Sometimes, looking for water damage in hardwood floors can be difficult due to the color and lack of structure change. Water damage in hardwood floors can sometimes go undetected. When you notice that there may be something off about your hardwood floor, damage has already been done. When searching for water damage in hardwood floors, be cautious of the condition and practice safe handling by wearing protection gear.  

What you need to know about signs of water damage in hardwood floors

  • Not all water damage in hardwood floors is noticeable 
  • Water damage can affect your hardwood floors in several different ways depending upon the layout and type of wood
  • There are several different ways to tell if your hardwood floors have been affected 
  • Water damaged hardwood floors can be restored at home or by a professional

Do you notice an increase in your water bill?

Signs of Water Damage in Hardwood Floors - Water Damage Restoration Sometimes, although the leak may go unnoticed physically, it can be present in your monthly water bill. A sudden increase in your water bill could suggest that there is a leak somewhere that you don’t know about. 

There are several things to think about when you see a higher water bill. What does a normal bill look like in your area and water usage? We suggest going online to your city website and reading your local rates. 

Was more water used during that period of time? Sometimes we can have family members visit, take more bubble baths than usual, or wash more dishes and this will cause a change. 

What time of year did you see this increase? Summer months can cause higher water bills because we usually use more water at this time. During summer, most people will water their yard or care for their pool which changes their water bill. 

A faucet that leaks around 1 drip per second, could be wasting around 17 gallons over the period of one day! You can imagine that 17 gallons leaking into your hardwood floor daily would not go over well. If you notice an increase in your water bill, contact a professional quickly to inspect your property for potential leaks. 

Do you notice a bad odor in your home?

The smell of water damage is one of a kind and easily noticeable. This musty odor is usually a sign that there is moisture located somewhere it is not suppose to be. The smell of mold is caused by the release of chemicals by the growth as it grows, eats, and multiplies. It is a blend of different compounds reacting from each other. If there is a room in your home that has a strong odor, get a flow of fresh air supply quickly. We advise opening windows to begin cleaning the air of bacteria. 

Mold grows successfully in porous materials so it is important to stay cautious while inspecting if you are doing it yourself. If mold is found, it is best to locate the source of moisture to determine if there is a leak. It would be advised that you address any problems that may be present quickly by a professional. 

Do you notice any cupping in your floors?

Cupping in your hardwood floors happens when the edges of the board are lifted higher than the center. Assuming that the flooring was installed properly, the following action is a direct result of moisture in your floors. This excess moisture causes the floor to swell meshing the boards together causing deformation at the edges.

Do you notice any spore buildup?

If you notice spores in your solid hardwood floors, take precautions by opening up windows or doors for fresh air flow. Inhaling any type of mold could cause allergic reactions. If self cleaning, be sure to wear a dust mask and a form of latex gloves for protection. 

Spray the area with a white vinegar and water mixture to clean the mold growth on the floors quickly. The solution normally calls for ¼ vinegar per 1 cup of water. For more extreme cases, you can use equal parts water to vinegar on the affected area. 

After spraying, dry the floor of any excess water until it is completely dry. A moisture meter is advised to ensure that surface of wood floor is free of any extreme amounts of water. The drying process on water damaged wood floors will help ensure that mold does not quickly return. 

Ultimately, we advise contacting your local restoration company for assistance to repair the damage if you notice water damaged flooring. In addition, a floor contractor may be needed after water damage is addressed to offerer sanding and refinishing. A floor contractor can sand the floor and bring the wood back to life. This will help eliminate the visible imperfections caused by the water damage.

Do you notice any planks buckling?

Signs of Water Damage in Hardwood Floors - Water Damage Restoration

Normally, wood can expand a from conditions of the environment so a little change is nothing to stress over. However, if you notice extreme buckling, this could be caused by different things. 

Water damage in hardwood floors

Because wood needs to make changes if there is more moisture added, the wood will begin to move in an upward position to adjust. Your flooring could also have stains or spots where water has gotten into the wood. Ways you can prevent water seeping into the wood would be to check the coating of the wood often for any wear or tear, get wood waxed with protective coating, or add wood oil. 

Acclimation of wood

Many people do not know that you are supposed to let wood acclimate to its environment 2 weeks prior to installing. Wood needs a chance to respond to the environment conditions and if it does not, this may cause buckling. If buckling was not caused by this, it is safe to assume that moisture is present.  

Poor installation of hardwood floors

When installing wood, it is imperative that the installation be correct. Using the correct tools and, in the situation of avoiding moisture, the correct installation of a moisture barrier. If the moisture barrier is not present or incorrectly installed, this could cause buckling. In addition, the flooring should be installed with a ¼ inch to ½ inch gap for potential expansion around the rim of the room to help reduce the opportunity of buckling.  

Care of hardwood floors

Caring for beautiful hardwood floors should be part of your routine maintenance. Making sure that any way spills get correctly cleaned up, not wet-mopping your floors, and tending to any wear and tear as soon as possible, are just a few things that will help keep your hardwood floors looking great.

All in all, any sign of water damage in your hardwood floors should be addressed immediately to make sure they stay nice and continue to look good in your home. Getting the help of a water restoration company can also guaranteed that any and all problems are addressed and do not return.

Because people usually focus on bigger areas that have suffered from flood water, water damaged clothes are normally forgotten about. The ability to restore clothing is strongly affected by how heavily they were soaked and the amount of time they were soaked. When handling these clothing items, it is important to stay cautious and be aware of the condition of the clothing. Protection gear is advised while handling.

Often, a homeowner is not able to prevent what gets wet and what doesn’t. Although some items can be brought back to life through the process of restoration with a basic washer and dryer, others may need more help from content cleaning services. By understanding how clothing is affected by water damage, you will have a clear picture of how to address the items with as little lost.

What you need to know about your water damaged clothes

  • Not all water damaged clothes are restorable. The good news is – most are.
  • Water damaged clothes can be restored at home or professionally.
  • You need to address water damaged clothes as quickly as possible in order achieve the best results.
  • Do not keep clothing that is beyond restoration. This may cause health risks.
  • There are several different methods that can be used in the restoration process.

How heavily where they soiled?

One way to analyze the damage on clothing would be to determine how wet the pieces are. Wet clothing can open the door for a lot of mold and mildew to start forming. Because mildew can cause a variety of health issues for both allergic and non-allergic people, it is important to identify whether bacteria has become present in the clothing. Potential health risks include bloody nose, congestion, sneezing, eye irritation, and more.

The clothing items should be handled with caution due to the presence of various types of bacteria such as, aspergillus fumigatus, which is a major player for respiratory problems. Signs of mold include a musty odor, discoloration or growth, and or visible settled spores. Clothes that are badly infested should be enclosed polyethylene bags and sent to professionals for decontamination.

How long have they been wet?

To best understand the condition of your clothing, try to get a clear picture of how long they have been wet. Getting a better understanding of time soiled will allow clarity of what is needed for the restoration.

Under the best conditions, it takes 24-48 hours for mold to grow, 3-12 days for spores to begin forming, and 18-21 days for these spores to become visible. It is important to be cautious when handling clothing items that have been extensively soiled. With this being said, it is important to address clothing as quickly as possible in order to have a better chance of maintaining their condition. Wondering how to remove water damage in clothing? Please reference the information below for details on how to properly clean restorable clothing.

How to Restore Water Damaged Clothes - Water Damage Restoration

Separate water damaged clothes

With water damaged clothes, it will be best to start by separating clothing according to color and make. Separating the clothing will allow you to clearly make a decision on what products to use on your loads and how to properly wash each one. Wearing gloves and a mask during each step with prevent any excess debris exposure that could be harmful to you.

Rinse water damaged clothes

Doing this will prevent any further dirt or mildew from settling into the clothing. To avoid heavy exposure with bacteria or dust, it would also be best to wear gloves and a dust mask to clean your clothes. Wearing gloves and a mask will protect one from any excess debris that could be harmful.

Pre-wash water damaged clothes

If your washer includes a pre-wash cycle, this would be helpful to maximize your regular wash. Doing a pre-wash of contaminated clothing allows for a better breakdown of clothing to get rid of all the dirt and stains. In addition, you may also add a mold remover such as bleach, borax, vinegar, baking soda, detergent specific for killing mold, or an enzyme presoak to help clean and disinfect. With water damaged clothes, using a disinfectant will help to eliminate the bacteria present. Using a regular detergent or dish soap alone will not sufficiently rid clothing of harmful bacteria or visible spore spots.

Tip: The following solution is proven to get rid of mold in clothing.

  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda in 12 oz spray bottle
  • Fill rest of bottle with white vinegar
  • Shake until mixed
  • Spray on clothing where it’s needed
  • Wash normally after

In addition, Lestoil may also be used to presoak laundry by applying the product on spore spots and allowing it to sit for 10-20 minutes to breakdown the damage or discoloration.

Wash water damaged clothes

When washing clothes in the washing machine, it would be best to use powder laundry detergent, some form of disinfectant, and the hottest water recommended by the clothing. All the following will aid to, not only get your clothing in wearable condition, but to get them sanitized as well. There are lots of laundry disinfectants available, so choose whichever is best for the clothing per make, color, and level of damage.

Evaluation of water damaged clothes

After all washing is done, make sure to review all clothes for any more stains or smell. This final step helps to make sure that all your clothes are safe to wear again. If you find that there are still stains or smell from clothes, try taking them to your local dry clean business and explain the condition of the clothes. If they are unable to restore the clothing, it would be best to part ways with the pieces.

By leadamigo / Uncategorized / 0 Comments

Water damage in your home can be hectic and not something that happens often. Because of the rarity of this terrible event, homeowners usually aren’t sure what to do next when filing a water damage insurance claim.

This is especially true for homeowners who are experiencing water damage for the first time.

What You Need To Know About Your Water Damage Claim

  • Not all types of water damage are covered. The good news is – most are.
  • Insurance will pay for all damages covered by the water damage as stated in your homeowner’s insurance policy.
  • You need to notify your insurance company IMMEDIATELY after you notice that damage has occurred.
  • Do not attempt to make repairs before you contact your insurance company. They will walk you through what to do next.
  • A certified restoration contractor can help you dry your home and repair damage after you consult your insurance company.

You’ve Noticed Water Damage: What’s Next?

  • Try to turn off the source of the water.
  • Remove all electrical and turn off corresponding power to the affected area.
  • If possible, try to remove furniture or items in your home that would be further damaged by staying in the water.

Informing yourself about filing a water damage insurance claim and knowing quickly what important steps to take will help you, your family and your home in the long run. Don’t worry too much. Your home can be dried and repaired so that you can get on with your life.

1. Consult your insurance company

The Complete Guide To Water Damage Insurance Claims - Water Damage Restoration

Be prepared to provide documentation. You will need the following items to get the process started:
  • Name and contact information of your insurance company.
  • Your homeowners insurance policy number.
  • The source of the leak that caused the water damage.

Do a quick Google search for your insurance company + claims if you need to find the correct phone number.

2. Document your water damage with photos and video

After your water damage claim is settled, your insurance will want to pay you for the damage in your home and to your items. To make sure you get the appropriate amount of coverage, make sure to take as many photos of the damage as possible. A video will work even better.

Photo & Video Documentation Tips:

  • Take as many as possible.
  • Try to use good lighting.
  • Create a dedicated folder on your computer where you can keep all photos and videos together, or use a storage service like Google Drive.

3. Review Your Insurance Policy

If you do not have a physical copy of your insurance policy you can usually access it online. You want to look for guidelines related to flooding and water damage. There’s a difference between the two.

Verbiage regarding coverage amount, what items are covered and related terminology should be found in your policy.

4. Make an inventory of all damaged possessions

Your insurance company is likely to pay for repairs to your home AS WELL AS items that were damaged. It’s a good idea to begin a word document or spreadsheet that lists the items you believe to be damaged.

  • If you have receipts, keep them and list the amount you paid for the item or product.
  • If you do not have receipts, try to find the exact model of that item online and list the current selling price.
  • Search your bank account and credit card history online to find the price of an item at the time you bought it.

The Complete Guide To Water Damage Insurance Claims - Water Damage Restoration

TIP: You can download home inventory checklists or purchase software that speeds up the process of identifying what valuable items you have in your home.

It’s likely you don’t have receipts from a couch or tv that you bought 6 years ago. If you list “TV” as a need to be replaced item, your insurance company will find the lowest cost television and try to reimburse you that amount. Try to find and list the EXACT model of whatever item was damaged in your home.

5. Beware of water damage involvement by others

In some cases, the water damage you experience will not be your fault. It could be a plumber, an appliance installer or even an electrician. Regardless, if you suspect the fault is someone elses make sure you follow these steps:

  1. Contact the service provider you believe might have caused the damage. Usually, they can file the claim on their own insurance instead of yours.
  2. Document the contact information of those involved.

6. Get multiple estimates from water damage restoration companies

After the damage is done, you need to find someone to fix it. Calling a water damage restoration company is your next step. These companies are certified in mitigating water damage in your home. They will extract water, dry and repair any damages you have.

Getting multiple water damage quotes

  • Your insurance company will usually have a suggested water damage repair company. You DO NOT have to use this company.
  • Try to get at least 3 competing quotes. Let these companies know you are pricing competitors and they can usually match – or beat a competitors price.
  • Rely on Google and Yelp reviews to make a decision.
  • Companies can usually provide estimates 24/7.

 

Get multiple water damage quotes
Make to get at least 3 different water damage restoration quotes.

7. Don’t throw anything away

Although it may be gross, wet and stinky – try not to throw anything away. Your insurance company as well as restoration companies can use these items to identify multiple important facts about your situation. These include:

  • Your insurance company will usually have a suggested water damage repair company. You DO NOT have to use this company.
  • Try to get at least 3 competing quotes. Let these companies know you are pricing competitors and they can usually match – or beat a competitors price.
  • Rely on Google and Yelp reviews to make a decision.
  • Companies can usually provide estimates 24/7.


By leadamigo / Water Restoration / 0 Comments

As the old adage goes, “You can’t build a strong home on a weak foundation”, and it’s true. Foundation water damage weakens the structure of your home, causes cracks, bowed walls– and in some extreme cases– causes the home to collapse.

Here’s how to identify the early warning signs of foundation water damage problems and address them before they turn into expensive home repair bills.

Warning Signs of Foundation Water Damage & What To Do Next (Updated 2018) - Water Damage Restoration


Warning Sign #1: Cracks

Cracks are a tell-tale sign of foundation water problems, and can occur both outside and inside the home.

Because they’re exposed to the outside elements, cracks in concrete foundations aren’t rare and  few hairline cracks aren’t normally a concern. However, horizontal cracks and stair-step cracks in block walls or corners could indicate serious structural damage. You should consult a professional to determine whether any of these warning signs indicate normal settling or structural damage.

When foundation water damage finds its way indoors, you’ll start to see cracks over doorways, window seals, or where walls meet ceilings. Make sure to pay attention to areas that gather outside water, like window seals and door panes. If there are cracks in those areas, make sure you properly seal them to prevent moisture from leaking into your home and causing further water damage.


Warning Sign #2: Standing Water in a Basement or Crawlspace

Water in a basement or crawlspace could be a plumbing issue, like broken pipes or appliances, or it could be caused by water seeping in through cracks in the foundation or gutter runoff.

If you find water in your basement or crawl space time and time again after heavy rains, it’s most likely the latter two options. This seepage can lead to mold growth and weaken wooden support structures, making it critical to address. Check to see if your gutters are properly installed and cleaned.  

You should also consult a professional to identify if cracks in the foundation are the true source.

Warning Signs of Foundation Water Damage & What To Do Next (Updated 2018) - Water Damage Restoration


Warning Sign #3: Jammed Windows & Doors

If you find that your doors or windows are getting stuck or won’t open or close properly, it could be an indication of foundation water damage. Excess water absorption causes windows and door frames to warp, which likely means you have a basement or crawlspace waterproofing problem. Excess outside moisture also can cause your foundation to shift, knocking doors and windows off their alignment. In this scenario, you might have a larger foundation problem that needs to be addressed.

Whatever the case, it’s important to make sure doors and windows are properly sealed and closing. If not, the result is water damage, mold, and potentially, even more structural damage.


Warning Sign #4: Mold Patches or Rotted Wood

Mold patches are a major sign of water damage, and if you don’t spot them, you’ll definitely be able to recognize that distinct mildew smell. This could be caused be a crack or opening in the foundation that’s allowing water to seep in.

Mold needs two things to grow: a moisture source and organic material. You might find it on interior walls or on exterior wooden support beams. Damp, moldy, or rotted wood is another clear sign of water damage, and one that needs immediate attention, as it could lead to an unstable structure.

 

Warning Sign #5: Flooded Soil

Go outside and take a look at the soil surrounding your house. If you find that it’s excessively damp or water pools in it, this could be a catalyst for foundation problems. Excessively wet soil increases the likelihood that water will penetrate the foundation of your home and cause future headaches.

This could be a natural problem with the soil itself and it’s water retention qualities. This could also be human error cause by improper water drainage or landscaping. When gutters or other drainage systems aren’t properly installed or regularly maintained, it can cause water to redirect back to your foundation instead of away from your house. The sloping of your land should also allow for water to flow away from your home.

Make sure to regularly do your chores and make sure gutters aren’t broken or clogged with debris.

By Summer Rayez / Water Restoration / 0 Comments

Signs Of A Burst Water HeaterHere’s a common scenario our customer’s experience: let’s say one day you’re sitting at home and your ceiling suddenly collapses, or you go into the garage and find it’s completely flooded.

The cause? A burst water heater.

Standard water heaters contain up to 40-120 gallons of water, so when one unexpectedly leaks or bursts it can cause an immense amount of water damage. A malfunctioning water heater can also become a fire hazard.

If pressure builds up in the tank you’ve essentially got a ticking time bomb in your house waiting to explode.

All water heaters have a limited lifespan, but by doing routine maintenance you can prevent catastrophic leaks and extend the life of your water heater.

Even if you can’t repair it yourself, knowing the warning signs can help you diagnose the problem faster when the plumber arrives. Here are 5 signs that your water heater is failing and the steps you can take to fix it.

Read more “Is My Water Heater Failing? 5 Signs Your Water Heater Is About To Burst”

By Summer Rayez / Water Restoration / 0 Comments

In 2017 the U.S. was smacked with a flurry of natural disasters. In total, the U.S. was hit with 16 natural disaster and climate events, each of them destroying homes and lives in their wake.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, 2017 was one of the most expensive years on record with costs exceeding $300 billion.

The coasts were pounded with the devastating trinity of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

In addition, there was flooding and wildfires in California, hail storms in Colorado and Minnesota, three tornado outbreaks, and droughts in the Plains.

As one of the leading disaster restoration companies in Dallas, we have first-hand experience seeing the horrible aftermath when natural disasters hit.

Last year we created the Regent Restoration Disaster Relief scholarship so that we could better educate people about disaster preparedness.

When disasters strike, being prepared ahead of time could mean the difference between life or death.

As part of our program, we offered a $500 prize to whoever wrote the best essay and donated $250 to the Direct Relief Fund, an organization that helps victims rebuild their lives after natural disasters strike.

We had a lot of applicants but based on the quality of his essay, we chose Jordan Kinney as the winner of our competition.

Jordan Kinney Scholarship Winner

Jordan is a student at Moberly Area Community College in Missouri.

While you can’t prevent disasters you can decide how you’ll react when one hits.

Jordan displayed that he has the knowledge to stay safe during a dangerous event.

Congratulations Jordan! Keep studying hard.

By Summer Rayez / Water Restoration / 0 Comments

Will Filing a Water Damage Claim Increase My Insurance Rates

According to industry research, almost 40% of homeowners have suffered from water damage losses.

This statistic isn’t really that shocking when you think about it.

Just consider all the pipes and appliances in your house connected to a water supply line— sinks, dishwashers, fridges, water heaters, ac units, and so much more.

Appliances and pipes have a limited lifespan, so there’s always a chance of one of them rupturing or springing a leak.

Even if your pipes and appliances are in tip-top shape, we’re human and we make mistakes, such as accidentally leaving the sink faucet running all night.

Thankfully, homeowners insurance is there to cover our butts and replace any damaged property that’s covered by our policy.

But, a lot of people are afraid to use the insurance that they spend money paying for.

We’ve answered some frequently asked questions and provided a guide to make the water damage insurance claim process a little less daunting.

Read more “Will Filing a Water Damage Claim Increase My Home Insurance Rates?”

By Summer Rayez / Water Restoration / 0 Comments

Hail Storm Roof Damage

North Texas storms are infamous for causing damage, such as fallen trees and ripped off roofs.

Because we live in tornado alley, we frequently have to deal with these destructive storms and twisters.

Regardless of where you live, storm damage, wind damage, and hail damage are a common problem for many homeowners.

The roof is your home’s first line of defense from the elements, but unfortunately, it’s also the most susceptible to damage, so it’s important to keep up with repairs, especially after a severe storm.

Storm or hail damage can cause roof leaks, which can lead to mold or costly water damage repair problems down the line.

After the storm passes, you should check for roof damages, contact your insurance agent if you find any, and take these steps to protect your roof.

Read more “Steps To Repair Your Roof After A Storm”

By Summer Rayez / Water RestorationTip Tuesday / 0 Comments

Water Damage Prevention Tips

“Water wears away mountains”, so when it enters your home it can cause extensive structural damages, such as wood rot and mold growth.

But by regularly checking appliances and doing basic household chores you can avoid expensive water damage problems that can drain your wallet.

Don’t get flooded with repair bills. Be proactive and follow these easy water damage prevention tips.

Read more “9 Water Damage Prevention Tips Every Homeowner Should Follow”

By Summer Rayez / Fire Restoration / 0 Comments

How To Clean Up Cabinets After a Grease FireYou’re probably here because you were cooking, took your eye off the stove for a split second, and then—POOF— your meal suddenly erupted into a ball of flames.

It’s okay. It happens to a lot more people than you think (trust us, we’ve restored a lot of homes and restaurants after grease fires).

If the fire was extinguished quickly, there’s a good chance your kitchen can be cleaned and repaired. Here’s everything you need to know about cleaning up a grease fire.

Read more “How To Properly Clean Up After a Kitchen Grease Fire”