Common Consequences of Water Damage
Water damage on kitchen ceiling.
When people think of water, it is often in regards to sandy beaches or long, relaxing soaks in the tub. Hardly any homeowner thinks about water damage unless they actually experience it first-hand.
However, when a homeowner experiences such damage or threat of it, they likely fear the worst. Thankfully, water problems vary in the degree of challenges, and while there are significant and costly issues that may arise, the three most likely are as follow:
- Wallboard and ceiling tiles
- Cabinets and furniture
3 Common Consequences of Water Damage
1. Wallboard and Ceiling Tiles
Many people realize they need a plumbing repair because they find staining on wallboards or ceilings tiles. The staining is an indicator of where the problem is, but it doesn't always mean there is a significant problem. Sometimes, a large stain can stem from a small leak, meaning repairs are minor.
Pipes also run under your flooring, which can lead to significant problems in the event of a pipe break. However, even water damage stemming from a sink leak can lead to issues with your flooring. While water may cause irreversible damage to laminate and other flooring types, hardwoods can often be sanded down and refinished. However, you will need to inspect the subfloor, and you might want to hire a mitigation service in Ogden, UT, for such an inspection.
3. Cabinets and Furniture
A supply line break can also damage cabinets and furniture, depending on its location. The quality of the furniture and cabinetry will also play a role in the salvageability of the materials. If made from hardy woods and materials, the pieces can likely be restored, but if the furniture or cabinets use particleboard and MDF, the damage is likely permanent.
As a homeowner, it is vital to familiarize yourself with common water damage issues. Knowing about the possible problems can help you in your preparation and home management.
How To Respond to Shower Mold
Bathroom mold growth is common because of the constant use of water and high levels of humidity.
Your bathroom provides an ideal environment for black mold because of the constant use of water and the high levels of humidity. The good news is that you can clean up some of that unsightly shower mold between visits from Ogden, UT, mold remediation professionals. Before you get started, remember a few vital tips:
Vital Tips to Clean Up Unsightly Shower Mold
- Never mix bleach, vinegar, and other cleaning products.
- When you treat the surface mold, hidden growth is still present behind the tiles where you can't reach.
It's good to conduct surface cleaning regularly, but it's still necessary to have professionals visit to get rid of mold hidden by the shower walls, the ceiling, and the floor.
Use a Homemade Solution
You can use undiluted vinegar in a spray bottle. Full-strength vinegar is the most effective, and you don't need to wipe the vinegar away. Within an hour or two, you shouldn't be bothered by vinegar smell anymore. Alternatively, you could mix 1 cup of Borax or bleach with a gallon of water and put this mixture in your spray bottle. The Borax spray doesn't need to be rinsed off, but the bleach spray must be rinsed away. Remember that bleach releases toxic fumes.
Wipe and Scrub Affected Surfaces
It's important that you get the right amount of spray on the shower mold, so that there's an even coating, but not so much liquid that you increase the potential for mold growth. Use a clean cloth or sponge to wipe the area down. Pull out a scrub brush for stubborn areas. Don't use that brush for anything else, or you'll risk spreading mold throughout your home. Moldy grout can be particularly hard to clean.
Replace Grout, Tiles, and Other Surfaces
If you can't get rid of mold stains, there's probably a deeper problem. This should be addressed by professionals. Removing wallboard, tiles, or wallpaper can release mold spores into the air, allowing them to float into other rooms of your home.
Shower mold may be a common occurrence, but this doesn't lessen the severity of this risks of associated with this fungus in your home. Make sure you take steps to clean up and treat mold as soon as you see or suspect its presence.
When Is Flood Water Considered Black Water?
Building damaged after severe storm.
All flood water is not created equal — even if it’s all equally frustrating. When a flood strikes your Ogden, UT, commercial property, it’s important to know which category of water you’re dealing with, especially if that water is black water.
Category 1 Water
Water from a flood is classified into one of three categories, and of the three, this is the most benign. Category 1 water comes from a clean source, such as the following:
- Drinking fountains
- Toilet tanks
- Water supply lines
This type of water is free from contaminants and is generally safe for you to clean up on your own if you have the time and equipment. That said, if left untouched, Category 1 water can easily turn into Category 2 water.
Category 2 Water
Often referred to as “gray water,” this type of flood water likely contains bacteria that could make you sick if you ingest it. Category 2 water is the product of a variety of sources:
- Sink drains
- Failed sump pumps
- Washing machines
- Toilets containing urine only
Because of its unsanitary nature, it’s best to contact a flood damage restoration company to help you clean up after Category 2 flooding.
Category 3 Water
Category 3, or "black," water gets its name from the elevated level of contamination present. This type of water is typically highly toxic and should always be managed by professionals since contact with it can lead to considerable illness and other health problems. Its sources typically include the following:
- Rivers and streams
- Toilets containing liquid and solid waste
- Sewer backup
- Storm surge
- Stagnant water (where bacteria has likely begun to grow)
When in doubt, enlist the help of your local flood and storm damage mitigation company to help you clean up flood water. In addition to being the safest course of action, it’s also often the quickest way to return your property to its pre-flood state.
4 Major Ways Water Enters Your Basement
Air movers on water damage in a Ogden, UT home
Nothing is more frustrating than dealing with a basement flood, especially when you can’t determine the cause. If your basement in Ogden, UT, has problems with water buildup during the rainy season, you may need to check for a few of these common problems.
4 Common Basement Problems That Can Lead To Water Damage
- Homes Built on Saturated Ground
When the ground is naturally moist, it can cause water to drain off into the lowest part of your property or the basement. If your home isn’t built on a floodplain, you can also check the soil moisture levels with the following tools:
- Soil moisture probe
- ET gauge
As a solution, you may want to direct water from the high points of your land to a drainage ditch by laying down tile lines.
- Improperly Sealed Walls and Floors
Cracks in the floors or walls can easily cause a basement flood, even if there isn’t a lot of rain. In some cases, the basement tiles of the house may not have been properly sealed or damage may have occurred to the concrete. Once you determine the source, you can patch up the cracks with epoxy sealers or cement.
- Damaged City Sewage or Drainage Systems
When a section of the city drainage system breaks or becomes plugged near your home, the water may come back up the pipes and cause a basement to become flooded. If this is the case, you may need to call a local authority to help resolve the issues.
- Blocked Gutters and Eavestroughs
When an eavestrough becomes blocked or clogged with debris, rain may overflow to the sides of your home and seep down into the soil next to your basement. Over time, the water buildup may create weaknesses in the foundation and cause cracks to occur. To fix this problem, you may need to install a screen mesh over the gutters or routinely clean the eavestrough system.
If you experience a devastating basement flood near Ogden, UT, make sure you call a professional cleanup crew. They can help you recover from water damage and help you resolve any major issues.
Getting Compensation for Flood Damage Repair
Heavy storms can cause severe damage to your home.
Any heavy storm can do a lot of damage to your home. If a hurricane or other natural disaster hits Ogden, UT, though, the results can be devastating. Whether you have flood insurance or not, you may be able to get assistance to help with expenses through a federal grant.
Getting Assistance Through a Federal Grant
What Is Covered?
Disaster assistance through FEMA may help you cover some of the typical costs that occur after a flood:
- Temporary housing
- Basic home repair
- Vehicle replacement
- Medical or funeral costs
This assistance does not cover the cost to restore your home fully to its previous state or replace every item lost in the flood. It can, however, pay for some of the work done by certified flood experts to help ensure that you have a safe, habitable home to return to.
Who Is Eligible?
In order to provide assistance where it is needed most, FEMA extends eligibility to a broad range of individuals who live or work within the affected floodplain. You can apply even if you don't have current flood insurance. The citizenship of everyone involved is not a factor as long as one member of the household is either a citizen, qualified alien or non-citizen national. Both homeowners and renters, including college students staying in dorms in the area, can apply for aid. Even if you have already started cleanup and paid for some of the services, you may be able to get reimbursed. If your life was affected by the disaster, you are eligible to apply for assistance.
How Do You Apply?
You don't have to determine your own eligibility for relief funds; you simply need to apply for it. To apply for a federal disaster assistance grant, visit the application website or call the FEMA helpline (800-621-3362). You will receive a determination letter that details the money that is available to you or directs you to further action.
Even if you don't have flood insurance, you may be able to receive aid for expenses after a natural disaster. Apply for federal disaster assistance to find out.
How To Save Your Belongings From Smoke Damage
Fire damage in your Ogden, UT home can be devastating.
A fire in your Ogden, UT, home can leave you reeling. Even after the flames are out, the effects of smoke and soot can linger in every nook, cranny and favorite old T-shirt. From taking your smoky clothes to your favorite dry-cleaning establishment to ultrasonic cleaning, the good news is that it may be possible to save many of your belongings after a home fire.
2 Ways to Save Your Belongings From Smoke Damage
After a fire, the cleaning instructions on your clothes’ tags go out the window. First, remove any soot from your wardrobe by taking it outside and shaking as much as you can off.
Next, enlist the help of your fire damage restoration company to deodorize your garments. If you skip this step, those clothes are likely to smell like smoke even after cleaning. Fire damage mitigation technicians can perform an ozone treatment that removes smoke odor for good by breaking the smoke down at the molecular level.
After clothes have been thoroughly deodorized, you may choose to wash some at home and take others to your preferred dry-cleaning service.
2. Virtually Anything Else
Fire damage professionals can also remove smoke and soot from a variety of materials using ultrasonic cleaning. These surfaces and substances include:
Ultrasonic content cleaning uses highly pressurized waves to remove stuck-on smoke and soot particles. It’s especially useful in cleaning hard-to-reach places, which is why it’s routinely used in the medical and jewelry industries. While a fire used to spell disaster for content storage, this modern form of cleaning has drastically increased the number of household items, furniture and beloved family heirlooms that can be rescued from smoke and soot.
After a fire, you have enough to worry about. Let the professionals take most of the work off your hands — save a visit to your dry-cleaning outlet, perhaps — by using their experience and equipment to restore as many of your belongings as possible to their pre-fire state.
The First Three Steps To Take After Bursting Pipes
Bursting pipes may be one common issue that property owners face.
Owning a business or commercial property is often an expensive undertaking, especially if the buildings are old or weren't taken care of by previous owners in Ogden, UT. Unfortunately, bursting pipes may be one common issue that property owners face. The resulting flooding can cause a lot of damage to belongings inside the building, as well as to the building itself. There are three steps you should take as soon as you recognize a leak or a burst pipe:
3 Steps You Should Take After a Pipe Bursts
1. Turn Off the Water
It doesn't take long for pressurized water from bursting pipes to send gallons of water through the building. If you know where the source of the water is, you may be able to use the valves behind or under sinks, toilets, and other appliances. If you don't know where the leak originated or the damage is further along the plumbing system, use the water main to stop the water to the entire building.
2. Drain the Pipes
Once you've shut off the water, you'll need to flush the rest of the water out of the pipes. Do this by opening the cold water at all faucets. Flush all toilets in the building. Locate the hot water heater and shut that off. Finally, go back to the sinks and open the hot water lines.
3. Contact Professionals
Your top priority at this point is to prevent further damage. When you quickly call water damage cleanup and repair professionals, you can avoid secondary damage, such as mold growth and structural deterioration. You should also contact your insurance provider for directions. Sometimes, insurance companies work with professionals who fix broken pipe situations to be sure that bursts don't happen in the future. After making these phone calls, open doors and windows to increase ventilation and begin carrying out water.
The good news is that your insurance company will probably recommend a reputable water damage Ogden company. Although bursting pipes cause disruption to your day, it is possible to recover fully when you act quickly to shut off the water, call professionals, and remove water from your buildings.
How To Troubleshoot 5 Common Water Heater Noises
Regular maintenance is key to extending the life of your water heater.
In a perfect world, your water heater would operate so silently and efficiently that you never have to think about it. In Ogden, UT, however, water heaters make noise. Here are five of the most common types of “concert” that they can perform and how to put an end to the performance.
5 Common Water Heater Noises
1. Screaming or Singing
When your unit makes a loud, screechy noise, it often means that there’s a valve that’s not opened completely. Check not only the water heater’s valves, but also your water lines and sinks.
This type of noise typically indicates that your electric water heater’s heating element needs to be tightened. The hum is produced by the flow of water surrounding the element creating a vibration.
The pipes atop your water heater likely have heat traps on them that keep water flowing in the correct direction. It’s common for this to create a tapping sound from time to time, but if it’s bothersome, try replacing the manufacturer’s heat trap with a dielectric nipple from your local home improvement store.
4. Rumbling or Popping
These sounds are likely the result of sediment buildup in your tank. The popping happens when the trapped sediment is heated by the hot water. The rumbling occurs when the flow of water in the tank stirs the accumulated debris. To eliminate sediment, perform a water heater flush.
Water hammering happens when the water flowing in and out of your water heater’s tank is shut off. Sometimes, this can cause the pipes in your walls to shake and shudder, essentially like an aftershock. While this jostling isn’t harmful to your water heater’s tank or other elements, it can cause damage to your home's walls over time. If hammering occurs regularly, consider putting in a water hammer arrestor.
Ask any water damage restoration company, and its technicians will tell you: Regular maintenance is key to extending the life of your water heater. Keep an ear out for trouble, and you can solve simple issues before they turn into big problems.
Sewer Backups: Expert or DIY Cleanup?
Sewer backup situations can be dangerous.
Sewer backup situations can be dangerous, and it isn't always safe to do cleanup and repairs on your own. For your own safety, you need to know how to recognize and avoid dangerous situations. Use the following information to determine when to hire flooding and water damage experts:
- Always call professionals if the spill has affected multiple rooms in the home, if the backup took place more than a day ago, and if any family members have health concerns.
- Sewage often contains contaminants, so you must wear personal protective equipment during cleanup for your own safety.
- All water damage could lead to mold growth. Consider scheduling a mold inspection as soon after flooding as possible.
Steps You Should Take Either Way
Whether you plan to DIY the cleanup of your sewer backup or call professionals to do the job, there are several steps you should take as soon as possible:
- Evacuate any children, animals, and family members who could be vulnerable.
- Contact utility companies to turn off the water, gas, and electricity to your home.
- Provide adequate ventilation by opening doors and windows.
- Remove any items that weren't exposed to water or sewage.
- Add chlorine bleach to standing water to limit the spread of bacteria.
- Contact your insurance company. Take pictures of the water and any damaged property before cleanup professionals arrive.
The work you do at this point can prevent further damage from occurring and may help speed up the process of working through the insurance claim.
Research Causes and Best Cleanup Practices
Clogs are some of the most common causes of the bathtub backup. Hair, small toys, hygiene products, and clumps of soap may initially slow the water as it drains. Eventually, the pressure may cause damage to the pipes, and backups can occur. Roots from trees and shrubs are another common cause of this trouble. Blockages in the sewer main are also a source of backups. When you understand how this type of trouble occurs, you can take steps to prevent damage.
Before you try to DIY the cleanup and repair of a sewer backup in Ogden, UT, make sure you understand the safety risks and the appropriate methods for handling contaminated water and sewage. Do your research before you get started.
Fire Restoration and Content Cleaning
Commercial fire damage.
As a business owner, the threat of any disaster is a nuisance, but fire is potentially detrimental to your operation. Recovery from a fire can cost thousands of dollars in repairs, and you may find that you are throwing away more than you can keep. While a fire restoration company in Ogden, UT, can help your business return to normal, you may need to depend on outside organizations for the salvaging of essential documents and materials. There are a few services that can help.
- Dry-cleaning companies
- Remediation specialists
- Specialized cleaners
3 Services That Help With Fire Restoration
Dry cleaners can help to clean porous items, like carpets ad other fabrics. Smoke damage tends to make these materials smell, and the potentially carcinogenic chemicals from the smoke are not safe for workers to breathe in. Therefore, the cleaning service will put the fabrics through steam washes to clean them, making them sanitary and safe.
Remediation companies are great for content cleaning of permanent fixtures and removing damaged content from the premises. The team will use chemical cleaners and steam machines to restore smoke damaged non-porous items. They will also use technology, like ultrasonic systems. The primary goal of these companies is to ensure that the building is sanitized and deodorized before the restoration process.
If your business has unique documents that were damaged in the fire, then you may need the expertise of specialized cleaners. There are specific restoration experts that can salvage porous items, like paper and photos. If the fire damaged your files, then reach out to one of these specialists. Also, if computer systems or other content storage devices were damaged by smoke, many tech experts claim to be able to clean and restore electronic systems.
Whether you need dry-cleaning services or you want a specialized cleaner for your computer systems, you can salvage more than you think from a business fire. Reach out to a restoration company to discuss the cleaning methods they use.