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Water damage can originate from a variety of different sources, flood being the most damaging but least common. More common causes of water damage in Texas are: broken dishwasher hose, washing machine overflow, broken pipes, leakage from roof, flooding, and hurricanes.

If your household has been a victim of flood or water damage, it should be taken care of immediately. The longer you wait to have your household undergo complete water cleanup, the more difficult it is to repair the damage. Water removal and water damage restoration should be left for professionals. Since water tends to get contaminated, any of the following procedures should be done using protective suits and masks, after electricity has been turned off to avoid the danger of electrocution.

What are the Main Steps of the Water Remediation Process?

Step 1 — Inspection of the water: Part of the primary assessment includes evaluation of the water quality and categorizing it based on the level of contamination (level 1, level 2 or level 3).

Step 2 — Water removal: The actual process of excess water removal is quite critical and may be lengthy in cases of flood. However, all water must be removed before moving on to the next steps of the remediation process.

Step 3 — Inspection of damage: After excess water has been removed, an inspection and evaluation of the actual damage is important. Once the damage has been assessed, the professional remediation technicians should devise a plan. This detailed plan of the drying process and restoration should include everything in the household that was damaged by the water such as: books, electronics, furniture, documents.

Step 4 — Water cleanup: This process includes cleaning and disinfecting all wet and damp areas as well as getting rid of possible contaminates and microbial growth.

Step 5 — Drying process: Dehumidifying and decontaminating usually involves using powerful drying equipment. This process can take up to several days, until all property is dry enough to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria.

Step 6 — Restoration process: After all property is dry, the restoration procedure can begin. This means that each and every property around the house can now be restored to its previous condition. The process for each type of property and equipment varies for walls, floor tiles, books, media, and furniture.

Water Damaged Wooden Floor

If you have experienced flooding you will be well advised to contract the services of a professional flood cleanup contractor to carry out your water damage cleanup or your basement flood cleanup. When it comes to water damage, you might already know that it can do a significant amount of damage in a very short amount of time. Seeking professional help as soon as you can will often mean the difference between thousands of Dollars in additional expenses that a flood cleanup contractor can help you avoid. Water damage cleanup is more of a science than just simply pumping water out and allowing everything to dry. There are so many things to worry about in the form of moisture damage, mold damage, dangers of electrocution, dangers related to natural gas leaks etc that it is better for a homeowner to hire a professional basement flood cleanup company to carry out the work. Before you do, make sure that you take some of the following steps yourself to minimize or contain the damage.

  • If you have not identified the source of water, it could be from a burst pipe that cannot be spotted easily. Your best bet in this case would be to shut off the water supply to stop the leak.
  • Assess the damage to see if it is something that you can manage on your own. Generally, if there was enough water to stagnate, it would be better to call a professional company as the basement flood cleanup will require heavy equipment such as dehumidifiers, blowers and water extraction units that you will not have.
  • Open up the windows, door and try to get some air circulation going to minimize damage from moisture. Moisture can easily be absorbed by various construction materials such as drywall, ceilings and even by furniture
  • Turn off the electricity in the house or cut off power supply to the affected area as there is a serious risk of electrocution during a water damage cleanup if the electricity is left on.
  • If you are carrying out a basement flood cleanup, you will first have to turn off the natural gas supply as dangerous gases can leak from pipes that might have broken from the increased water pressure.

A professional flood cleanup contractor will first inspect your house to give you a broad picture about the extent of damage. They will be able to tell you about what can be salvaged or restored and what will have to be discarded and replaced. A professional flood cleanup company will possess several commercial grade blowers, humidifiers and water extraction units that will be very expensive to buy or rent on your own. A cleanup company will ideally have several of these machines and they might use several drying units at once depending on the extent of damage in your house. When you hire a professional flood cleanup company, you can be assured that the work is being carried out by people who know exactly what they are doing, which might not be the case when you attempt to do the water damage cleanup on your own.

Why does Mold Growth occur after a flood or water damage?

Mold affects indoor air quality, and, unfortunately, can grow very quickly. In fact, mold can begin to grow in a home with humidity over 60% in under 48 hours. Mold can even grow and thrive in cold spaces, such as a refrigerator, as long as the temperature is above 40-degrees Fahrenheit. “Hidden” rot can also secretly grow in fiberglass insulation, and behind wallpaper and drywall. Even though you may not be able to visibly see the rot, it doesn’t mean that it’s not there and causing damage to your home and your health.

Serious Effects of Mold Growth

The presence of mold in a home has many negative effects. People can be exposed to rot through direct skin contact, breathing, or ingestion. Mold exposure can cause a number of health-related issues, including breathing difficulties, asthma and topical skin rash. Black mold is rare but highly-toxic and contains carcinogenic mycotoxins that are linked to certain types of cancer, liver and nervous system damage, and more.

Mold can also cause structural damage and destroy the value of your home– no one wants to buy or move into a home with a serious mold problem!

Mold growth can also seriously impact your wallet for two reasons: 1) if left in-tact, mold will continue to grow and become increasingly expensive to remove; and 2) due to a rising number of rot-related lawsuits, many home insurance companies now exclude mold insurance from homeowner policies.


Water damage can be extremely devastating and proper cleaning and recovery needs to follow a three step process.

The first step is to clean the item from the mud or debris that lay on the surface.

The second step is to repair any damage that may have been done.

The third step is to disinfect the item.

There are items that are more or less susceptible to water damage and this article will give tips on recovering the most commonly damaged items. Paper items are the most easily water damaged items in your home and can be damaged without direct contact to water. Repairing paper items requires drying, which can be accomplished through air drying or by using a dehumidifier, however the process can be more complicated then jus simply drying. Water damagned books for example are a paper item in which the process can be more complicated and you will need to prioritize. Books that are leather bound, have parchment or vellum bindings should be a priority as they will disintegrate faster. To dry books that have been damaged by clean water, simply remove them from the water and let them dry without opening them or closing them while they are in water. For books damaged by dirty water, remove them from the water and rinse the pages in clean running water. After the books are clean, open them to air dry and make sure you turn them upside down every few hours.

You can also place white absorbent paper about every 10-15 pages to speed the drying process. When the books are no longer wet place them lightly against a solid surface to ensure prevention of swelling. When trying to repair water damage to blankets, sheets, comforters or towels, the first step is to ensure that they can be bleached, if they cannot you will be unable to disinfect them properly and they should be discarded. Blankets and comforters should be soaked in warm water and bleach for 15-20 minutes each. Any items that have dirt or debris attached may need to be soaked twice prior to being washed, twice. Sheets and towels should be soaked in cold water and bleach for 10-15 minutes and then rinsed in cold water. Then wash the sheets and towels in hot water and detergent with a cup of bleach added for proper disinfectant. Mattresses should be left to a professional or discarded, you will be unable to properly clean them at home.

Water damage to wood furniture should be cleaned with soap and water first, if that is not sufficient you may need to use a solution of turpentine and water. To bring back the most color you may need to rub the wood with steel dipped in lemon or olive oil. Once this step is complete then polish the furniture with a soft cloth. There are several items that if water damage occurs are best left to a professional conservator, including pictures, paintings and electronic media. All of these items can be attempted in home restoration if you chose, however the best results would be with a professional who is trained to properly handle these delicate items. Attempting a home restoration may damage these items past the point that a professional can recover.

Water Damage Cleanup Companies

Categories and Classes of Water Damage Mitigation

Water damage ceiling repairs are not uncommon, but they may present problems beyond the expectations of most homeowners. If you are faced with the need to repair water damage to a ceiling, be aware that you could be encountering a major project!

In the 1950's 1960's housing contractors discovered that they could save themselves large amounts of money by spraying what is commonly called popcorn texture onto ceilings rather than pay skilled workmen to provide a smooth finish on the ceilings of living areas. For some reason, people came to view this abomination (in my opinion)as acceptable, and even desirable.

During the 1970's, as the dangers presented by asbestos became evident, many varieties of spray on ceiling finishes came under scrutiny and were discovered to contain dangerous levels of asbestos. Although the use of asbestos was discontinued in the manufacture of spray on ceiling textures, there remain many thousands of popcorn textured ceilings in homes throughout the country.

Spray on textured ceilings containing asbestos generally pose no threat to health, provided that they remain solid and intact. However, in a case in which there is ceiling water damage, the risk is considerable.

The primary method to remove asbestos material involves giving it a thorough soaking with water, which is precisely the situation in the case of ceiling water damage. This loosens the bond between the asbestos fibers themselves and the underlying material. If you experience water damage to a textured ceiling and you aren't positive it was manufactured and installed after 1980, you are facing a risk of asbestos exposure, as the loosened fibers can become dislodged and infest the air you breathe.

If you face such a situation, the first thing to do is to collect samples of the materials from the affected area. This should be done as if you were certain that the samples are positive for asbestos! There are any number of testing facilities on the internet and the Yellow Pages which will test the samples, generally for about $30, with a discount for multiple samples.

These testing labs provide very detailed instructions for the collection of samples, which must be followed to the letter if you wish to prevent danger to yourself and your family.

If your samples test positive for asbestos, you can hire a contractor certified to perform asbestos removal (hiring any contractor not so certified to remove asbestos is illegal), or you can do it yourself, assuming all the attendant risks.

Before undertaking such a task, one would do well to thoroughly investigate the enormity of the undertaking. It's not for the faint of heart, but there are detailed instructions to be found on the internet.

For my part, if I were considering buying a property containing textured ceilings, I would insist upon testing and professional certification that none of the materials contain asbestos before proceeding. The risks and cost associated with asbestos containing materials are exorbitant, and besides, many people today find that popcorn ceilings are not the most attractive of options available..

Water Damage Wood Flooring

Emergency Cleanup Services After a Disaster

Flooding and water damage can be devastating to your home and belongings. Many people do not consider the fact that there are different types of problems related to flooding and different causes. The type of damage caused by water in your home will determine the appropriate course of action to get the problem resolved so you can go back to normal life in your home. One of the first considerations is how the flooding occurred. Flooding can happen in storm periods or near bodies of water from the outside environment surrounding the house. Flood damage is a common problem after a fire, because what is necessary to put out the fire affects multiple areas in the home. However, flooding can also originate within the home, from broken or malfunctioning plumbing or pipe work.

When you find the source of excess water, you can determine the type of water causing damage in your home. There are three main categories of water: clean, gray, and black. Clean water has very few harmful substances in it, such as when water supply lines are broken, spilling forth clean, fresh water. It can still cause water damage, but there is little chance of bacteria or chemicals causing disease in the wake of the flooding. When sinks or tubs overflow, the water is also usually considered clean.

Gray water, formally known as category 2 water, can cause sicknesses and physical problems because the level of contaminants in the water is significant. These contaminants may be chemical, biological, and/or physical. Gray water will have micro-organisms present as well. Some examples of water damage with category 2 implications are sump pump failures, discharges from dishwashers, malfunctioning washing machines, or overflowing toilets (containing urine but not feces). Black water, or category 3 water, has a severe level of contaminants and is very unsanitary. This water is highly disposed to cause physical problems, diseases, or discomfort.

Black water has bacteria, fungi, chemical contaminants, and other dangerous substances. Category 3 water damage may come from lakes, streams, rivers, seawater, ground surface water, sewage leaks, overflowing toilets with feces, and stagnant water that stands for 48-72 hours after a category 1 or 2 flood problem. The standing of the water increases its dangerous contaminants. Black water clean-up requires the use of protective gear and special equipment to prevent disease or health problems as well as preserve the structure. Trusting clean up and restoration to professionals can help you get your home back quickly and safely.