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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Water Damage Restoration after a Serious Flood

5/2/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage restoration after a serious flood - seems impossible? Think again. Effective and total restoration after a flooding event is completely possible, especially with professional help. Depending on the extent of the damage, the restoration efforts will have different specific steps, but the general focus areas remain the same.

We’ll take a much closer look at a few important steps of dealing with water damage. Feel free to jump around:

  • Upholstery and Carpets- What to expect when you have clean, grey, and black-water flooding in your home.
  • Exposed Electrical Wiring - If you’re going to let the experts handle one thing, this should be it - don’t DIY this one.
  • Mold - What to expect from a homeowner’s biggest enemy: mold.

Upholstery and Carpet Water Damage

When water invades your home, upholstery (fabric) and carpets are typically the first victims. If there is even half an inch of water in your house, that’s more than enough to completely submerge your first floor’s carpeting - which is no good.

But, there is a silver lining….

If the flood was caused by a broken pipe, an overflowing bathtub, or another source of clean water, there’s a very good chance your upholstery and carpet can be restored to its original condition. It just needs to be dried and cleaned, depending on the extent of the damage.

On the other hand, if your house (or part of your house) was flooded by water that’s considered “grey water” (sink waste) or “black water,” (sewer water - no fun), things get a lot more tricky and vary depending on the specific incident.

You see, grey water - and especially it’s evil stepsister, black water - are both far more likely than clean water to contain unhealthy microorganisms, dangerous fungi, and bacteria (like E. coli) that can get you very, very sick.

If your carpets, rugs, or low-to-the-ground fabric furniture are submerged in grey or black water, it can be difficult to restore them to their original condition with 100% certainty that all of the dangerous microorganisms (or otherwise) are completely gone.

When you are not absolutely certain about whether the source of your water damage is clean or grey water (because both can appear similar), your safest next step is to speak with a professional.

In order for you to determine the extent to which damage has occurred, you would need to contact a water damage restoration expert to come to your home and check things out. After the remediation has been completed, you’ll also want to have your carpets cleaned to give your floors a fresh new feel. If you’re in Dallas, check out our Professional carpet cleaning services to help you get the job done right.

In summary, an experienced water damage restoration specialist will help you determine what can be saved, sanitized, and reclaimed - as well as what cannot. Having somebody who knows their stuff on your side will help you save money - because you most likely don’t need to replace all of your carpets and upholstery.

Exposed Electrical Wiring - Shockingly Common

Before we talk about electricity, let’s set a few ground rules:

  1. If there is a wire sitting in a standing pool of water (especially if the wire isn’t heavily insulated), do not touch that pool of water. Remember, water conducts electricity, and touching water surrounding an exposed and live (powered) wire can be as dangerous as touching the wire itself.
  2. If wires were submerged in water and the water has now drained or evaporated, the wires should be replaced as soon as you can get an electrician to do the work. Even if everything looks safe, the wires may have been compromised by the flooding.
  3. Not all wiring will necessarily need to be removed. Consult with an electrician and/or a water damage specialist to determine your next steps.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about exposed electrical wiring in a flood and how you should address it.

Bad wiring is not as uncommon as you may think. If your house was built more than 10 years ago - and you were not the first owner of the home, it can’t hurt to have your wiring inspected by an electrician. But that’s beside the core point of this message.

Ground-rule #1 of our electrical ground rules is to avoid pools of water. As a refresher, that’s because live wires in water send the same amount of electricity through the water as they do through the wire, themselves. If your wiring is not properly or completely insulated (wrapped in a non-conductive material like rubber), then the risk of this situation is much greater.

Another concern we have is the potential for wires concealed in your walls to become exposed during a large-scale flood.

Remember, water is a strong force that can move through tiny holes in lots of different materials, giving it the power to turn a small fissure into a large crack. After a flood, there’s a chance you’ll find some exposed wires that were previously hidden from sight. That also means that new exposed pathways (in walls, typically) are created by the flow of water, increasing the potential for electrical wires to come into contact with the floodwater.

Water does not mix well with electricity. Stay safe - save the DIY for later - and call a flood damage cleanup expert.  You’ll need someone who is knowledgeable in both electrical and water issues to help sort out your mess. Most likely, it’s not an expense you were planning to budget for - but an electrical fire will cost you, as you may expect, quite a bit more. And, to add to that, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that all your electrical wiring is in its proper place, rather than serving as a fire threat.

Detecting and Dealing With Mold

Here’s a word that’s just about as distasteful as it sounds: Mold.

Every homeowner who has experienced flooding should keep mold in mind. Fungi, just like mosquitoes, need stagnant moisture to grow.

And, you know where a house gets stagnant moisture? That’s right… a flood.

And floods, which can penetrate the unreachable, hard to dry places in your home can create the right conditions for this growth.

By the time you are able to detect the musty scent of mold, it may have already grown and spread. In the meantime, your living environment may have become unhealthy and possibly toxic to you and your family. For people with respiratory problems, the growth of mold in the home can be the source of some serious health concerns - the very least of which are allergies.

If you think you smell mold, it’s a good time for a free mold inspection - and depending on the company, it may not even cost you. If any mold is found in your house, then you can have a conversation with the restoration company to talk about next steps.

It is in your best interest to get a water damage restoration expert to check out your home as soon after water damage as possible. And, in the event that you begin to suspect mold is growing in the aftermath of an in-home flood, no matter the extent of the flood, you would be doing yourself a favor by finding the best home mold removal company in your area to come and investigate.

When you get mold remediation, the water damage restoration expert will first determine the source conditions for mold growth and then together you will determine what needs to be done. Typically, that means you only need to remove materials that have been directly and extensively damaged by the mold. Everything else will simply need to be cleaned. Unfortunately, based on the severity of mold damage, some parts of your home may need to be rebuilt, but that is a bridge to cross only if necessary.

Water Damage Restoration from Flooding Is Possible

The emotional shock of an in-home flood is real. The last thing you want is strangers coming through your home and determining that your possessions are too damaged to be fixed. But, with the right restoration company, your experience will be top-of-mind. When you hire professionals who know how to work safely and who can collaborate with your insurance, you can ensure that you get your home back together properly and promptly - without all the headaches.

For that reason, you may have to hire a water mitigation specialist to come and help find every portion of your home that needs help. This is the safest way to determine what you can save in your home.

The specialist will help to identify mold issues when they are still fixable so that you can safeguard your health and living environment. For such an important job, think of hiring the best water damage restoration company in Dallas, Texas.

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