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Safety Issues From a Leaking Roof

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

A leaking roof can be an expensive nuisance. Most leaks aren’t evident by simply visually inspecting the exterior of the roof. Costly interior damage from roof leaks is often already done by the time you realize there’s a problem in the first place. However, a leaking roof can also present safety issues, in addition to the obvious dangers of climbing up there and attempting to repair the leak yourself (not a recommended DIY project).  Here are some of the safety hazards associated with a leaking roof.

leaking roofFire and electrical hazards: Household wiring is routed through the attic; recessed ceiling lights, some HVAC equipment and other electrical devices are also often present. Dripping water and electricity don’t mix. While the danger of electrocution is one hazard, a more likely consequence of a leaking roof might be fire resulting from an electrical short caused by exposure to water. If you note any signs of a leaky roof, such as a stained ceiling or water dripping into living spaces, turn off electricity at the main panel and call a qualified electrician and roofing company.

Mold contamination: The slow drip of roof leaks into a dark, warm attic provides the trigger mechanism for toxic mold growth that requires only a source of moisture to activate. Insulation installed in the attic such as fiberglass batts and blown-in cellulose remain chronically damp from roof leaks, a perfect growing environment for mold. Contamination in the attic soon spreads throughout living spaces below as millions of airborne mold spores are reproduced. Occupants of the home may experience allergic reactions and chronic illness as a result of continuous exposure to active mold spores.

Structural damage: Wooden building materials in the attic such as studs and ceiling joists form a critical part of your home’s structure. Continuous exposure to water from roof leaks causes wood rot and eventual failure of these components. Safety issues such as a potential ceiling collapse or an attic that’s unsafe to enter may be the result.

Contact Rytech, Inc. for more information about safety issues and solutions.

When DIY Water and Mold Removal is Safe

Tuesday, March 15th, 2016

Is DIY water and mold removal safely doable? These two services are often mentioned in the same sentence — usually when a homeowner is discussing contracting with a certified professional water damage and mold restoration service. Nevertheless, many people consider taking on the dual tasks of DIY water and mold removal and rightly wonder what they’re up against. Here are some guidelines to make an educated decision.

  • DIY water and mold removalDue to electrocution hazard, if there’s any chance that outlets or wiring are wet, you shouldn’t consider DIY water removal unless/until a professional electrician has cleared the premises. Additionally, rooms with sagging saturated walls or ceiling should be off-limits due to the danger of structural collapse until a contractor has inspected the house.
  • Where the water originated matters a lot. “Clean” water, straight from a ruptured water supply line or fixture may be safely mopped up or removed. However, flood water from outdoors may carry a variety of toxins, and any sewage backup or spill contains dangerous biohazards. These sources of water should be avoided and left to professionals.
  • Pumps, wet/dry vacuums and fans typically available to homeowners at consumer-level rental centers are often not designed specifically for water damage restoration. If you lack the equipment utilized by professional water damage teams to get the job done, expect to get less-than-professional results.
  • If you can see mold growth on hard, impermeable surfaces, and verify that the extent is limited to an area of less than 10 square feet, you may be able to wipe it away with a 1:9 ratio of bleach to water. However, if mold is widespread and/or growing on permeable structural materials like wood or drywall, removal/replacement of these materials is typically necessary and calls for professional intervention.
  • If you suspect mold growth but can’t locate it, a mold remediation professional is needed to conduct tests that track down the location of mold and identify the type. Not everything that looks like mold is mold and not all mold is toxic.

Before you take on DIY water and mold removal, contact Rytech, Inc. about the advantages of qualified professional treatment.

Cleaning up a Flooded Home: Safety Precautions to Take

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

cleaning up a flooded homeAfter the waters recede and the immediate threat passes, cleaning up a flooded home still presents a variety of hazards. Your familiar household premises can turn into a danger zone when water is added, no matter where the water originated. First and foremost, if widespread flooding necessitated evacuation, always wait until you get the green light from local authorities before attempting to return to your house. Then, stay safe by observing these cautionary rules for cleaning up a flooded home.

Turn Off The Electricity

If the main power panel is in a wet or flooded area, don’t attempt to access it. Have an electrician disconnect power outside at the meter. Even if grid power is out in the entire area, you still need to shut off electricity at your house because power may be unexpectedly restored at any moment.

Shut Off The Gas

Burner flames in stoves, furnaces, or water heaters may have been extinguished by flooding, but flammable natural gas may still be flowing. This presents an explosion hazard and inhalation dangers. Turn off the gas valve at the outside meter, or call the gas company to have them do so.

Be Aware Of Structural Hazards

Saturated building materials become very heavy, and may collapse without warning. Look out for bulging, water-logged drywall or ceilings that are sagging due to absorbed water.

Protect Yourself From Biohazards

Floodwater may contain raw sewage and other toxins. Wear gloves, eye protection, face masks, and work boots to minimize contact with tainted water. Don’t wade into or immerse yourself in standing water. Always wash your hands before eating or drinking. Assume that any items such as eating utensils or cookware that have contacted floodwater are contaminated, and sterilize them before use.

Get Professional Help

If you have deep standing water in the house, contact water damage professionals with specialized equipment to remove it safely. DIY methods like consumer-grade pumps can be ineffective, and can present the risk of electrical shock. Generators needed to power such equipment also present carbon monoxide hazards.

For more safety precautions when cleaning up flooded homes, contact Rytech, Inc.