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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Water Damage Blog Posts

What to consider when buying a home with mold.

7/19/2019 (Permalink)

Everyone responds to mold differently. There is a spectrum between those people who are very sensitive to mold vs. others who are not and those in between. The highest risk populations to mold exposure include infants and children, pregnant women, the elderly, people who are already sick or have existing health conditions and those who have respirator conditions like asthma. If a mold problem is fixed properly, you can rest easy. It is not going to suddenly come back without warning in 5 years … Unless: the water problem is not fixed. In other words, the cause of all mold problems is: WATER! The presence of mold indicates a water problem. If the mold is properly removed, but the water problem remains unfixed, it is likely that the mold problem will return.

Mold Is Discovered During a Home Inspection. What Is Going To Cost To Fix?

If mold is uncovered during a real estate transaction, how much is it going to cost to fix it? The answer depends on several factors discussed below. But in some cases, believe it or not, you or someone else might be able to remove the mold yourself without seeking professional help.

Whether or not you can fix the mold problem yourself is based on several factors:

  • Size of contamination area. According to the EPA, if the mold area is less than about 10 square feet it may be manageable without professional help. This is not a hard and fast rule but just a general guideline and other factors such as the extent of the water damage overall need to be considered.
  • How handy the individual is. You should be comfortable and experienced with doing house hold repairs because even many minor mold jobs (less than 10 sq feet), usually involve using tools, taking down drywall, etc.
  • Susceptibility to mold health effects. People who are sensitive to mold or who fall into the high risk group above (Pregnant women, the elderly, etc) should not be around mold and should leave the removal to professionals.
  • Location of the mold. Confined spaces like crawl spaces and atticsoften have mold. Due to the tight space, reduced ventilation and higher risk of injury it is recommended to seek professional services for mold removal in these areas.

Buyers and Sellers, take note: Attics and crawlspaces are without a doubt the two most likely places that a home inspector is going to find mold. This discovery often catches buyers and sellers by surprise because neither probably looked in these spaces beforehand. Our advice to sellers is for you or someone else to take a quick look at your attic or crawlspace before you put your home in the market to check for mold. If mold is discovered, much better to fix it before you list your property.

If mold is discovered during a real estate transaction and the parties decide to hire a professional to fix it, how much is it going to cost? The answer: anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand or more. It just depends on the extent of the mold problem and how much work is going to be needed. But based on our experience, most mold problems in real estate transactions are usually on the smaller size and cost far less than most sellers and buyers would assume.

* Courtesy of https://moldmanusa.com/buying-selling-home-mold/

How to Buy a House With Water Damage

7/19/2019 (Permalink)

When planning to buy a house with water damage, it is important for you to be able to determine the extremity of the damage before closing the deal. This is especially true if the house is likely to experience future problems as a result of the water damage. To buy a house with water damage, you should first work with an inspector to have the water damage assessed, then work with a contractor to determine the costs for the water damage repairs. You can then submit a bid to the seller that considers the repair costs for correcting the water damage. Ask the right questions. When considering buying a house with water damage, there are some questions you should ask going in. Ask the following questions when talking to the seller about the home:

  • Is the water damage from flooding?
  • How long was the water been sitting in the home? How much damage was done, what kind, and how was it fixed?
  • Was the home stripped down or were walls simply washed or bleached?
  • Has the wiring been checked for salt infiltration? Have the wires been examined for rot?

Have the home inspected. Once you've asked preliminary questions, it's important to have the home inspected. Even if repairs were attempted, there may be underlying damage that went unnoticed.

  • Hire a reputable home inspector in the area. Have the home carefully inspected for any existing damage.
  • As water damaged homes may have a lot of issues, it might not be a bad idea to conduct more than one inspection just to be sure you've gotten the full sense of the damage.

Determine how to handle mold. While a good house inspector can assess for a lot of damage, mold is not easily detectable. You will need to have a second inspector come in and specifically check for mold.

  • Mold is a scary problem as it can be toxic to breathe. You do not want to be living in a water mold damaged home as it can seriously affect your health. Have a mold inspection conducted before making any offers on the house.[3]
  • Go for an industrial hygienist over a run-of-the-mill mold inspector. A more thorough examination will be conducted.

After purchasing the home.

Obtain flood insurance. As the home was water damaged once, it's likely in a region where it's susceptible to water damage. It's vital to get flood insurance if you’re planning on buying a water damaged home.

  • Ask the agent you're working with for a list of insurance agencies that provide flood insurance. Look at their reviews online and reach out to past clients. You can also ask for recommendations from other homeowners in the area who likely have flood insurance.[6]
  • Determine about how much insurance companies cover in the event of a flood. If coverage is minimal, the house may not be a wise investment.

Call SERVPRO of Douglasville and get an estimated cost of repairs. You need to determine how much repairs will cost. This is a major factor of whether or not you can afford a flood damaged home.

  • SERVPRO will assess the damages on the home and provide several reports. These reports will overview the various types of necessary repairs and include an estimated cost.

* Courtesy of https://www.wikihow.com/Buy-a-House-With-Water-Damage

Sources of External Water Damage

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

There are many ways that water can infiltrate your home, often when you least expect it. It will destroy everything in its path and take over your entire world. In addition to increased stress levels, unexpected water damage can cause displacement for you and your family. Only a certified and insured restoration company should be trusted to mitigate the damage to your home. SERVPRO of Douglasville is your local resource to get your home back in working order.

Water damage can occur from both interior and exterior sources. Below are some ways you can help prevent water damage inside your home that comes from outside sources.

Roof

  • Ensure that shingles, flashings or tiles on your roof aren’t missing, broken, cracked, curled or damaged in other ways.
  • Cut tree limbs that hang above your roof so they don’t cling to shingles and trap moisture.
  • Make sure the vents, flues, chimneys, air conditioners, and evaporative coolers are properly installed and in good shape.
  • Check for leaks around rooftop air-conditioning units, vents for exhaust or plumbing, or other specialized equipment.

Gutters and Downspouts

  • Clear gutters and downspouts from leaves, twigs, and other debris. Also check that they are in good condition so that water can flow freely. You can do this by installing metal screens to help prevent clogging.
  • Ensure downspouts direct water at least five feet away from your home’s foundation. This helps direct water away from the foundation. Downspout extensions can be added if needed.

Doors and Windows

  • Install window well covers to help prevent water and debris from getting trapped and causing water to eventually seep into your basement.
  • Check for leaks near the corners of your doors and windows. Signs of leaks include peeling paint, paint discoloration or swollen frames.
  • Installing overhangs or awnings above exterior doors and windows protects them from the sun, rain, and snow.
  • Check for a tight fit on closed doors and windows. Any cracks between the sash and frame Close your doors and windows to check for a tight fit. Repair or replace damaged flashing or weather-stripping.

Walls

  • Check for and repair cracked or broken siding boards, bricks, stone or another masonry, and structural sheathing.
  • Remove any shrubs and other landscaping features from along the walls, and avoid directing water towards the house when irrigating the garden and plants to prevent excessive water near the foundation.
  • Seal any openings from wiring, plumbing, phone, cable, and heating and air conditioning lines with foam or caulk. Repair any damaged or unpainted wood surrounding these openings.
  • Termites can eat wood, plaster, and even metal siding causing holes and compromising structural integrity. Check for signs of termite activity on the walls and the wooden structures around your foundation.
  • Ensure that the exhaust vent doors properly open and close.

Following these steps can help protect your home from exterior water damage. If water does happen to sneak into your home, make sure to have SERVPRO of Douglasville on speed dial. We’ll be there to make it “Like it never even happened.”

When Water Damage Strikes

3/13/2019 (Permalink)

The first 24 hours following a water loss are the most important in preventing secondary or permanent damage. Within four hours of loss notification, SERVPRO® of Douglasville will be on-site to help ensure a water damage is handled by completing the following steps.

INSPECTION

SERVPRO® of Douglasville will inspect affected areas to determine the extent of water damage and will review the inspection with you to answer any questions before beginning any work.

EMERGENCY SERVICES

SERVPRO® of Douglasville will take steps to help protect your home or business, as well as personal belongings and other contents, from further damage by extracting the excess water and preparing the area for drying. They will explain the needed emergency services to you step-by-step.

MONITORING

To help ensure your home or business and belongings are dried to appropriate industry standards, SERVPRO® of Douglasville will monitor the drying process. The updates will be consistently communicated to you.

RESTORATION SERVICES

SERVPRO® of Douglasville's team of professionals will repair structural materials, reinstall carpets, and clean affected areas of your property and belongings. A final walk-through of the job-site will be conducted with you to help ensure the property was returned to preloss condition.

EMERGENCY WATER DAMAGE TIPS

  • Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
  • Place aluminium foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents, and other sensitive valuables to a dry place.
  • Don’t enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers, or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
  • Don’t use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water; this could cause electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.
  • Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

For more information on recovering from water damage, contact SERVPRO® of Douglasville today - 770-489-5659.

*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 29, Iss 3

Do You Know What To Do When a Flood Happens

3/13/2019 (Permalink)

Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. Whether your home or business is near a coastline, along city streets, in the mountains, near a river, or even in the desert—there is always potential for flood damage. Fema.gov reports in the last 5 years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods. Just because you haven’t experienced a flood in the past does not mean you won’t in the future. In fact, nearly 20% of all flood insurance claims come from moderate-to-low risk areas, and even just one inch of flood damage in an average home can cost you up to $27,000.*

According to the American Red Cross, floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than any other weather related disaster. The American Red Cross offers the following flood safety tips.

  • Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around, and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
  • If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
  • Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.

If a flood does strike your home or business, contact SERVPRO® of Douglasville at 770-489-5659. Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure when not treated quickly and properly, and the cleanup is often an overwhelming task. The SERVPRO® System is prepared to handle any sized disaster. When fire and water take control of your life, SERVPRO® of Douglasville will help you take it back.

*Facts and figures provided by fema.gov

**Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 29, Iss 3

Flooding Can Happen Anywhere

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

According to the National Weather Service (NOAA), “Approximately seventy-five percent of all Presidential disaster declarations are associated with flooding.” NOAA lists the most common flood hazards in the United States as:

• Flash Flooding

• River Flooding

• Storm Surge and Coastal Inundation from Tropical and Non-Tropical Systems

• Burn Scars/Debris Flows (Caused by Wildfires)

• Ice/Debris Jams

• Snowmelt

• Dry Wash (Caused by heavy rainfall in dry areas)

• Dam Breaks/Levee Failure

Just because you haven’t experienced a flood doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. In fact, 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities. On average, floods cost $3.5 billion in annual losses in the U.S., and commercial flood claims average more than $75,000 (NFIP).

When catastrophic water damage happens to you, SERVPRO® of Douglasville can help. They can help you prepare ahead of time with an Emergency Ready Profile® (ERP), or respond to any size disaster to begin cleanup and restoration to get you back in business as soon as possible. SERVPRO® of Douglasville is ready to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

*Courtesy of Restoration Newsline Vol 30, Iss 3