Tag Archives: basement

In the Aftermath of a Flood: 9 Mold Damage Remediation Tips

Flooding is one of the major causes of mold damage, and any mold in your home must be promptly addressed as it can pose serious health hazards.

Mold feeds on microorganisms that are invisible to the naked eye, as well as many materials that are commonly used in construction. Thus, it is practically impossible to stop them by eliminating their food sources.

Rather, the key to successful remediation is to remove the water sources mold relies on to grow and spread.

In the Aftermath of a Flood: 9 Mold Damage Remediation Tips

In the Aftermath of a Flood: 9 Mold Damage Remediation Tips

Getting Rid of Mold After a Flood

Here are nine helpful tips, curated from professional remediators, to help guide you if you’ve got a mold problem as the result of a flood:

  • Wear an N-95 respirator as you work, along with goggles. These items will ensure you don’t breathe in mold spores, or have them come in contact with your eyes.
  • Begin by addressing all plumbing leaks and problematic plumbing fixtures. You need to take care of any and all water problems in your home before tackling the mold. That means getting the flooded area fixed up and dried out.
  • Remove all water-saturated items from the area affected by the flooding and dry them thoroughly. It’s best to hang-dry such items outside, if possible.
  • Use a mixture of detergent and water to remove mold from buildups from hard surfaces. Be sure to wear protective rubber gloves so the detergent and water solution doesn’t irritate your skin as you work. Once you’re done, dry the affected areas using fans and dehumidifiers.
  • If you have mold buildups in porous materials or materials that absorb water, you will likely have to throw them out. This advice applies to items like ceiling panels, curtains, drapes, and carpets. Mold can easily spread into the empty pockets in such items, making it virtually impossible to eliminate.
  • Never apply caulking or paint to surfaces that still have live mold on them. Not only will these compounds fail to solve the underlying mold problem, but they will also crack and peel if the mold isn’t removed first.
  • Valuable items and items with sentimental value should be cleaned by an expert. If possible, consult a professional with specialized expertise, such as a furniture repair, art restoration, or carpet cleaning specialist.
  • Check carefully for signs of mold near your home’s HVAC vents and intake points. If mold has contaminated your home’s air circulation system, the spores could spread throughout your home and create a much bigger problem.
  • Mold buildups caused by sewage leaks or floods involving contaminated water require special considerations. Most inexperienced lay people do not have the skills or equipment to address these types of problems, so if this case applies to you, your first step should be to call in a pro.

Call Professionals For Help

While minor cases of mold growth can be addressed in DIY fashion, extensive or severe situations are best left to professionals. It can be difficult and dangerous to your health to attempt to undertake major mold repairs yourself, so if you’re unsure of how to proceed or encounter any setbacks along the way, your next move should be to contact an experienced mold removal contractor.

If you need help restoring your home after a flood, call Mid-Atlantic Home Improvement. We are a family owned and operated Virginia home improvement contractor with over 40 years of experience. Whether you need mold removal or water damage handled, we’re here to help!

Call (804) 647-0649 or (800) 852-4142 or Request Your Free Quote below

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Home Water Damage: 5 Major Causes and Prevention Tips

Water damage is a major headache that often necessitates costly repairs. Aside from immediate damage it creates, it can also lead to serious problems later on, including toxic mold and problems with your home’s structural and foundational elements.

However, the good news is that most types of water damage are preventable. You can even take action to reduce the chances of suffering serious damage as the result of something you can’t prevent, such as a flood or backed-up city sewer.

Home Water Damage: 5 Major Causes and Prevention Tips

5 Most Common Types of Water Damage and How to Prevent Them

Water damage can be dangerous and expensive, so preventing it is an important part of home maintenance. No matter the type of damage, there are numerous things your can do to protect your property.

#1. Floods

Floods caused by natural events such as major storms are among the leading culprits when it comes to home water damage. While nobody can control Mother Nature, there are several things you can do to safeguard against storm-related flooding:

  • Keep valuables off the basement floor. Most storm-related floods affect basements. As such, it’s not a good idea to keep valuable items, like high-end furniture and electronics, in these areas of your home. This is particularly true if you live in a flood-prone geographic region.
  • Raise your electric sockets. Flood damage will wreak havoc on affected parts of your home’s electrical system. One strategy is to elevate the position of the electric sockets in your basement. Instead of placing them near the floor, move them higher up on the wall.
  • Install a basement sump pump. A battery-powered basement sump pump will help you clear water in the event of a flood.
  • Put indoor/outdoor carpeting in basements. Use stone, tile, sealed concrete, waterproof wallboard and other water-resistant building materials in areas prone to flooding.
  • Seal foundation cracks. Water in the foundation can cause serious damage to your home’s structure. Make sure that the grounds around the house slope away from the home to keep water from the foundations and basement.

#2. Burst pipes

Burst pipes can be a major problem, especially during the winter months. Water can freeze inside the pipes, causing expansion that can lead to a burst…and thousands of dollars’ worth of water damage. The good news is there’s an easy three-step method to avoid such a situation:

  • Set your water thermostat to 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees Celsius)
  • Turn on your faucets ever so slightly, so any water in your pipes will drip out
  • Once your pipes are empty, insulate all exposed pipes to help trap heat inside so water will not freeze.
  • Fix and replace leaking pipes, clogged drains, and malfunctioning drainage systems immediately.
  • Check washing machine and dishwasher hoses to make sure that they aren’t cracked.

#3. Water heater failures

Water heater failures usually result from slow leaks or bursts inside the water tank. Performing regular routine maintenance is the best way to avoid these problems.

  • Have your water heater regularly serviced by a qualified technician, and flush out built-up sediment on a regular basis according to manufacturer guidelines. Consult your owner’s manual for specifics.
  • Replace your aging water heater – if your water heater reaches its life expectancy, the risk of a slow leak or sudden burst increases.

#4. Roof leaks

Roof leaks are another common culprit of home flooding, and you can avoid them by being vigilant about possible problems with your roofing and performing regular maintenance of your roofing system.

  • Every spring and fall, you should perform a detailed inspection of your roof, noting any areas where shingles or roofing elements show signs of wear. Have them repaired promptly.
  • Replace shingles that are coming loose, and pay extra attention to areas around the chimney and vents.
  • Do the same if you notice leaks coming from your roof, even if you didn’t notice signs of damage during your inspection. Something may have eluded your eye, and a professional can help diagnose and solve these problems.
  • Use galvanized or stainless-steel nails and fasteners.
  • Make sure that gutters drain water away from the house, and that all the joints are all properly sealed.

#5. Toilet and drain backups

Finally, beware of toilet and drain backups. Regular inspections and preventative maintenance will help you avoid problems with your toilets and drains.

  • Check your toilet’s supply valve, supply line, and flush valve at least once a year, and replace any components showing signs of wear.
  • Act promptly if any of your home’s toilets stop functioning normally.
  • With drains, do periodic checks to make sure water isn’t clearing unusually slowly. If it is, something is likely clogging your drain. Drain cleaners are readily available at home improvement stores, and they’ll help in most situations.
  • For persistent problems, or for issues that you can’t readily solve using frontline techniques, contact your local plumber.

If Water Damage Has Occurred…

If you have water damage in your home, there’s a series of steps you need to follow to solve your problem. These include identifying the source of the damage, fixing that problem and then dealing with the water damage itself.

If you’ve been affected by water damage, you will be dealing with your homeowner’s insurance. Here are few tips:

  • call your insurance agent right away,
  • list all of your damaged property before beginning the cleanup process, including pictures if possible,
  • keep receipts for all of your cleanup supplies and any services that you hire,
  • know that flood damage is not covered under homeowner’s insurance, you will need flood insurance purchased separately,
  • additionally, not all water damage is covered by insurance, especially if the damage resulted from lack of proper maintenance or was ongoing but ignored.

In the aftermath of water damage, hiring a quality contractor is the best way to ensure your water damage gets fixed right, the first time, every time. For immediate help, call Mid-Atlantic Home Improvement, a family owned/operated Charlottesville & Culpeper VA home renovation contractor with over 40 years of experience. We are experts at insurance restoration and offer 24/7 emergency service to our Virginia customers!.

Call (804) 647-0649 or (800) 852-4142 or Request Your Free Quote below

We work for you, not the insurance company!

Get your no-obligation quote!

Flooded Basement Cleanup: 6 Water Damage Restoration & Repair Tips for Homeowners

Basements are the most flood-prone areas of a home, with major causes of basement flooding including foundation problems, severe storms and sewer backups.

Flooded Basement Cleanup: 6 Water Damage Restoration & Repair Tips for Homeowners

Widespread water damage can be difficult to properly repair using DIY techniques, and in such cases, it’s generally a better idea to hire an experienced restoration contractor to do the job.

Minor water damage caused by slight flooding, however, can usually be remedied on your own, especially if you keep the following considerations in mind.

Flooded Basement Cleanup: 6 Water Damage Restoration & Repair Tips for Homeowners

#1: Get Protective Gear

If water has been in the basement for any length of time, you’ll need to protect yourself against the dangers posed by bacteria and the toxic mold that can form in highly humid and moist indoor areas. These health risks can be serious, so be sure that everyone working in the basement has personal protective gear (PPG), including face masks, gloves, and proper footwear.

#2: Disconnect Your Electricity and Remove Damaged Items

Water and electricity are a deadly combination. Before you start your repair tasks, cut your home’s power supply, then start by removing damaged or sensitive items, including:

  • Electrical appliances
  • Furniture
  • Storage boxes
  • Anything else that has been damaged

#3: Get Rid of the Water

You have three major options when it comes to getting the water out of your basement. The first method is the old-school approach: remove it manually, using buckets, mops, and towels. This can be time-consuming and labor-intensive, but it is the least expensive.

Alternately, if the situation allows, you can rent a wet-dry vacuum. However, you need to be very careful, as this will require that you turn the electricity back on so the vacuum has a power supply. Plug the wet-dry vacuum into a socket that is far away from any standing water. Be extra cautious with extension cords, as they could short-circuit, causing a potentially serious shock. Most experts recommend avoiding extension cords altogether in these situations.

If a wet-dry vacuum isn’t an option, you can also rent or purchase a sump pump. Once you’ve removed the water, set up a dehumidifier and use fans to dry things up.

#4: Clean and Disinfect Affected Areas

After all affected areas are completely dry, you can move into the clean-and-disinfect phase. You may need specialized cleaners that will be available at local DIY retailers. You’re aiming to wipe out bacteria as well as any mold that may have gained a foothold in the moist, humid conditions.

Treat any area that was affected by the flooding, including walls and furniture. Upholstered furniture doesn’t generally recover well after a flood, and it may need to be discarded.

#5: Get Rid of Structures That Cannot be Repaired

Bacteria and toxic mold are more likely to grow in problematic quantities if they have a food source, and if conditions are right. Damaged walls, wood, furniture, and other items can all potentially contribute to their growth, so any element that cannot be repaired should be removed from your home.

In some cases, this can involve demolishing walls and other interior structures. If the scope of the project is too large for you to handle, consult a professional specializing in basement renovations & repairs, and talk to your home insurance provider to see if floods are on your list of covered perils. Many contractors will even handle insurance claims for you!

#6: Protect Your Basement From Future Flooding

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and that is especially true when it comes to basement flooding.

Some tips that will go a long way towards preventing a future flood include:

  • placing a vent or hole in the the basement wall where where flooded water can flow out such as by the basement windows
  • installing a sump pump
  • installing a check valve for backup sewer
  • keeping your rain gutters clean and extending rain gutter downspouts so that rain water is carried further away from home
  • hiring an excavation contractor to regrade your yard, so that water is properly directed away from your home
  • maintaining your plumbing to make sure your pipes don’t leak or burst
  • investing in a solid flood insurance plan so that you’re financially protected

Also, always store important and valuable items in higher places, making widespread use of waterproof storage bins, and stay vigilant about your spring cleaning every year to reduce clutter.

If you need professional help handling fire or water damage repairs, call Mid-Atlantic Home Improvement. Family owned/operated Charlottesville & Culpeper VA home renovation contractor with over 40 years of experience, we are experts at insurance restoration and offer 24/7 emergency service to our Virginia customers!.

Call (804) 647-0649 or (800) 852-4142 or Request Your Free Quote below

We work for you, not the insurance company!

Get your no-obligation quote!