Recovering From Water Backup
Steps To Clean Up From A Water Backup
- Remove standing water to prevent structural damage or use sump pumps to remove excess water.
- Dry all wet carpets, rugs, and personal belongings to prevent mold growth.
- Do not flush toilets or attempt to drain tubs and sinks – It is best to just not use the water supply system in your home until the problem has been corrected.
- Do not use chemicals in an attempt to unclog the draining system quickly and easily. They can damage your pipes and sewer lines.
- Keep children and pets away from the affected area.
- If it is safe, shut off the power. Otherwise, don’t go near electrical equipment.
- Wear protective clothing: gloves, eyeglasses, rubber boots and a facemask when in direct contact with water backup.
- Open windows to allow fresh air in and ventilate well to remove any unpleasant odors.
- Use the services of a professional water mitigation company to sanitize, dry and prevent mold growth.
What Causes Water Backup?
Back up in a bathroom
Water backup mostly occurs when the water around the property’s foundation exceeds the capacity of the removal systems to drain it. It can occur from surface water seeping into foundation walls or sewer systems overflowing up through drains.
Preventing Water Backup
- Maintain gutters and downspouts, keeping them free of debris and leaves and repairing them if they are sagging.
- Inspect your gutters' capacity - after fifteen minutes of heavy rain, if water overflows the gutters, you should install additional downspouts.
- Extend downspouts at least ten feet away from the house
- Adjust landscaping and irrigation so that water flows away from the foundation.
- Drain subsurface groundwater and stormwater with a sump pump system that has battery backup and replacement warnings.
- Run your sump pump every few months and clean it annually before the rainy season.
- Prevent backflow of sanitary sewer water by installing backflow valves and standpipes at all basement drain locations, including sinks and toilets.
- Prepare your basement, garage. Or other storage areas "just in case" by raising your washer, dryer, water heater, electrical wiring and personal items above your typical water backup levels.
Category 2 Water Loss
Cat 2 Water Loss
No two water losses are alike, including the categories they reside in and each situation must be treated based on the unique needs of the environment. When looking for possible contaminants to determine a category of loss you have to take into consideration the condition of the property you are working with and also the source of water
A Category 2 water loss refers to a source of water that contains a significant degree of chemical, biological, or physical contaminants and causes discomfort or sickness when exposed or consumed. Known as "Gray Water," this type of water damage carries microorganisms and nutrients of microorganisms and can cause illness.
Sources of Category 2 water losses include toilet bowls with urine (no feces), sump pump failures, seepage due to hydrostatic failure, and water discharge from dishwashers or washing machines.
Do's and Don’ts for Water Damage Cleanup
Water Damage Clean up
- Disconnect the main power supply to eliminate the risk of electrocution. At the same time, unplug and remove all electronics as well as pieces of furniture that can be easily moved. The faster you get these items out of your way, the easier it will be for you to clean up.
- Get rid of as much water as you can before the professionals arrive. You can use buckets to throw away excess water, towels to soak up extra water from hard surfaces and furniture. As long as all your sewers are working, you can drain away excess water.
- Do not attempt to lift heavy furniture or carpet, as that is the job of the professionals and you do not want
- Do not use toxic chemical agents which you are not familiar with and do not use toxic cleaning agents without following the necessary safety measures.
- Do not use bleach or cleaning agents on areas that are still waterlogged and contain water. This may result in further damage.
Though the professionals will be on the site quickly to help you, keep these do’s and don’ts in mind so you can limit thedamage caused to your home by flooding.
When You Live Or Work In A High Rise Building
Water Damage in a Commercial Building
When you live or work in a high-rise building or even a multistory one, means you are susceptible to all kinds of headaches. Anything can happen in the unit above you and anything can happen in the unit next to you. They could accidentally leave a faucet on, overflow their toilet, have plumbing issues, or have a water heater or appliance leak. Sometimes it is a very slow leak that has gone undetected for a long period of time. This consequently can cause damage to your unit below or next to it. Unfortunately, it also can lead to mold and bacteria growth. In these cases be sure you know who to call right away to prevent further damage. We are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week for these Commercial Water Damage mishaps.
A Strange Storm
Snow in Northridge, Ca.
This was a strange storm! This backyard in Northridge Ca went from a tropical oasis to a mountain getaway in a matter of minutes.
Southern California properties have surely taken a beating with all these storms we’ve experienced in the last 3 months. While we need the rain, it has been causing all kinds of damage to property roofs, slabs, and structures.
Roof leaks are the most common calls we have been receiving. A leaking roof is a problem in any weather, but when a roof suddenly begins to leak during a heavy rainstorm, it can quickly turn into an emergency. Water may start seeping through an area that has damage that you did not know about and drip onto the ceiling. By the time you notice water dripping in the house, the drywall has likely been saturated and might start to break apart.
If you see this, do not wait. Give us a call.
The Rainbow After the Storm
A beautiful rainbow
A storm is when air cools as it rises in the atmosphere. Water vapor condenses and forms cumulus clouds. When condensation occurs, heat or energy is released and helps the thunderstorm grow. At some point, condensation high in the cloud (which is now in the form of water droplets and ice) fall to the ground as rain. After this occurs it is common to see a rainbow.
What causes the rainbow?
The rain droplets serve as a type of reflector of light. ... Without millions of rain droplets, a rainbow would not occur. If you only had a few rain droplets you would only see a few colors. This is typically why the rainbow appears after a rainstorm. It is truly miraculous and proves there is beauty after a devastating storm.
12 Weeks and Adorable
Getting into Trouble
The babies now have full run of the house and it is interesting to watch them explore their surroundings.
They love playing hide and seek. They have a knack for scaring you when you least expect it. There have been several times in the last week that they hide somewhere and when you walk into the room they jump out of their hiding spot and make you scream. I am not ashamed to say they have scared me to the point of screaming and jumping back.
When they want you to hold them they climb up your legs causing a few shrieks and a little blood but then they are in your arms purring and nuzzling.
The laughter that they bring to the house is infectious and I love watching their shenanigans and the deep sleep they fall into after.
They got their second set of shots and are healthy and happy. I look forward to the following months to come.
Do You Need An Mold Inspection or Actual Testing
Once you see visible mold, as in you can see it on the walls, ceiling or floor, testing is a waste of money.
Why is it unnecessary if you already see mold? Because it will save most people a lot of money and time! Just because you see mold does not mean you need to test to find out what type it is. You may think we need to know what kind of mold it is especially if it is “toxic” but surprisingly, we do not. Once you see visible mold, knowing what type it is, is usually irrelevant because at this point, you simply need to get rid of the mold following proper mold remediation as outlined in the IICRC guidelines.
When should a mold inspection and mold testing be considered?
- When visible mold is not present, but the smell of mold is. Here a mold inspection and mold test can reveal whether there is indeed elevated mold, and where it is located.
- There have been plumbing leaks or water issues and there is a suspicion that elevated mold may exist in the air and/or behind walls.
- Post Mold Removal Clearance Testing to ensure that the previous mold issues has been resolved and mold counts have returned to levels found in normal environments of the same type.
- Health Concerns: In some cases a doctor or the patient has a health issue that they cannot pinpoint the cause but seems to be related to mold symptoms (coughing, sneezing, headaches, etc). Here, a mold inspection and test may help to confirm whether the doctor’s or patient’s suspicions that a mold problem exists.
- For real estate transactions for the protection of Buyers and Sellers.
- Landlord/Tenant disputes as to whether there is a mold problem.
- Someone thinks they see or smell mold but are not sure.
- Someone is interested in a general Indoor Air Quality test of their environment.
Water Damage Not Treated Properly, Leads To Mold.
Mold Caused by Incomplete Water Restoration
It is so common that when water damage occurs and it is not treated properly, leads to mold.
Our crew inspected a 4000 square foot home that had an upstairs toilet overflow that they started cleaning up themselves but ended up hiring a handyman to finish the work. Because of the handyman, although great at his job, but not certified in water damage clean up, ended up causing more damage. The dry out was not done properly and ended up costing the homeowners thousands of dollars more because mold had grown throughout the upstairs leading down to the downstairs. This is a perfect example of water damage that had become a mold situation in a large home.
Work Performed: We provided complete service, contents moved out of rooms, protective barriers in place, protective covers over unaffected areas, careful removal of walls and ceilings in most of the entire downstairs. We set up filtration equipment for 6 days during the remediation process. We work closely with several licensed contractors who are able to provide all repairs needed and wood floor repair service as well to complete the job and make it look "Like it never even happened."
Result: On this water loss SERVPRO provided complete restoration services from beginning to end. Our client was pleased.