Water Damage Repair – Step by Step Tutorial

Note: This video is from local Colorado Springs water damage expert, Joe Crivello.  Since this video his disaster restoration company has consolidated under the name of AmeriDri.

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Insurance

This part assumes that you have already contacted a plumber to stop the source of the water intrusion.  The first step with any contractor is to go over your insurance with them and to file a proper claim.  It’s good to let the professional water damage consultant go over this with you to determine exactly what is covered and also what is your deductible.

Category One Damage

A category one damage would be fresh water, usually the result from a broken water line.  This is water that has not been sitting for more than 24 hours and therefore there is less chance of any micro-organisms developing.  A green product is applied to all surfaces limiting any chance of microbial growth.

In this situation any water is extracted from the carpet or flooring and contents and furniture are relocated to either a garage or some other area off-site.

Category Two Damage

This is considered “gray water” and is the result of water entering through a window well, possibly due to a heavy rain or a sprinkler system breakage.  A backed up washing machine could also cause this kind of damage.  There are more micro-organisms possible in this type of water and extra care is taken to apply a “green” microbial for safety.

Category Three Damage

A category three would be raw sewage or perhaps a category two that has been sitting for more than 48 hours untreated.  A main line backing up into your basement or crawl space is the most common reason for this damage.  An upstairs toilet, however, could also back up causing this category as well.

Anything that has made contact with category three water must be removed or replaced.  The drywall should be cut out about 2 feet high all around the contaminated areas.  The carpet and padding are removed and contents are taken off-site to be inventoried by the owner and insurance adjuster.

Moisture detection equipment is used to be certain that all contaminated areas are treated.  Lots of pictures should be taken to assist your insurance with proper inventory and proof of damage.

Drying the Water Damaged Areas

The next step after extracting all the water is to begin the drying process.  This involves the use of airmovers, dehumidifers, and heat.  These 3 things together make up what professionals call “the drying pie”.

The number of air movers needed is determined by the square footage of the area affected.  Air movement is essential in quick drying which is of course the goal.  Dehumidifiers will bring down the humidity and also speed up the drying process.  Often the heating system in the home can be utilized to also aid in the process but sometimes professional heating equipment will be necessary, especially in crawl spaces where the home heating has limited reach.

Moisture Mapping

In order to dry your home properly strict records are kept of temperature and humidity.  This is known as “moisture mapping” and most insurance companies will require these records to be kept.  A home that has experienced water damage will normally take 2 to 3 days for the drying process.  In extreme situations this could of course take a bit longer.  The proper amount of air movers and dehumidifiers, along with heat, will dry your home quickly enough to prevent further damage, like mold growth.

Rebuilding After Water Damage

Once the drying is complete then the rebuilding can begin.  This work is sometimes performed by the water damage restoration company or is performed by a separate contractor.  This is your decision as the homeowner and you should consider it carefully.  The goal of this is to bring your home to a “pre-loss” condition and you should be completely satisfied with the results.

That concludes this brief step by step process of water damage restoration.  We hope this helps you.

Water Leaks & Proper Drying in Colorado Springs

The first step in removing water from a flooded basement or crawlspace is the most important one.  Of course, this assumes you have already contacted an emergency plumber in Colorado Springs to fix the source of the flood.  Many water damage restoration companies make the mistake of not spending enough time on this critical area.

At AmeriDri we realize that the time spent getting the bulk water out will make a major difference in preventing long term damage to the structure.  This is why our state-of-the-art truck mounted drying equipment can remove the water or sewage backup from your carpet, wood, tile or bare concrete quickly and easily.  Once the bulk water is removed drying becomes much easier and faster … leaving you with less damage to your walls or ceilings and less costly repairs.

One word of caution, however, if water entered your structure because of hydrostatic pressure from saturated ground soil outside of your basement walls and the water inside your basement is 6 feet high, then removing the water too quickly could bring disaster.  In this type of situation we would handle the situation by pumping out the water slowly a foot or two in measured time periods.  This would relieve the interior pressure that is pressing on the outward walls and keep your basement walls from imploding.

Fortunately, this is a rare event.  The more common water levels can be safely removed quickly by using commercial wet vacuum extraction equipment.  The truck-mounted equipment like we use here at AmeriDri can safely remove quantities of standing water on hard surface flooring, or from carpet and pad.

There are a number of tools we use, like the “Water Claw” that provide a greater weight which increases the vacuum seal on the carpet and requires the technician to literally slow down.  Failure to slow down when performing water extraction is by far the biggest mistake many disaster restoration companies make.

Another consideration is what to do with the water being removed.  Usually, this would mean putting it down the sewage system drain if it’s operational.  In most situations our truck mount is used to capture the water and safely remove it to an appropriate disposal site.

A certified water damage expert should also be aware of hidden pockets of saturation.  These “pockets” could be inside of walls or ceilings, under floors, or even within insulation.  They present a drying challenge and removing moisture from these areas sometimes requires removing sheetrock or other materials.  Even though this may increase the cost of the repair it is necessary to prevent microorganism growth from developing and causing future health concerns.

At AmeriDri, Joe Crivello, along with his crew receive up-to-date training in the latest drying technologies and you will be well taken care of.  Please call joe today at 719-358-2435 with any questions or concerns if you have any water leaks or water intrusion to your home or office.

Emergency Plumbers and Frozen Pipes in Colorado Springs

It’s that time of year.  Frozen plumbing and broken pipes.  Who do you call in an emergency?  Do you reach for the Yellow Pages or do your search online?  The increase of homeowners using the search engines to locate plumbers in Colorado Springs is increasing dramatically … but who can you trust?

At AmeriDri in Colorado Springs we can send out the finest emergency plumbers with a good reputation and experience that won’t cost you a fortune.  Our hand selected plumbers can handle any emergency plumbing situation that you may encounter, i.e. frozen pipes, backed up drains, flooded basements, you name it!

The great thing about calling Joe at AmeriDri is that our water damage restoration crew can be at your house while the plumber is actually fixing the source of your water intrusion.  That way the water damage cleanup can begin right away with minimal damage to your walls and ceilings.

By calling us at 719-388-8509 we will dispatch a plumber to your home day or night that you can trust.  Joe at AmeriDri is fully certified and insured with a perfect record at the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado.

In most cases your insurance will cover some, if not all,  of the water damage and Joe’s years of experience in dealing with insurance adjusters will come in very handy.  Be sure and read our article about insurance and water damage in Colorado Springs.

This is the time to drain your lawn sprinkler systems and cover your outside faucets and get ready for “old man winter” to hit.  In the event that you need an emergency plumber in Colorado Springs then Joe at AmeriDri will be able to assist you through the entire process.  For more information visit our website at www.AmeriDri.com or call Joe at 719-388-8509.

Water and Mold Damage Remediation – New and Improved

In the old days of the water damage restoration industry you might find a guy with a wet/dry vacuum sucking up the water in a flooded basement and telling you to keep the windows open for a week to dry things out.  Actually, you may still run into this guy! That’s a good reason to make sure anyone you hire to perform a water or flood cleanup is both certified and has a good record with your local Better Business Bureau.

Today with our energy-efficient buildings and more lightweight construction materials, not to mention more expensive contents, the demand for a quick response time is more important than ever.  Recently, more federal and state agencies have gotten involved, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  This is probably necessary due to the bad reputation that some have given the industry.  Lawyers, of course, have gotten on the bandwagon too.  There’s lot of money in that there mold! … even though insurance carriers quickly rallied to prevent mold damage from being covered in most cases.

The American public should know that the mold remediation and water damage restoration industry is making great progress.  There is a relatively new science evolving known as, “Psychrometry” or the science of drying.  Today the industry is training its technicians in microbiology, psychrometry, thermodynamics, biocide chemistry, aerodynamics, and evaporation and dehumidification theory.  Whoo, and you just thought you  needed some water sucked out of your carpet.

Here at AmeriDri in Colorado Springs, Colorado, we are utilizing all of the latest technologies and continuing education so that we remain on the cutting edge of the water damage restoration and mold remediation service industry.

For more information call Joe Crivello today at 719-388-8509.  We have satisfied customers in  Colorado including Colorado Springs, Monument, Woodland Park, Castle Rock, Denver, Pueblo, Fountain, Falcon, Walsenberg, Trinidad and more.

For our northern New Mexico customers in Red River, Angel Fire, Taos, Questa, Cimarron, and Raton we are just a few hours away.

Mold Detection 101

How Can I Tell If There’s Mold In My Home?

One of the easiest ways to determine if you have mold growing in your home is if you can actually see it.  The mold can often be seen in the form of a discolored patch … commonly green, gray, brown, or black, but on some occasions white or other colors. There may also be a speckled type of growth on the surface of your walls or furniture.  Many times the mold will have a cottony appearance.

The next tool in your mold inspecting kit is your nose.  Do you smell that?  Mold growth will most often have a musty or earthy type of odor.  Molds release countless microscopic spores, which travel through the air and produce a distinct smell.  This is why some mold investigators actually use dogs to sniff out the more harmful types of toxic mold like the notorious stachybotrys chartarum – a mold that may be found in homes with water damage.

A third trick to discovering if mold is growing in your home is to invite a friend or neighbor who is mold-allergic over for tea!  If their symptoms return then you probably have mold!  Of course I’m only joking, but if you find that someone visiting your house begins to experience headaches, or difficulty breathing then it may be due to mold contamination.

If there is any evidence of past or ongoing water damage then this should alert you to the possibility of mold contamination.  Mold may be growing behind walls, ceilings or floors.  All water-damaged surfaces should also be examined underneath.

Reliable air sampling for mold is an option if you don’t see or smell anything but you or your household continue to experience health problems.  This requires more expertise and should be performed by a certified mold investigator.

In conclusion, the easiest way to handle a suspicion of mold contamination is, “if it looks like mold and smells like mold, then it probably is”.  In my next article I’ll cover some “do it yourself” clean-up procedures.  Now that you’ve found the mold … let’s go kill it.  Stay tuned and stay healthy.

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