Flood Damage

Minneapolis Water and Flood Damage Restoration MN

Water Extraction, Structural Drying & Dehumidification MN Every homeowner should be aware or familiar with the classes of water losses and categories of water in order to understand the extent of losses and degree of damaged brought about by water into the household structure.  Below are summarized descriptions on classes of water losses and categories of water: Category 1 – refers to clean water at source. Category 2 – starts with contamination and may cause sickness and other human discomforts once ingested. Category 3 – means highly unsanitary (since the source is from the sewage) and could cause illness or death once consumed by humans. *Water category 1 or 2 will eventually change to water category 2 or 3 when left unprocessed for a certain period of time. Class 1 – losses which are limited caught in the nick of time and contain few materials that are porous or absorbent. Class 2 – losses that involve high quantities or very absorbent materials like carpet and pads. Class 3 – involves water that comes from overhead, wall frames, ceilings, drywall, insulation and floor materials that are highly absorbent. Class 4 – is the special drying of materials in the form of concrete, stucco, hardwood, masonry, plaster and saturated ground soil. There are actually different techniques that are used for structural drying.  One of these methods is the “in-place” drying technique which was used and taught in the early 1980’s.  The “in-place” drying method during the past decades allows the drying of structural components without major taking away of furniture and fixtures.  However, there were some limitations in the employment of equipment for extraction, evaporation and dehumidification.  But in recent years, the “in-place” drying system has made great leaps and advances due in part to the better understanding of psychrometry; making the technique more practical and safer for everyone concerned. Principals Of Drying The use of ‘in-place” drying will depend on several factors that must be meticulously appraised should insufficient drying and secondary damages in the form of microbial growth are to be prevented from occurring.  This includes but should not be limited to the following: 1.    Qualification of the contractor or technicians who are hired to do the job.  This would include experiences and academic training. 2.    Availability of equipment that are technologically advanced. 3.    The water damage contractor’s knowledge and implementation of the Four Principles of Drying, the Classes of Losses and Categories of Water. 4.    Proper documentation of drying conditions and all activities therein, which should include illustrations of work progression. For a successful drying project and reduction of any probable microbial growth, a homeowner must be aware of the four significant principles of drying. which a water damage contractor will determine in the following order: What is Wet? How Wet is It? Are We Drying? Is it Dry? The four principles of this drying approach allows a water damage expert to perform its drying and dehumidification services as thoroughly and efficiently as possible, which greatly reduces the secondary damages of mold. 1. Excess Water Removal This pertains to draining, pumping, absorbing and vacuuming methods applied to remove the presence of visible water.  It is said that the excess water removal principle is the most abused principle since some contractors are not willing to invest in proper equipment and time to extract surplus moisture sufficiently.  In general, water removal could be done in minutes or seconds as compared to evaporation and dehumidification of the same water quantity that actually takes hours and days to finish.  Proper water removal or extraction could cut down the Category 1, Class 2...

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Water Damage Mold Cleanup and Restoration MN Part 3

Water Damage Mold Insurance Claims Continued from Water Damage Mold Cleanup and Restoration Part 1 and Part 2 Water damage, Mold Damage and Flood Damage are some of the most common reasons people make claims on their home insurance. Frozen, broken or burst pipes, leaky appliances and flooded basements are just a few of the ways you could discover exactly what is and is not covered by your home insurance policy. One of the worst effects of water damage comes in the form of mold. If your home has water damage, mold could develop in as short of a time as 24 – 48 hours of water exposure. Even worse, it may continue to grow until steps are taken to thoroughly dry out the premises and eliminate the source of moisture. Mold is certainly not new—it’s been around for hundreds of millions of years—but the sharp rise in mold claims is definitely a 21st -century phenomenon.  Multi-million dollar jury awards, sensationalized reporting in the media and profiteering by some individuals have led to an explosion in mold claims and costs. In 2004 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) found there was sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people; with asthma symptoms in people with asthma; and with hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals susceptible to that immune-mediated condition. The IOM also found limited or suggestive evidence linking indoor mold exposure and respiratory illness in otherwise healthy children. In 2009, the World Health Organization issued additional guidance, the WHO Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Dampness and Mold [PDF, 2.52 MB]. Homeowners Insurance: Is Mold Covered? Whether mold is covered by homeowners insurance often comes down to the source of moisture and the wording of a policy. Mold needs 3 things to thrive – moisture, food and oxygen Mold needs 3 things to thrive. All three of the basic elements – moisture, food and oxygen — MUST be present to support mold growth. If that moisture remains for 24-48 hours you will likely begin to have a mold problem. Problems can arise for homeowners when the presence of persistent moisture goes undetected or unresolved, leading to widespread mold growth. Moisture can result from high indoor humidity, flooding, or a leaky roof or dishwasher. Mold, like rot and insect infestation, is generally not covered by a homeowners insurance policy. Standard homeowners policies provide coverage for disasters that are sudden and accidental. They are not designed to cover the cost of cleaning and maintaining a home. If, however, mold is the direct result of a covered peril such as a burst pipe, there could be coverage for the cost of eliminating the mold. Clean Up Water Damage Now To Avoid Mold! Regardless of how the water damage happened, it is important to take similar steps to remedy it. Never ignore indications of an obvious water problem in your home. You should immediately attempt to find and stop leaks at their source. Properly dry or remove soaked carpets, padding and upholstery within 24-48 hours after a flood to prevent mold growth. Anything that can’t be properly dried should be discarded. Just letting items dry out will not remove the mold, and mold will grow again anytime there is enough moisture in the air, such as on humid days. Remove standing water as quickly as possible. Standing water is a breeding ground for microorganisms, which can become airborne and inhaled. Wash and disinfect all areas that have been flooded. This includes walls, floors, closets, shelves, as well as heating and air-conditioning systems. If you have...

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Water Damage Mold Cleanup and Restoration MN Part 2

Water Damage Mold Insurance Claims Continued from Water Damage Mold Cleanup and Restoration MN Part 1 Mold has recently emerged as the dominant cost driver in some states.  Mold is certainly not new—it’s been around for hundreds of millions of years—but the sharp rise in mold claims is definitely a 21st -century phenomenon.  Multi-million dollar jury awards, sensationalized reporting in the media and profiteering by some individuals have led to an explosion in mold claims and costs. Water Damage & Mold “Mold is Gold” has become the popular mantra of trial lawyers and no wonder. The true magnitude of the problem is obvious — there has been a 300% increase in mold-related lawsuits during the past three years. According to the Insurance Information Institute, there are 10,000 such cases pending today nationwide (“Lawsuits, Insurance Claims Over Mold Damage on the Rise, USA Today,July 17, 2003.) The cost to the construction industry is staggering. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent each year on mold litigation, claims and remediation. It’s hard to put a precise dollar figure on mold damage because most insurers don’t separate mold claims from water-damage claims, according to Claire Wilkinson of the Insurance Information Institute. About 22% of all homeowners insurance claims result from “water damage and freezing,” a category that includes mold remediation. A 2003 white paper on mold from the III put the cost of the average mold claim between $15,000 and $30,000, at least five times the average non-mold homeowners claim at that time. Fixing Water Damage NOW Prevents Mold Problems Later! Mold Can’t Grow Where Mold Can’t Eat! Unlike asbestos and other materials that have been the focus of “toxic” tort litigation and construction defect claims, mold is naturally occurring. The three elements necessary for mold growth—food, air and water— are found in every building.  In fact, mold is everywhere. Because mold is always present, it is impossible to conceive of anyone who has not been exposed to some form of mold. Eliminating mold growth, or even the possibility of mold growth, is a key component of water damage restoration. The most effective way to prevent mold growth on water damage losses is to begin the drying process quickly. Restoration companies who are aware of possible mold growth problems usually know how to dry structural materials with heat, air movement and by lowering the indoor relative humidity. This is an effective way to dry a building because material removal is minimized and mold growth is retarded. Water damage is hazardous to health and dangerous for any home or business, therefore time is of the essence when it occurs. Within minutes of water intrusion, damage can begin. Unwelcome moisture starts by staining ceilings, walls, and floors, and then can turn into dangerous mold growth. It only takes mold 24 to 48 hours to grow in the right moisture conditions.  Chances are, if you can’t see the mold and have a musty smell, that you have “hidden” mold. Hidden mold tends to be located in the air ducts, on the back side of dry wall, paneling or wallpaper, on the underside of carpets and pads, behind furniture, just to name a few locations. The long-term health issues associated with mold can be reduced by ensuring that a proper cleanup is done.  If you suspect you have a mold problem from hidden water damage, it is always best to hire a qualified and experienced specialist that is knowledgeable in the latest water extraction and drying methods.  A Certified (IICRC) Water Damage Restoration Professional can help you locate the water source, do the necessary testing and...

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Water Damage Mold Cleanup and Restoration MN Part 1

Water Damage Mold Insurance Claims Water damage claims are probably the most common claims made under homeowners’ policies in the country. Over the past 12 years, insurers paid out more than $100 billion in catastrophe-related losses—about $700 million per month—many times more than in previous decades. Most water damages are caused due to frozen, broken or burst pipes, leaky appliances and flooded basements. In fact, frozen and broken water pipes rank No. 2 only behind hurricanes in terms of both the number of homes damaged and the amount of insurance claim costs in the U.S. In most cases, pipes break during freezing weather. A third, and probably most devastating, type of water claim is from flooding. Flooding is also probably the most misunderstood of the types of water claims. The reason for the misunderstanding is that flood is not normally covered by most insurance policies. To have flood coverage, it is usually necessary to have special flood coverage. A good rule of thumb in trying to determine if there is coverage for water damage is, “If the water comes down, it might be covered. If it comes up, it is usually not covered.” The exception to this is the backup of sewers or drains. On some policies, drain backup is covered. The first goal is to avert serious health problems that can be caused by mold, mildew, fungus or contaminated water. Water damage never comes at a convenient time! But when it does, it needs to be done right or the lingering odor or telltale marks that can significantly reduce the value of your property. Insured Bill of Rights You need a restoration expert that works for you to protect your interest.  Under The law, it is your right to choose what company will perform work in your home or business. The Insured Bill of Rights states that you have the right to choose! When deciding which restoration company will suit your needs best, look for a qualified and reputable company, that will stand behind work performed and warranty responsibilities. Click here to view the Insured Bill of Rights PDF Insurance Damage Repair Bill of...

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Water Damage Restoration MN | Frozen and Broken Water Pipes

Water Damage From Frozen & Broken Pipes Frozen and broken water pipes are not thought of as a catastrophe or anywhere near the same scale as a natural disaster, but damage from water is the most prevalent, yet least recognized catastrophe. In fact, frozen and broken water pipes rank No. 2 only behind hurricanes in terms of both the number of homes damaged and the amount of insurance claim costs in the U.S. In most cases, pipes break during freezing weather. As temperatures fall, water expands and causes localized pressure. When the pressure becomes too great, a break occurs. This may create a pinhole leak, hairline break or large crack. Damage from frozen and broken water pipes can be a homeowner’s nightmare. When a pipe bursts, water gushes from the pipe like a fire hydrant, turning a basement into a lake within just a few minutes. Water from frozen and broken pipes causes the most damage while people are away from home or while they’re on vacation and their home is vacant. The plumbing can rupture and water can run unnoticed for several days. Repairs of around $50,000 are common due to water’s fury.  Vacant Home in Brooklyn Park MN Here is an example of a home in Brooklyn Park Minnesota. The home was vacant and the Pergo floors were water damaged. Furnace went out and fridge water filter broke and caused flooding Removed the laminate floor and dried it out Structure was completely disinfected Frozen and Broken Water Pipes are Preventable Frozen and broken water pipes are a significant cause of loss across the nation. Damage can include soaked and water damaged drywall. Wallpaper turns moldy. Kitchen cabinets warp, and carpets, floors and draperies can be ruined. Photo albums, paperwork, antiques, furniture and clothing also can be destroyed. Sometimes homes actually have to be totally gutted because mold and mildew cover every inch from floor to ceiling. Unlike hurricanes, frozen and broken water pipes are preventable. Efforts to prevent pipes from breaking in your home will save you from the nightmares of a water damage emergency and help reduce the enormous insurance claims that result. Policyholders share the financial burden of frozen and broken water pipes through increased homeowners insurance rates. Research suggests that leaky pipes and general water damage from showers is costing homeowners even more than theft or damage caused by criminals. According to the research, water damage related insurance claims cost the industry $730 million last year. This is nearly double the cost of claims for theft and burglary last year. According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), break-ins and theft damage cost just $370 million in comparison. The report found that more than 370,000 people made a water leak claim last year, with the average claim just under $2,000. The average burglary claim was $1,400 last year. Obviously, preventing broken water pipes is in your best interest Tips To Prevent Frozen and Broken Pipes According to the Insurance Information Network, there are five easy things you can do to protect your home from frozen and broken water pipes: 1. Disconnect all garden hoses and other outside hose connections. If possible, use an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets. 2. Insulate all exposed pipes located in your basement, under your home, on outside walls or in attics. For pipes with northern exposures, use heat tape according to the manufacturer’s instructions. (Improper usage may cause a fire.) 3. Set the thermostat to at least 55 degrees even when your home is vacant or unoccupied during the winter. If...

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Water Damage Restoration Plymouth MN | Broken Water Pipes

Prevent Water Damage From Broken Water Pipes Water damage or basement flooding can come from a variety of sources. There could be bad weather conditions or there could be a leaky or broken pipeline.  Even a cracked foundation will result in water damage. If it was something as simple as a faucet, you can do it your self.  But, it can get more complicated when a hidden pipeline is broken. Frozen, Broken Water Pipes Can Be Home Owner Nightmare Water is capable of causing extensive damage to your home property with damage to floors, ceilings, walls, rugs, furniture and other personal property. A slight 1/8-inch crack in a water pipe can release and amazing 250 gallons of water per day. Broken Water Pipes Broken Water Pipe in a home in Plymouth MN from a pinhole leak First identify the extent of the water damage by inspecting the area for stains and softness. You also want to pinpoint the source of the problem. Pipe breaks are a leading cause of flood damage. In most cases, pipes break during freezing weather. In fact, frozen and broken water pipes rank No. 2 behind hurricanes in terms of both the number of homes damaged and the amount of claim costs in the U.S.  As temperatures fall, water expands and causes localized pressure. When the pressure becomes too great, a break occurs. This may create a pinhole leak, hairline break or large crack. Find That Leaking Pipe! The dripping water may be coming from quite a distance away and is certainly an indication of a much greater problem. If you know there is water leaking, but you cannot find the source yourself, then you should get professional help right away. These types of problems only get worse the longer they are left untreated. Broken Water Pipe in a home in Plymouth MN Pinhole leak in ceiling water pipe in the basement Removed wet sheet rock and insulation If the insulation is wet, remove it and dispose of properly. After being wet, most insulation is ineffective, but it will continue to hold moisture for a long time and will create high moisture conditions which will damage metal, masonry, and wood. Materials in your home that get wet from leaks, like sheet rock, wood and carpet, can not only result in expensive repairs but pose a serious health threat from mold and mildew. Do not attempt to dry sheetrock. It is impossible to completely remove mold from porous surfaces such as paper, Sheetrock (drywall) and carpet padding, so these materials should be removed and discarded.  Usually, attempts to dry sheetrock after a flood have been a waste of time and effort because it is labor intensive to dry interior walls and it is not possible to dry interior walls with insulation or multiple layered sheetrock. Mold resistant sheetrock may be specified when installing replacement sheetrock. • Disinfected and dried structure Drywall Water Damage If you have a sheetrock (drywall) water damage repair job due to a leaky or broken pipe, a flood or other cause you need to give it immediate attention. If mold gets in or behind drywall, it’s a serious matter. Where there has been water damage, black mold may appear, but mold can also grow in areas that are hidden. It’s common for fungus to spread to nearby areas, such as surrounding walls, floors, carpets and ceilings. The big concerns with drywall water damage repair, is being absolutely certain that you are not overlooking the true extent of the damage. Sagging or wet drywall is easy to identify and cut away. But there...

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