Recent Water Damage Posts
Slow Ceiling Leak Causes Water Damage in Brownsville.
A slow leak in your Brownsville home can cause more damage than you realize.
It is never a good sign when water spots appear on the ceiling. It is a safe bet there is some level of water damage that has occurred.
In the case of a home in Brownsville, water damage caused by a slow leak in the ceiling accumulated over time until it ruined the sheetrock panels and the taped seams. This resulted in the need for controlled demolition in the form of a partial tear-out of the ceiling down to the raw joists and sheathing so the necessary plumbing repairs could occur.
Purpose of Controlled Demolition
When building materials require removal from the home, SERVPRO technicians cut them cleanly away to make the repairs as fast and easy as possible for both the plumbing and the cosmetic renovations necessary to restore the ceiling to its preloss condition.
Drying the Water Loss Area
To be sure all areas of excessive moisture get attention, SERVPRO technicians use their advanced moisture detection equipment to scope the room and make sure there are no other areas that show elevated water vapor levels. After removal of the damaged sheetrock panels, the technicians use air movers aimed upwards to dry the ceiling and also drying mats above to force warm, dry air downward to ensure the affected area dried completely.
SERVPRO technicians found no signs of mold growth, but when a surface has exposure to water over a lengthy period, proactive treatments to avoid mold are a smart course of action. The techs used an antimicrobial sealant on the joists and open area as soon as it was dry to inhibit any mold growth.
Assisting Homeowners After Completion
A standard part of service is ensuring homeowners are happy with the work done. Once the mitigation completes, a technician walks the homeowner through the process and shows them the necessary actions. They also note any necessary repairs needed to restore the home entirely.
When water damage happens to your property, call SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island at (956) 747-3020. The certified technicians can clean up and restore the home to its preloss condition, "Like it never even happened."
The Basics of Helping Homeowners Recover From Water Damage
Flooding and water-related disasters are widespread. Also, they have caused many property owners quite a headache. And while water damage isn't something that can't be fixed, time and quick response are crucial during a water disaster.
While it’s common for property owners to want to rush the repairs so they can get their house back to its pre-damaged state ASAP, it’s the responsibility of the water damage restoration team to ensure that the entire process is carried out correctly and safely.
Here are some of the most critical points to keep in mind when handling a water damage situation.
Safety should be a priority.
In the event of a crisis, your primary concern should be the safety of everybody involved.
You’re already well aware that water and electricity are a lethal combination. So, it follows that in any flooding situation, the first thing you should do is switch off the electrical power in the flooded area. Afterward, close the main water valve to prevent any contaminants from entering the water system.
Lastly, should you feel the immediate need to wade through the water to check the flooded premises, don't forget to wear waterproof boots and safety gear.
Accurate assessment of the damage is essential.
There’s often more to flooding and water damage than meets the eye, which is why it’s crucial to identify the level of water damage in the area before going further with the mitigation and repair process.
Water damage is categorized into three levels.
Category 1 - water is generally clean, sanitary, and safe for consumption.
Category 2 - microorganism level in the water is too high and has the potential to cause sickness if someone were to ingest or get in contact with it.
Category 3 – water is severely contaminated and contains toxins and pathogens, which could be fatal.
Aside from identifying the level of water damage, a thorough assessment of the affected premises will give you a clearer picture of the extent of damage, and how much the repairs could cost.
Dry out the area properly.
When it's finally safe to enter the area, the next thing to do is get rid of water and moisture before they cause any more damage. However, if it's massive flooding you're dealing with, you'll have to wait for the flood to dissipate before starting the drying process.
For small leaks, you can use a fan to circulate the air and dry out the affected area. For heavier flooding situations, however, you may have to use a hand or electric pump to drain the water and then a large-capacity dehumidifier to ensure that there's very-little-to-no moisture left. When most of the house or the building is dry, open up the windows and let the air circulate. If the heating system still works, turn it up to drive what's left of the moisture and prevent mold growth.
Don’t forget to test for moisture.
With the area almost completely dry, it's time to remove waterlogged items from the affected area and sort them into piles. You can keep the ones that look salvageable and throw those that are beyond saving.
Before commencing work on the structure, though, make sure to run tests on the moisture level of the walls and floors. A moisture meter can help you check if the moisture on the walls and framings have dropped to a suitable level, while a flooring hygrometer is the most reliable tool for testing the dryness of concrete floors.
Carry out remediation and repairs as soon as possible.
Standing water is an ideal breeding place for pathogens and bacteria, while moisture can pave the way for molds to develop. When water damage is concerned, immediate action is necessary.
You see, if the remediation phase is not completed promptly, a category 1 and 2 damage can potentially turn into a category 3; a simple cleanup may turn into an extensive, complicated, and costly job. Time is of the essence when dealing with a water damage situation.
In Case of a Water loss Emergency, Call the Water Damage Professionals at SERVPRO to get the job done right. (956)747-3020
Worried About The Cost of Restoration? SERVPRO Has You Covered
SERVPRO works with you and your Insurance company.
Once homeowners get over the initial shock of finding a water leak in their home, most begin to worry about the cost of restoration. How much are the restoration and repairs going to cost? Can their budget afford it? Can they cut any corners? Does their homeowner's insurance cover everything? These and other questions can quickly overwhelm people.
SERVPRO provides water damage services in Brownsville, as well as restoration and repair in all surrounding areas. We have been providing water damage services for many years. Our experience and technical certifications, combined with 24/7 availability and 4-hour response times, are aimed at mitigating the damage and controlling the total cost of recovery. There may be an additional cost and even health effects if homeowners do not take the proper steps to remove all moisture from their homes.
Making Informed Decisions:
One of the first actions our crew chief takes upon arriving at your home is to complete an assessment of the damage. We make sure that the source of the water is under control, and we develop a plan to remove standing water, remove the moisture, and lower the humidity. If repairs are required, these can also be discussed with the homeowner and the insurance company adjuster. We prepare an estimate of the cost to complete all of this work.
Homeowners can quickly decide in conjunction with the insurance adjuster what action should be undertaken. Note that it is essential to act quickly to avoid long term damage to floors such as hardwood floors and also the growth of mold and mildew in your home. SERVPRO can deploy a team of people within hours of the initial leak to mitigate the damage.
Homeowners without insurance coverage must carefully decide what action to take. Delays or taking no action at all can lead to costly damage more significant than the initial cleanup and drying. Hardwood flooring can cup, crown, or crack, leading to total replacement. Cabinet structures may swell, become unsightly, and lose structural integrity. Worst of all, mold infestations may appear, leading to structural damage, health effects, and very unsightly looking conditions. All of these conditions can be much costlier to repair. SERVPRO can help homeowners understand these issues and make appropriate decisions for their situation.
Call SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island at (956) 747-3020 for 24/7 service. We proudly serve Brownsville, South Padre Island, and surrounding areas. We're Faster To Any Size Disaster.
Why Standing Water Is A Concern For your Home or Business.
Our SERVPRO Professionals Can Help to Remove Standing Water and Dry Your Home or Business Before Irreparable Damage Occurs
Following a flood or substantial water loss that could occur in your house, it is crucial to focus on removing standing water first. As much of a priority as this should be, many homeowners are ill-prepared for this mitigation step. To successfully achieve the removal of standing water in your home, it involves the union of sophisticated extraction tools and experienced restoration technicians.
Water removal involves the use of multiple extraction tools in our inventory. Finding the right tool for a specific job is a determination made during the scoping of the work to get done. During this initial phase that precedes mitigation, our crew chief and project manager can work with the customer to determine pre-existing conditions, the extent of the damage, and the most efficient extraction and drying solutions available.
What Are the Main Risks of Standing Water in My Home?
Standing water is an underappreciated threat to your home. Pooling water, regardless of its depth, can have destructive effects unexposed materials, contents, and other susceptible items. Addressing standing water first can help too limited some of the damaging effects that could take place, including:
Overexposure to standing water over extended periods can lead to a weakening of construction materials in your home. It is essential to note which materials might be deteriorating and highly saturated after water exposure. Saturation can make materials much more massive, which tests the limitations of fasteners like drywall screws and nails.
The movement of water throughout your home after a water loss incident can be a challenge to identify adequately. Getting ahead of this migration is vital, as it can limit how many materials and contents in your home become exposed to damage.
Much like heavier saturations can deteriorate materials like drywall, over saturation of materials like carpeting and wood flooring can lead to specific problems of their own. With prolonged exposure, water can penetrate the surface layer of carpeting, affecting both the padding underneath this layer and even penetrate the subflooring.
It is consistently a priority of our SERVPRO team to limit controlled demolition and later reconstruction of your damaged home. The fast response when the extraction is needed can help to mitigate the water loss event, and prevent unnecessary demolition when possible.
How Can SERVPRO Remove Pooling Water?
As briefly mentioned, the focus of our responding technicians is removing standing water from damaged areas of your home as soon as possible. Our team can go about this in several ways, and it varies based on the severity of the damage, the location of the standing water, and its depth. We have multiple tools to help in this regard, but the most commonly used are:
- Submersible pumps
- Wet vacuums
- Squeegee wands
What Happens to Water-Damaged Items in My House?
Content management is another vital aspect of the immediate work that we can do when we arrive at a water damaged house. By assessing the water damage to your personal propertynv, we can make real-time drying decisions and recovery choices based on what these items need. In many situations, there are upwards of three primary categories the content recovery can fall into, including:
Relocating items in a house to a safer area within the structure can be the most efficient method of protecting your belongings when no other damage is present. This solution is only suitable when no other physical damage is identifiable on the individual items.
Cleaning up individual belongings might seem like a tedious approach, but it can help to reduce out-of-pocket expenses for our customers. By drying and surface cleaning damaged items in the house, we can have items better prepared for replacement in the home following the completion of restoration and mitigation phases.
In some situations, on-site recovery is not feasible. If more intricate cleaning and restoration are necessary, items can get relocated to our nearby SERVPRO facility for the attention they need.
How Fast is Drying After Water Removal?
While our team has much experience and training in drying sciences, there are too many variables to say with certainty how long drying processes typically take. We must determine where moisture exists and utilize our advanced tools to remove it from the house as quickly as possible. With equipment like high-velocity air movers and positive pressure systems, we can get you back in your home quickly after a loss incident.
Water loss incidents can be a challenge to overcome, even for experienced restoration technicians like our SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island professionals. Give us a call anytime that we can help with our sophisticated equipment and experienced technicians. We are ready 24/7 at (956) 747-3020.
Why Choose SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island for Your Water Damage Needs?
A pipe burst. A water heater leaks. A bathtub overflows. Flood water rushes in. A sprinkler system malfunctions.
Water damage can happen in any number of ways. But if your business or home is under a few inches of water, everything takes a backseat. Only one thing matters when your business can’t operate, and there is just one thing on the mind of the water-logged resident; a solution.
SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island is that solution. Equipped with the knowledge, the experience, and the training to help make your water damage “Like it never even happened.” SERVPRO professionals will start helping the moment you call.
Backed by more than 10 years of experience, SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island professionals will help put your worries at ease, because they understand the science of drying.
When water damage strikes, give SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island a call, we will help to make things right, make things dry and make it “Like it never even happened.”
Call us at (956)747-3020
We Can Handle Your Commercial Water Damage
Trust SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island for Immediate Water Removal When Your Business Needs Assistance
Commercial water damage can close the doors of a business enterprise. It may be a retail store, a doctor's office, an apartment complex, or even a big-box store. Disruptions to normal business patterns lead to loss of goodwill and revenue. Consider calling in a professional water damage restoration company like SERVPRO to limit your losses.
Brownsville water mitigation professionals are needed when it comes to handling unwanted water intrusion. Water damages can occur at any time and any place. It is important to be prepared to call a professional because water damage can be very hard to clean up by yourself. In fact, water gets into many places that are inaccessible. As a result, even after you have dried up the building yourself, you can still get mold and other problems in the building.
It takes quick action to handle the damage efficiently. You have to make sure that all the belongings are safe. If the water has gotten to some of the belongings, it is important to make sure that you clean them out as quickly as you can before any permanent damage occurs. All of the other items that you can save, you should do so. Afterward, you should contact a professionally certified team that will remove the water and use specialized drying equipment. Our SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island professionals are certified and have the equipment needed to take care of the water damage.
SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island is a commercial water removal company that has experience in mitigating water damage. We know how to handle water damage that resulted from storms, clogs, natural disasters, and other similar events. We are always available when you call and will promptly dispatch a crew. Call us at (956)747-3020.
Home Water Damage DRAINED By Experts At SERVPRO!
Fast Action and Cleanup of Water Damage In Your Home
When damages affect structural components and the contents of your home, you need professionals that can mitigate the crisis and resolve your situation FAST. In a water damage situation, cleanup needs to happen as quickly as possible to prevent ongoing damage and detrimental effects that lead to irreparable damage.
Water loss situations require an immediate response from skilled technicians equipped with the right tools. Our SERVPRO water restoration technicians begin their training with the extensive IICRC-certification, which is the premier standard of the industry. They take part in ongoing in-house and e-learning options to improve their knowledge in essential recovery techniques such as mitigation and drying.
These skilled technicians are available to you for water cleanup, mitigation, and water damage restoration 24 hours a day through our response team. As water damage is time sensitive, having a crew of highly-trained technicians that can mobilize personnel and equipment efficiently reduces the impact that water loss incidents have on your property. Within a matter of minutes, water can absorb into walls, floors, upholstery, and your personal belongings. You need a team that can respond immediately to help.
The equipment we use for water cleanup and restoration work is among the most advanced machines and tools available in the industry. We seek to have the best equipment possible, as this ensures that we can provide fast extractions, drying, and premier cleaning solutions. Drying is an important step in water restoration, and our high-powered equipment can detect moisture so that we can dry areas at a much faster rate than they would through conventional approaches.
Water cleanup might seem like something that you could attempt on your own, but this often leads to inadequate drying and moisture removal, which can result in negative and hazardous secondary effects like mold growth. Trust our skilled SERVPRO 24-hour response team to arrive shortly after you call to help you clean up the mess fast. Call us anytime at (956) 747-3020.
SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island should be your first choice for any residential or commercial restoration needs. Our team of professionals is trained to assess the damage and potential threats, extract and contain the affected area, dry, and restore your property to preloss condition.
Top Causes of Water Damage Basement Flooding During the Winter
When your basement floods, Give the water restoration SERVPROFESSIONALS a call!
Basements can flood just about any time of the year, and you might be surprised that it can even happen during the winter. The reality is that winter can present the most risk and only some of these are preventable. It is never a bad idea to have a water damage restoration company as part of your home maintenance list of providers, so you can respond quickly if you experience a problem.
The main causes of water damage basement flooding are ice floes, frozen concrete, blocked drains, and faulty plumbing. This is not a common occurrence, but can happen. The other causes are more common.
The most common is a pipe break due to faulty plumbing or not having proper precautions in place to avoid pipes freezing. When water freezes, it expands and can cause a burst pipe. This is more common when pipes are weakened but can happen even with newer plumbing. Freezing water can also cause a problem in your home’s concrete foundation. Additionally, concrete expands and contracts during seasonal temperature changes, which can result in cracks that let water seep in, sometimes rapidly.
A blocked or slow drain is a problem any time of the year, but it can be a real problem during warmer periods during the winter when snow is melting and needing a place to drain.
During warmer months, you should take the time to check your property for good drainage and any cracks you might notice in your home’s foundation. Check your basement and plumbing throughout the year to reduce the chances of water damage from the causes you can control.
If you should encounter water damage, give us a call at SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island. Any time of the year, we are here to restore your home, whether the water damage is a plumbing issue, winter woes or from putting out a fire in your home. We can also work with your insurance company.
Top 3 things you should know about Water Damage
This home was affected by water damage, and our crew was there to make it "Like it never even happened"
Water damage can be a huge hassle if not handled correctly. A surprise flood or leak can cause major issues with your walls, flooring, and furniture. When you are faced with excess water in your home, here are three things to keep in mind when facing water damage:
- Don’t wait to get help. It is important to get help as quickly as possible from a professional service to prevent major water damage in your home. The sooner you call a reliable team experienced in water damage restoration, the better. Getting the situation taken care of as soon as possible will prevent mold growth and other serious problems in your home.
- Start drying the area right away. The more you can dry the affected areas, the better. Mopping up extra water with towels and rags will help the area dry faster. When drying the area, don’t use a vacuum to remove water or use other fans or electrical appliances as they can be potentially dangerous.
- The damage can spread deeper than the surface. Even if you clean up all the standing water, it is likely that more water seeped through the floor and baseboards. If this extra water underneath your floor is not taken care of, it can quickly become a bigger problem, leading to mold and damage to the structure of your home.
If you are faced with unexpected flooding or leaks and are worried about water damage, give SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island. We can help take care of the situation quickly, so you won’t have water damage to worry about in the future. Give us a call today!
What can be restored from water damage
SERVPRO Professionals Extracting water in our customers home
When your home has been affected by water damage, you may be tempted to want to throw everything in the trash and start over. Water damage can have devastating effects and can be difficult to clean and restore a property to its original state. Fortunately, at SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island, we are experts at restoration from water damage and can help guide you when it comes to restoring your home after an accident.
The good news is, plenty of things can be saved and restored after being affected by water. However, a lot of this depends on quick action on the part of the property owner. The longer a home goes without being treated, the worse the damage becomes. Mold begins to grow in the damp environment and can be irreversibly damaging. Mold spores can begin to spread throughout the home and linger in the air, where it can be inhaled and cause negative health effects to the inhabitants. The sooner you act to rid your home of water damage, the better. At SERVPRO, we offer 24-hour emergency service, so we can begin the cleanup process right away.
Some things should not be kept after having been subjected to extreme water damage. Things like mattresses, box springs, pillows, particle board and other similar items tend to harbor moisture and foster the growth of microbes. We recommend replacing items like this to prevent illness and the spread of microbes in the future. If you are unsure of whether you should toss something or not, we are happy to consult with you.
Water damage in your home is a frustrating experience to live through, but if you work with us at SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island, you can be sure that your home will be restored to its original beauty.
Water Damage: What To Do After A Flash Flood.
Pipe leaks in home cause serious damage.
In an instant, Mother nature's rains can inflict total destruction. This could result in a cracked water pipe that is constantly flooding out your home. Water damage in your living space is very serious. Your first step should always be to find the water source and try to stop it. SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island would like to provide you a few quick fixes that you can do to try while you wait for the items to be repaired.
1. Pump Out The Water
The first thing you’ll want to do if you have standing water from flood damage is get rid of it. Pumping out the water with a sump pump will help drain most of the water. Once the water’s drained, you can start analyzing the damage, and once the water levels are down, call the Fire And Water Clean-up & Restoration team at SERVPRO Of East Brownsville & South Padre Island.
2. Restoring Flooring
If your hardwood flooring, tile or carpeting had a lot of standing water on it, it’s important to determine if you can repair it or if you need to replace it. Before you decide to rip the carpet out, call the pros at SERVPRO. we will be able to save your wet, soiled carpeting with our powerful extraction process. Even Hardwood flooring can be salvaged by extracting water and then immediately applying cleaning solution. From there, the wood fibers or carpeting are saturated, sanitized and water is removed. The result is a clean, bacteria-free floor or carpet that is safe to use again.
3. Try To Remove As Much Furniture As Possible
Once the water has stopped flowing in your Suwanee home, the first thing you should do is find your electrical breaker and shut the box off. This will allow you to safely go in and shut off all water valves if necessary. You’ll be able to assess the water damage in your home. Try to move wood furniture to a safe and dry location.
4. Get The Air Circulating
With small amounts of standing water and wet flooring remaining, you’ll want to get the air flowing. This is because damp spaces are a breeding ground for mold, mildew, germs and bacteria.
5. Waterproof Your Home
Once the leaks have subsided and your items have been restored, it’s time to consider waterproofing your home. A temporary fix would be to seal off any holes or spaces where water can easily enter. This may include a broken downspout, a missing roof shingle or missing flashing around your roof. From there, you may want to consider have your basement as well as the exterior base of your home waterproofed to prevent water from pooling.
floods can cause very serious damage to your home. Call the water damage experts at SERVPRO OF East Brownsville and South Padre Island right away! We will assist you with fast clean-up and flood recovery!
Thermal Imaging For Water Damage Restoration
Visual representation a thermal image camera provides.
Over the years, SERVPRO Of East Brownsville & South Padre Island has been developing many tools that have help make our technician's job get done much more efficiently. One tool that we use in every job that involves water damage is the Thermal Imaging Camera A.K.A The IR Camera. Today we will be discussing more about this tool on how its used and the benefits it provides to restoration contractors.
Benefits An IR camera Brings.
Going into a job with this technology helps us build credibility with the customer. They aren't just depending on our word, they are being provided with visible evidence of what exactly the problem is and where it Is occurring.
Recent Innovations With Thermal Imaging/IR Technology.
The thermal Pro LT, brings infrared technology into our smartphone. It detects things using our mobile device that are not visible to the eye. In most cases, It may look fine to the naked eye, when in reality its NOT. Thermal imaging helps us find where the problem lies beneath the surface. For example, An area of the customers home had been affected by mold, We cant see if there is still any water accumulated in the area, so that's when the IR comes in handy. We take either a visual image or voice over video of the area, then a visual of the problem is sent right to our smartphone. We can now get to fixing the problem as soon as possible.
Four Tips/Reminders for Restoration Contractors
Restoration professionals like SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island are in a 24 hour, seven days a week, 365 days a year service. On top of that, they are expected to be on site within minutes of receiving a phone call. Many professionals find themselves in a fog of chaos during the restoration process, especially in the early stages of the project. While it is understandable that things need to move quickly, unnecessary damage caused by a restoration company can cause significant setbacks for the contractor, as well as the insured and insurance carrier. Below are some things to be cognizant of during the early stages of restoration projects to limit unnecessary setback.
Proper Pack Outs
Many restoration contractors have gotten the phone call from a property owner claiming that they broke or stole something in the property. Whether or not these claims are true, doesn’t really matter at that point; the contractor has to deal with the situation and make things right. Typical mistakes mitigation companies can make include improper documentation of personal items, improper packaging of fragile items, and trying to process items that should be handled by another vendor, such as soft goods or electronics. Taking the extra time and properly packing out a property will significantly reduce these types of headaches and improve customer satisfaction.
In Place Drying
The adage of “If in doubt, rip it out!” doesn’t always apply within the restoration industry. With the different technologies and drying methods available, contractors can preserve properties better than ever. Methods such as double extraction on the carpet, blocking and padding furniture, and using pressurized drying systems, are some of the common methods employed to adequately mitigate damages, keep costs down, and reduce cycle times for completion. Always take the extra time on the emergency service call to be thorough, especially when it comes to extraction. This will reduce completion times and mitigate further damage. Remember, quicker cycle times and lower costs result in happier customers.
Avoid Cross Contamination
When contractors rush through projects, they end up getting called back out to do work they already did due to poor performance. It’s common to get called back out to a mold remediation project because of a failed post clearance or having to re-clean contents that are being processed on a fire loss because dirty items got mixed with clean. Whenever working in a clean environment, technicians need to be aware of their surroundings and make sure to follow proper protocol. Failure to follow protocol is usually a result of poor management. If managers take the extra time to ensure cleaning and remediation projects are being completed properly, they can make sure that the work is done right the first time.
Restoration companies are in the business of protecting properties, but they can't do it alone. Contractors should not forget that while there is a job to do, bridges should not be burned in the process. Many times contractors lose sight of the picture and damage relationships in the course of business. Whether it's with an adjuster battling over pricing, or a sub-contractor that shows up late to the project, these people are all important to the success of the company. Taking extra time to connect with these individuals will pay dividends, rather than butting heads for the sake of being “right.” Remember, people continue to do business with people they like and respect.
These tips are taken seriously and are at the forefront of our minds when dealing with a new mitigation loss. SERVPRO of East Brownsville and South Padre Island strives to help property owners in their time of need and develop a strong relationship between them. Professional service and continuous communication help us deliver a less impacting experience to our customers.
Quick Response is the Key to Water Damages
Floods, rainstorms and tornadoes can become massive water damage threats to businesses during the often-stormy spring and summer months. Facilities plagued with such water woes this season must take quick action to control many possible problems, experts say.
You won’t see it emphasized on the nightly news when a disaster hits, but water damage can represent potentially huge disasters for businesses and building owners and operators.
Water damage can mean much more to a business than just wet and soggy carpets. There are other common, more significant problems businesses face when water wreaks havoc on property, such as indoor air quality problems. Mold and mildew grow rapidly in damp, humid environments, leaving behind an unpleasant smell that permeates floors, walls and ceilings, even after the water has been removed. It also can create health problems for employees.
Damage to the building’s structure and foundation also can be an issue. When water sits inside a building for a period of time, the walls, ceilings and floors absorb the water, which threatens the overall structural integrity of the building and creates an unsafe environment. Total reconstruction of the building often becomes the only option.
Another major threat to business is the loss of expensive equipment, which often can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to replace.
To minimize water damage, there are two critical steps that need to be taken:
- Act fast to assess the situation; and
- Control the environment within the building.
Act Fast and Call an Expert
The absolute first step to take is fast action. Damage resulting from water and flooding is very progressive. The longer the water flows or wet conditions are allowed to exist, the greater the recovery problem becomes. A water damage consultant, such as SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island, must come in immediately to survey the situation.
In a typical scenario, a team of water damage recovery professionals is dispatched to the site to perform a thorough inspection and fully determine the extent of the damage. A disaster reclamation partner also will develop an intense restoration plan and determine which items are worth restoring and which are better replaced.
You can’t always save everything by drying, but you can save a tremendous amount. It’s not unusual to save between 30 and 70 percent of the cost needed to reconstruct a facility.
Controlling the Interior Environment
Another key in limiting water damage is to quickly control three conditions of a building’s atmosphere: relative humidity, temperature and air circulation. Fast, effective action at this point will generally confine the damage to the area that was directly affected by the water damage event.
The most effective way to control these conditions in a high-moisture environment, especially a large facility, is to employ professional disaster drying that combines air movers with desiccant dehumidifiers.
Disaster drying often eliminates the need to rip out and replace walls, carpet, floor covering, hardwood floors and the building structure, which can be a huge expense. On top of that, you preclude the odors and staining caused by mold and mildew. These problems can come back to haunt you weeks later in a superficially dried building.
The Desiccant Way
When a facility has been severely water damaged, you need high volume desiccant dehumidifiers. Some larger desiccant dehumidifiers can pull 800 gallons of water out of a building in one day, compared to the typical small refrigeration units that remove about five gallons a day.
Many people are surprised that “solid” materials such as concrete and hard woods absorb moisture. But they do and rather quickly.
Getting the water back involves a phenomenon called migration. Migration is the tendency for water molecules to move toward a low vapor pressure. When a room is filled with very dry air, which has low vapor pressure, trapped water migrates outward and is evaporated from the surface by the dry air. As the air in the room fills with water vapor, we expel it. We then replace it with more dry air and the process continues.
It’s also essential to be sure the equipment being used is sized right. Inappropriately sized drying equipment can lead to insufficient drying and long-term problems with the building. Only large-volume dehumidifiers could provide the massive drying power needed to dry the space quickly and thoroughly.
Best Defense: An Emergency Ready Plan
To minimize damage and costs, companies need to think ahead about what to do in a water damage event and contact a water damage expert like SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island to create an Emergency Ready Plan (ERP).
An ERP can limit the extent of water damage occurrences by defining and prioritizing the recovery of areas within a facility and stating immediate next steps. Proper planning and fast action are most certainly the best defense to preventing a catastrophic water damage event.
Drying Equipment-4 Features that Matter
The disaster restoration field has come a long way since its inception not so long ago. A foregleam of the RIA was established in 1946 by a group of rug cleaning professionals known then and now as the National Institute of Rug Cleaners (NIRC). Through the decades, the association arranged itself into multiple “institutes” that served different aspects of its membership, including fire and water damage. In 1980, the Association of Specialists in Cleaning in Restoration (ASCR) was formed under whose umbrella the National Institute of Fire Restoration (NIFR) was created. In the 90’s, the NIFR became the National Institute of Disaster Restoration (NIDR). And in 2007, ASCR once again rebranded itself to become the Restoration Industry Association (RIA).
What’s the point of this little trip down a memory lane of abbreviations? Just as the disaster restoration industry has improved and specialized, so has the equipment that the industry uses. The business has also gotten much more competitive, not just among contractors but between manufacturers of restoration-related equipment as well. So when it comes time for you to purchase equipment, how do you know which units to buy? SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island has done its homework when it comes to which equipment to carry in its line.
There are many claims made by manufacturers about the effectiveness of their equipment and the majority of it is valid. But there are diverse testing methods in the industry which will sometimes skew the results depending on who is evaluating the equipment.
For instance, when it comes to CFM, some units are field tested (complete with the housing) and some are bench tested (no housing) which produces different results. Sometimes statistics are used as marketing tools, but as Mark Twain once said, “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Or as an American humorist, Evan Esar wrote, “Definition of Statistics: The science of producing unreliable facts from reliable figures.”
The truth is, most of the equipment that is available for the restoration contractor is pretty good stuff. But unfortunately, some cheap knock-off units have flooded the market in recent years, so you still should do your homework. That said, it ain’t rocket science. The following are four main features you’ll want to look for the next time you’re in the market for restoration equipment. Although we’re limiting this discussion to air movers and dehumidifiers because of limited space, most of these aspects will apply to other equipment as well:
1.Power– in air movers, this is usually stated in terms of high CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) or FPM (Feet per Minute). There are arguments about the importance of one over the other and some say a balance of both is important. But in advertising, the greater of the two numbers is usually highlighted. For dehumidifiers, high CFM is important because moisture can only be extracted from the amount of air that can be moved through the dehumidifier. So you also want to look for a high PPD @ AHAM (Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers) number to assure the water removal capacity and energy factor claimed for that dehumidifier are accurate.
2.Low amps – simply, the more equipment you can plug in, the faster the job is done. Having enough low amp equipment may even save you the expense of renting a generator for more power.
3.Durability– there used to be a commercial for American Tourister luggage that showed a gorilla abusing their suitcase (see it on YouTube) to show how their luggage takes the punishment they often receive. Unfortunately, your restoration equipment often receives like treatment. One of the best ways to ensure you’re buying a durable unit is to ask other contractors who own them how theirs have held up. If purchasing units with plastic housing, be sure that it’s made by rotation molding and not injection molded. Rotomolding gives a product uniform thickness, double wall construction, and virtually stress-free corners. Also, different parts that were once made by assembling assorted pieces can now be molded as a single part. It’s more efficient and makes a stronger product. You can tell when a unit is injection molded because it’s usually easy to push the housing in and it cracks more easily, especially in cold temperatures.
4.Safety - Most of us are used to looking for the UL (Underwriter’s Laboratory) mark to make sure our purchase doesn’t blow up in our face. In reality, there are other testers that are equally recognized and accepted — prominent among them, the ETL Listed Mark issued by the ETL SEMKO division of Intertek. Like the UL Mark, the ETL Listed Mark shows that a product has been independently tested by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL), that it has met the minimum requirements of commonly accepted product safety standards and that the manufacturer has agreed to periodic follow-up assessments to confirm its continued compliance. So look for a safety mark before purchasing. After all, having a piece of your equipment burn down a customer’s house can really ruin your day.
Don’t consider price the be-all and end-all. The old saying that you get what you pay for has a lot of truth behind it. Some units may incorporate a lot of bells and whistles, from high tech control boards to longer electrical cords. Some are more important than others, depending on your needs and wants. After all, everyone loves a choice, just like buying a car. But when there get to be too many options along with questionable statistics, your head can start to spin. So make it easy on yourself and concentrate on the four main features discussed in this article when shopping for equipment. You may not come away with the fanciest unit, but it’ll probably do a great job for you and last a long time.
SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island has the latest drying equipment readily available. Anything from air-movers to commercial desiccant dehumidifiers, you can count on the professionals here at SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island to be able to handle any size drying job.
Trapped Moisture--Finding and Eliminating
Finding and efficiently eliminating areas of trapped moisture is one of the many factors that differentiate an experienced restorer from a novice. If left untreated, these forgotten areas can lead to various forms of secondary damage and significantly complicate restorative efforts. Wet wall cavities are one of the most common hidden moisture scenarios technicians run into, and many different theories exist on how to handle these situations. Industry trade shows are full of different types of attachments and pieces of specialty equipment that claim to make drying these areas easier. Are they necessary? When and under what circumstances? What is truly the best way to dry hidden moisture inside of wall cavities?
The four variables that dictate an effective approach are:
- The presence of wet insulation (or lack thereof),
- Finish wall materials,
- The structural composition of the wall itself, and
- The presence of a pre-existing condition (or lack thereof).
First and foremost we must consider that the IICRC S500 instructs us that materials are dry once they reach predetermined drying goals, as measured with a moisture meter. If we do not open the wall cavity enough to allow the use of these tools, there is no way for us to ensure with certainty that all of the trapped moisture has been removed. Therefore, at the very least, we are using some form of invasive technique in the sense that inside of the wall cavity must be accessed. This also allows us to inspect the cavity for insulation, and if found, must be removed when wet as insulation will pack down and lose its R-Value. Unfortunately, this leads to a disruptive method of drying as the walls are removed so the wet insulation can be discarded.
Next to be considered is the material that the wall itself is composed of. In most restorative situations, we are dealing with gypsum drywall or another gypsum type assembly (such as Greenboard or similar). These materials tend to dry quickly after water damage as they have a rather high permeance factor which allows water vapor to diffuse through them. However, if the room side of the wall is covered with a finish material such as wallpaper, ceramic tile, or other vapor retarding material, drying can be hindered as these surfaces will affect the rate of evaporation of moisture within the material. In cases such as this, inspection holes can be drilled below baseboard line to force air into the cavity for drying both sides of the wall simultaneously. If this method is unsuccessful, removal or perforation of the wall finish material may be necessary as well as the installation of specialty wall cavity drying equipment.
The structural composition of the wall must be evaluated when choosing a drying method. In common residential settings, the typical scenario is 2x4 wood framing. However, in commercial settings, the presence of steel framing has the ability to pose complications as water inside the bottom track has the ability to travel great distances unnoticed. In addition, exterior building materials such as poured concrete, concrete block, and exterior wood sheathing need to be identified as they are critical to restoring to our dry standard as well. At a minimum, wall cavities need to be opened (preferably below baseboard lines) in order to direct airflow and also be able to meter these materials.
Finally, we must make absolutely sure that no preexisting conditions are hidden in the cavities we are trying to dry. Installing air movers or using specialty drying equipment to add positive pressure in these areas can cross-contaminate unaffected spaces if there is hidden microbial damage lurking inside. In addition, the possibility of lead-based paint and asbestos must be considered as well.
Normal structural drying of wall cavities can only proceed if the three aforementioned conditions are not present. If they are found, this constitutes a Special Situation per IICRC Guidelines and an Indoor Environmental Professional should be contacted to help dictate safe and effective work practices.
Restorers such as SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island will always consider keeping the cost of reconstruction work at a minimum to benefit both the customer and insurance client. If possible, all wall cavities should be opened below baseboard lines to avoid painting large areas once restoration is complete. The caulking on baseboards should always be scored before removal to ensure that finished wall surfaces are not damaged. Also, all cuts to drywall should be made with a chalk line for a professional appearance and expedited repair time.
While considering all of the aforementioned information, the following general conclusions can be drawn:
- Wet wall cavities must be opened so direct airflow can adequately dry affected materials, and also so these materials can be measured with a moisture meter.
- If found, wet porous insulation should always be removed as it will lose its R-Value and significantly slow the drying process.
- If presented with a difficult to dry or costly finish material on an interior wall, consider a more disruptive technique from the opposite side of the wall to save on overall cost.
- On an uninsulated drywall wall with 2x4 wood framing, the use of specialty drying equipment is not needed and adds unnecessary cost to the project. Drilling inspection holes below baseboard lines and placing air movers along the wall is sufficient.
- Specialty drying equipment may be required when drying wall cavities behind cabinets or when there is a vapor retarding wall covering (ceramic tile, wallpaper, etc).
Following these simple guidelines has helped will help SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island build the reputation of consistent and effective job processes homeowners and insurance clients alike appreciate.
IR Cameras- How to use them Properly, Ethically, and with Profitability
How to use them properly, ethically and profitably when performing water damage restoration.
Everyone has heard the old adage, “When you only have a hammer, all your problems start to look like nails.” With an infrared camera, everything can look like water damage.
SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island realizes that IR camera technology can be a powerful tool for discovering the source of a leak, determining if there is latent moisture behind a wall after a dry-out and even to combat the potential for mold growth throughout a property.
On the other hand, if improperly used, an IR camera can be the cause of needless additional restoration work that won’t be covered by insurance providers.
And while an ethically-motivated restoration professional isn’t intentionally aiming to create a fear-based decisions in the mind of a property owner, it may not be viewed that way from their side, resulting in — minimally — a loss of trust and — at worst — a costly lawsuit.
What do they actually do?
There is a lot of confusion surrounding what infrared cameras actually do. To avoid issues resulting from this confusion, IR camera technology needs to be fully understood.
First and foremost, it must be made clear that thermal technology does not detect moisture at all. IR cameras detect temperature, display it visually, and that’s it.
An IR camera is no more capable of determining if something is wet than a mercury thermometer is when dropped in a cup of water. They do not “know” if things are wet, but they can easily measure temperature differentials, and water is extremely sensitive to these fluctuations.
Further, a home with water damage can reach a temperature equilibrium even after a water extraction has been performed. When this happens, if soaked drywall or carpet is the same temperature as the air around it, the IR camera won’t be able to “see” a temperature difference between the materials and the air.
This situation can easily be fixed by turning on the air conditioner, or even opening up a door to let in a draft. Actions like this will instantly affect the temperature of the air. These differences are then visible where evaporation is affecting the wet versus the dry sections of the home.
IR camera best practices
Beyond the technical limitations of the IR camera, there are also ethical implications for its use that should be addressed.
Due to the fact that an IR camera uses temperature and not actual moisture levels to determine if something is wet or not, less reputable restoration specialists might be tempted to take advantage of customers by using the visuals the camera provides.
Readouts near walls with cold water lines and air conditioning ductwork can create the impression that an area is water damaged when, in fact, it is only thermally cooler than its surroundings.
If used improperly or even unethically, this visual feedback from the camera can coax homeowners into further work than is actually required. Use of the camera in this manner is not only disreputable, but it’s also a lawsuit in the making.
That being said, when it comes down to selling yourself as an expert in the restoration industry, an IR camera and the visuals it provides can demonstrate to a homeowner, business owner or anyone you are working with on a loss that the added level of technology is an indication of true professionalism.
A heightened skill set, even if it’s only the perception of one technologically, can make a huge difference when trying to lock down a restoration project with clients.
Savvy homeowners won’t want to risk losing the services of an expert when they know they have a problem, and the IR camera may just make all the difference in illuminating this for them.
If used properly and ethically, the thermal photography that an IR camera produces can be an incredible tool for all aspects of a water damage loss.
But remember that it is still a tool, and should always be used in concert with other tools, such as moisture meters and testing, to ensure that not everything looks wet with water damage.
SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island incorporates the use of IR Cameras on its water losses but backs up the findings with moisture meters. Our technicians are trained in the correct use of the IR Camera and know its limitations. Because of this, we verify our findings with meters and make sure we have all our equipment calibrated and functional at all times.
Preventing Mold with Quick Water Mitigation
Mold Growth on cabinets
Water Management and Mold
Each homeowner should take the necessary precautions and steps to minimize the amount of moisture while redirecting water in order to reduce the risks of mold developing. Mold tends to become an issue due to water intrusion, and this has developed into a major thorn in the construction industry’s side. U.S. housing’s top indoor air quality problem is mold, which is why proper water damage mitigation ought to be taken before it runs into bigger and more serious issues such as compromised structural integrity, cosmetic problems and long-term durability issues
Mold Growth in Homes
Poor water management of a home will encourage mold growth. As mold spores are invisible to the naked eye, they tend to make their way through the home, and are always present in indoor and outdoor air. While modern homes are built in such a manner where the concentration levels are insufficient to cause issues for the home’s inhabitants, it tends to make a nuisance when it starts to grow. Mold colonies require a food source, the right temperature (above 32 degrees Fahrenheit), and plenty of moisture. These conditions are all part of a home’s make up, where plenty of organic materials abound within a temperature range that does encourage mold growth. The key to stop the spread of mold is to keep moisture levels under control, and this is where water management of a building is very important. By doing your bit to prevent water intrusion, you will be able to minimize or eliminate the possibility of mold and mildew making their presence known.
If you love all things wood, then it is all the more important to have proper water management for your home to prevent the growth of mold. Wood-based products, while adding a sense of warmth into the home’s aesthetics, require plenty of attention as wood is one material that can absorb plenty of water, resulting in a higher overall moisture content in the surrounding area. It also requires far more effort and energy to dry wood than for it to get wet. With many wood-based furniture having concealed frames that has extremely limited, if any, exposure to air, it is all the more difficult to dry out.
What is Water Management?
It is imperative that you get a reputable water restoration Company like SERVPRO, take a look just in case there is a need for water damage mitigation works to be done. The whole idea of water management is to ensure all water will be directed away from the home. This is achieved through having a positive drainage system. It is always better that water is drained out and away from the home as fast as possible.Nothing should be left to chance, which means there should not be any part of the home that is sloped in the direction of the home’s interior.
The roof is the primary form of protection against rain, and as rainwater subjects itself to the laws of physics and gravity, it will take the path of least resistance down the exterior finish and the drainage plane. Along the way, it will come into contact with the likes of the finish roofing and wall cladding, window flanges, as well as flashing. These materials will then need to be layered in a strategic manner so that water on the outermost layers will remain a distance away from the sheathing and framing. This kind of layering method is known as shingling. Hence, all drainage planes ought to have the shingle strategy applied.
Contact SERVPRO of East Brownsville & SPI Today
If you would like to make sure that your home is a place where happy memories are made and living in it is a joy ; We have the necessary expertise and wealth of experience to be able to let you know what needs to be fixed. Our comprehensive range of services include mold remediation, water damage mitigation, and Water Damage Restoration
Water Damage in your Brownsville and South Padre Island Area
Water damage in the garage.
Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.
Faster To Any Size Disaster
Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more. SERVPRO of Brownsville & South Padre Island arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.
Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 956-747-3020
Water Damage Timeline
- Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
- Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
- Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
- Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.
Hours 1 - 24:
- Drywall begins to swell and break down.
- Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
- Furniture begins to swell and crack.
- Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
- A musty odor appears.
48 Hours to 1 Week:
- Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
- Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
- Metal begins to rust and corrode.
- Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
- Paint begins to blister.
- Wood flooring swells and warps.
- Serious biohazard contamination is possible.
More Than 1 Week:
- Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
- Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.
About SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island
SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.