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What Leads to Higher Water Damage Restoration Prices?

Thursday, October 8th, 2020
water damage restoration

Like the natural flow of water itself, water damage restoration prices vary according to a number of factors. Water damage is not a consistent event from one location to the next, and certain unique conditions may increase or decrease water damage restoration prices. That’s one more good reason why a prompt professional inspection by a qualified water damage recovery provider is critical to an accurate estimate of costs as well as time to completion. While it’s impossible to be specific without a competent, thorough inspection, here are some potential issues that may influence water damage restoration prices in a typical setting. 

  • Origin of water. Clean Type 1 water directly from a sanitary source like a broken water supply line generally means a less complicated and inexpensive remediation if addressed promptly. Toxic Type 3 water, however, from a sewage backup or outdoor flooding, requires special protective measures, advanced equipment, and disinfectant techniques to make the house safe to occupy. Water damage restoration prices rise accordingly.
  • Extent of spread. The more square footage affected by water, the more it’s likely to cost to remediate damage. Where water was limited to the hard floor of one room, the process is simplified; water that has spread throughout several rooms, soaking carpets and seeping under walls, is another matter and imposes greater costs.
  • Presence of remaining water. Where a large volume of moisture still remains in certain areas of the house—a flooded basement, for example—water damage restoration prices will be greater due to the need to utilize pumps and heavy-duty extractors to fully dry the premises. 
  • Type of material damage. Not all building materials are equal following water damage. For example, drywall is absorbent and deteriorates rapidly when wet. However, it’s also relatively inexpensive and can be speedily replaced with new material in most cases. Hardwood flooring is another matter. If exposed to water long enough, hardwood may not be salvageable and expensive removal and replacement is the only option. In addition, the plywood subfloor beneath may be saturated and ruined, imposing labor-intensive procedures to remove and replace.  

Water Damage: What Is Restorable?

Thursday, September 10th, 2020
water damage restoration

Water damage affects a structure on many levels, from the very conspicuous damage you can’t miss to more subtle effects you can’t even see. In some cases, building materials are restorable after water damage, depending on the source of water as well as the duration of exposure. However, certain other materials may not be salvageable, or the time and cost required simply make replacement more practical. Here’s how some common home materials and systems may be restorable after water damage—or not, as the case may be.

Drywall

Water-saturated drywall is usually not worth the effort to save it. Wet drywall loses structural integrity. Even after drying, it remains crumbly and continues to deteriorate. Soggy drywall also provides a favorable starting point for mold contamination. Since drywall panels are readily removed and replaced, installing new material is usually advisable.

Flooring

Tile floors, including linoleum and ceramic tiles, are the most water-resistant and usually respond to cleaning and disinfectant following limited water exposure. Wood laminate floors, however, deteriorate rapidly after water damage as glues and adhesives dissolve and the material swells. These floors cannot be restored and usually must be replaced. 

Most hardwood floors resist water at least for a limited time. Dimensional changes may cause cupping in certain planks and splitting and staining may occur, too. However, unless the subfloor beneath is affected, individual hardwood planks can be replaced while the remainder of the floor may be restored by sanding and refinishing.

Insulation

Wet fiberglass attic insulation can be removed, air-dried, and disinfected, then re-installed. Whether this is worth the time and cost versus installing new material with improved insulating properties is a decision the homeowner must make. Blown-in cellulose insulation is usually permanently ruined by water damage and not restorable. Replacement is the only option.

Electrical Wiring

Most professional electricians advise the replacement of electrical wiring and components like outlets and the breaker panel after any contact during water damage. This is for safety reasons as corrosion initiated by moisture continues to deteriorate wiring even after the water has dried, eventually leading to potential fire and shock hazards.

Does Water Damage Worsen With Time?

Thursday, August 27th, 2020
water damage

When baseball legend Yogi Berra famously remarked, “It ain’t over until it’s over,” he wasn’t talking about water damage. However, he could have been. Water damage inside a house is an active, ongoing process that continues to worsen until intervention by qualified professionals, utilizing proven remediation methods, interrupts the sequence.

The timeline of damage due to water is well-researched, documented, and usually predictable. Among the established facts is the certainty that the sooner water damage remediation services are on-scene, the more damage can be averted.

Here’s how typical water damage worsens as time passes:

The First Minutes

A sudden major event like a pipe rupture or appliance overflow quickly saturates the floor and carpets and affects furniture and possessions in direct contact with the floor. Porous items soak up and retain water. In minutes, water flows under baseboards and infiltrates wall cavities. 

As Hours Pass

Drywall absorbs water upwards into the material as far as two feet above floor level. Saturated drywall bulges and becomes structurally unsound.  If water damage occurred on an upper level, standing water has now seeped through flooring and leaked through the ceiling into rooms below. Metal surfaces contacted by the water begin to develop surface corrosion. Dyes in carpeting and furniture fabrics dissolve and begin to run and stain. 

After Two Days

A pungent, musty odor is noticeable—the telltale scent of mold activated by contact with water. Airborne spores contaminate indoor air. Paint has blistered off walls; wallpaper is peeling. The wooden sub-floor is now saturated and swelling, dislodging flooring material such as tiles. Some drywall in walls or ceiling may have collapsed. Wet electrical wiring is corroding and metal equipment contacted by water such as appliances and HVAC components may now be permanently ruined.

A Week Later

Severe damage has occurred as water has penetrated deeply into structural materials. Mold contamination is established and widespread. The house may be unsafe to enter and many possessions may not be recoverable. Major restoration will be required to make the home fit to occupy. 

Understanding The Water Restoration Process…

Thursday, September 28th, 2017

air moverWhen indoor flooding brings upheaval to your daily life, the professional water restoration process returns confidence. Water damage restoration is an established specialty, utilizing proven, standardized techniques and advanced technology to produce results that meet accepted industry standards. From the moment you contact a qualified water damage expert, you’ll benefit from the accumulated experience of thousands of successful restorations.

Water restoration process

To eliminate some of the uncertainty in the wake of a water damage event, here are the basic steps in the water restoration process.

24-Hour Contact – Water damage isn’t a static event that’s over when the water stops flowing. It continues to worsen by the hour as water migrates deeper into the structure. Mold contamination that accompanies water damage is also time-critical. That’s why you’ll get direct, human-to-human response, 24/7/365.

On-Scene Assessment – First responders make sure the water source is stopped. Then, the type of water affecting the house is classified, from Category 1 (clean) to Category 3 (toxic sewage). Damage is mapped; moisture readings are recorded at defined reference points so the drying process can be tracked and confirmed. Furniture and other belongings that need to be relocated are moved.

Water Extraction – Getting water out of the house ASAP is essential to successful recovery. Technicians utilize high-volume pumps to clear flooded areas like basements. Wet/dry vacuums pick up water on hard surfaces while powerful water extractors also pull water out of carpeting and carpet pads, as well as cracks, crevices, and hidden areas within the structure. Building materials including water-logged drywall, ceiling panels and saturated insulation may have to be removed and replaced.

Drying – Because high humidity inside a flooded house causes secondary water damage, industrial dehumidifiers are used to continuously extract water vapor. High-volume air movers keep air circulating across walls, floors, and furniture to speed drying. At regular intervals, moisture is measured at multiple reference points until a specified level of drying has been achieved. When tests confirm that the house is fully restored to baseline dryness, the process is concluded.

Ask the professionals at Rytech, Inc. for more about how the water restoration process works.

Tips for Saving & Salvaging Furniture After a Flood

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

Among the most frequent issues flood specialists near Marietta encounter in homes are furniture exposed to water. You may find yourself faced with a difficult decision about whether or not to attempt to salvage a cherished piece that has incurred serious water damage. Flood specialists near Marietta can offer informed advice to help you make the right call. Here are some considerations to keep in mind:

  • First, evaluate each affected piece. Take into consideration the severity of the damage, the value of the piece in both monetary and sentimental terms and the likely expenses involved in restoring it. Antiques and family heirlooms are often good candidates for restoration, while it may be more cost-effective to simply dispose of more common and replaceable items. Keep in mind, also, that simple furniture restoration is usually within the skill set of most do-it-yourselfers, if you have the time and energy to invest in the job.
  • You’ll probably encounter swollen drawers and doors that won’t open or close. Don’t try to force the issue. Remove the back of the piece to allow air to circulate and let the wood dry fully. Usually, drawers and doors will be at least functional when dry.
  • Solid wood furniture is salvageable by cleaning, drying and re-gluing components where necessary. Steps are required to prevent mildew growth, also. Wood-veneer furniture, however, typically delaminates when water-soaked and is rarely worth the expense to restore unless damage is minimal.
  • Because upholstered furniture usually absorbs a large volume of water, restoration is a job for professionals only. In most cases, unless the piece has very high monetary or sentimental value, the cost of refurbishing water-damaged upholstered pieces is often prohibitive.

Contact Rytech, Inc. for more information about professional services of flood specialists near Marietta.

Leaky Basement? Practical Solutions for Wet Basements

Monday, July 13th, 2015

Leaky and wet basements are the household annoyance that just keeps on giving. What it gives are odors, damaged possessions, structural deterioration, toxic mold growth, and a decreased market value. Many people simply accept a damp or even periodically flooded basement as the status quo. But it’s not acceptable—nor are the downsides of living right above it. Here are some steps for remedying leaky and wet basements ranging from DIY solutions to professional help.

  • Clean your gutters and extend downspouts. Water cascading directly to the ground from clogged gutters permeates basement walls. The same goes when the gutter downspouts are too short and doesn’t discharge water at least five feet from the foundation.
  • Seal cracks and gaps. Make the basement wall less penetrable to water percolating down through the soil by sealing obvious leakage spots with hydraulic cement or polyurethane caulk. They’re both available at the local home center, and it’s a simple DIY task.
  • Grade your ground. Make sure the contour of landscape around the house perimeter slopes away from the foundation. Water pooling at low spots along the foundation soaks into soil and eventually penetrates the basement.
  • Get your drainage done. If your foundation incorporates footing drains that convey underground water away from the basement, a professional plumber can check the function of the drains and unclog them where necessary.
  • Do you have a sump pump and does it work? If you don’t, have one installed as safeguard against both water inundation from floods and rising ground water from below. If you already have one, have it checked for proper operation annually by a plumber. Also, make sure your sump system has battery backup function—flooded basements and power outages often go together.

Contact the water damage recovery professionals at Rytech for more solutions to leaky and wet basements.

What Happens to Carpeting Ruined by Water Intrusion?

Friday, July 3rd, 2015

To restore water damaged carpeting or not to restore? That’s the question. The answer depends first and foremost on the type of water damage. Carpeting both attracts and retains water and is a source of latent moisture as well as damaging humidity as long as it remains inside the house. Often, the decision to restore water damaged carpeting or discard it is one of the first issues a water damage recovery professional must resolve.

Water inundation is generally categorized by its original source:

  • White water originates from a sanitary municipal source. In most homes, a common cause of a white water inundation is a ruptured indoor water supply line. Generally speaking, white water can be extracted from carpeting and the carpet successfully dried. In most cases, however, the carpet must be raised and saturated padding removed and discarded.
  • Gray water is usually unsanitary drain water that has escaped pipes or overflowed sources like kitchen sinks, bathtubs, and washing machines. Carpeting affected by a gray water spill may be saved under certain circumstances, chiefly dependent upon time and the nature of the spill. Water extraction and application of disinfectants must begin within 12 hours, before any pathogens or microbes have developed. In addition, if the water damage originates from an overflowing toilet or other source of potential biological contaminants like human waste, the carpeting should be replaced rather than restored.
  • Black water comes from indoor sources like a backed-up sewer or outdoor flood waters that may have been contaminated by sewage before entering the house. Raw sewage is always considered unsanitary and toxic. Any carpeting or other absorbent materials contacted by black water should be immediately removed from the home and discarded in a manner consistent with local codes.

For professional advice about water damaged carpeting, contact the professionals at Rytech.

What Type of Equipment is Used in Water Restoration & Removal?

Friday, June 12th, 2015

Professional water removal and restoration requires specialized techniques, as well as ongoing training and certification by industry organizations like the Institute Of Inspection, Cleaning And Restoration (IICRC.) It also requires something else: A substantial investment in advanced equipment, purpose-built for water removal and restoration. This isn’t consumer-grade, DIY stuff from the local rental outlet. To accomplish the goals of speed and effectiveness–both critical to minimize damage and optimize recovery results—this heavy-duty technology is designed for commercial use and engineered to accommodate the unique circumstances of any water damage restoration project.

What Type of Equipment is Used in Water Restoration & Removal?

If water damage strikes, the professionals you hire will probably arrive well-armed with equipment like this:

Evaluation

Determining the extent of water damage is central. Moisture detectors and hygrometers are used to measure wetness of building materials and determine the amount of water vapor in the air. Infrared cameras may be utilized to locate “hidden” water inside wall voids and other parts of the structure.  This hardware enables an accurate damage estimate and helps direct restoration efforts for maximum effect.

Extraction And Removal

Not your typical household wet/dry vacs, professionals employ both electric and gasoline-powered submersible pumps to remove a high volume of water in a very short time. Truck-mounted and portable vacuums provide the suction power to extract water from carpets and suck it out of flooring and crevices.

Drying

Industrial-strength dehumidifiers are deployed quickly to remove water vapor—a major source of secondary damage following the water inundation. High-volume air movers can be configured to precisely direct jets of air across floors, walls, and other surfaces, as well as provide continuous mass airflow throughout the premises to exhaust water vapor.

To learn more about the equipment that makes water removal and restoration a science, contact the professionals at Rytech, Inc.

Image via Shutterstock

Keep Your Home Free of Dangerous Black Mold

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

shutterstock_231594136Stachybotrys chartarum is the formal name for what is known as black mold growth. While the color actually ranges from greenish to brown to black, it is one of several common indoor mold types. According to the Centers For Disease Control, black mold symptoms result primarily from exposure to the mycotoxins carried by airborne reproductive spores. When inhaled by susceptible individuals, Stachybotrys chartarum spores may trigger immune responses that cause allergy-like respiratory illness. Black mold symptoms may also be more problematic for persons with lung disease or suppressed immune systems.

In open spaces, mold has little effect on humans. However, in an enclosed indoor environment, spores released by black mold growth—as well as other types of mold—may accumulate to toxic concentrations. Occupants of a mold-infected home may be subjected to a daily dose of inhaled black mold spores that far exceeds levels in the great outdoors.

Elimination of black mold growth by a mold remediation specialist involves addressing contributing factors as well as source control.

  • The primary trigger factor for indoor black mold growth is moisture. Exposure to water from localized flooding commonly activates dormant Stachybotrys chartarum spores. Less obvious ongoing moisture sources include minor plumbing and roof leaks and even high indoor humidity.
  • Black mold most frequently grows on surfaces that provide cellulose nutrients including wood, paper-covered drywall, ceiling tiles and other building materials.
  • Because mold growth often penetrates deep into the surface of materials, common disinfectants like bleach that kill mold only on superficial contact may not prevent recurrence. A mold remediation expert will select EPA-approved biocides specifically formulated for mold disinfection. Where penetration of mold growth is excessive, removal and replacement of building materials may be recommended to achieve full control.

For more on black mold growth and symptoms, contact the mold remediation specialists at Rytech, Inc.

Photo via Shutterstock

Why DIY Water Extraction & Mold Removal Is Not Recommended

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

shutterstock_43798510DIY water and mold removal: One can be downright dangerous, the other’s often ineffective. Water damage recovery experts from Rytech follow industry standard methods developed by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). In the indoor environment of a home, many factors combine to discourage untrained, do-it-yourself methods. Water damage recovery and mold remediation techniques must be prioritized and executed in a specific sequence on a strict time schedule. Also, equipment, technology, and chemicals utilized by a professional water damage recovery service are seldom available to the average homeowner.

Here’s why DIY water and mold removal are best left to trained professionals:

Getting The Water Out

Water extraction must be done quickly as damage from standing water escalates rapidly. Professional equipment purpose-built for this process is specialized, not consumer-grade. Pumping equipment is high-capacity to extract thousands of gallons per hour and dry interior spaces fast. These devices must be utilized only by trained professionals due to the hazards of electrocution when operating in a wet environment. Also, merely working inside a flooded structure poses dangers as saturated drywall, ceiling panels, and other building materials may collapse from the weight of the water.

Gone With The Mold

Effective mold removal must be preceded by testing to identify the type and select the most effective EPA-approved disinfectants. Many consumer-grade products cosmetically remove mold from surfaces. However, since mold growth often penetrates building materials, when treated only superficially it will usually recur. In addition, mold spores often inhabit inaccessible areas of the home, growing inside structural voids and other hidden areas unknown to the amateur. The expertise of a trained professional is required to track down stealth mold and eliminate it from the indoor environment.

Don’t rely on DIY water and mold removal methods. Contact the experts at Rytech, Inc.

Photo via Shutterstock