiling beneath the floor to leak. Addressing the water spots and stains without drying or sanitizing, is just like putting a Band-Aid over a gaping wound. The extent of the damage has to be evaluated and properly dried to ensure that there is not damage to the underlying support of the bathroom floor and no hidden mold occurring between the floors and ceiling. Time is of the essence, do not wait until the inner levels develop mold and mildew.
Water damaged hardwood flooring can be saved if drying is started quickly. A remedy that water damage restorers use is a floor drying system called Injectidry and it reduces cupping and warping of hardwood floors. Flood Specialists, Inc. has been saving hardwood floors for many years using the Injectidry Floor Drying System. We can generally save about 92% of the wooden floors that we dry, avoiding replacement and costly repair. It consists of pads that are taped to the floor and a vacuum that simultaneously sucks water out on a vapor level and drying the flooring from the inside out. Moisture readings will be able to monitor how dry the floor is getting. The time it takes the floor to dry is based on the type of floor, how close together the joints are and how saturated the core of the floor board is. Knowing how to dry out wet wooden floors fast is the best way to prevent mold damage or replacement.
Toilet overflows – You can have a situation where someone has flushed tampons, pads, rags or paper towels down a toilet, clogging the waste line and an overflow of sewage takes place in the surrounding drains and toilets. This situation is called “black” water damage and requires special handling and removal of damaged items and fixtures. Black water is water that has been contaminated with fecal matter and urine as opposed to “grey” water from showers, laundry rooms, and kitchens. Black water is heavily polluted and contains pathogens. Do not touch anything contaminated with black water. Let specialists handle the area and all its contents.
Kitchen – Refrigerator/Dishwasher water line burst:
You may suffer a water damage situation by means of a burst pipe, a line rupture, and/or malfunctioning vinyl or copper feeding line to your kitchen appliances. Moving your refrigerator can dislodge the tubing if it has been fitted too short or loose. Pay careful attention when moving your appliances around. If you notice a leak; turn the water source clockwise to stop the water flow until you can get it looked at. Empty unheated homes can also cause these lines to burst. Take the necessary precautions and include these lines when you opt to drain your water sources.
Water Heater – Malfunctioning Valve or Rust and Corrosion
If you have ever suffered a water damage situation in the basement and the water table was over a foot tall; you should replace the water heater because the lining of the water heater is usually fiberglass insulation. If this not addressed, it will retain water within the water heater and rust out the bottom of the water heater faster. This rust damage can cause leaks and water damage to occur all over again.
Ice damming is a situation in which there is ice packed gutters, preventing the snow melt to drain off of your roof properly. Large icicles are a telltale sign of a roof that is not providing proper drainage. The water rivets down the roof and hits an ‘ice blockage’ and pools or travels inward into the home and causes water damage. This water can damage walls, ceilings, insulation and other areas.
Laundry – Hose dislodged from drain
Ever seen an exaggerated rickety old washer on a spin cycle hop around in a commercial? In real life washer machine spin cycles can be a bit bouncy and noisy when loads are unbalanced or when you throw in a pair of shoes to wash. That hopping machine can dislodge itself from the drain and cause water damage.
What To Do When Water Damage Loss Occurs
If you do have a water damage situation on your hands make sure to find reputable water damage specialists; to tent, dry, decontaminate and biowash the affected areas. Make sure they have infrared scanning capability to insure the moisture has been addressed. Beware of “multi-tasking” public adjusters who rent and place drying equipment for a few hours. They are not certified to deal with water damaged structures and cannot assess or remedy the problem efficiently. Damage to the underlying structure can cost tens of thousands of dollars in repair, remodel, mold and remediation costs. It is your investment to protect, addressed promptly and intelligently, a good water damage team can save you money in costly repairs.