Recent Water Damage Posts
Control Moisture Levels - Avoid Mold
Moisture levels within a home can elevate the risk for mold growth. Whether the water comes from a leak, high humidity or the varying temperatures that can be found in different areas of the house, your best solution is to reduce these moisture levels as much as possible. If things are not taken care of in a timely manner then it could spell disaster for those in your household who suffer from allergies, asthma or other health related issues. SERVPRO of East Riverside City is here to help with just a few tips for you to keep in mind when dealing with any water-related issues in your home:
Dry Up All Moisture You Find
Unfortunately, even the smallest water leaks can turn into a major mold problem if they are not dealt with immediately. Make sure to check the pipes under all of your sinks for a leak. It is also good to check the water lines that connect the washing machines and refrigerators to the wall. Any leaks should be fixed right away.
Also keep in mind that water can spill from a pot when watering an indoor plant. Make sure to add a dish underneath any pots containing plants in case of a leak. It is also advisable to never leave a plant pot on a carpet, rug or other household item that contains fabric. These fabrics can be perfect for mold growth if moisture seeps into them
Monitor Hot-Water Heater & Moisture Levels of Below Ground Areas
Monitoring your hot-water heater and the area around it on a regular basis can save you from a major headache in the event of a leak. One way that this can be done is with a floor-water alarm that can be purchased and installed near your hot-water heater or can be tied in with your home's central alarm system if it has one.
Make sure to monitor areas that are below ground, such as basements and crawl spaces, for their relative humidity (RH). Not all mold growth requires standing water so use a thermo-hygrometer to measure the RH of these areas. You want the RH to be between 50-60%. It may also be a good idea to buy a dehumidifier for the less-dry months. This can help prevent mold growth and keep the RH at a consistent and safe level.
Keep Warm While Controlling Humidity
Don't allow humidity levels to climb for any above-ground areas. This can be especially true during the colder months when windows are less likely to be opened. Turing on the exhaust fan above a cooking area can help mitigate RH levels. After showering or bathing, make sure to use the exhaust fan to draw out the moisture in the air. Leaving the bathroom door open afterwards can also reduce RH levels.
Make sure to also keep any closets that have walls facing the exterior of a structure warm. These walls can develop mold growth. Also, make sure not to over stuff your closet with personal goods as this can prevent the heat from penetrating into the closet. Also make sure that the closet does not contain any carpeting as carpet can capture biodegradable dust and matter which can further encourage mold growth.
Keep All Rooms Warm During Winter
Though Southern California only experiences a brief time where it is cold, it is still advisable to keep all of the rooms at a comfortably warm temperature. Yes, it may make economical sense to only heat those rooms that are in use more often, but with colder temperatures comes higher RH levels even for those rooms that are above ground! This can lead to serious mold growth so keep your house warm.
Isolate Crawl Spaces & Monitor Moisture Levels in Attached Garages
Any crawl space should be isolated from the outside and should regularly be dehumidified. If your home contains a crawl space then it should be covered with a mesh-reinforced vapor barrier or even be completely cemented over. This will limit the evaporation from the underlying soil.
The moisture levels within an attached garage should also be closely monitored. Make sure not to introduce any unnecessary moisture. Though rare for Southern California, monitoring should be done especially for humid or inclement weather as the RH levels can rise. Keeping these levels of an attached garage under 70% should be sufficient.
These are only a few tips to help you keep your house safe from mold growth and should only be applied to small amounts of water. If your home experiences a major water loss, such as burst pipes, toilet or dishwasher overflow or any other major water source then make sure to give SERVPRO of East Riverside City a call. We will help navigate you through any of your major water loss needs!
You've Suffered A Water Loss, Now What?
Do's and Don'ts after a water loss
Here are some Do’s and Don’ts to protect your property and increase the chances of a successful restoration before help arrives.
Shut off the Water. If you do not know how or where the water is coming from call a professional plumber or Leak Detection Company to stop the water for you.
Turn off Power. To prevent risk of electric shock, turn off the breakers for areas that have visible or “standing” water.
Prevent further damage. Try to remove as much water as you can by mopping up and/or stopping the water from going into other rooms with towels.
- If you have wood furniture, wipe off any water to prevent damage.
- Remove any wet upholstery cushions or pillows from the room that is affected and prop them up for even drying.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Place any paintings, art, computers, documents and other valuable or sensitive materials in a safe, dry room.
- If there are curtains or drapes in the affected area, hang them so the bottom is not touching the wet floor. Before you enter a room with standing water: make sure the power is off first to avoid electric shock. Do not use your vacuum to remove water. Household vacuums are not designed to remove water. If the electricity has not been properly turned off or checked you could cause electric shock to yourself and further damage to your home.
What if you have Contaminated Water?
- There are two different classes of contaminated water. 1st is “Gray Water” which is slightly contaminated with bacteria or other foreign objects. 2nd is “Black Water” which is highly contaminated, normally from sewage back up or a natural disaster. Black Water should only be handled by trained professionals!
- Turn off all appliances: with the risk of electric shock, it is better to be safe rather than sorry. Concrete or carpeted floors can still contain an electric charge even after all appliances are turned off. This is the same for any ceiling fans or fixtures if the ceiling is wet or the wiring is connected to floor outlets that may be wet.
- Leave colorful items on wet carpet; such as area rugs, books, newspaper or magazines to avoid staining the carpet.
- Stay out of the affected area and call a professional. Do not attempt to clean up on your own.
- Avoid all contact with any sewage that has contaminated an area as well as any items that may be present . Wash hands thoroughly after contact with any contaminated items.
- Do not turn on your HVAC system or fans as this can spread the contaminated air to other areas of your home or office.
So if your home or office suffers a water loss, no need to panic. Follow these steps to reduce the damage and call SERVPRO of East Riverside City, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We can be reached at (95) 222-2224to take care of any damage and make it "Like it never even happened".
Most Common Holiday Problem
Most common holiday problem may surprise you.
Did you know that the most common holiday problem is sewage backup? With the fuss over planning for family and out of town guests visiting, not all homeowners take into consideration the condition of their plumbing.
Ask yourself, when was the last time I checked the plumbing? How old are the pipes under your home?
The average cost for a home inspection by a professional plumber is about $300 (according to Home Adviser). When you consider how much it could cost you to clean up after a sewage backup, it's definitely worth the cost.
Sewage clean up can cost you thousands of dollars and can be harmful to your families' health if not taken care of properly and swiftly!
If you find yourself in a smelly situation Don't Panic - call SERVPRO of East Riverside City. We are here to help 24/7, 365 days a year!
Risk's Related to Water Damage
A water leak or flood in your home can be overwhelming. It is at these times we tend to act without thinking, which can lead to bigger problems and even serious injury. Here are some things to keep in mind when you first discover water damage in your home or office.
Electric, Oil and Gas Risk
Water damage often creates a risk of electrical shock. If you see any standing water, then there is a chance that circuit breaker boxes, electric outlets or live wires are submerged, posing serious risks. If this is a possibility, DO NOT enter the building!!
Since your first call will be to SERVPRO, if you have standing water with the risk of having wires submerged, your second call should then be to your utility company to turn off the power to your home. You can, of course, turn off the power yourself, but it is a good idea to have the professionals check out the situation as well to be absolutely sure there is no risk of electric shock.
Similarly, turn off the fuel oil, natural gas, or propane lines including individual lines to appliances. This is important, as the water may have shifted appliances or loosened connection lines, creating potential leaks. Once you have determined that it is safe to be in the building check the rest of the building for damage including other appliances as well as the water heater.
Signs of structural damage include buckling floors, bulging ceilings or any evidence of weakness in weight bearing components of the building. Check that the foundation walls are not damaged, especially if a lot of water is standing in the basement or bottom floor of a large building.
If you notice the slightest sign of structural damage, have the professionals at SERVPRO of East Riverside City assess the damage and determine whether or not it is safe to occupy the building.
Water can easily become contaminated. Therefore, protect yourself from bacteria and infection by wearing watertight gloves, clothing and boots. This can be determined by the height of the water level within a given structure or area.
If you need assistance, please call SERVPRO of East Riverside City 951-222-2224!
Not all water is the same when it comes to water damage in the home or office. Water and moister can have a significant effect on drywall, plaster, weakening beams and supports, rusting metal surfaces and more if untreated. SERVPRO of East Riverside is professionally trained to meet IICRC standards to properly assess and devise the best plan for restoration of any category of water damage.
Category 1 – Clean Water
As its name states, this category is from a clean source such as faucets, toilet tanks or drinking fountains. This is the lowest and easiest type to deal with by drying out any affected material. If untreated category 1 water can quickly downgrade.
Category 2 – Gray Water
Grey water has a level of contaminates that can cause illness or discomfort if ingested. Sources of grey water include washing machine, flush from sink drains and toilet overflow with some urine but does not contain feces. Clean up from gray water requires additional steps which may include containment of the affected area and removal of materials that presents moisture or damage. Category 2 can downgrade to Category 3 if left untreated.
Category 3 – Black Water
As the name suggests, black water is the worst classification and is grossly contaminated. This water can cause severe illness or death if ingested. Sources of black water include sewer backup, flooding from rivers or streams, toilet overflow with feces and stagnant liquid that has begun to support bacterial growth. Black water should always be avoided. never try to clean up black water on your own as it can cause severe illness! Clean up from Category 3 water requires a measure of safety precautions for all those involved. This includes containment of the affected area as well as hazmat suits to protect the technicians removing contaminated materials. Black water therefore is the hardest to deal with and the most costly.
Protect Your Home From Water Damage
Imagine: you wake up at the sound of the alarm and stumble out of bed making your way to the bathroom. You notice water on the floor. Then you hear the sound of running water, but it’s not coming from the bathroom. You make your way to the kitchen to investigate. Now you’re definitely awake! The kitchen floor is flooded! The culprit? The water heater. Where are other popular places to for water damage in the home?
The slightest damage to the roof can leave you exposed to internal damage which can be expensive to repair. To protect yourself from too much damage have your roof inspected by a professional every 3 to 5 years, depending on the age of the home. Have it inspected sooner if you live in an area with heavy rain, hail or snow.
The bathroom is the area of your house that has the most water running through it. What are you do? Inspect around the shower and toilet regularly, even turning it into a habit while cleaning. Look for leaks in areas containing caulking. Keep an eye out for moisture away from typical water source areas like the faucet, bathtub or toilet. Also check the pipes under the sink for any leaks.
Only 2nd to the bathroom in the amount of water and is notorious for water damage. Dishwasher, sink, and refrigerator are ticking time bombs when it comes to a water leak. Like the bathroom check pipes under the sink for moisture or large amounts of water.
If your fridge has a water or ice dispenser, check under the fridge for any evidence of a leak. Even add the inspection to your spring cleaning check list. Regularly check the escape valve in the dishwasher that connects to the garbage disposal for blockages or leaks.
Water damage does not discriminate and can happen to anyone and at anytime. If you find yourself in a similar situation, SERVPRO of East Riverside City can help with just one phone call! We are ready 24-hours a day, 365 days a year! Call us at (951)222-2224
It's The Water You Don't See
The key to avoiding costly repairs or restoration is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property. SERVPRO of East Riverside City has the experience to find and dry unseen water before additional damage occurs. Here are just a few things we utilize in our water mitigation process:
- Moisture Sensors – detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls to find the water you can't see.
- Moisture Meters – determine the actual moisture content of materials. This also provides accurate readings to monitor the drying process.
- Thermohydrometers- Measure temperature and relative humidity of the material. This allows our team to calculate and create a plan that is most conducive to drying the affected areas properly and efficiently.
When dealing with any water loss, it is not only important to dry but to also disinfect and deodorize the structure. There is no need to worry, however, as we have that covered too!
- Ultra-Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers- atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor causing residues may accumulate. This can also inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach areas.
- Thermal Foggers- dispense solvent-based products by creating a dense fog. This fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attaches to and neutralizes all odor causing particles.
With these tools, IICRC training and experience SERVPRO of East Riverside City is the team to find and dry out any-size water loss. Don’t panic, call SERVPRO.
The Science Behind Drying
Some things are best left to the professionals
The first reaction to any-size water loss is to grab a mop or as many towels as you can to mitigate the amount of water present. You may think that placing a fan in the affected area will also help get it dry. The professionals at SERVPRO of East Riverside City are trained in the science of drying and follow the strict, industry approved standards that help lower the chances of any secondary damage, like mold. When the expert water technicians enter your home after a water loss, we have two very important questions that we must answer before drying can begin.
What is Wet?
The question sounds simple enough but the answer is often more complicated. Standing water is obvious but it almost always means that hidden cavities of water exist that must also be located. These hidden areas can be found under cabinets or laminated flooring. Water can also seep under tile floors or hardwoods. Beyond the floors, water often rests inside walls and insulation which can cause it to move to adjoining rooms. Our technicians will inspect the building to locate every component that is wet.
How Wet Is It?
Water found under cabinets or inside walls can cause extensive damage if left untreated. Wood will warp, wet sheet-rock will lose its strength and insulation can absorb large amounts of water. To answer the question we use sophisticated metering equipment that can measure moisture levels in areas that are out of site. We may also use a special camera, called a FLIR, that is capable of reading temperature variations within walls, ceilings and even the foundation, to answer this critical questions. For more information on these tools, see the blog, It’s The Water You Don’t See.
Our equipment allows us to know if the material can be restored, can be dried out with our drying equipment or needs to be replaced. These tools also help our trained technicians monitor whether the materials are drying properly.
Speed up Mother Nature
What does that mean? Moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the wet material. This can only happen if the air in the affected area has lower moisture levels than that of the affected material. Nature can take a much longer time to dry the affected materials without mitigation which can allow for secondary damage, such as that from mold growth, to set in. Thus, SERVPRO of East Riverside City uses specialized equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach places inside walls as well as dry the air in and around the affected area. Just another reason why SERVPRO was the #1 most trusted Restoration and Mitigation Company of 2017.