How Can Water Damage Your Home

Residential Water Damage

Water damage to your home can occur quickly and lead to numerous problems. It’s important to know about the various ways in which water can damage your home in order to prevent against them. Here are some ways in which water damage can arise.

Water Entering the Home

Rainwater can enter the home through leaks, typically via the roof or basement walls. This may occur slowly and go unnoticed at first causing interior damage to walls and flooring. This type of damage can be particularly severe, as it damages the interior structure of your home.

Roofs that have asphalt shingles can be prone to leakage. The shingles tend to curl up and tear as they get older allowing rainwater to enter the home.  In addition, roof flashing that is bent or pulling away is often a cause of leaks. Rainwater can also seep into your basement at weak spots during a storm. This seepage may go unnoticed for a long time. You may initially discover that your basement is leaking because you smell mold and mildew. It is important to do periodic inspections to make sure you do not have any leaks.

Appliances Not Working

Appliances, especially the washing machine, water heater, and kitchen sink, may develop leaks during usage. These leaks may start out small, from an ill-fitting washer or gasket at a joint.  Or they may be larger, from a compromised or weakened pipe that has a hole. When you’ve experienced this type of water damage, it’s important to service the appliance to make sure there are no wet electrical wires that could cause a short or shock to the user.

Secondary Damage

One of the biggest impacts of water damage is what happens after the fact. Secondary water damage occurs from residue water that has not been properly cleaned or high levels of humidity that are impacting drying. Drywall that has absorbed water will often grow mold or other fungus. Molds and mildews start to grow in only 24 – 48 hours and, when left unaddressed, can cause unhealthy respiratory distress.

What To Do if You Have Water Damage

When you’ve experienced water damage, it’s important to get the issue addressed as soon as possible. Over time, damage can lead to structural, health, and safety issues. DC Water Restoration serves clients in the greater Washington DC area and knows that you need help to arrive quickly. We will assess the damage and start removing water right away to minimize home damage. If you need water damage restoration, call us at 1-202-792-7445 or contact us on our website.

Dealing With Summer Storm Damage

Summer Storm Damage

Storm damage can happen in any season, but summer storm damage can feel especially brutal. Not only is summer the hottest time of the year, but it’s a time when people are planning trips, dreaming up adventures, and generally not thinking about having to repair their homes. While Washington D.C. doesn’t often have tropical storms, the area is still affected by adverse weather. If you’ve been struck with summer storm damage, here are some tips for dealing with the aftereffects efficiently and effectively.

Assess the Damage

When water or storm damage occurs, the first and most important step is to assess the damage. While some of the damage can be monitored and assessed by regular individuals and homeowners, it’s always advisable to call a professional. They can help you fully determine the scope of the damage and create a plan for how to handle it.

Document Everything

Always make sure that everything is documented thoroughly in the wake of storm damage. Recording and verifying all damage is pivotal to the successful completion of repairs. This step, along with assessing the damage, is important for insurance purposes. A professional can help make sure you are gathering all the information you need for an insurance claim.

Water Removal

Summer storm damage can mean a number of things, including flooding and water damage in your home. If you have standing water in your home, it’s advisable to call a professional and experienced removal crew as soon as possible. Floodwater can carry contaminants and cause other dangers. In addition, water damage can put the structural integrity of your home at risk.

Mold Remediation

If you’ve experienced water damage, your home is at risk of mold and mildew growth. It’s important to remove water as soon as possible as well as dispose of any items that are waterlogged beyond repair. To decrease the risk of mold growth, you should also dry out the affected area as soon as possible.

Summer storms can bring a lot of damage with them, and it’s not always safe to handle the clean-up alone. The experts at DC Water Restoration are here to help if you find yourself facing storm damage and are unsure of where to begin the clean-up process. If you’ve experienced summer storm damage in the DC area, give us a call at 1-202-792-7425, or contact us on our website.

Commercial Property Water Damage Do’s and Don’ts

Commercial Property Water Damage

Commercial property water damage is a serious issue. How you respond in the moment could mean the difference between recovery and disaster. One of the first steps is to contact a DC water restoration company to help you with the cleanup process. Of course, this isn’t the only step in restoration. Here are a few tips to guide you through your first responses so you can achieve the best possible outcome.

Do Document Your Damage Immediately

When you notice water damage, reach for your smartphone. Immediately taking videos and pictures of the water damage can help your claim. Gathering proof of the extent of the damage (especially before you touch anything) can establish the condition of the building separate from your actions. Submit this proof to your insurance company when you open up your claim. This allows the insurance company to know that disaster really did strike; it’s not something that you did to yourself.

Don’t Rush Into a Flooded Area

If you see a flooded area on your property, don’t rush into it. One of the primary rules of commercial property water damage repair is to put safety first. When there’s a flooded area, it’s hard to know what is going on underneath all that water. Anything might have happened there. For example, catastrophic events could expose electrical wires or outlets, electrifying the water. There’s no way of knowing what you’re rushing in to.

Even if you know that the power to the area is off, there could be other potential hazards. Dirty water from outside flooding could be a biohazard. Chemicals, molds, and germs get swept up into the water. Wading through it could be like stepping in sewage! If you must cross a flooded area, take precautions. Don’t enter unless you have personally confirmed that the power to the area is off. If you have, wear thick shoes. High boots are best, as you want to reduce the amount of water that gets on you or your clothes. Remove your clothes as soon as possible once you’ve crossed the flooded area.

Do Cut Utilities

This piggy-backs off the last point: turn off the utilities. Cutting water and electricity to your property makes it safer for repairs crews to begin work on your commercial property water damage. Running water can make a leak much worse. Water pressure can also damage natural gas lines. Until you know that all of your utilities are safe to use, it’s better to turn them all off.

Don’t Close Your Claim Too Quickly

After commercial property water damage, it can take your business a while to get back on your feet. It’s tempting to close out your claim as soon as possible. Instead, keep things open until the professionals say you’ve done all you can. If you close a claim too quickly, you may lose out on additional compensation. You may not notice additional issues that present with water damage until several weeks after the initial flood. For example, mold growth often takes time to develop. As a result, you may end up replacing large items such as furniture, which you had considered refurbishing.

Commercial property water damage can be dangerous. Start by documenting everything and shutting down all the utilities you can. From there, professionals can work to remove water and restore items damaged by the flooding. Your insurance company may want you to close your claim, but make sure you’ve covered everything before you do.

4 Winter Hazards that Cause Water Damage

Winter Hazards

When we think about water damage in our home, the common issues are generally water leaks, blocked drains and perhaps due to flooding from excess rainfall. One factor we often don’t consider is that winter weather can also cause water damage as well as other structural damage to your property.

Roof Ice Dams

Do you notice icicles hanging from the eaves of your roof? This could be a sign of ice dams on your roof. Having ice dams on your roof can cause severe water damage and even mold build up on your roof. While there are a number of temporary solutions to get the water to run off into the drains, it is better to look at a long term solution to the problem where possible. The ice dams actually push water up your roof and under the shingles, allowing water to penetrate through into your home.

This results in water damage and if left unchecked, especially in your warm, moist home during winter periods, you could end up with a lot of mold causing stains, bad smells and even health hazards in your home. If you end up with water damage due to ice dams, a professional water damage restoration company will be able to help you resolve the water damage issue and advise you on preventative measures.

Pipes Bursting

Outdoor piping and uninsulated pipes running through the attic and crawl spaces can burst when the weather turns really cold. These burst pipes can result in a lot of water damage in your home. You need to insure that your pipes are insulated in order to reduce the risk of severe floods throughout your home.

Wind damage

Trees too close to the house can break shingles when they are blown about in high winds. You can also lose shingles due to the wind simply blowing them off or causing breakages.  It doesn’t take much damage to the shingles to allow in a lot of rain or snow into your home. This results in water damage and worse if not taking care of as soon as possible.

Melting Snow

Snow can cause damage to your roof, your basement, flooding into the crawl space and even the actual foundation of the home. If you do not have a system in place to make the water from melting snow run away from your home, you could end up with a lot of water flowing into your home, pooling around the foundation and flooding into crawlspaces and basements. This can cause a lot of water and even structural damage to your property. If your area is prone to high snow fall, it is often best to install drainage that draws the water away from the home long before the bad weather begins.

If you do end up with water damage and mold build up due to winter hazards causing water to enter your home, it is often best to bring in a water damage restoration company to ensure all the water is dried up and the mold is removed. They can also advise you on insulation and other aspects you can look at to prevent damage to your home in winter due to weather hazards associated with harsh, cold weather conditions.

5 Easy Methods to Avoid Water Damage at Home

Avoid Water Damage

As anyone who has suffered water damage can tell you, the turbulent process is expensive, tedious, and challenging to go through. In some cases, water damage can be difficult to avoid, but on most instances it can be avoided through certain preventative measure, such as regular maintenance and a restoration plan. With these simple methods, you can easily avoid damages and save yourself a lot of time, work, and money.

Have the exterior paneling sealed:

A lot of homeowners using exterior paneling to give their home a new, fresh look, as well as for providing some degree of insulation to the home. However, because of the potential gaps of improperly sealed panels, water can seep into the space between the wall and paneling. This, because of the warm, damp environment, becomes the ideal area for mold and mildew to grow. This even protects the mold from exposure to direct sunlight. So check your exterior paneling whenever you can and have any issues resolved quickly.

Regularly check your appliances for leaks:

Several appliances inside your home frequently use water. If the appliance gets damaged, it can cause the water to leak. This is why almost all appliances need some kind of maintenance at least once a year. The maintenance may become frustrating and redundant, but it is actually extremely necessary to prevent any huge problems such as flooding in the basement of leaky floors inside your kitchen. By taking care of your appliances you can reduce chances of leaks and mold development in the easiest way possible.

Keep supplies for repairs in case of emergency:

One good way of preparing for a possible leak or any other kind of water damages is to have all of the appropriate tools and equipment you will need in emergency. You will need items like duct tape, tarp, and a bucket to help you control the spread of water and prevent further problems. They won’t really stop the damage itself from happening when it does, but they will stop the problem escalating into a full-blown flooding.

Learn how to shut off the water supply:

Learning how to shut off the water supply is one of the most important things you need to know to be prepared for water damages. This can easily be done using online guides and other experienced people such as professional specialists. Most homes have a valve inside, and you can ask the city plumbing to confirm where the valve is placed inside your home. This knowledge can take you a long way when water is pouring out of a pipe somewhere inside the home and you don’t know what to do.

Make sure the weather stripping is functional:

Sometimes, especially when there’s rain or storm, water can collect around doors or windows that don’t have the right window stripping. These leaks can cause serious damages to the structure of your walls and floors, so make sure you have your window strippers checked regularly for anything that doesn’t look right.

The Benefits of Having Your Basement Waterproofed

According to studies, almost all basements may have to go throw certain damages at some point or another. This means that water damages are the kind of thing that every homeowner should always keep in mind. This is why it is important to be prepared beforehand and know exactly what to do when it comes to dealing with damages like this.

Reasons to Waterproof Your Basement:

Why basements are so often at risk:

Basements are usually at risk of water damages because they are the part of the home that is at the lowest level. In addition to this, water will move towards a low lying area such as the basement, which can become very problematic. This means that they must be waterproofed when they are built, so as to prevent water from entering in. However, you can protect yourself from damages if you are aware of the reasons and are quick to take action.

What waterproofing entails:

Waterproofing is a highly effective way of keeping water from entering into your basement. However, the process of waterproofing is not 100% fail-safe. Sometimes, some water does manage to find its way into the home. However, a lot of problems are avoided by waterproofing and minimizing and damages. Waterproofing is done by first installing sealers for the walls and floors, then putting in an internal drainage system, and finally, creating a system that waterproofs the home on the outside.

External waterproofing:

There are some options out there that allow the homeowner to protect their home from the outside, an example is using asphalt or polymers as basis for the coverings. Because of this, water doesn’t enter into the walls directly and therefore any potential damages are prevented. Polymers are actually highly effective and long lasting, which can help you protect your home for long periods of time without any need to worry about damages.

Preventing water damages with waterproofing:

Several preventative measures can be undertaken to avoid water damages from happening in the first place. Even if your basement if waterproofed, using these methods can help you increase the life of your drainage system and ensure that you no longer need to spend more on cleaning up your basement. Dampness in your home is one of those things that can be avoided, as it is a leading cause of water damages. You will also need to keep windows closed, especially when it is wet or moist.

Another thing you should so is to replace water pipes that are damaged as soon as possible. You can even use a dehumidifier to help reduce the level of moisture inside the basement and prevent damage. When you are building the home, avoid building near plantations, as they can block ventilation and increase chances of flooding. The watering systems may cause leaking into your home. Finally, remember to replace any damages gutters or pipes, and build in a way so water can be redirected away from the property.

If you find water damages in your basement, or want to have your basement waterproofed, call up your restoration company at once.

4 Things to Do to Avoid Water Damages during Your Vacation

Avoid Water Damage

Before you go off for a vacation, there are certain things you need to ensure are done to prevent anything from happening inside your home when you aren’t there. One such thing that can happen is water damages. Water damages can actually grow worse over time, especially when people aren’t around to pick up the signs. By following the four preventative measures listed below, you can ensure that you won’t come back to a complete nightmare.

1.  Shut off the water supply:

When you are going away, you will need to shut off the water supply. Not only is this a good way to cut down on your water bills, but you can also stop any chances of water leaks from even starting to develop. Also, make sure that your appliances are turned off. If you plan on shutting off your water supply completely, make sure that appliances like your fridge are also turned off and empty to avoid any water leaking or any food getting rotten over time.

2. Set your thermostat appropriately:

One of the things that you can do to cut down on any chances of water damages is to keep your thermostat at an appropriate temperature instead of cutting it down. If you are leaving some of your appliances on during your vacation, such as the dishwasher, a difference in temperature can actually cause its piping to get weakened. As a result, water may leak out and collect under it, which can lead to further damages. This is why you should set your thermostat at 85 degrees in the summer, and at 60 degrees in the winter.

3. Avoid any chances of flooding:

One thing you cannot control when you are on your vacation is the weather. There are a lot of chances that the weather won’t be perfect while you’re away, and you are sure to experience at least one storm or severe rain. One way you can avoid any damage is to make sure the water valves to your sinks and washing machines are shut off, along with the whole main supply. If during your vacation there is a problem with the pipes or appliances, at least water will not collect in your home and you can get it fixed when you come back home.

4. Have the installation inside your home inspected:

It is a good idea to have the installation inside your home inspected once before you go away for the vacation. This should generally be done at least twice a year, but you should do it before your vacation with a professional company to make sure that no moisture is present, or that there is no problematic mold growth. This will help the air inside your home stay fresh, along with helping you keep the integrity of the home intact. Not only that, you can also save yourself from terrible insect infestations such as from termites.

If you are going for vacation, simply follow the steps above to prevent water damages. However, if you come home to a problem, immediately call up a restoration company to help you reduce the damage and prevent further problems.

9 Easy Ways to Prevent Water Damages inside Your Home

Prevent Water Damage

Water damages are the kind of thing that can happen inside your home and you wouldn’t even know it was coming. The problem with water damages is that they can be extremely costly when it comes to repairs. Add to that, they’re pretty common, so the chances of them happening are very high. However, water damages aren’t inevitable. If you’re careful and follow some basic advice, you can easily prevent water damages at home.

Have your washing machine checked for damages:

One good thing to do when it comes to preventing damages, is to make sure your appliances are working perfectly. Washing machines are the kind of appliance where a lot of water damages can take place, and so you need to check if there is any kind of deterioration on the hose. If you find any problems, make sure they are addressed as soon as possible.

Maintain your appliances appropriately:

The best way to avoid damages is to have all the appliances that are at risk maintained regularly. By doing this, you ensure that any damages will be found and dealt with quickly. If you avoid this, a problem may persist and even grow, which means water damages can take place at your home and you may not even be aware of them at all.

Turn off the water supply before you leave the home:

If you leave your home for long periods of time, say for a vacation, you should probably have your water supply shut off. This is because while you’re away, you won’t be able to notice the warning signs of a leak and water damages can become very serious.

Be aware of how to shut off the water supply:

Most homes have water shut off taps or valves somewhere where the owner can find them. When you first see your home, you should be careful to look for the valve at once. In case of emergency, such as a huge water leak, you won’t have time to look for the valve in a manual.

Take care of small water leaks as soon as possible:

One quick thing to remember is to take care of leaks whenever you notice them. It may be tempting to avoid a leak because it seems harmless, but in fact even a small leak can wreak havoc on your house and cost you a lot of money if left unattended for a long period of time.

Go to the professionals for help:

In case of any damages, you’ll want to contact a professional contractor. They’ll take care of the leak in the most effective way and will prevent further damages at the lowest possible cost. In the long term, you’ll actually end up saving money for yourself.

Remember these small tips:

Don’t leave standing water unattended and avoid spills. If you’re filling up a tub, for example, stay in the room and make sure it doesn’t spill. Also, don’t want very dirty clothes. Rinse them first, then wash them.

Get Rid of Odors after Water Damages

Any homeowner who has ever dealt with water damages can tell you that the whole ordeal is nothing short of a nightmare. However, one thing most homeowners don’t take into account when they consider the effects of water damages is how much of a nuisance the smell from it can become. This underlying problem is unpleasant and can be a health risk to those exposed. The smell, much like the damage itself, needs to be addressed as soon as it is possible.

Health Risks of Water Damage Odors

Why we can smell:

According to neuroscientists, the human nose can easily differentiate between a good and a bad smell because of our ancestral background. Back in that time, our ancestors needed to quickly determine whether something was good or bad by using simple tools like our sense of smell to make the distinction, they didn’t have the luxury of detailed decision making.

Now, scientists understand smells at a molecular level. According to them, the things that smell more intensely are comprised of heavier and spread out molecules. Although water molecules are very light, the problem comes when things have been added to the water which make it heavier, and as a result, cause it to smell.

Smells from water damages:

You may have noticed how water, in its purest form, tends to not have a smell. This means that the smell comes from other molecules inside the leaked water, such as molds and contaminants. These can be very dangerous as they can be inhaled. This is also why a restoration company will try to remove moisture in your home after you call them in for water damages restoration.

If you don’t contact a professional however, and the moisture remains, the contaminants in the water will worsen, and will spread out further throughout the home, making it difficult for them to be removed afterwards. This moisture can also get inside your walls or carpets and can cause further damages. If inhaled, they may also pose some health risks to the inhabitants of the house. Because of the collection of these molecules, a musty smell is created which is both unpleasant and harmful.

Why smells can come up after water damages:

Smells can be created after water damages because of a lot of varying reasons. This may because the homeowner puts off working on the water damage, which only strengthens the smell and makes it worse, or it may be that the homeowner only got to know about the damages when things had escalated to a far worse place and over time, the odor has become very strong.

This is why you should never, in any case, ignore any such smells. You should also try and avoid DIY methods and just call a water damages restoration services team. Not only do they deal with water damages, but they also make sure no offshoot problems, such as a lingering smell from the water damages, are left behind in any situation.

Easy Ways to Avoid Water Damages in Your Home’s Basement

For many homeowners, the basement is a part of the house where they leave a lot of their furniture, belongings, etc. This is why when a flooding occurs, it can cause severe damages to the property as well as to the structure of the house. This part of the house is particularly prone to water damages, because it’s warm, damp, and often dark. Sometimes, due to storms, disasters, and faulty wiring, leaks can occur, which can then cause water to stand. Standing water can be dangerous and needs to be cleaned at once. To reduce chances of health infections and mold development, you should follow the steps below to reduce damages.

Steps to Avoid Water Damage

Protect yourself first:

The first thing that most homeowners will be concerned about is their own health, and the health of their families. The health of all the people in the home is more important than anything else, which is why safety and health precautions should be followed carefully. Everyone in the home should avoid exposure to the water and make sure they are properly covered and safe from any toxic substances or bacteria.

Disconnect any sources of power:

Before anyone tries to go down to the home’s basement to try and fix the flooding, you should make sure that power is turned off, and there are no electrical appliances down there. Water and electricity are not a great combination, and they can cause severe problems like fires or risks of electrocution.

Find the source of the leak:

Sometimes, the actual reason that lead to the leak cannot immediately be located. It’s important to stop the flooding before you start to fix it. This is why you should first try and look for the source of the flooding and try to stop water from coming in further.

Remove the standing water:

The next important thing to do is to remove the standing water. If the water is safe and clear, you may be able to take care of it yourself, but if it looks murky or dark, it may contain toxic contaminants. In such a case, you should probably call a professional water damages restoration company. They can remove the water and clean the area efficiently.

Drying out the area:

Next, you will need to dry out the area. You can do this using fans or a dehumidifier. You can also start this by leaving your windows open to ventilate and sanitize the area. If you find things that are damaged beyond repair, you will need to dispose of them, especially if the water is unsafe. During the drying of the home, make sure that the walls and floors are properly dried out and no water is left behind to promote any mold development.

Contacting a restoration service:

Basement floods can be serious problems for homeowners. It isn’t just a problem for your home’s structure and look, it also affects the health of all people living in the home. This is why, to make sure the water is cleaned out properly, it is best to contact a restoration service. Not only will they remove the water in the most risk-free way, but they’ll make sure no problem results from the flooding in the future.



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