What Is Secondary Damage?
Moisture can lead to black mold growth.
Soggy drywall, wet carpets, warped flooring and waterlogged furniture are all examples of the type of damage you expect to encounter in a flooded home. However, damage caused directly by contact with water isn't the only kind of damage that can occur. Flooding may also cause black mold and other issues known as secondary damage.
Facts Abount Secondary Damage
Secondary Damage Defined
Damage that results because the flood occurred, but that wasn't directly caused by the water itself is secondary damage. There are multiple examples of this type of damage:
- Mold growth
- Damage from high humidity
Causes of Damage
The main cause of this type of damage is evaporation. The longer flood water remains in a home, the more of it evaporates into the air, which can cause the air to become saturated. This can lead to condensation, which causes more water damage to your property. Additionally, areas with high moisture are ideal breeding grounds for black mold and other types of fungus. Finally, when the air in your home is saturated it causes your property to stay wet for longer, which promotes rot and other decay.
Your chief defense against this type of damage is to dry out your home as quickly as possible. Contact a professional water remediation company in Roanoke Rapids, NC, as soon as possible to get the process started. It is important to quickly dry out the structures of your home and the contents. The moisture in porous materials will continue to cause evaporation, so you may want to move saturated furniture, carpets, drywall and other items out of your home during the drying process.
The high levels of moisture in your home after a flood can lead to black mold growth and a host of other problems that can further damage your home. Taking steps to quickly dry out your property will help you reduce the amount of damage.
Avoid Vacation Flooding With Expert Recommendations
Prevent water damage in your home while your on vacation
After a wonderful vacation, flooding and water damage at home can quickly turn your good feelings into despair. Before you leave home, it may help to understand that water damage claims are some of the most common for homeowners, so there are many resources available to help you avoid a broken pipe and the resulting cleanup and water pipe repair.
Recommendations for Preventing Flooding During Vacation
There are many potential causes of flooded properties. In addition to broken pipes, there are minor leaks, damaged appliances, disconnected hoses, frozen pipes, and heavy storms. SERVPRO professionals recommend several steps for avoiding water damage:
- Inspect pipes and seals around hoses throughout the interior and exterior of your home.
- Perform any appliance, hose, and water pipe repair that is needed.
- Clean the gutters around your roof to avoid blockages and ensure a clear flow of water.
- Add insulation to any pipes that are exposed to cold temperatures, including inside pipes that run along walls without insulation.
- Turn off the water if you plan to be gone long.
Your insurance provider and water damage cleanup and repair professionals can provide additional recommendations.
Help From Friends or Neighbors
If you have a friend or neighbor whom you trust, you could ask them to check in on your Roanoke Rapids, NC, home to catch any signs of trouble in addition to taking mail and newspapers into your home. If you have a pet, this friend could also make sure that food and water are available. Finally, this helper can make sure your home doesn't become a target for burglars.
Protection for Your Vacation
Your vacation, whether it's in the summer or the winter, should be a time of adventure or relaxation. It shouldn't be a time when disasters happen at home. Well before you leave on vacation, use these steps to protect your home and avoid water damage. Make sure your water heater, AC units, appliances, and pipes are in good condition before you leave and complete any necessary broken pipe repair.
How To Maintain Productivity in the Aftermath of a Flood
Flooding can lead to severe damage
Sometimes flooding is inevitable. Storms roll in and linger for far too long, leading to unpredictable and unfortunate business interruptions. While some conflict with standard scheduling is expected, understanding how to maintain operations during such trying times is crucial, especially when dealing with black water. Restoration services in Roanoke Rapids, NC, often suggest a few different approaches to dealing with flood cleanup.
3 Different Approaches to Dealing With Flood Cleanup
1. Displaced Workers
Flood cleanup requires space and time. The main thing all business owners need to realize is some worker displacement is likely inevitable. While a lot depends on the flood depth and size as well as the affected parts of the facility, an owner must realize that temporary layoffs or cuts might be in order but don't rush the decision. Talk to the restoration company.
2. Shared Spaces
If you do not want to let anyone go, and the areas affected by black water can be contained, consider a temporary sharing of offices and workspaces. Explain to your workers the arrangement is only temporary and that to keep objectives on track changes need to occur. Most people will be willing to help out their fellow colleagues to ensure the success of the company.
3. Remote Work
If too many workers are displaced by the flood, consider allowing remote work. Some employers still struggle with providing team members so much freedom, but other companies see remote labor as the wave of the future. Remember that it is only a temporary solution until your facility is restored.
A natural black water flood can easily put a business out of commission if allowed, but there are many ways to ensure productivity. Your team can work through this extreme but temporary problem, especially if leadership is in control and onboard with the necessary changes. A flood is not forever, but with appropriate planning and strategy, your business can be. However, before a disaster occurs, you might want to go over some of the above strategies to determine the feasibility of each.
What’s the Difference: Storm Damage or Flood Damage?
Flooding can lead to secondary damage if not treated quickly.
The most general distinction between storm and flood damage is that storm waters come from above, and flood waters generally over spills a natural body or water and covers at least two acres of land that would typically be dry land.
Difference Between Storm and Flood Damage
Damage to your property due to storm damage typically originates from causes such as:
- Heavy rain
- High winds
- Blizzard and heavy snow
Most insurance policies provide protection from storm damage. However, property and homeowners will need additional and different insurance coverage to cover the expenses of flood damage. If own property that located in a flood plain, you should make sure you carry the necessary policies to ensure you have protected your investment.
Flooding occurs when water overflows a body of water such as:
- Rivers and/or Creeks
- Storm-water channels
In order for water damage to be considered a flood, it must not only cover two acres but affect at least two properties. Damage that is caused by either flooding or storms can cause severe problems for property and homeowners. These should and should be planned for, prevented, and handled as soon as they occur.
Regardless of the source of moisture, the risk of mold damage and secondary damage within your home, which is caused by not taking action quickly, can be just as severe.
How Can Your Business Prepare for a Storm?
Prepare your home or commercial property for storm damage.
With the Hurricane season behind us it’s likely we won’t have to worry about flooding issues for the remainder of the year – but don’t forget, we are moving into a heightened storm season. And, even if your office was safe in the past, you should note that construction of new buildings, roads or bridges does alter the flow of water, so there’s nothing wrong with always be prepared. Owning a home or business in a high-risk zone can increase the chances you’ll experience storm related issues; but, being outside of the area doesn’t mean damage isn’t possible.
We’re giving you some tips on how you can minimize or prevent damage to your home or commercial property. These tips can help you prepare and recover from possible flood damage.
Tips to Prevent Storm Damage to Your Home or Commercial Property
Before the Storm:
- Move important equipment above expected flood levels and away from doors and windows
- Inspect drains to ensure they are operating properly
- Make sure emergency building materials are ready if your business, these could include, but are not limited to, plywood, plastic sheeting, and shovels
During the Storm:
- Listen for alerts for the latest information.
- Keep your smartphone charged in case you lose power; this ensures you’re still able to receive emergency notifications or can place an emergency call.
- If you’re asked to leave, shut of all utilities and leave immediately
- Stay clear of downed electrical wires and power lines
After the Storm:
- Do not return to your business until you’ve been told it is safe to do so.
- Throw away any food that have been in contact with contaminated waters.
- Inspect your home or office for damage, and if anything has been damaged, immediately report the loss to your insurance company
And finally, if you have damage after a storm, call the team of trained professionals at SERVPRO of Roanoke Rapids assist with your restoration efforts.
Restoring Your Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event
Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity.
Flooding and water damage events can lead to commercial properties with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.
Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges
Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.
About SERVPRO of Bath
SERVPRO of Roanoke Rapids specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Classifications and Types of Water Damage That Can Happen in Your Home or Business
There are 3 water categories
We’re going to explain the basics of water damage and how that damage can affect your home or business and your health. Water damage is the number one offender when it comes to property damage and water restoration needs.
This may actually surprise people, because when someone hears “water damage,” they usually imagine damage from a flood, storm surge or a natural disaster. And, yes it’s true that these types of events do occur, there are most definitely more common ways that water can damage your home or business, and these include:
- Appliance leaks from your refrigerator, washing machine, ice machine, etc.
- Baths, shower and sink overflows or even those that are left running without attendance
- Toilets overflowing
- Broken/leaky water pipes behind the walls and ceilings
- Roof leaks and compromised exterior
- Drainage issues around the property
- Damage from rain, wind and storms
Water damage can come from both external and internal sources. Next, it’s important for you to know what kind of water you are dealing with if and when it gets into your home. What do we mean by, what kind of water?
Water Classifications in 3 Different Categories
We recognize water in THREE different categories:
CATEGORY 1 –
“Clean Water,” this means the water originated from a sanitary source and generally will not pose a risk to our health.
CATEGORY 2 –
“Grey Water,” this means the water contains some contamination and is not sanitary enough for human consumption and that poses a health risk if ingested.
CATEGORY 3 –
“Black Water,” is the type of water that is completely contaminated and could contain disease-causing organisms, and other harmful materials.
Each of these categories are different, and each comes with their own do's and don'ts on how someone should handle them. Restoration professionals like SERVPRO of Roanoke Rapids have advanced training and expertise in these types of water damage. We also have a large amount of hands-on experience and know how to handle any water damage emergency.
Why Should You Call an IICRC Certified Company?
Always search for an IICRC certified company
The answer is simple, because it's the water you don't see that causes the most damage.
And, even the smallest amount of water damage has the potential to cause serious indoor air quality and structural issues to property over time.
The key to preventing expensive future restoration costs is to handle every water problem immediately and as a real threat to your property. An IICRC company will use the proper equipment and that makes a huge difference in reducing the expenses caused during a water damage loss. When time matters most, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform as it should and SERVPRO of Roanoke Rapids is trained just for that.
Tools Used by Professionals to Properly Mitigate a Loss
Here are a few tools used by out trained professionals to properly mitigate a loss;
- Moisture Sensors – Used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls.
- Moisture Meters – Used to determine the moisture content of various materials. The meter provides readings to accurately monitor the drying process.
- Thermo Hygrometers – Used to measure temperature and relative humidity which calculates and creates an environment that is most conducive to drying. When handling a contaminated loss, you need to not only dry the structure, but disinfect and deodorize it.
- Ultra-Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers – Used to atomize liquid deodorizing agents. These produce a fine mist that easily penetrates the site where odor-causing residues can accumulate. They can also be used to inject disinfectants and fungicides into walls and other hard-to-reach areas.
- Thermal Foggers – Dispense solvent-based products and create a dense fog of tiny particles of a deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor causing particles.
So, the bottom line is this, ALWAYS treat water damage seriously. If you have damage, call in an IICRC certified, professional team like SERVPRO of Roanoke Rapids. We’ll work to restore your property so you can move on with life.
Understanding the Water Mitigation Process for a Failed Water Heater
A leaking water heater can lead to severe water damage.
Regardless of the amount of planning or adherence to maintenance schedules, sometimes, home appliances fail. A leaking water heater is only one example, but it can cause significant problems if left unattended. If you find a leak in your water heater, shut off the supply and contact a water mitigation company in Roanoke Rapids, NC, for help. The service will send out a technician to assess the problem and begin the mitigation process, involving four steps.
4 Steps for Water Mitigation From a Leaking Water Heater
1. Remove Water
Coming upon a failed water heater, the technician will first address any continuing leaks, ensuring all supply lines are off. Then, they will address any standing water, using shop vacs and pumps to remove excess. Depending on the serviceability of the tank, they might choose to empty the tank as well.
2. Dry the Area
Since the leaking water heater might have caused a mess, the tech will dry the area using dehumidifiers and fans. Depending on how long the tank was leaking, they might recommend testing for mold. Mold can grow within 48 hours of moisture and water damage.
3. Repair or Replace Appliance
With the room dry, the technician will determine if the broken water heater can be fixed or needs to be replaced. While supply lines and worn connections are often the cause of water heater leaks, sometimes the system is beyond repair.
4. Restore Damages
With the new or repaired system installed, the technician will look to restore any other damage that might have occurred. For example, if the floors or drywall were damaged, they will repair it.
A leaking water heater will not always lead to extensive repairs or costs, but as with any water problem, the sooner you can resolve it, the better. A good rule of thumb is to perform a visual inspection of your water heater every time you pass it, ensuring that everything is dry and in good working order.
Cleaning a Moldy Washing Machine
Clean a moldy washing machine.
The front-load washer is the high-efficiency appliance of most homeowners’ dreams, except for one little nasty problem: it can stink. People want their washing machine to keep their clothes smelling fresh, but for some reason, the front-loader can lead to an unpleasant musky and musty odor, often caused by mildew and mold.
While the mold smell is unsettling, there is no reason it must persist. The primary issue is that homeowners do not use the right detergents. Front-load washers require high-efficiency detergents. When you stick with that old standby laundry soap, the machine is not capable of cleaning and washing all the detergent away, meaning the drum gets a nice layer of soap scum with bits of lint and dirt.
Unfortunately, between the scum layer and rubber door guard, the washing machine becomes a breeding ground for mold. Thankfully, there is a straightforward three-step process to clean the washer, ensuring your dirty laundry smells fresh after a cycle.
3 Steps to Clean the Washer
1. Create a Baking Soda Mixture
While many people will head straight for the bleach – which will work – there is a gentler and more health-conscious choice: baking soda. By mixing a quarter cup of baking soda and a quarter cup of water and adding it to your machine's detergent container, you have a gentle and effective cleaning solution.
2. Add in the White Vinegar
To increase the cleaning power of the baking soda, add two cups of white vinegar directly into the washer's drum. The two products, when run through a clothes-free cycle on high-heat, should break up any residue, kill any mold, and remove foul odors.
3. Use a Little Elbow Grease
Depending on how long the mold has been in the drum, you might need to put a little physical effort into the mix. With a mixture of one part water to one part white vinegar, use a kitchen sponge – the rough side – to scrub any remaining spots away.
A front-load washing machine is excellent for home use, but it does require maintenance. Keeping up with maintenance and appliance cleanings can help limit such odor problems in the future.