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How Can Water Damage Impact Selling Your Home?

Tuesday, November 5th, 2019
Water Damage and Selling Your Home

Water damage can definitely impact a house’s sale. More than one-third of homes in the U.S. have experienced damage from water at some point in their history. Therefore, this issue is frequently encountered in the real estate marketplace.

Damage in the past is not necessarily a deal-breaker. Less important than the fact that an incident occurred is how the homeowners responded. If remediation was promptly performed by certified water damage recovery specialists, past damage is usually not a major issue affecting the value or sellability of a home.

No Secrets

Until all facts are known, however, damage issues are often considered a red flag by many prospective buyers. The following factors play a role:

  • Buyers have legal rights to be informed about issues that may impact the home’s livability or degrade market value. If a seller fails to disclose known damage on the standard pre-sale disclosure form, he could face civil liability.
  • Pre-sale home inspections are required by most lenders and strongly favored by prospective buyers, as well, including those paying cash.
  • Home inspectors are trained to recognize signs of existing damage, as well as evidence of DIY cover-ups to conceal past water damage that was not properly remediated.
  • If existing damage issues are ongoing and have not been resolved, the value of a home may be substantially reduced. Financing may be problematic and buyers may need to pay cash or qualify for a complex loan that provides both funds for water damage remediation as well as the purchase price of the house. 

Mold Matters

Water damage that is not remediated by qualified professionals rapidly leads to mold contamination. In a home with past damage, mold potential is another x-factor that must be resolved. Separate pre-sale inspections focusing on detecting mold contamination are increasingly common.

If a damage incident occurred in the past, home sellers should expect a separate inspection specifically for the purpose of mold detection. This is particularly true if the seller cannot produce proof that proper restoration was performed by qualified water damage specialists.    

3 Reasons Flood Cleanup is Not a DIY Project

Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

So, you’re handy around the house. But what if the house is flooded?  The impulse to take immediate first-person action when faced with distressing water damage to your property and possessions is understandable. However, the fact is, a structure that has been inundated with water requires specific expertise and specialized equipment well beyond the scope of any household chore you’ve tackled before. The determined DIY approach has its place in many home projects, but a flooded house is not that place.  Here are three reasons why:

You’re At Risk

Any structure inundated with water is a danger zone. Hazards faced by water damage remediation professionals include:

  • Electrical danger. Until a qualified electrician has completely disconnected a flooded house from the power grid—including removing the electrical meter if necessary—the risk of electrocution is present.
  • Toxic water and air. Floodwater picks up dangerous substances as it spreads including raw sewage, chemicals and biological hazards.  Inside a flooded house, water is hazardous on contact and the air may be toxic to breathe. Water damage professionals typically wear OSHA-approved full-body protective garb including face masks or respirators, as well as eye protection in the initial stages of the job.
  • Structural hazards. Saturated building materials such as drywall become dangerously heavy and unstable. Structural components may collapse at any time without warning.
  • Vermin infestation. Snakes, rodents and stinging insects may occupy a flooded house and pose dangers.

You’re Not Equipped

Water damage remediation teams utilize professional equipment designed for the job, not all-purpose stuff from a local rental outlet. This includes high-volume air movers, powerful water extractors, and industrial-grade dehumidifiers as well as specialized monitoring technology to track and verify the progress of remediation.

You’re Too Slow

As long as moisture remains inside your house, damage continues to spread and secondary consequences such as mold contamination intensify by the hour. There’s no time for trial-and-error experiments or a casual do-it-yourself learning curve. Professional water damage remediation teams are on-duty 24/7/365 and arrive on the scene already up to speed: fully trained, experienced and equipped to intervene immediately and execute a proven, effective recovery plan, ASAP. 

Why 24-Hour Emergency Service Matters

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

True or false: Water damage always occurs between the hours of 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. Of course, we know that’s not true. As a matter of fact, when water damage strikes your home, it’s most likely to happen at the least expected, most inconvenient time for you. For us, however, we’re always ready to respond with 24-hour emergency service — weekdays, weekends and holidays. We have trained telephone counselors to take your call and a complete team of water damage specialists, fully equipped and ready to roll anytime you need us. More than 20 years’ experience has confirmed that maintaining a fully staffed, 24-hour emergency service is the only way to perform effective water damage mitigation that minimizes losses and fully serves our clients. Here are some reasons why;

  • 24 hour emergency serviceWater damage never sleeps or takes a day off. Random events like a ruptured indoor plumbing pipe or damage from external flooding don’t follow any predictable schedule. So, professionals who take responsibility for mitigating water damage and helping homeowners fully recover from these events must commit to 24-hour emergency service without exceptions.
  • The clock is always ticking. Once water inundation occurs in a home or commercial building, time is not on your side. Water spreads insidiously and relentlessly inside a structure, no matter what time of day it might be. The longer professional water damage mitigation is delayed, the more widespread damage will be and the more likely that possessions and structure will be extensively affected. Waiting until “normal business hours” to get help in these critical emergencies should not be an option any homeowner should have to accept.
  • First water, then mold. Dormant inert spores that exist everywhere activate into toxic growing mold when contacted by moisture. This inevitable natural process occurs over a time span of mere hours. If professional water and mold mitigation techniques are applied in an expedited, time-critical manner, mold contamination, and the long-term consequences that may result from exposure to toxic mold, can be avoided.

For 24-hour emergency service when water damage strikes, contact the professionals at Rytech.

What is the IICRC and How Will it Protect You?

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

Anyone can claim to be a qualified water damage recovery contractor. Some of those who do, unfortunately, have no credentials whatsoever to prove it. The IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) is the governing body for the water damage recovery and mold remediation industry. Restoring your home’s value and reclaiming precious possessions from damaging water inundation, safeguarding your indoor environment from toxic contamination — these are not endeavors for the amateur or inexperienced part-timer. IICRC certification proves the water damage specialist you hire is a qualified, trained professional who is fully informed on standardized procedures and equipped with the necessary technology to do the job.

iicrcWater damage recovery and mold remediation contractors who have invested the time and commitment to earn IICRC certification are proud to display it. Here are some other ways that hiring an IICRC-certified contractor protects you:

  • Access to the most up-to-date methods and technology. The IICRC conducts research to update the science and practice of water damage recovery, keeping member contractors fully current on the latest state-of-the-art practices.
  • Proven standardized procedures. The IICRC formulates and publishes the standards of practice for the recovery industry. This ensures you get service that conforms with consistent, proven techniques utilized throughout the industry — not makeshift methods or cut corners.
  • Trained, qualified specialists. The IICRC trains, tests and certifies water damage and mold remediation technicians. Basic skills, as well as areas of advanced specialization, are included in the curriculum. To maintain certification, technicians must update their knowledge with continuing educations such as annual seminars and training.
  • Consistent business practices. The IICRC promotes a high standard of organized and efficient business procedures that protect the consumer. These include requirements for contractors to be fully bonded and insured, standards for issuing accurate estimates and a procedure for resolving any issues that may arise after the project.

Rytech, Inc. is proud to be an IICRC-certified provider of water damage and mold remediation services. Let us know if we can help.

What it Means to Make Your Home “Rytech Dry”

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

Where restoration after water damage is concerned, there’s “dry,” then there’s “Rytech Dry.”  Rytech dry means more than simply extracting pools of standing water. It extends deep into the structure to mitigate all the unseen contributors to water damage, as well as the potential for after-the-fact issues like mold contamination. Here are some crucial elements of the “Rytech Dry” concept:

  • flood restorationFirst, get to the source. Water often travels far from its source inside a house. Whenever and wherever water damage happens, the immediate concern is tracking the flow of water to its origin and stopping the flow.
  • Identify and extract. Clean water that originated from a ruptured supply line or overflowing fixture can be a straightforward extraction procedure. However, equally common scenarios like sewage back-flow, water entering the house from outdoor flooding and other unknown sources are more complicated. These issues present a toxic biohazard and impose decontamination procedures in addition to extraction to ensure the highest standard of damage recovery.
  • Advanced technology.  Discovering everywhere the house is wet is vital. Specialized moisture-detection technology reveals all water-affected areas, including unseen zones like the interior of wall voids and beneath flooring.
  • Cutting-edge hardware. High-volume pumps quickly move standing water outdoors. Powerful extractors suck clean water out of carpets without removing them. Industrial dehumidifiers knock down high levels of water vapor that typically permeate the entire house after flooding.
  • Staying ahead of mold. Without proactive, preventive treatment after water inundation, active mold contamination of a house is frequently a matter of “when,” not “if.” Quickly removing residual moisture from hidden areas where mold flourishes, disinfecting affected areas and testing the premises for the presence of airborne spores — now and in follow-up visits — maintains an upper hand on mold contamination.
  • Test and verify results. Knowing when the house is fully dry is also critical. Determining dryness isn’t guesswork or a gut feeling — it’s a matter of scientific testing and verifying the that the house meets pre-determined industry target levels throughout the structure and in the air.

For more about what makes a water-damaged home “Rytech Dry,” contact the professionals at Rytech, Inc.

Why Your Water Damage Company Must have IICRC Certified Technicians

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

When a recovery team knocks on your door after water damage occurs, you want to know a thing or two about the people you’re letting into your home to restore a normal, healthy and safe indoor environment. You’ve probably already met with the contractor or company representatives, researched their track record and feel confident about their reputation. But how about the people who’ll be doing the actual work inside your house? How do you assess qualifications and professionalism?

iicrcWhat Can Go Wrong? (A Lot.)

Water damage recovery and mold remediation incorporates critical standardized techniques and technology. A flooded or contaminated home isn’t the place for on-the-job training of totally unskilled, inexperienced workers. Expensive damage can be made even more costly when improper or makeshift methods are utilized. Long-term consequences like mold and structural damage can manifest months after an unqualified recovery workforce leaves behind a job not well done.

Certified and Qualified

If your contractor employs IICRC-certified technicians, you know immediately they’ve invested time and expense to ensure that workers are fully trained and meet industry criteria for knowledge and hands-on skills. The IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) is the industry organization that sets standards for water damage recovery, mold remediation and other residential and commercial services. The IICRC literally wrote the book on water damage — published IICRC standards are now the accepted guidelines for training in recovery and remediation techniques, as well as the basis for ongoing research to constantly refine techniques. Today, over 50,000 IICRC-certified technicians are employed by more than 6,000 recovery firms worldwide.

The Water Damage Curriculum

Training and certification of technicians ranges from courses in basic skills such as water extraction techniques, the properties of moisture and water damage and operation of equipment and technology utilized on the job. This foundational instruction then expands to more focused training in specialized skills like applied microbial training, advanced structural drying and mold mitigation. Certain fundamental training and seminars must be taken annually in order to maintain certification.

Rytech Inc. is an IICRC-certified company that employs technicians trained and certified to IICRC standards.

What to Expect from Your Water Damage Appointment

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

Maybe an appointment with a water damage recovery specialist wasn’t in your plans today. But there’s no convenient time for water damage to strike your home and, now that it has, getting competent professional help has suddenly risen to the top of your to-do list. Household water inundation from any source — indoor plumbing leaks or outdoor flooding — is a crisis that demands your immediate attention as well as a speedy response from qualified water damage recovery services.

water damage restorationThe good news is, an established water damage contractor has trained recovery crews ready to roll. Once you make the call, a team effort swings into action to restore your house and your life to normality. Here’s what to expect from an appointment with an experienced water damage specialist.

  • You’ll get a full explanation of what’s needed to restore your home (and why) as well as a firm estimate in writing. The contractor will also commit to a firm timeline for completion. The specialist will explain the benefits of options such as Direct Billing to your insurance company to reduce the amount of paperwork.
  • Work can begin immediately on a 24/7/365 basis. Specialists certified by the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) will arrive fully equipped to confront and resolve any water damage issue — and they’ve seen and handled them all. In most cases, an experienced water damage team can complete the recovery process in as little as three days.
  • Cutting-edge technology and advanced techniques will be utilized to achieve recovery results that meet IICRC criteria — the gold standard for water damage recovery services worldwide. Dismantling and removal of household components will be kept to an absolute minimum.
  • Water damage recovery crews are experienced working inside a residential environment. They are trained to minimize disruption to your household routine and respect your property and privacy.

For an appointment with a trained water damage specialist ready to answer your concerns, contact Rytech, Inc.

 

What is an “Assignment of Benefits” and Why You Should Avoid it

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

Your home’s a mess. You’ve just suffered water damage from some common source like a ruptured plumbing pipe, outdoor flooding or a backed-up sewer line. A water damage contractor you might have chosen hastily is now insisting that you sign an Assignment of Benefits form before he’ll begin work. You’re in a hurry to get your home — and your life — back to normal, so you sign the paper. What’s wrong with this picture?

assignment of benefitsAs it turns out, a lot. The Assignment of Benefits form is a legally binding document that makes the contractor the direct recipient of all benefits that ensue from your insurance claim. The contractor gains all rights to your insurance payout while you, the homeowner, are totally out of control of any unreasonable or unjustified costs the contractor may stack up in the bill. However, if/when your insurance company declines to pay these inappropriate charges, according to the terms of the Assignment of Benefits, you’ll be required to pay them. If you decline to do so — or aren’t financially able — the contractor could then place a lien on your property. In a worst-case scenario, an unscrupulous contractor could wind up owning your house.

Assignment of Benefits is often slipped in among other necessary paperwork and casually referred to by some deliberately vague term like “standard AOB Form.” Of course, it’s mainly “standard” with less-than-competent outfits and even unethical scamsters. Here’s how to avoid falling victim to the Assignment of Benefits trap:

  • If water damage occurs, always talk to your insurance company first to get recommendations and cautionary advice before formally contracting for water damage recovery services.
  • If you are presented with an Assignment of Benefits, don’t sign it.
  • Before a prospective water damage contractor even inspects your home, always ask up-front if an Assignment of Benefits will be required. If so, consider that a definite red flag. Terminate the discussion and seek out a reputable professional water damage remediation contractor.

Rytech Inc. does not require an Assignment of Benefits contract and actively supports legislation to prohibit this unscrupulous practice. Contact us for more information today.

The Benefits of Hiring an AMRT Certified Technician

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

Because there’s more to be done after water damage strikes than just mopping up, you need a certified Applied Microbial Remedial Technician (AMRT) to make sure the job’s done right. Any time water enters your home from sources like outdoor flooding, a ruptured supply line or a sewer back-up, both immediate and long-term consequences must be addressed. While professional water extraction, structural drying and dehumidifying techniques make up the immediate phase, AMRT treatment by personnel certified by the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) addresses two potential after-effects — mold growth and microbial contamination.

amrt certified professionalFirst Moisture — Then Mold and Bacteria

Once water inundates your home, the onset of toxic mold growth is usually a slam dunk and only a matter of hours away. Similarly, bacteria and other biohazards in raw sewage that back-flows into the house, or present in outdoor flood water, presents an ongoing health threat as it contaminates the indoor environment. Except in cases where water damage affects only a small, limited area, and the water involved is clean and clear, proactive treatment by AMRT-certified personnel should be a part of any professional water damage remediation.

The AMRT certification process includes both classroom theory and hands-on training and complies with industry standards set by the IICRC. The syllabus for AMRT certification focuses on critical mold and bacterial biohazard issues including:

  • Microbiology of toxic mold and sewage.
  • Choice and proper application of effective antimicrobials, biocides and disinfectants.
  • Sampling spores and testing active mold growth.
  • Methods of containment to stop spread of airborne spores or bacterial contamination.
  • Removal of mold growth from surfaces and sterilization.
  • Removal of mold-infected or sewage-contaminated building materials and replacement.
  • Disposal of contaminated materials.
  • Air quality management including replacing HVAC filters and inspecting ductwork and coils for contamination.
  • Follow-up evaluation post-treatment.

For thorough and effective mold and bacterial decontamination in the wake of household water damage, make sure the remediation contractor hires AMRT-certified technicians. For more information, contact the water damage professionals at Rytech, Inc. 

How to Prevent Broken Water Pipes

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

Take a few steps to prevent broken water pipes and reduce your chances of expensive water damage and mold contamination, too. The most common cause of catastrophic water inundation isn’t outdoor flooding, it actually originates indoors with your own plumbing. A ruptured residential water supply line can release up to 50 gallons per minute. How many minutes will elapse before you are able to turn off water to the entire house at the main shutoff valve? Worst case scenario: Suppose you’re out of town for a few days when it happens?

Compared to all other alternatives, anything you can do now to prevent broken water pipes is clearly the preferred course.

prevent broken water pipesGet Your Pressure Checked by a Plumber

Water pressure in the main municipal water line is too high for residential plumbing. It’s typically reduced by a regulator valve located at your water meter or where the water supply line enters your house. If the regulator’s defective or improperly adjusted, indoor water pressure may be excessive and cause a ruptured pipe. In most cases, household water pressure should not exceed 65 p.s.i.

Don’t Put up With Leaks

Pinhole leaks, dribbles or seepage from indoor water supply lines, no matter how minor, should never be dismissed as “normal.” In most cases, the leakage you can actually see is only the external indication of major corrosion inside that may cause a total rupture — or a weakening joint that may blow out any day now. Visually inspect all the water supply lines for any signs of dripping or seepage, past or present, and call a plumber now if you see any.

Replace Galvanized Pipes

If your home was built in the 1970s or earlier, it may have galvanized steel piping. Over the years, this material internally rusts and corrodes, becoming prone to sudden failure. Galvanized pipe that is 40 years old is at the end of its expected life and should be replaced now with copper or PEX as a preventive measure to avoid flooding.

The water damage professionals at Rytech, Inc. are ready with more advice to prevent broken water pipes.