Leaks Happen – Be Ready!

You know the normal sounds your home makes.

The air conditioner kicking on as the dog days of summer begin. The heating system starting up on a cold, winter evening. The creak of a loose floorboard as someone rises early in the morning.

What you don’t normally hear — and you do not want to hear — are the sounds of spraying water from a broken pipe or hose, or a malfunctioning hot water tank or water filter system. Even worse is when this happens when you are nowater-leakst home and upon arrival you wade through inches of water on the floor, or duck from the dripping water from an upstairs leak.

When water damage occurs (and statistics say water damage claims are among the highest with
insurance companies) you need to act quickly. The #1 concern is to think “safety first.” Before entering into any areas of the home that are damage from flood waters, be sure that the power is turned off. Nothing is worth getting an electrical shock!

Next, find the water turn-off valve and stop the flooding. Many homeowners aren’t sure where the water turn-off valve is located. Now is the time to figure that out, and even put a tag on it so it is easy to find, especially in the dark or in the beam of a flashlight. Don’t delay… find that valve and mark it!

It’s always best to be prepared. Contact your water damage restoration contractor and get the info you need to be safe… just in case.

Everything You Need To Know About Your Roof And Water Damage

water damage west palm beach, water damage cleanup west palm beachDamaged or leaky roofs are one of the most frustrating things a homeowner can deal with. Your roof’s purpose is to be keeping you safe from the elements so when it fails to do that job it can be quite disconcerting, obnoxious, and even dangerous. Water damage is often thought of as water that floods your home from the bottom-up, but that is not the case when it comes to your roof. Thus, flooding may occur in very undesirable and ill-prepared places. To help prevent this from happening to you, below are a few of the most important things you need to know about water damage prevention and how it relates to your roof. Also if you have further questions or help with water damage from a damaged roof, our certified restoration technicians at Regency DRT in the West Palm Beach Area are here to help!

What Are The Risks?

Water Could Damage Any Wiring In Your Roof

Depending upon where the wiring is in your home, a leaky roof could prove to be a very serious, very dangerous problem. Any shorted or damaged wires could be further damaged by the water, eventually causing to spark which could set your entire home ablaze. It is highly recommended that you turn your electricity off if you find a leak in your roof and know that wires run through your ceilings as well.

It Could Cost You More Energy And Higher Utility Bills

High utility bills are another side effect of a leaking roof, as water intrusion is detrimental to the insulation in the attic area. Your cellulose or fiberglass insulation becomes saturated and it takes a long time for it to dry out. If a roof leak repair is put off for a long time, chronic water intrusion will deplete the insulation significantly and your home will lose hot and cool air, resulting in higher utility bills.

Compromised Structural Integrity

If water damage is occurring as a result of your damaged roof for a prolonged period of time, it could lead to serious structural damage. While this is rarer, it is important that you take measures to prevent it from happening.

How Can I Prevent It?

Know How Much Weight Your Roof Can Take

One of the most common issues roofs deal with is taking on more weight than they are able to bear. This is most likely to happen during seasons of heavy snowfall where snow accumulates on your roof without melting off. The same can also occur during heavy, prolonged rainstorms.

Fix Problems In Your Roof Immediately

There are many problems that can come up with your roof. One of these common issues is missing or broken shingles. When this happens, there is no need to panic or worry if you simply get them replaced or fixed right away. Another important problem to look out for is ponding surfaces on your roof. Ponding surfaces are parts of your roof that are pooling with water. This leaves your roof vulnerable to rot and decay. If you see this going on, you should contact a roofing company immediately to have them assess the problem.

For any further question about water damage or any water damage restoration needs you may have, don’t hesitate to contact the pros at Regency DRT in the West Palm Beach area!

 

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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”

Hidden Leaks

When a pipe breaks, you know it. Water spewing everywhere, making all kinds of noise and a huge mess that leads to all kinds of expensive damage. 

When a pipe leaks, that’s a different story as you may not discover it until expensive damage occurs.

Under every sink in your home, you have two types of pipes: Supply and drain. Either type can leak and cause all kinds of damage, often at a slow but steady rate, and not only to the floor directly under the pipes. Water can run down into the sub-floor, into floor cavities and even into rooms underneath.

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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.

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So Your Carpet Is Smelly…

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.

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.

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3 Ways to Avoid Water Damage

What is a water damage? It’s anything that happens in your home that causes problems for you and your family.home-page2 It can be a simple over-flowing of a sink onto the kitchen floor. Or perhaps a toilet didn’t flush properly and it sloshed out a bit onto the bathroom floor. Then again it can be a little more serious such as from a broken pipe that spewed water everywhere in the basement when it was time for spring watering of the flowers. No matter what, a water damage in your home is bad news. Even the tiniest bit of water can cause all kinds of problems, from the worse (mold damage) to the least (pesky odors). There are three things you can do to help prevent water damage in your home:
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Until Help Arrives

There are many steps you can take as a responsible homeowner when flooding occurs in your home, whether from an overflowing toilet or a failed sump pump.

First of all, keep it safe. Do not do anything that can cause physical harm to yourself or your family, which can mean working in areas with electricity that have water damage issues.

Pick things up. When water intrudes, picking up smaller items and placing them out of harm’s way is important.

For objects you value, normally smaller items, and can get to without danger to yourself, start wiping them off and getting them dry. Although your water damage pro will handle the final cleaning and restoring of valuable objects, you can do much to help the process.

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Spotting and Addressing Water Damage Before Buying a Home

water damage cleanup port st lucie water damage port st lucieBuying a home can be an anxiety-ridden experience for both the seasoned and first time buyer. Owning your own home is very rewarding in many ways, but you should be aware of any previous damage done to the home before you buy. One of the main things you should watch out for when you are purchasing a home is signs of any previous flooding in the house requiring water damage cleanup. Here are some tips on how to spot water damage and deal with it before purchasing.

Keep Your Eyes Open

During an initial walk-through of a home, you should always keep your eyes open for signs of mold and mildew. You can also, many times, smell mildew before you see it, so utilize your sense of smell as well. Not all mold is detrimental to your health, but letting mold run rampant in your home is not a chance you want to take. Black mold is especially dangerous and you should immediately call your local water damage cleanup crew to assess the damage before you buy.

Check for Soft Spots

Water damage that has been left for a long time can leave some other clues even if there are no outward signs of mold. Black mold can grow on the inside of walls and underneath floors and can be just as risky for your health when the spores are airborne. While you are walking through, make sure you notice if there are any soft spots in the flooring, especially in kitchens, laundry rooms, or bathrooms. You should also feel along the walls for soft spots and dampness. Even if you do not feel any damp spots, you may feel some bubbling where water separated the paint from the drywall.

Location, Location, Location

Location is a huge factor in the home buying process and its variables include more than commute time and quality of schools. If you are seriously considering a home, you should check where it sits on an elevation keyed map. If it is located in a valley, near a river that floods, or near a coastline with frequent storms, then you should make sure that there is a good grade decline away from the perimeter of the home as well as an effective draining system. Call a professional to inspect it if you are unsure.

Call A Water Damage Expert

Having an inspection done before buying a home can be very beneficial, but if you are concerned about water damage at all, you should have a water damage cleanup professional like Regency DRT in Port St. Lucie inspect as well. Many problems can go unnoticed when a home inspector walks through the home because he or she is checking for various issues at the same time. A seasoned water damage professional will know the signs of water damage immediately, and furthermore, the company can give you an estimate that will help you negotiate the price in your favor with the current homeowners. It is important to contact a water damage cleanup specialist before you buy because there are some homes with flooding damage that might make you think twice about purchasing that particular house.