This will be one of our longer posts, but filled with water mitigation information that we wanted to pass on to our valued customers! The tropical storm on August 4 hit everyone extremely hard. Mitigation companies from all around the valley and beyond got inundated with calls from residences and businesses with severe flood damage. We wish we could immediately get to and help everybody, but resources are limited, which is why we want to take this opportunity to walk you through some steps you can take to start the drying process after a flood.
The top priority when your building is affected with any amount of water, but especially large amounts, is to call your local water mitigation company to very quickly get on the list for extraction services. Often these lists grow rapidly resulting in delays of service. Time is of the essence when dealing with water damage. If you find yourself on a list and waiting with flooding issues during a time of widespread damage, there are some steps that you can take to self-mitigate and save your structure from secondary damage until the professionals can arrive on site.
Flood water is considered Category 3/Black water due to the levels of unknown contaminants in the ground (pesticides, animal waste, etc.) All water absorbing materials are recommended for removal, including carpet, pad, affected drywall and insulation, paneling, etc. In other words, it is not recommended that you try to save these materials after black water damage because full cleaning/disinfecting is not possible. Carpet and padding especially is a material that rapidly breeds microbials and produces an odor. Make sure to cut wet carpet and pad into manageable pieces because these materials are very heavy when wet. Hard surface floor coverings such as vinyl (both sheet and plank), laminate and hardwood floors should also be removed to expose the subfloor where water is often trapped (ceramic tile with no cracks or spaces in the grout can usually remain in place.) Perform a “flood cut” of porous wall materials (drywall, paneling, etc) by finding the water line/stain line and cutting approximately 2 inches higher than that everywhere that water touched. Your main goal is to expose the underlying building materials to proper air flow and encourage drying at these base levels. Replacement of drywall and carpet is much less costly than remediating secondary damages such as mold that can occur if proper drying is not achieved.
Once you have opened affected areas up to ventilation, and as long as there is not standing water/area is safe for electric, place equipment such as dehumidifiers and fans to get air flowing in the affected area. Even if you do not have enough equipment to fully dry the entire area, any amount will assist in stabilizing the environment to possibly avoid secondary damages.
We encourage you to keep your place in line and still have the professionals arrive on site to inspect with moisture meters, etc to verify dry levels, even if you believe you have fully mitigated on your own. A service check to confirm dry out can save headaches in the future! If you have any questions, need any additional information or guidance, or want to schedule an appointment with us, please do not hesitate to call 610-965-6058. Stay safe friends!
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