Water Damage Restoration
It can be very distressing and disruptive to restore your home after water damage. Fortunately, natural disasters like this do not happen every day here in our valley. Chances of our valley being flooded from rising water are very remote. However, water damage from sprinkler systems, broken pipes, blocked drains, malfunctioning appliances are far more common in the areas we live in. Some water carries contaminants and should be considered hazardous, like sewage backups. In these types of situations contaminated porous materials should be removed and discarded. Non-porous surfaces can be effectively cleaned and decontaminated. A successful restoration project depends largely upon the timeliness and thoroughness of the initial emergency response. Excess humidity and moisture can lead to secondary damage of the building contents and the structure, which may lead to mold and bacterial growth. Responding to emergency water damage situations 24 hours a day is crucial to minimizing the damage caused by broken pipes and other water intrusions. It is important to extract as much clean or black water from effected areas as soon as possible to avoid other complications. The consequences of an incomplete restoration project, including potential health effects and structural damage, are far too great to leave water damage improperly fixed.A professional water damage restoration contractor will use modern diagnostic equipment, including penetrating and non-penetrating moisture meters and digital hydrometers combined with state-of-the-art infra-red thermal imaging cameras to track where water damage is throughout various levels of an effected structure. A qualified contractor must have the necessary capacity to respond to the situation at hand, including a highly skilled and trained work force as well as the necessary drying and dehumidification equipment to complete the project in a timely manner.Water can easily penetrate into structural cavities and assemblies creating trapped pockets of moisture. Improper drying, undetected moisture and trapped water can cause discoloration, warping, de-lamination, musty odors and microbial growth. A quick emergency response and advanced drying equipment, such as the Injecti-dry hardwood floor drying system, can often prevent cupping, warping and heaving of your expensive hardwood floors. Elaborate wall finishes, murals and built-in cabinets can frequently be saved by an experienced contractor.During an extreme cold snap, homes can loose their heating system operations because of a malfunctioning furnace, boiler or electrical power outage. When this occurs it is not uncommon to see 10 to 20 broken pipes in a single residence. It is important to have large trailer-mounted construction heaters such as the Dry Air 0250 central heating module available that can heat and thaw a home up to 8,000 square feet. Standing water from flooded crawl spaces can be effectively pumped out and dried using the same type of heating and drying equipment. Restoring a disaster-damaged home or business is a complex and challenging process. There isnt just one criterion for selecting a certified restoration firm to restore your home or business. Several combined factors must be considered.EDUCATION: Formal education in water damage restoration and advanced structural drying are a must. Certifications for properly trained and qualified firms and technicians are available through the IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification). Health and safety training including employee medical evaluations and respirator fit tests are also mandated by OSHA.INSURANCE: General liability, excess and pollution coverage, including a microbial matter endorsement and workmans compensation coverage, are important for any restoration contractor entering your home.AVAILABILITY: Immediate 24-hour-a-day, 365-days-a-year emergency response availability.REFERENCES: Check with friends, neighbors and other professionals to find a reputable restoration firm in your area.To locate a water damage professional, go to:IICRCs website, http://www.certifiedcleaners.org/locator.shtml or ASCRs website, http://www.ascr.org/referrals/search.cfmThe National Institute of Disaster Restoration lists some of the donts to observe in a water damage situation:1. Do not operate TVs, vacuums or other appliances while standing on wet carpet or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors. Serious injury may result.2.Do not use heat to dry closed building interiors; mold and expanded moisture damage may result.3.Do not leave wet fabrics in place; space them apart and dry as soon as possible. GaryGilman is the owner and President of SteamMaster Restoration & Cleaning.One call does it all, (800) 527-1253.
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