Water Damage Q&A

Water Damage; What Now?

It’s the most common call that Cheryl and I receive during the year.  Water damage does not discriminate based on residential versus commercial or apartment versus home.  The following Q&A can help prepare you in case of an event:

Caller:  I have water damage in my home, what should I do?

EnviroShield: Where is the water coming from?

Caller:  The water hose in the back of my refrigerator; a bathroom toilet; a pipe in the wall (These are the most common)

EnviroShield: When did you discover the water problem?

Caller:  It’s just happened; I just returned from vacation; I was doing a remodel (These are the most common)

EnviroShield: Have you called the insurance company?

Caller: Is this covered?

EnviroShield:  Depends.  What is definitely not covered is ground water unless there is a flood rider on the policy and maintenance issues such as long term dry rot. A sudden onset of water damage other than those stated above is typically covered. It’s best to call as soon as possible.

Caller: How soon can you get here?

EnviroShield:  In the event of a water emergency we can usually get someone there within 4 hours.

Caller: What will you do?

EnviroShield: We definitely follow a protocol:

1-      Discover what is wet.
2-      Contain area.
3-      Remove barriers such as sheetrock if needed.
4-      Dry floor; attempt to save flooring if needed.
5-      Install humidifiers/fans.
6-      Clean up.

Caller: How much will it cost?

EnvirShield: In the case of a covered loss, you will only be responsible for paying the deductible.  In the case of a non-covered loss, the costs will depend on the scope of the work.

Washington's Water Damage Starts in October

October is traditionally the busiest month of the year for Craig Hawkins and his team of water and mold remediation specialists.  Craig says the cooler temperatures return our focus to inside and the most common living areas.  It’s also often the first time that the summer dormant furnace rumbles back to life.  We asked Craig to help us keep an eye out for the most common areas to have suffered water and mold issues:

Question:  You mentioned October is your busiest month.  What is the most common issue customers’ face?

Craig:  Kitchen issues.  You now notice water leaks and moldy smells with the doors and windows closed.  A typical problem is a leaky waterline attached to a dishwasher, refrigerator or sink.

Another major area of course is the bathroom.  Waterline leaks behind the toilet and underneath the sink.

Question:  Mention the word furnace and some of us grimace while picturing the beast in the dungeon.  Do I really need to go near it?

Craig:  Actually, you do.  The potential gremlin is the chance of a water leak in the crawl space.  Unbeknownst to most of us, a majority of the furnace ventilation systems go through that space.  We often have no idea there is a problem until now when the beast roars to life.  Check for any funny smells that could be caused by water and mold in the crawl space.

Question: If I do discover a problem, how do I choose a water/mold damage company?

Craig: The first step is to call your insurance company and also a water damage company.   I would use this checklist:

  1. Guarantee- Most Water Damage Companies will not offer any guarantee to remove mold damage.
  2. Experience- Most Water Damage Companies do not have the certification, training and experience to remove mold damage.
  3. Containment- A 1” X 1” area of mold creates millions of spores that are released into the air during the cleaning process, which can be very dangerous to the health of everyone in the home.  Only Water Damage Companies that utilize what’s called a Negative Air System to contain the contaminated air are able to prevent health issues.

Water Damage Repair Requires More Than Knee Jerk Reaction

Let’s face it.  Water damage in our homes is a traumatic event that forces a lot of us to not think clearly regarding next steps.  The scenario usually starts with a leak from a toilet, dishwasher, water- line to a refrigerator, roof leak and/or broken pipe in a wall.  Even if we’re lucky enough to quickly discover trouble, lots of damage can occur in a very short period of time.  Not to mention the psychological pain of water everywhere. 

If you experience water damage, it’s important NOT to take a knee jerk reaction.  It’s best to call your insurance company immediately.  Choosing the restoration company is completely decided by the home owner.

EnviroShield has years of experience working together with insurance adjusters.  You don’t have to become an expert in water damage.  We also utilize the same damage estimate program as insurers to help complete the project in a timely manner.

4 Steps to Repair:

  • On-Site Meeting- You will meet the supervisor who will be in charge of your job, and he will go over the water damaged areas.  Our crew will arrive to set up plastic barriers and mask off the area to protect your home while we do the demolition and dry out process.  The initial investigation will determine the classification of water contamination. This establishes how much dehumidification will be needed to dry out your home.
  • Protect Non-Damaged Areas- Once containment barriers are set up we will start removing the wet dry wall and begin to dry inside the walls.  If there is damaged carpet, we will pull the pad that is under the carpet, which allows the carpet to dry.  We will also move furniture out of the wet areas to insure that all excess moisture inside a wall or under a floor is dried, so no mold problems arise later.
  • Dry-Out- After all demolition is complete we will check moisture readings again and set up drying equipment. The drying equipment will consist of dehumidification which will pull moisture out of the air, and start drying your home. EnviroShield will also use fans that will help move the air for the dehumidification to work at its best efficiency. Once the drying equipment is in place it will be necessary to keep the equipment on 24 hours a day until the drying process is finished. The EnviroShield Supervisor will be in charge of monitoring the drying process each day until the structure is dried to acceptable levels.
  • Clean-up- The final step is to restore your home back to its pre-loss condition.

EnviroShield Protocol for Water Damage Restoration

We follow a strict protocol set forth by the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning, Restoration and Certification) S500 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration.   EnviroShield has been working with Insurance Companies for over 20 years completing all aspects of water damage dry outs and restoration.  We are unique because we also are a Mold Remediation Company.

Problems with indoor air quality in our homes and buildings can result in all sorts of issues, including lost productivity and decreased property values. Craig Hawkins and his team at Enviroshield have more than 20 years of experience in water damage and mold remediation.  They’re certified, utilize a nationally recognized protocol and provide a 25-year guarantee on all work.

´╗┐Only Highly Qualified Professionals Should Handle Mold and Water Problems

Checking qualifications isn’t often the first thing that comes to mind when you or a loved one could be experiencing serious health problems as a result of poor indoor air quality.  Unfortunately, indoor air quality companies in most of the country are not regulated, according to the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA).  Therefore, the membership-based organization formed to promote uniform standards, procedures and protocols believes it’s important to use a qualified professional.

Here’s the good news: It’s easy to ensure that only qualified individuals and firms deal with these complex problems.  The IAQA is the largest organization of trades and professionals dealing with these issues.  They deliver the industry’s most prestigious and respected IAQ and mold training programs.

As a proud IAQA member since the early 2000’s, Enviroshield has earned the designations of Certified Mold Remediation Specialist, Certified Residential Mold Inspector and Certified Indoor Environmentalist. We engage in continuing education to maintain our certifications and remain current on the latest technologies and best practices.

During the recent annual convention in January, we were briefed on the exciting news regarding a new machine to analyze mold spores, their genus and species, on-site versus in the lab.  This is a huge issue facing the industry.  Past experience shows that results can vary greatly depending on the lab.  One in study, 10 labs that were provided identical mold samples returned 10 different results.  The machine would eliminate any subjective issues to help identify specific molds related to health issues.  It’s expected to be operational within the next couple of years.

Problems with indoor air quality in our homes and buildings can result in all sorts of issues, including lost productivity and decreased property values.  The Enviroshield team can fully investigate, identify and/or mitigate the total problem according to recognized industry standards and guidelines.

For more information contact us or call 866.222.1775