Flooded Basement Repair

Flood Damage Cleanup – Should You Hire a Professional?

Restoring Your Home After A Flood Whether you experience three inches or three feet of water in your home from flooding, flooded basement, heavy melting ice, or maybe a burst pipe, the event is always devastating. First, you’re struck with panic over what to do and where to start. Then you’re consumed by disappointment at the sight of your damaged belongings. Next, assuming the flooding is instantly manageable and action can be taken, you snap into repair mode just to get things under control. Knowing you are in for grueling times, but fueled by pure adrenaline, you run around, shutting off water, electricity and gas feeds, filling buckets and hoisting them to a dry spot for disposal; vacuuming up water by the gallon, pumping out water with a sump and hose. Once the floor is in sight, if the flooding was minimal, you grab paper towels, washcloths, hand towels, bath towels, bed sheets, rags and anything else in your home to soak up as much of the remaining water that you can. Once you’re down to damp floor, it’s back to the indoor/outdoor vacuum, and then blasting every fan you own or could buy at the hardware store at high speed. You do this for hours and hours, hoping to draw out moisture and dry the area. And don’t forget you’ll need to run a dehumidifier for weeks until the last ounce of moisture dries up. And this is a best-case scenario. Pumps, vacuums and towels can only do so much. If the water is deep and standing for even a short time, home-made methods will do very little to resolve long-term issues because flooding brings many inherent dangers. After the water recedes, you may be left with shovels full of mud in your home — and that mud contains most of the germ-born health hazards associated with flooding. But that’s not the only danger: Attempting flood restoration on your own can also put you at risk for electrocution and structural hazards. Other risks come from outside. If you also have floodwater around the outside of your home this could cause other dangers. Although your natural instinct is to rush to pump water out of your home, you should delay this if you have standing water around the outside. The water outside creates a force against your home, and by removing the water inside your home, you also remove the equalizing pressure, which may put your home at greater risk for structural damage. Restoring Your Home After A Flood – Should You Hire a Professional? Restoring your home after a flood is a complicated process. Depending on the severity of the flood, you may have to deal with structural damage, electrical damage, and potential health hazards. Before you begin a DIY flood cleanup, ask yourself these questions: Do you have the expertise? Flood cleanup involves more than just pumping out the water and letting things dry out. During the cleanup process, you will need to manage the weakened structure of your home, mitigate health hazards from bacteria and mold, and decide what can be saved and what must be thrown away. Only then can you begin the flood repair work to make your home livable again. Do you want to do the work? Flood cleanup is dirty, often dangerous work. After the crisis of a flood is over, do you want to face the job of cleaning dirty water and mud out of your home, sorting through your belongings and deciding what can be saved? The emotional impact of flood cleanup can be significant, and can interfere with other...

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Water Damage Restoration MN

Buying A New Home – Protect Yourself With A Home Inspection When you find the perfect house, you want to move in immediately. Before your heart races ahead of your head and you ignore the old pipes or leaky roof, it is time to hire a professional to help you make your final decision. Now is the time to talk about the nitty gritty details of a home inspection and making an offer. Most sellers are required to disclose certain types of information about the homes they are selling. The Home Inspection Once you buy a home, repairs can eat into your pocketbook, making the home of your dreams a “money pit.” Homes can have wet basements, shaky foundations, rotting roofs and a multitude of other problems — even if they’re relatively new. But a thorough home inspection before you buy can keep you from getting stuck with the bill. Should You Buy a House With a Wet Basement? There are more problems with wet foundations and basements than any other physical problem in a house. Therefore, it’s important when buying a house with a basement to check for signs of dampness in the basement. It’s better to find out before you buy than afterwards, especially since you can’t rely on seller disclosures. Why can’t you rely on seller disclosures? Because the sellers might not know about it. If the sellers did have knowledge, however, and failed to disclose the water problems in a basement, it could be: Difficult to prove in court Take years to get into court Expensive to sue Very expensive to dry out the basement This is why you should always, without fail, get an independent home inspection by a qualified and accredited professional. Signs of a Damp or Wet Basement Water stains along walls or floor. This could be caused by something simple such as an overflowing laundry tub or it could be a result of water seeping in through basement windows, the walls or the floor. Musty odor or damp smell. Excess moisture in a basement can cause an unmistakable smell. Mold. It could be colored black, brown, yellow or green, and you won’t know for certain if it’s mold without testing it. Often the northwest corner of a house is known as a “cold corner” and susceptible to developing mold. Efflorescence. This condition produces a white or sometimes grayish ash on the walls. Sometimes it sparkles. Efflorescence is caused by salt deposits left behind by evaporating water. Spalling. When water gets inside the surface of concrete, brick or stone, salt deposits from the water cause the surface to flake away, peel or pop off. There are some defects that should always be disclosed: Plumbing and sewage issues Water leakage of any type, including in basements Termites or other insect infestations Roof defects Heating or air conditioning system issues Property drainage problems Foundation instabilities or cracks In closing, don’t store valuables, photographs, paper documents or anything you care to preserve in a wet basement. Moreover, get an expert’s opinion, including an engineer’s report, if you can, before you buy a house with wet basement problems. It might not be worth the hassle. Knowing what to look for in regards to signs of water damage when viewing a potential home or property can seriously save you future headaches.  If you find water stains or water damage anywhere in the home, it is likely an indication that water is coming in from the outside or from faulty details like poor plumbing or venting.  Always ask your realtor questions, use home inspectors who have great references...

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Water and Flood Damage Repair Minneapolis MN

Water Damage Restoration | Flood Damage Restoration MN Just a few inches of water from a flood can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage. Over the past 10 years, the average flood claim has amounted to over $33,000. Flood insurance is the best way to protect yourself from devastating financial loss. Flood insurance is available to homeowners, renters, condo owners/renters, and commercial owners/renters. Costs vary depending on how much insurance is purchased, what it covers, and the property’s flood risk. Residential Flood Insurance – Water Damages What’s Covered and What’s Not Flood insurance policies cover physical damage to your property and possessions. Basic flood insurance policies cover structures only. If you want to insure your personal belongings against flood damage, you must buy separate coverage. Water Damage- Test Your Water IQ Building Property The insured building and its foundation Electrical and plumbing systems Central air conditioning equipment, furnaces, and water heaters Refrigerators, cooking stoves, and built-in appliances such as dishwashers Permanently installed carpeting over unfinished flooring Permanently installed paneling, wallboard, bookcases, and cabinets Window blinds Detached garages (up to 10 percent of Building Property coverage) Detached buildings (other than garages) require a separate Building Property policy Debris removal Personal Contents Property Personal belongings, such as clothing, furniture, and electronic equipment Curtains Portable and window air conditioners Portable microwave ovens and portable dishwashers Carpets that are not included in building coverage Clothing washers and dryers Food freezers and the food in them Certain valuable items such as original artwork and furs (up to $2,500) What’s Not Covered: Damage caused by moisture, mildew, or mold that could have been avoided by the property owner Currency, precious metals, and valuable papers such as stock certificates Property and belongings outside of an insured building such as trees, plants, wells, septic systems, walks, decks, patios, fences, seawalls, hot tubs, and swimming pools Living expenses such as temporary housing Financial losses caused by business interruption or loss of use of insured property Most self-propelled vehicles such as cars, including their parts (see Section IV.5 in your policy) Flood Insurance for Basements and Areas Below the Lowest Elevated Floor Coverage is limited in basements regardless of zone or date of construction. It’s also limited in areas below the lowest elevated floor, depending on the flood zone and date of construction. These areas include: Basements Crawlspaces under an elevated building Enclosed areas beneath buildings elevated on full-story foundation walls that are sometimes referred to as “walkout basements” Enclosed areas under other types of elevated buildings Make sure to ask your agent for additional details on your basement coverage. You can use the following list as a general guide to what is and isn’t covered or simply refer to the Summary of Coverage (PDF 108K) to help you better understand your policy and coverage. The Cost of Flooding Find out what a few inches of flood water can cost in damage. To be covered, the flood must also be a temporary condition, and cover two or more acres or two or more properties The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) offers coverage in approximately 20,000 communities in the U.S. You can determine if your property is eligible for flood insurance by checking the NFIP Community Status Book. For Minnesota PDF 49KB Flood and Sewage Damage Flood damage is hazardous to your health and the integrity of your home or business. Treated quickly, you can minimize damage, reduce restoration costs and prevent mold or other contaminants. Time is of the essence when water and sewage damage occurs. In the unfortunate event of water damage to your home, Minnesota...

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Minnesota Water Damage Restoration

Water Damage – How Extensive Is It? The water damage will be found in 3 dimensions. Water always seeks equilibrium with its environment and wet always goes to dry, if it can. Just finding the extent of water damage on the floor isn’t enough. The water damage needs to be mapped to determine how far up the walls it has wicked, and how far down into the substrate the water damage has gone, including possibly entering the crawlspace in a conventional foundation. This can’t be done by touch. Very specialized water damage inspection tools and meters will be required, and a professional water damage professional will have them. Determine The Scope Of The Water Damage – How Extensive Is It? A thorough understanding of water damage demands every water damage contractor be familiar with the “science of drying” also called psychrometry. Ask your water damage contractor what the dry standard is of each structural component suffering potential water damage. With proper water damage inspection tools and water damage experience, he should be able to tell you on a scale of 100 points the moisture content of the water damaged materials. If he can’t, call a different water damage restoration professional. Make sure your water damage restoration contractor draws a “moisture map” of the affected areas showing the full extent of the water damage migration, and that he updates the map regularly to show the progress of the water damage/structural drying project. A professional Minnesota water damage restoration contractor should select the structural drying equipment in a scientific method based on materials, size of the water damage area, and the class and category of the water damage. At the very least he should be certified in applied structural drying and water damage restoration. Any extraction of standing water or of carpet and padding involved in a water damage project should be done with the very best water extraction tools. Preferably sub-surface water extraction tools. If wall to wall carpet is not to be replaced, which is rarely needed with new structural drying technologies, the last thing a trained specialist in structural drying and water damage restoration will do is set air movement under the carpet to “float” it. There are far too many things to learn as a property owner, whether it’s your home or business, to be educated in applied structural drying and water damage restoration via a web-site. So you best bet is to contact an experienced Restoration Service, and let them handle the water damage restoration project. If your home or business is ever the victim of a flood or water damage you need a professional Minnesota Restoration Expert with extensive training and experience drying a wide range of different structural materials and...

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Water Damage Mold and Your Home

Water Damage and Mold For significant mold growth to occur, there must be a source of water (which could be invisible humidity), a source of food, and a substrate capable of sustaining growth. Common building materials, such as plywood, drywall, furring strips, carpets, and carpet padding are food for molds. In carpet, invisible dust is the food source. After a single incident of water damage occurs in a building, molds grow inside walls and then become dormant until a subsequent incident of high humidity; this illustrates how mold can appear to be a sudden problem, long after a previous flood or water incident that did not produce a mold-related problem. The Right Conditions The right conditions re-activate mold. Studies also show that mycotoxin levels are perceptibly higher in buildings that have once had a water incident Both our indoor and outdoor environment have mold spores present. There is no such thing as a mold free environment in the Earth’s biosphere. Spores needs three things to grow into mold: (1) Nutrients: Food for spores in an indoor environment is organic matter, often cellulose. (2) Moisture Moisture is required to begin the decaying process caused by the mold. (3) Time: Mold growth begins between 24 hours and 10 days from the provision of the growing conditions. There is no way to date mold. Mold colonies can grow inside building structures. The main problem with the presence of mold in buildings is the inhalation of mycotoxins. Molds may produce an identifiable smell. Growth is fostered by moisture. After a flood or major leak, mycotoxin levels are higher in the building even after it has dried out (source: CMHC). Food sources for molds in buildings include cellulose-based materials, such as wood, cardboard, and the paper facing on both sides of drywall, and all other kinds of organic matter, such as soap, dust and fabrics. Carpet contains dust made of organic matter such as skin cells. If a house has mold, the moisture may be from the basement or crawl space, a leaking roof, or a leak in plumbing pipes behind the walls. Insufficient ventilation can further enable moisture build-up. The more people in a space, the more humidity builds up. This is from normal breathing and perspiring. Visible mold colonies may form where ventilation is poorest, and on perimeter walls, because they are coolest, thus closest to the dew point. If there are mold problems in a house only during certain times of the year, then it is probably either too air-tight, or too drafty. Mold problems occur in airtight homes more frequently in the warmer months (when humidity reaches high levels inside the house, and moisture is trapped), and occur in drafty homes more frequently in the colder months (when warm air escapes from the living area into unconditioned space, and condenses). If a house is humidified artificially during the winter, this can create conditions favorable to mold. Moving air may prevent mold from growing since it has the same desiccating effect as lowering humidity. Minnesota Water and Flood Restoration Expert There are many ways to prevent mold growth. A Minnesota Water and Flood Restoration Expert is capable of repairing the damage – usually by removing the affected areas and eliminating the cause of the excess moisture with state of the art equipment and experience. Industrial pumps will remove the water quickly and efficiently. High velocity fans will dry the area in no time at all. Experience counts when dealing with mold, mildew, fungus and water that might be contaminated will keep you and your family...

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Water Damage Cleanup and Your Health

Water Damage and Mold – The Hidden Dangers Autumn means molds are out in full force. Outdoor molds thrive in gutters, soil, rotten wood and fallen leaves. Damp weather promotes indoor mold growth as well. Check bathrooms, kitchens, basements, carpets and houseplants for mold growth. Allergic reactions may be heightened by the airborne spores molds produce. Molds, mildew and fungi are present everywhere…inside and outside. Furniture, carpet, books, even the air we breathe is full of spores. Humid, dark places with little air circulation promote the rapid growth of these fungi. Hidden Dangers of Mold Eating, relaxing and sleeping in a home full of allergy antagonists like mold, mildew and fungus presents your body with additional challenges which may lead to a worsening of your symptoms. Over 50 molds are considered problematic, including Stachybotrys, more commonly known as “black mold”. Pulmonary hemosiderosis has been linked to toxic mold exposure by the CDC. Mold can grow behind walls and even dead molds can make you sick. Mold can be found in homes, hospitals, schools and office buildings and may not be easily noticeable. All parts of the country are affected by mold and areas where moisture or heavy rain prevails, are more susceptible to mold, mildew and fungal growth. Mold Causes and Symptoms Molds typically grow in homes and buildings affected by water damage and are a potential cause of many health problems including asthma, sinusitis, and infections. People sensitive to molds are particularly uncomfortable on cloudy, rainy, damp days. Molds may also play a major role in cases of sick building syndrome and related illnesses. Allergic reactions can be caused by molds. The most reliable physical findings of mold allergy are dyshidrotic eczema, accompanied by tiny blisters on the palms of the hands. Other symptoms are nummular eczema that looks like ringworm. “I don’t SEE any mold!” Half of the people who call say those very words. But not all mold problems are as obvious as we would like them to be. In fact, the most costly mold related repairs are caused by mold that no one knew was there. Unnoticed, mold can rapidly spread exponentially inside walls, under floors, above ceilings, and deep into heating and air conditioning vents. By the time hidden mold is detected, it can cause thousands of dollars in property damage and pose significant health risks. Immediate Water Damage Cleanup The thing you need to fight water damage and flooding is to hire a professional water damage restoration company. A Minnesota Water Damage Restoration Expert utilizes state of the art equipment in removing as much water as possible, and then begins drying the area with our high velocity fans and ventilation systems. They can restore a healthy environment to your home or office if you happen to find yourself up an indoor creek without a paddle. Moisture and its effects in your house or office can cause a lot of harm, like the growth of mildew and mold, and dry rot, and if not cared for it can carry with it seriously large problems if not met fast and skillfully extracted. Any drying being done must be Done Right to see to it that there aren’t any environments which promote and allow hazardous materials to flourish, taking your home or business and turning it into an problematic one that will only get bigger if not cared for....

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