If I Have a Pipe Break in my Home, How Serious is the Wet Structure?

 While not all pipe breaks are readily identifiable as being dangerous or damaging to your home, rest assured that any uncontrolled source of water that enters your home could be a potential source of money that you will lose to repairs or replacement. A pipe break is among the most common, and the most expensive, types of water damage that can occur within a home. Not all pipe breaks are the same, but you will need to deal with the following issues first and foremost:

  • Is the pipe currently active, and if so, can it be shut off to stop the flow of water?
  • Where was the pipe located? Is there electric wiring nearby?
  • Has there been any flooding, including standing pools of water?
  • Is the pipe located in a ceiling, where it can drip to the floor and cause additional damage?

As mentioned, a pipe break can happen in a lot of areas of the home. A pipe break in the basement could lead to flooding and standing pools of water which will require immediate attention. A pipe break in a bathroom or kitchen may not create standing pools of water if your room is at ground level, but could damage your flooring, create a slipping hazard, and promote the growth of dangerous mold.

(more…)

Three Steps for Drying Out

Three Steps for Drying Out

There are many causes of water damage to homes and buildings, ranging from heavy rains, leaky roofs, broken pipes, failure hot water heaters, sewage back-ups and more.

The cause of the damage must be considered when drying out a home or building. If it is “fresh” water, such as a broken pipe or leaky roof, the drying process is a little simpler than a sewage back-up.

Small water damages that are concentrated to an area, such as under a kitchen sink, can quickly be cleaned up. Large water damages can take days to clean and dry out, often resulting in pesky odors that then must be dealt with. It’s that pesky odor that tells you not all is well, and more work needs to be done.

Remove, Clean, Dry

Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces quickly means less microbial growth, which can lead to potentially dangerous mold. Some people are highly sensitive to mold spores, while others show no physical reaction at all. Don’t take the chance in learning the hard way how you might react to mold. Prevention is best.
To ensure the safety of your family, there are three basic steps:

  1. Remove the water/contamination: This means get the affected areas dry, and quickly.
  2. Clean the area: No matter the water source, a quality disinfectant should be used.
  3. Dry the area: Air movement is important. Directed air on damp areas aids in the evaporation process.

Remember, water damage can be potentially dangerous even after you think surfaces are dry. If it feels dry, it just might be… but it might not. Professional water damage removal pros have meters and devices to determine when surfaces are totally dry. And they have the products and equipment necessary to do the job right — items you can’t buy at your local grocery or hardware store.

Play it safe. Protect your family. Call your restoration pros at Regency DRT for any type of water damage to your home.

The Science of Hurricanes

Hurricane season in the Atlantic brings with it a plethora of dangerous and devastating weather. But how does all of this get started?

All hurricanes are essentially fueled by two simple things: heat and water. Hurricanes generally begin above the equator, where the waters are significantly warmer. The air just above the ocean’s surface takes in heat and moisture and, as the hot air rises, it leaves the air below it with a lower pressure. This cyclical process repeats and produces swirls in the air, according to NASA. This creates a thunderstorm that has the potential to turn into a hurricane.

Warm water in the Atlantic is really the first key element hurricanes need to get started. Another important key factor is wind shear. Wind shear, according to Federal Aviation Administration, is a change in wind speed and/or direction over a short distance. Wind shears can be either horizontal or vertical and are most commonly caused by strong differences in temperature. These contribute to the cyclone of warm and cool air that starts a hurricane.

These two ingredients for hurricanes don’t just happen on their own, though. Gerry Bell, the lead seasonal hurricane forecaster for NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, says that “there are two dominant climate patterns that really control the wind and pressure across the Atlantic.

The El Niño/La Niña cycle is the first of these climate patterns. El Niño is a large-scale ocean-atmosphere climate interaction that causes periodic warming in the ocean surface temperatures. These effects are seen in the winter season, with wetter-than-average conditions expected. La Niña is essentially the opposite of El Niño, in which it represents below-average ocean surface temperatures, but slightly warmer temperatures in the Southeast region.

The second climate pattern that impacts hurricanes is the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). This is a climate trend that has a time span of 25 to 40 years and is generally associated with warmer waters in the Atlantic. When the AMO is in a warm phase, there tends to be stronger hurricane patterns. Currently, we have been in a warm phase AMO, conducive to hurricanes, since 1995.

Hurricanes start out as tropical cyclones. Once a tropical cyclone’s winds have a sustained speed of 39 to 73 mph, it is then considered a tropical storm and it gets a name from the list put out by the World Meteorological Organization. If the sustained winds reach speeds of 74 to 95 mph, the storm becomes a Category 1 hurricane.

CategorySustained Wind SpeedPotential Damage
174-94 mphMinimal – some roof leakage, gutter damage, snapped tree branches
296-110 mphModerate – major roof and siding damage, uprooted trees causing road blockage, power loss for days to weeks
3111-129 mphExtensive – gable and decking damage, many uprooted trees, extended power outages
4130-156 mphExtreme – roof and exterior walls destroyed, snapped trees, power outages for weeks to months
5157 mph or higherCatastrophic – high fraction of framed houses destroyed, power outages for weeks to months, large areas uninhabitable for weeks to months

A picture containing text Description automatically generated

About Regency DRT/DKI

Regency DRT/DKI is a nation-wide leader in emergency services and property restoration services with 7 offices in Florida and Michigan, including West Palm Beach, Orlando, Sunrise, Port St Lucie, Panama City, Fort Walton/Pensacola and Detroit. Regency DRT/DKI was founded on the belief that a restoration company should provide exceptional quality of services to their customers while maintaining the industry’s highest standards.

Regency DRT/DKI offers 24 Hour Emergency Response and has extensive experience in working with insurance companies and claims adjusters on property insurance claims, coordinating everything from initial response until the property is restored to pre-loss conditions. With our extensive training and knowledge of restoration services, we are able to quickly respond with the necessary amount of equipment, resources and staff for the unique needs of the job, whether it’s a single residential loss, large loss or area-wide disaster.

Regency DRT/DKI is also a proud Member of Disaster KleenUp International (DKI), North America’s largest disaster restoration contracting organization. Being a DKI member also provides us with nationwide affiliates and partners to provide nationwide coverage to our clients. Call us at 1 (888) 354-2447 or visit our website at RegencyDKI.com.

Safe or Not Safe?

Have you ever walked or drove down a road and came across a sign that declared, “Floodplain Zone!”

If it was near your home, you might have panicked. But if it was somewhere far from your home, you felt safe.
A floodplain can be dangerous because any home in or near one is subject to flooding. If you have a basement, you have more to worry about.

But did you know that even if you live outside a floodplain, there are flooding issues that you must be aware of? Continue reading “Safe or Not Safe?”

Understanding This Whole Mitigation Thing

Understanding This Whole Mitigation Thing

In the restoration industry, the term mitigation is one of the most commonly used words. Sometimes I get so caught up in our daily lingo, that I forget that not everyone speaks our language! I was reminded of this last week. I was speaking with a customer and explaining to him that he had a responsibility to mitigate his water damages. His response, “I don’t really understand this whole mitigation thing.”

Mitigation Defined

Merriam-Webster defines mitigation as; “to cause to become less harsh or hostile” or “to make less severe or painful”. While cleaning up water damage quickly will make the process less painful, we think of mitigation in a slightly different way. If the Restoration Industry had a bible, the IICRC S500 would be like the book of Genesis. This document, entitled Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration, forms the basis for nearly all water damage restoration activities. It defines mitigation as Continue reading “Understanding This Whole Mitigation Thing”

Know Your Water

We all have those unwanted surprises in our lives. Water damage is one of them. When experiencing the unexpected trauma of having your Indian River property flooded and your valuables damaged, it might be smart to familiarize yourself with the different water types that you could be swimming in. Some water types can pose a serious threat to your health and safety. We at Regency DRT are experts in properly handling water damage and want to ensure your family and pets are safe from harm.

Category 1: Clean Water

“Hey! I can’t turn off the sink!”

This type of water comes from sanitary sources like overflowing sinks, rain, snow, and water supply line problems. It poses no substantial risk from dermal, ingestion, or inhalation exposure; however, it must be treated quickly. If left untreated within 72 hours, it will move to a Category 2 water loss.

Category 2: Gray Water

“Hey! the washing machine is spitting out water!”

This category of water is considered to be moderate and may cause illness and discomfort. Just like a Category 1 water source, this problem needs to be dealt with immediately. If it’s not treated within 48 hours, it becomes a Category 3 Loss, which is a lot more expensive to deal with. The most common sources for gray water are toilet bowls, sump pumps, dishwashers and washing machines. Most important rule to remember? Don’t drink this water! It contains chemicals not fit for consumption and you might find yourself feeling a little under the weather.  

Category 3: Black Water

“Hey! The toilet is overflowing and the water doesn’t look too pretty!”

This is where a water dilemma gets serious and will require you to take immediate action. The danger levels for black water are extremely high and can cause serious illnesses like infections, long-term respiratory problems, etc. Black water should be left strictly to the professionals. The use of specialized equipment is required to clear black water without threatening the health of both humans and animals in the area. The most common sources are any sewage or toilet backflows as well as ground surface water carrying silt and organic matter. This problem requires the help of professionals who are certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC).

Act Fast!

When your house has been water damaged, there is no time to lounge around and wait for a good time to start the cleanup process. We at Regency DRT have more than twenty years of experience to handle every type of water damage dilemma you might face. Some of the services we provide include water extraction and pump-outs, complete structural drying, dehumidification, mold and sewage remediation, water damage cleanup due to frozen pipes and broken pipes, and off-site personal property cleaning.

Please contact us for more information on how we can help you. Even if you aren’t interested in our services at this time, we are happy to offer any advice and information on how to recover from water damage.

water damage cleanup port st lucie, water damage port st lucie

Fight, Flight, or Do It Right

water damage cleanup port st lucie, water damage port st lucieNothing quite compares to the comfort of walking into your house, removing your shoes, and sinking back into your favorite recliner for a moment of relaxation after a long day. On the other hand, nothing quite compares to the panic and devastation that arises from coming home to find your home and belongings soaked, submerged, and potentially destroyed. Upon coming across such a disaster, it may seem that water damage cleanup is a near impossible task. Typically, this is where one’s fight-or-flight mechanism kicks in. 

Realizing your home has been flooded can send you straight into panic mode. This may lead you into some dangerous waters, pun intended and could lead to further harm to both you and your home. You may find yourself tempted to fling yourself into the danger zone in a frenzied rampage to save your belongings. However, entering the area without protective gear can be extremely dangerous, as the water may contain unknown and detrimental contaminants and bacteria, as well as sharp objects such as nails, broken glass, or exposed wires. In addition, without turning off the water and electrical power, not only are you likely to have more water damage, but you also run the risk of fostering an electrical current in standing water. It is not a good idea to impulsively rush into the situation and tackle the disaster without a serious and professional assessment. “Fighting” the flood on your own is extremely dangerous and could inflict serious injury, inevitably leading to bigger problems than you started with.

Additionally, water damage can also be quite overwhelming, and if you are more prone to the “flight” aspect of the fight-or-flight conundrum, you may find yourself searching for quick-fixes to try to patch up the problem and ignore the real, more long-term consequences. Laying a few towels down and turning on some fans might seem to dry out the area, but much of the more serious damage will be virtually untouched. There may still be water in places you can’t see, like in the walls and beneath floorboards, which can lead to structural decay and mold growth. When left untreated, this can pose a serious threat to the health of all those in the household and could potentially generate major problems in the future.

All-in-all, the best way to handle this type of disaster is simpler than you might think. By reaching out to a water damage restoration service like Regency DRT in the Port St. Lucie area, your home can be saved without much hassle at all. Many water restoration companies offer different services, each tailored to your individual needs. Every disaster is different, and these companies are equipped to handle anything ranging from plumbing backups to severe flooding without causing any stress. An inspection will be conducted to assess damages and determine the source of the water.  From there, the service will determine what actions must be taken to recover your home and its contents, and the disaster will be professionally handled so that you and your home are taken care of.

Water Damaged Electronics

It’s a terrible sinking feeling (pun intended) you get when you drop your iPhone, iPad or Android — or other expensive hand-held electronic device — into water, such as a sink, bathtub or (gross) toilet.

When that happens, you respond quickly. You dip your hand into the offending reservoir, grab the device and shake it vigorously, hoping against all odds that you can force all moisture out before permanent damage occurs.

You may even dunk your device into a bag of rice, hoping that online tip you read about rice pulling moisture from electronic devices is true. You may submit it mercilessly to the business end of a hairdryer until it is too hot to hold.

What’s the best thing to do when electronic devices suffer from water damage? Continue reading “Water Damaged Electronics”

Water, Water Everywhere!

DID YOU KNOW that water is the most essential element of life? That’s right. We all need water. We need it to bathe, to drink, to water plants and the grass, and even to enjoy recreationally, such as in a swimming pool.

But are there times when you may wish water was scarce? Yes, such as when some water ends up where it shouldn’t be, like on your valuable wood floor.

When that happens, you must clean it up quickly. If you don’t, permanent damage can occur. Continue reading “Water, Water Everywhere!”

So Your Carpet Is Smelly…

smelly-carpet2 There are many reasons why a carpet can become smelly, from pet odors to heavy soiling and other causes. However, what some don’t realize is a little water intrusion can cause a big problem with the condition of their carpet, even after it seems the carpet has dried.

Water intrusions can be from many sources. If it is from a toilet (raw sewage), it’s almost always best to discard the carpet and pad and get something new. While doing that, be sure the sub-floor is also cleaned and disinfected appropriately, and sealed if necessary. If it is from an overflowing sink or a leaky pipe, the damage can usually be limited so purchasing new flooring isn’t always necessary.

But one of the biggest problems is waiting too long no matter the cause of the water damage in your home.

wet-carpetWhen you discover a wet carpet or rug, it’s time to get to work. Remove the water with extraction, and get some air movement and ventilation started on removing moisture.

However, here’s the problem. If the carpet isn’t dried really fast, like how professional water damage experts can dry carpet using their specialized tools and equipment, a persistent musty smell can develop. There’s not much a homeowner can do to fix that issue. In the winter months, when humidity is low, you may not notice the odor that much. But when summer arrives, with the higher humidity, those odors will come back with a vengeance.

Even worse, mold can begin to grow. No one wants potentially dangerous mold in their homes!

What’s the best solution? Call your water damage pros right away, before real damage sets it. They’ll be right over to save the day.