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Fixing Water Damage, Fire Damage, and Mold
Water damage, fire hazards, and molds are common to every household. You might have faced one or two of these types of damages, if not all of them, that ruin the look of your house. We will be revealing our popular pro tips on what and how to do the restoration of these damages. Let’s breakdown the topics into three categories:
1. Fixing Water Damage
2. Fire Damage restoration
3. How to Remove Mold
How to Fix the Water Damage?
Water damage can be a result of natural disasters like flooding, sewerage system emergencies, or water leaks. Depending upon this, we have three classifications for the types of water that causes water damage:
1. Clean Water Damage – damages due to clean water are less dangerous as they do not pose any risk to human health. Clean water damages can be a consequence of malfunctioning appliances, leaking of water supply lines, water holding tanks, or rainwater. You can try to fix these, but standing clean water can turn into greywater in a short period, approximately within 48 hours.
2. Grey Water Damage – water that contains fewer pathogens and is not contaminated by the fecal matter is called Grey Water. This can be water from dishwashers, washing machines, toilets, and sink pipes. The standing greywater in your basement can speedily turn into black water, within 48 hours.
3. Black Water Damage – the most dangerous is the black water, since it has ample load of pathogens and toxins, and may contain human fecal and urine contamination. Sewerage water, floods, and even groundwater is black water. It can lead to health problems if came in contact or not treated immediately.
What to do in the case of water damage?
What to do and what you can do in the event of water damage depend upon the type of water damage and reason for the water damage. If the damage occurred is something you can fix yourself – like a small leakage or any minor damage, you might be able to patch it up. But if the water damage is due to other reasons, then it is much advisable to contact the water damage restoration specialists, as fixing those problems yourself can worsen the situation and damage. You might not have the proper equipment to do the job or knowledge about the equipment if you rent one.
How to fix water damaged walls?
Fixing of the water damaged drywall, including interior walls and ceilings, can be done in 5 simple steps:
1. Step one: Finding the leak
Until you address the root of the problem, it is useless to repair the water damaged walls and ceiling. Therefore, check for all possible troubleshooting areas and fix them first. For that, you might be needing the help of water damage restoration companies.
2. Step two: Remove or take out the water damaged area
Remove the water-damaged drywall completely and carefully. If high water content seeped into the walls and ceiling, they may crumble and may be removed easily by hand. Otherwise, you should use a wrecking bar or the claw end of a hammer. If the seepage is no more than 3/8 inches, cutting the affected piece and replacing it would do the trick. Also, check for the insulation damage.
3. Step three: Do the repairing
Patch the wall or ceiling that was removed in step two. You may require more than once patching to fill the area. Give sufficient time between each patching, for the proper drying of the material or as specified by the manufacturer. Sand down the excess to make your new wall patches smooth.
4. Step four: Start priming and painting
If you have completed all three above mentioned steps, then it’s time to prime the affected areas and paint them to match the rest of the walls or ceiling of the room.
5. Step five: Clean the mess
The final step is the most basic. Clean up the clutter so that you and your guests will never know about any water-damaged walls.
However, all the above steps can be tiresome if the affected area is large or you don’t have accurate equipment and knowledge. The best step is to talk to a professional and get help.
Can you paint over the water damage?
If there are only water stains on your wall without any additional damage, you may opt for directly painting over them. But before that, make sure you have removed the root cause of the water staining. Then let the water stain dry completely. You can speed up the process by employing a dehumidifier or a fan. Continue with primer and painting.
What if I hire a professional – what is the cost of fixing water damage?
Depending on how much area has been influenced by the water, the costs are decided accordingly. But the average water damage repair cost can lie between $250 to $7000 for the total repair.
Fire Damage Restoration
Having your house or office on fire is the worst-case scenario. Why? Because it usually happens when you are away and someone calls you to give the bad news. Even worse, you may be fast asleep. Whatever the situation may be, the fire disaster has to be dealt with immediately. Call on the fire emergency numbers and have the fire put out in the shortest time possible to prevent maximum damage.
Just as you would call the fire department for a fire as soon as possible, call the fire damage restoration company at the earliest opportunity. Some fire damage restoration companies also offer emergency services. If you don’t treat the fire damage as quickly as possible, ideally within 24 to 48, the acidic soot will continue to corrode and erode the materials.
The fire damage restoration should only be allotted to the professionals as it is something far beyond an individual’s grasp.
How does the fire damage restoration process work?
The upshot of a fire hazard can be overwhelming, but you have to hire and trust a restoration company to address the issue. The fire damage restoration company may proceed by the following steps:
1. Step one: Investigate the amount of damage done
The fire damage restoration company first has to access the depth of damage done. Different areas can get damaged differently and requires specific restoration, cleaning, and buildup. The company also has to assess the water damage. Since water will be used to extinguish the fire, fire damage and water damage restoration go hand-in-hand during damage investigations.
2. Step two: Closing any of the leaks and isolating the damaged areas
If the fire has traversed the walls, you will most likely have burst pipes. The company will first seal those leaks to avoid further water damage and raising the restoration cost. They will also mark and close the damaged areas, as mutilated structures can cause injury to humans.
3. Step three: Clean up – water 💦 removal and soot
The stagnant water has to be removed at the earliest convenience to avoid damaging the flooring and walls. Standing water can also be detrimental to health. Their next and foremost important step is to wipe away the soot from all areas, including floors, walls, cabinets, and furniture. Restoration companies are equipped to rescue and restore as much as possible, but if the fire-damaged areas are too afflicted to be salvaged, then they have to dump it.
Proper ventilation and air-scrubbing technology are used to remove the smoke and neutralize burnt odor.
4. Step four: Sanitization, restoration, and repair
The final step is the sanitization of the fire-damaged areas. They look for moldy areas and remove it. Subsequently, actual restorations and repairing are done to get your home or office functioning as before.
What to look for when hiring a fire damage restoration company?
There are five basic criteria to put forward before asking for the help of a fire damage restoration company:
1. Working Experience
2. Reliability and Honesty
3. Do they offer to work with insurance companies?
5. Previous customer reviews
What is the cost of fire damage restoration?
People usually pay between $3,028 - $27,662 for fire damage restoration and an additional $1000 to $4000 for the water damage restoration. You will have to pay according to the extent of the damage. However, you can ask your fire damage restoration company to give you an estimate beforehand, instead of feeling surprised and overwhelmed by the price.
Removing the Mold
Molds are fungi and may be useful like penicillin. On the other hand, molds growing on your warm damp areas like bathrooms, basements, or water seeped walls are dangerous – known as mildew. They ruin the house and the health if not treated on time.
Follow these simple steps to alleviate the mold problem:
1. Step 1: Remove the source of moisture in the affected area. If you do not do this, then it’s useless to remove the mold because it will inevitably return in the presence of damp areas.
2. Step 2: Wear protection gear, such as a facemask or respirator specifically designed to block the mold spores, along with covering your hands, arms, and legs to avoid contact.
3. Step 3: Use plastic to seal any openings in the room, including the exhaust, so that there is no chance for mold spores to escape to other areas. Sealing the mold-affected room is necessary, especially when doing mold remediation of large areas. Dampen the mold before starting to clean to prevent the spores from becoming airborne.
4. Step 4: Prepare the mold removal solution.
Chlorine Bleach – be careful as it is quite irritant. Dilute it before using it.
Hydrogen peroxide – 3% to 10% solution of H2O2 can scrub off the mold and lightens the mold stains.
Vinegar – diluted white vinegar is easily available and economical. But takes more time and may not remove stains properly.
Borax and Baking soda – these two together can remove and lighten the stains, but not as much as the stronger products. They are equally non-toxic, cheap, and mix well with water.
If there is mold under the carpet, then the best solution is to roll out the carpet, wrap it in three layers of plastic and dispose of it. Vacuum (wet and/or dry) up the mold buildup, and use a strong solution (like equal parts of bleach and water) to scrub the mold. Let the area air dry so that the solution permeates the surface well. Then set up a dehumidifier or fan to remove spores and all possible moisture for at least 3 days.
If you have a swollen wall, remove an area of the wall to look for all moldy areas, especially the insulation. Strip down the mold affected areas and install new drywall.
For tiles and other walls, add detergent along with bleach and water – scrub it all with a scrub brush.
5. Step 5: Allow it to dry, seal the area with a primer or other sealants for various surfaces, ventilate the area well, and use HEPA Filters for future prevention.
⚠: Never mix ammonia or ammonia containing products with bleach. As this combination releases a poisonous gas.
When to seek professional help?
Mold affecting smaller areas can be handled by a careful homeowner, but if the mold-covered area is quite large, then it is best to seek professional help. If you have allergies, it is not preferable to go near the moldy areas of your home. A single spore can worsen the situation.
Note: It is better to have mold remediation before moving to a new house 🏠 so that you don’t have difficulty afterward, such as flaring up any allergies.
What is the cost of the mold remediation process by professionals?
Homeowners seeking small mold remediation can pay between $1,500–$3,150. Larger projects are ranging from $3000 to $6000.