Typically, there are more than 70 water damage incidents monthly in a population of 100,000 people. That means that there are over 1,400 water damage incidents per month in a metro area the size of Houston. Even though there is a minimal chance that you may experience a water damage incidence in Texas in the next five years, there there is a very good chance that you won’t be ready for it. The water damage may be very devastating, especially if you do not know what to do in this situation.
First, remain calm. Be sure to turn off the breaker to the wet areas of the building before entering hose areas, or unplugging and moving anything electrical. Only then should you move any items on the floor to dry areas. If the source of the water is a broken or leaking pipe, turn off the water to building, or to that area.
Second, call a professional in Texas who has the experience to know how to handle these situations. Then the professional will know how to take care of your problem. They can immediately being the drying process, and most importantly, take control of the situation and put your mind at ease. They will monitor the drying process daily, and keep your insurance company informed.
Third, don’t wait. Most insurance policies require the insured to take actions to mitigate further damage. Experts agree that the first 48 hours are critical in preventing the growth of mold and other microbes that can lean to can unhealthy environment and the need for more extensive structural repairs. That’s why it is important to have professionals on site as soon as possible to remove all excess water and set up the property equipment to produce large amounts of dry air and begin the drying process immediately.
Water Damage Restoration and You
Every year millions of households are affected by disasters, natural and otherwise causing billions of dollars in damages. It is vital to understand all of the types of disasters that can occur to a residence and the dangers associated with each. Furthermore it is extremely important to the homeowners and their families that these damages be properly restored before occupation of the residence continues. This article will outline some common household disasters and health risks associated with the damages from those disasters. Finally this piece will explain how to choose the best damage restoration specialist for homeowners and their families to ensure health risks are eliminated and the structural integrity of the home is maintained.
Sewage backup is unfortunately fairly common and is also one of the most dangerous disasters which can occur within a home. Sewage, by definition, is any material originating beyond the trap. Any liquid or material backing up from this region should be considered hazardous whether it comes up through a floor drain or other locations in the house such as a toilet. Sewage contains both organic and inorganic contaminants such as wastes breeding Salmonella, E. Coli, toxic basic and acidic drain cleaners and other chemicals which can cause serious heath issues and life threatening illness. Aside from the solid contaminants sewage can produce methane or hydrogen sulfide gases which can be a fire hazard as well as ammonia and other potentially toxic gases. Due to the health risks involved it is important that when a substantial backup is discovered that a professional be called to assess the situation because often times the backup can travel under the home and go unnoticed. Sewage backup if untreated can potentially damage a structure, rotting out the foundation and in serious cases can put the structure at risk of collapse. Failure to properly restore sewage damage, among other health risks can lead to another dangerous household disaster, mold.
There are a variety of mold species that can come to colonize a home which introduce a wide range health risks to the occupants. Some toxic strains include Alternaria, Chaetomium, Cladosporium, Mucor and several others. These toxic molds have been linked to a variety of short term effects such as hives, trouble breathing, headaches, general fatigue and others. Long term effects of mold exposure can be much more severe. Long term mold exposure has been linked to respiratory infections, some cancers, heart problems, nervous system problems and other serious risks. There are many disasters that can strike a household which make it more vulnerable to toxic mold growth such as flooding and foundation cracks and leaks caused by earthquakes, frost wedging or other forms of erosion. There are other factors which can lead to mold growth such as high humidity and poor air circulation. Is is important to call an expert as soon as mold growth is discovered because lab tests are necessary to determine if there is a serious threat present and the person called to restore a house can make all the difference in this situation.
There are a few ways to tell if the contractor called is knowledgeable and skilled enough to eliminate the health risks brought on by mold growth, flooding or sewage backup. Researching a business' history is one way to determine if those called upon are up to the job. Is is important that the person or associated company be experienced in the specific field disaster restoration. Inexperience can lead to improper restoration which can potentially lead to illness or if some damages go unnoticed much greater future costs for a proper restoration. Possibly the best way to verify that the technician is an authority on restoration and mold remediation is look for certification. There are many national certifications which ensure that technicians are trained to deal with all of the risks involved in restorations such as The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and the very stringent Antimicrobial Mold Remediation Technician (AMRT) Certification. Disasters are most always unexpected and so are health issues or structural collapses that can result from improper damage restoration. Homeowners can prevent the latter two scenarios by calling on certified restoration technicians to protect their homes and families.
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