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Rytech’s Residential Water Damage Service

Tuesday, June 1st, 2021

Statistics show that residential water damage service of some type is required by about 14,000 homeowners every day. According to the Insurance Information Institute, water damage constitutes about 24% of all homeowner’s insurance claims and the average water damage claim is now around $10,900. The most common incidents that require professional water damage service include:

  • Leaking or ruptured plumbing pipes
  • Appliance defects or malfunctions such as a burst water heater or broken washing machine hoses
  • Roof leaks
  • Storms that include localized flooding
  • Sewage backups

First Things First

Because time is an important factor in minimizing the extent of damage, certain steps should be taken immediately if the need arises:

  • Turn off the water supply to the house at the main valve. If you don’t know its location or how to operate the valve, ask a plumber.
  • Stay out of rooms where water may have contacted electrical outlets or components.
  • Contact professional residential water damage service providers as well as your homeowner’s insurance agent.

Stages of Residential Water Damage Service

While any particular incident may impose slight variations, the typical sequence of water damage recovery can be broadly expressed in six stages:

  • Stage 1 – Emergency response. Reputable water damage recovery professionals are prepared to respond 24/7/365.
  • Stage 2 – Inspection. Room by room inspection to assess the type and extent of water damage.
  • Stage 3 – Water removal. A rapid removal of standing water from the structure using powerful extractors and pumps.
  • Stage 4 – Drying and humidity reduction. Residual moisture must be identified and dried utilizing air movers and professional dehumidifiers.  
  • Stage 5 – Cleaning and sanitization. Surfaces that were wet should be sanitized with antimicrobial solutions to prevent mold contamination.  
  • Stage 6 – Restoration. Removing and replacing damaged building materials—drywall, subflooring, ceiling materials, insulation, etc.—that were saturated by water and cannot be effectively dried. Electrical circuits may also require replacement. 

Water Damage Technologies

Thursday, May 27th, 2021

If a water damage incident occurs in your home, you’ll want the most up-to-date water damage technologies to restore the house rapidly and thoroughly. In most cases, effective water damage recovery requires much more than a mop and a bucket to blot up a small puddle. Identifying the extent of damage, then locating and removing all the moisture—seen and unseen—is vital to stop the ongoing process in its tracks and restore a safe, healthy indoor environment.

An array of water damage technologies are utilized by trained, certified restoration professionals. Here are some examples of the tools that get the job done today:

  • Rapid extraction. Fast water extraction is a priority to remove the largest amount of water inside a home and halt the ongoing damage process, ASAP.  Powerful water extractors can remove even deep standing water at a rapid rate of multi-gallons per minute. If the water is not contaminated, sub-surface extractors can be utilized to lift water out of carpets and even the padding underneath without removing these materials.
  • Continuous dehumidification. After water escapes, water may spread widely throughout the entire structure, spreading damaging moisture and inhibiting the drying process. Professional dehumidification equipment can remove hundreds of pints of water from indoor air each day. These units run continuously during the restoration process to sustain a super-dry indoor environment that, with the help of high-volume air movers,  pulls vaporized moisture out of the structure rapidly.
  • Moisture detection. Locating and removing all moisture inside a home is a challenge after substantial water damage. Today’s water damage technologies include moisture meters to identify areas still affected by water as well as confirm the state of dryness after a restoration procedure. The most common type utilizes sharp insulated pins that can be inserted into building materials, penetrate wall voids, check beneath baseboards, and test other locations to detect moisture where it hides.
  • Moving air. Keeping the air in motion throughout water damage recovery speeds the drying process. Multiple high-volume air movers provide rapid, directional airflow that can be aimed across wet surfaces, including walls and flooring, to provide continuous drying to targeted areas.

Water Damage Common Causes for Restoration

Tuesday, May 25th, 2021
water damage

If a common water damage incident occurs in your house, is restoration by qualified professionals always necessary? Maybe so, maybe not. Water can affect a structure in a spectrum of severity ranging from relatively minor events to widespread, extreme damage. In certain cases, fast action by homeowners to stop a minor source of water, then remove the small amount of moisture present before it spreads further, may be sufficient to avoid the need for professional restoration.  

However, there are many other causes and scenarios that make the services of professional water damage recovery experts necessary. If water damage is enough to trigger an insurance claim, for example, most homeowners insurance companies require restoration by certified professionals. Common causes that make the difference between a possible DIY scenario and one which requires water damage restoration experts include:

Amount of Water

If water released does not exceed a small pool on a hard surface floor and has not migrated beyond that limited location, timely clean-up with mops and drying with fans may be sufficient.  

If the water volume is sufficient to seep under baseboards and spread into other rooms, penetrate flooring material, or drip through ceilings into rooms below, qualified water damage recovery services are required. If carpet is present and saturated, this is also often an indicator for professional services.

Source of Water

If water originates from tainted sources like an overflowing washing machine or toilet—or it is the result of a sewage backup—this is a potentially hazardous scenario and requires professional water damage recovery.

If the damage is caused by outdoor flooding, all floodwater is considered toxic and restoration must be handled by properly equipped, certified personnel.  

Duration of Damage

Once water from any source has been present in a house for 48 hours, the requirement for specialized mold remediation becomes more likely. Active mold growth requires proven, effective techniques to sanitize affected surfaces and building materials and prevent the spread of contamination throughout the entire house. Restoration of a mold-contaminated house is always a job for professionals.

Water Damage Mitigation Process

Thursday, May 20th, 2021
water damage mitigation

Water damage mitigation brings together specialized equipment, trained, certified technicians, and standardized procedures to return your home to a fully dry, safe environment. Effective mitigation of water damage is an established field of ongoing research with specific standards of practice developed by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). Professional water damage mitigation provides an orderly, efficient system with proven techniques and established criteria to ensure optimum results.   

What’s Involved in Water Damage Mitigation?

  • Rapid response. Any incident of water damage affecting your home is a time-critical issue. As minutes elapse, water continues spreading inside a structure and the potential for damage expands. Rytech technicians are ready to respond 24/7/365 and arrive fully equipped to take immediate steps to stop the process in its tracks and apply proven techniques to counteract the effects of water damage.  
  • Inspection and assessment. A qualified technician will inspect the premises to determine the source and type of water damage as well as estimate the extent of damage within the house. With this information, an effective plan to address all issues can be developed and put into action immediately. This orderly approach ensures organized efficient teamwork to deal with circumstances specific to each individual incident.
  • Getting the water out. Time is of the essence to inhibit the further spread of water within the house. Therefore, powerful industrial water extractors and pumps are utilized to remove the major volume of water in the shortest time possible. In addition to limiting the scope of damage within the house, rapid water removal also helps reduce the potential for mold contamination in the wake of water damage.
  • Deeper drying. After visible standing water is removed, residual moisture typically still remains in less-accessible areas of the structure. Proven technology, including high-volume, directional air movers and continuous dehumidification, are brought to bear to expedite the drying of all residual moisture. Depending on the volume and scope of water damage, the drying process may extend over several days.  
  • Sanitizing and deodorizing. Sanitizing surfaces affected by water utilizing EPA-approved antimicrobials helps prevent toxic mold contamination. Air scrubbers, meanwhile, remove the musty odors often associated with water damage.
  • Structural repairs. Certain building materials do not resist extensive contact with water. Examples include saturated drywall or incidents where standing water has penetrated flooring into the subfloor. If these are successfully returned to a dry moisture standard, they do not require removal and replacement.

What Is Water Damage Restoration?

Thursday, April 29th, 2021
water damage restoration

Water damage restoration is one part of the process of remediating the effects of water on your home. While water damage typically appears to occur as a single incident, two distinct phases are involved in returning your house to a restored and healthy living environment.  

First, Mitigate

Water damage mitigation is always performed first. It’s the process that includes extracting the water and drying the premises, getting damaged furniture and other saturated items out of the house, cleaning and ensuring that the structure is safe to inhabit.

Professional mitigation involves an array of specialized technology, purpose-built for water damage recovery. This includes powerful water extraction, high-volume drying and dehumidification equipment, and moisture detectors to track down all water present in the structure, wherever it exists.

Then, Restore

Water damage restoration is what comes after all the water is gone. Steps in the process differ according to variables such as the origin of the water as well as the materials and systems in the house that were affected.

Here are some typical aspects of restoration:

Replacing Damaged Structures

Drywall is a major construction material composing walls and ceilings in homes. Drywall is very absorbent and, once saturated with water to any substantial extent, the material is no longer structurally sound. Large portions of soaked drywall may not be effectively dried and could require replacement.

Standing water inside a room may have penetrated flooring materials such as hardwood and tiles, saturating the wooden subfloor beneath. The flooring may require removal in order to dry or replace the subfloor.  Professional mitigation experts will attempt to dry the materials in place before removing them.

Attic insulation saturated by water from sources like a roof leak will generally not dry in place. While fiberglass batts may be removed and dried, cellulose loose-fill insulation is generally ruined by water exposure and must be replaced.

Mold Remediation

Cleaning affected surfaces, HEPA vacuuming and applying EPA-approved antimicrobial solutions to prevent mold is another aspect of water damage restoration. Air samples may be taken to identify the presence of active mold growth triggered by water damage as well as confirm that remediation procedures are successful. 

Verifying Dryness

Moisture inside the house is continuously tracked by recording humidity levels in indoor air as well as testing structural materials with moisture meters. The house will not be considered fully dried until testing meets industry standards for dryness established by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification

Home Flood Cleanup: Caring for Your Belongings

Thursday, February 6th, 2020
home flood cleanup

One of the priorities of home flood cleanup is rescuing valuables and other family belongings from the ravages of exposure to water. Flooding from any source—exterior or interior—can actually pose a greater threat to possessions than fire damage in many cases. It’s vital to take steps as soon as it’s safely possible to initiate recovery of items contacted by water.

Caveat: If flooding resulted from a sewage backup, any belongings contacted by it must be considered toxic and contaminated. Qualified water damage professionals on the scene for home flood cleanup can determine whether items are safe to work with.

  • Conduct triage. Determine which items are most valuable to you as well as those most likely to be salvageable. Sentimental value often takes precedence over dollar value when it comes to photographs, family heirlooms, etc. Where affected possessions have high value only in economic terms—such as consumer electronics—decide whether the cost of repairing those items is worth it.  
  • Move identified items away from wet areas. Open windows and circulate air to exhaust damaging high humidity. Run the HVAC fan if the system has been approved to operate. If the entire home was flooded, relocate items to a sheltered, secure location elsewhere.
  • Clean and dry. Gently rinse affected photos with clean water. Dry by placing on a plastic screen to allow air circulation on both sides, or by hanging from a line with clothespins at the corners. Remove water-soaked photos from photo albums or frames, then rinse and air-dry.  To preserve valuable books affected by water, insert absorbent paper towels between wet pages.  
  • Freeze-dry if necessary. Items like books, photographs, documents or textiles that can’t be cleaned and dried within 48 hours should be placed in plastic bags, then frozen in a freezer for later treatment. This stops mold from forming and ruining the items.
  • Don’t power up electronics. Some electronic devices like computers and video cameras may be successfully restored after water exposure. However, powering up a wet unit may make that impossible. Data can also be retrieved from wet hard drives. Numerous companies offer this specialized professional service.

Cleaning Basement Floors After Water Damage

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020
water damage cleanup

Because water naturally finds its way to the lowest point inside a home, basement water damage is a frequent occurrence. Water inundation into a basement can result from household plumbing leaks, sewage backups and infiltration of ground water in the soil.

Basement water damage clean-up is a multi-stage project. If the basement is simply wet, DIY clean-up is doable.  However, if deeper standing water is present—or if the source is toxic—it’s best to contact water damage professionals.

First, Be Safe

Wet basements can be dangerous if electrical wiring or outlets have been contacted by water. Before entering a wet or flooded basement, have an electrician verify that it’s safe.

Next, determine the source of the water. Sewage backups often affect basement drains first. Raw sewage presents a serious toxic contamination hazard. Avoid any contact with the water and stay out of the basement to avoid inhaling fumes. Contact professional water damage experts to handle toxic clean-up. 

Cleaning Up

If the basement environment is safe to enter here are some suggestions for cleaning basement floors:

  • If pooling water is less than an inch deep, you may use a wet/dry vacuum or a portable sump pump to extract water from the basement. Mop up lesser amounts of residual water.
  • Open windows and run fans and a dehumidifier to help dry out the basement.  
  • Remove any basement carpeting or other absorbent materials that have been saturated. These will usually have to be discarded as cleaning and disinfection isn’t practical.
  • Assuming that basement floor drains are present and functional, wash away any residue with a hose or other water source. Then scrub the floor using a floor broom and a mixture of soapy warm water.  Rinse thoroughly.  
  • Disinfection is a critical part of basement water damage cleanup. Dormant mold spores common in basements are activated by moisture. In less than 48 hours, spores begin producing active growing mold that eventually spreads contamination throughout the house. Scrub the floor with a mixture of chlorine bleach and water to kill spores, then rinse again.
  • Continue operating fans and ventilating the basement until it is dry.