Categories of Water Damage
Visible mold growth in carpet and carpet padding.
When we receive a call for water damage, we ensure to document damage that is in the home. We categorize the damage in three different ways; pre-existing damage, primary damage or secondary damage. This is an important part of the restoration process and we must assess this before our technicians can begin to work. On the affected structure. We will then provide this information to you and your insurance company (and any other interested parties).
The first type of damage we look for is called pre-existing damage. This is damage that existed before the water event that we were dispatched to assess. This is often mildew or mold from a previous water event. This could also be shown as carpet delamination (separation of the carpet fibers and their backing membrane) or water stains on materials in the home that are not currently wet.
The second type of damage is primary damage. This is damage that is direct result of the fire or water event. It occurs immediately when materials are affected by the cause of the loss. It could mean damage to the structure itself and to its contents, such as furniture.
The third type of damage we encounter is secondary damage. In the case of a water event, this could occur when materials are left wet for an extended period of time and/or high levels of humidity remaining within the structure. This encourages the chance of mold and mildew growth and changes in the materials of the structure as well which could compromise its integrity. When there is fire damage, secondary damage can result from particulates and ash being carried throughout a structure from the movement of people in the home into areas that were not initially affected.
When dealing with the resulting damage of a water event, know that the experts at SERVPRO® of Greater Waco will work quickly to avoid any further damage and get your home or place of business to a pre-water event state. Avoid secondary damage and call us without delay: 254-224-5999.
How We Choose A Drying Method
Materials that cannot be thoroughly dried to a preloss condition must be removed and disposed of.
With advancements in drying procedures and equipment, almost any type of material can be dried after it has been affected due to water damage. Our technicians consider several factors in their decision to dry or not dry a material; contamination of the material, damage, and cost of drying compared to replacement.
Contamination: This is the first factor that our restoration technicians take into consideration. For example, if a porous object or material has been affected by Category 3 it cannot be thoroughly cleaned and must be disposed of. Safeguarding our clients and employees from health hazards is our primary concern when assessing contamination of materials.
Damage: If materials have become damaged beyond the possibility of full repair after being dried, they are removed from the structure and the remaining materials are dried thoroughly before rebuild. An example of this would be insulation and drywall damaged by a water leak. If it cannot be dried to a preloss state, demolition and disposal of the affected material would be necessary.
Cost: Finally, our technicians will always consider the cost when determining if an object should be dried or replaced. We will always communicate with our clients and interested parties regarding whether it is more cost effective to dry materials than it would be to replace them. For example, if flooring has become wet but can be salvaged by drying, it would be more cost effective to dry it than to replace the whole flooring of the house. Ultimately, it is important that it cost less to dry than it would be to replace an item.
Once these factors have been considered when deciding whether to dry or not dry an item, our technicians can begin the restoration process and make it “Like it never even happened.” ®
The Three Categories of Water
This would be a Category 3 loss. You would expect to see our technicians in full personal protective equipment.
When we receive a dispatch for a home or business that has suffered water damage, one of the first things we identify in our initial inspection is the Water Category. It is important to assess what type of water caused the damage in order to proceed with the appropriate procedure for restoration.
Category 1: Is clean water from a clean source that cannot cause sickness if someone comes into contact with it. This could be water from a broken supply line, or sink overflow containing no detergents. Falling rainwater also falls into this category. It is water that does not contain any additives or contaminants. Cat 1 water cannot be standing for a long time and the materials that have come in contact with the water are clean and well maintained. Once we have identified that the water is Cat 1, we can begin the drying process and it is possible to restore the structure by rapid drying in place and replacing any permanently damaged materials. If there is odor present, it is indicative that the water is no longer Category 1.
Category 2: Cat 2 water is best described as water that has chemicals, biological or physical contamination that if consumed or contacted by humans would cause sickness. This includes discharge water from dishwashers, washing machines, a toilet bowl overflow containing urine, and aquarium leaks. If a water loss is found to be a Cat 2, there are procedures that technicians must proceed with before drying. Affected carpet padding, and insulation will be removed, and materials will be cleaned. An application of anti-microbial agents on affected areas can prevent growth of mold and mildew.
Category 3: The most contaminated level of water is Cat 3 water. This is water that contains pathogens that could severely affect humans that come into contact with it. Examples of Cat 3 water sources are sewer water, flood water, and toilet overflow containing fecal matter. The procedures in handling a Cat 3 water loss are numerous due to the importance of maintaining the health and safety of the workers. It is necessary for technicians to be equipped with personal protective equipment. All highly porous materials that have come into contact with contaminated water would be removed and disposed of including carpet, carpet padding, wood, drywall and insulation.
By ensuring that the water category is appropriately identified, technicians can ensure that the best procedures are utilized while also keeping everyone in the home and on the jobsite safe. Call the experts at SERVPRO® of Greater Waco at 254-224-5999 to help you restore your home or business, regardless of the water category.
To File or Not To File A Claim
Are you able to make the repairs or does it require a claim?
As a homeowner, renter or business owner it is important to understand the ins and outs of your insurance policy. Every policy is different, with exclusions and named perils. Being knowledgeable about your insurance as much as possible will help you in deciding if it is necessary for you to file a claim in the event your home or place or business suffers water damage. We wanted to share a couple of things to consider before filing an insurance claim:
If the total amount of repairs is less than your deductible, avoid filing, especially if other claims have been filled in the last ten years
If it is an uncovered loss, you are responsible for the mitigation and repairs, be aware of what is covered under your insurance.
Claim frequency could affect you in the form of non-renewal for being a high-risk.
If damage occurs due to lack of maintenance that is your own responsibility, do not submit a claim. But remember, maintaining your home or business well can get you better premiums.
Ultimately, being aware of all exclusions and coverage limits is important by knowing your options in which direction you need to go to mitigate and repair damage that occurs on your home or business.
Taking Action On A Water Leak
Use of a bucket to catch water from a leak is a temporary fix. As seen here, mold will begin to grow due to increased humidity in the space.
Water leaks are often unexpected, arising from a plumbing issue, HVAC malfunction or even storm damage to your home or business. You might stumble upon a puddle of water or a stain on the ceiling that clues you in that a problem exists. A leak may not even be visible but you realize something is amiss due to an unexpected increase in your water bill. Once you have been able to investigate and find the source of the leak, it is imperative that you take action as soon as possible to correct the issue. Ignoring a water leak or temporarily catching water in a container can still result in damage to your home. Increased humidity in the air and direct contact with water will cause structural damage and it can spread into initially non-affected areas.
If you find that your home is experiencing a leak or you have discovered water damage but cannot locate the source, we highly advise calling a plumber to remedy the issue as soon as possible. Once a leak has been repaired, our technicians at SERVPRO of Greater Waco can begin the drying process and restore your home or place of business to its preloss condition.
Remember, don’t wait on repairing water leaks, and call SERVPRO of Greater Waco at 254-224-5999 so we can make it “Like it never even happened.”
Indoor Humidity Can Increase During Summer Months
Excess moisture can damage wood in your home.
As the summer temperatures begin to rise, you will notice that you may not be sweating but feeling sticky nonetheless. The reason behind this is that the hot summer air tends to hold more humidity as opposed to cold air in the winter. Humidity is the amount of moisture or water vapor present in the air. You would expect this muggy feeling while you are outdoors but not so much once you are indoors. If the humidity inside your home is too high, it increases the chances of mold and bacteria to grow and may aggravate allergies or asthma symptoms. Too much moisture in the air can also affect any wood furniture and wood structures.
If the humidity level is found to be above 60% for a prolonged period of time, it could lead to damage in your home. The recommended optimal range of humidity is from 30%-60% and can be achieved by making some simple changes such as closing exterior doors and using the A/C. Using fans and keeping interior doors open will increase ventilation and help with air circulation. Ensuring the use of the bathroom exhaust fan will also help remove moisture from the air.
If you find that your home continues to remain humid and have concerns regarding the moisture level, mold growth or water damage, give us a call at 254-224-5999.
Grilling Fire Safety
Safe grilling is best grilling.
Summer is in full swing bringing cookouts, fireworks and hot dry weather. We want everyone to enjoy their summer to the fullest and to also best prepare you with some grilling safety tips to ensure that your barbecue goes off without a hitch.
Check out the following tips provided by fema.gov:
- 3 Feet: Only grill outside and keep it at minimum 3 feet from any siding, deck rails and eaves.
- Safe Zone: Keep a 3-foot safe zone around your grill to ensure that kids and pets remain safe.
- Open your gas grill before lighting.
- Monitor: Keep an eye on your grill, fire pit or patio torches while lit.
- Clean your grill after each use. This will remove grease that can start a fire.
- Place the coals from your grill in a metal can with a lid once they have cooled.
Taking a few precautions will help create a safe environment for your summer fun. If you need more information on our fire and water restoration services, please give us a call at 254-224-5999.
Did You Know We Do General Cleaning Too?
Summer is filled with celebrations of the end of chapters, such as high school and college graduations. As many embark on a new life journey, it’s possible that with the change comes the need for relocation. Whether you were renting an apartment or a home, you want to make it look better than when you first moved in. This really works in your favor if you are trying to get some of your initial deposit back too. You can opt to do it on your own, along with the other tasks you need to undertake to make the move, or you can call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco to help. Here are a few of the services we provide to help make your transition an easy one:
- Carpet/rug cleaning
- Floor cleaning
- Room deodorization (including tobacco odor and pet odors)
- General cleaning/disinfecting
- Upholstery cleaning/deodorization
Contact SERVPRO of Greater Waco today for more information on general cleaning or to schedule an appointment. (254)-224-5999.
Commercial Loss? We Can Handle It.
This indoor pool facility was dried down and ready for rebuild when we were through with it.
Central Texas has had its share of rain and we have stayed busy with many residential calls due to unexpected flooding and water damage. But did you know we are also equipped and staffed for the needs of a commercial loss as well?
We were recently called to a multi-unit commercial building that had suffered severe water damage due to recent storms. Of the 6 units that were damaged, 2 of the businesses were able to resume normal operations as we began the restoration process. We were able to remove wet and damaged material and replace insulation and ensure that the building was thoroughly dry.
SERVPRO® of Greater Waco understands that the needs of running a business remain even when faced with a water loss. Our technicians work quickly to assess the damage in your building so that restoration may begin as soon as possible. We want you to be able to resume your day to day company routine with as little interruption as possible while also working within your budget and alongside your insurance company.
Call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco 24/7 for more information or to schedule an appointment: (254) 224-5999.
Fire Damage: Smoke, Soot and Smells
At first glance, this might look overwhelming. SERVPRO of Greater Waco can handle it.
Home is your safe place, but the destruction a house fire leaves behind can leave you feeling hopeless, stressed and wondering if you will ever be able to get back to the way it was before. In the event of a fire in your home, we are ready to respond to your needs and lend a compassionate hand as we guide you through the restoration process of your home from start to finish.
You might notice that after the fire has been safely put out that there is damage to your home in areas far from where the fire originated. As the temperature rises inside a building, air expands carrying soot into cooler areas. Smoke will migrate into upper areas of a structure, allowing it to permeate other things like your ventilation system. Smoke and soot staining not only are unsightly and difficult to remove, they also produce odors which could be harmful if inhaled.
Before we begin the restoration process on your home, we assess the damage and pre-test the affected materials to determine the appropriate cleaning procedure. We then use the results to specifically tailor the cleaning procedure we will use in your home to provide you with the best plan to appropriately address your loss. Not every fire loss is cleaned in the same manner.
Unsure if restoration is possible? Give us a call at 254-224-5999 and let SERVPRO® of Greater Waco show you how we make disasters “Like it never even happened.”