Flood in the House – Why the Big Hurry to Dry it Out?

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Whether a frozen pipe, sewer backup, or malfunctioning appliance or snow melt flowing into the basement, damaging water tries to come uninvited into our dry homes.

Regardless of the source, clean or dirty water, or if insurance is available to pay for the cleanup and dryout process, it is up to the homeowner to take “reasonable and prudent steps to secure their property from further damage.”

We sympathize and will do everything possible to help you get quickly beyond a really trying and disruptive experience.

Of the various disasters that can occur in a home or business, water damage escalates the fastest in terms of both cost and potential for hazards to health. Rapid response is critical to keep a small flood from turning into a huge mess needing expensive demolition and rebuild.

WITHIN MINUTES…Water spreads quickly to adjacent areas, across vinyl floors to carpets, drywall and cabinetry. Furniture dyes, books, and valuable papers may be immediately ruined by moisture absorption and subsequent swelling.

WITHIN HOURS…Furniture and hardwood flooring in direct contact with water swells and splits. Drywall swells and begins to disintegrate. Paneling warps. Odors from hydrated bacteria and other micro-organisms becomes obvious. What may have begun as clean water spilling is soon contaminated and unsanitary.

WITHIN DAYS…Wood and other porous materials will exude a characteristic ‘musty’ odor as mold spores germinate and spread. Internal components of furnaces, pianos, computers and other appliances malfunction with increasing humidity and condensation. Metal surfaces begin to corrode. Veneers expand and peel. The subfloor beneath vinyl and tile floors swells as does nearby door and window casings. Water is wicking up inside of the wall cavities on wood framing and sheetrock. Allergic reactions and health stresses affect occupants having respiratory problems or compromised immune systems.

WITHIN WEEKS…Mold is destroying or badly discoloring organic materials, including affected woods, drywall, paneling, carpets. Hardwood floors buckle and heave. Costs escalate dramatically as the prescription for repair includes gutting the structure- and tearing out and replacing basic components. Cabinets and most fabric furnishings will need to be hauled to the landfill. Health and safety hazards are severe and evacuation is advised.

So,the obvious strategy if water invades a structure is to quickly begin containing and mitigating the damage. Protect all occupants from any hazards including wet electrical components. Insurance companies require their insureds to ‘mitigate the damage’ or coverage can be denied. Mitigation reduces the costs, often considerably.

Restoration work includes mitigation, coordination and completion. Floodco’s certified technicians will take necessary steps to dry the structure and contents back to pre-flood condition using state of the art equipment and know-how. We’ll communicate the process with your insurance company representatives and assist them in managing your claim at all times.

If you would like to have our number handy in case of a household disaster, please make a note of our phone number: 406 892-1717 or just ask, we’ll be happy to send you a refrigerator magnet and information on our menu of remediation services.

Posted by Lloy. Comments or questions are welcome at lloy@floodco.net.

Early Arctic Blast Catches Many Unprepared

old man winterThis week’s blast of bitter cold weather caught many in Northwest Montana totally unprepared. Here are some helpful reminders and friendly encouragement to get your home ready for the remainder of what promises to be a long duration winter. There is no better time than now to prevent big expensive home disasters!

  • Call a heating contractor to schedule a time to clean and check your furnace and replace dirty filters. (Most HVAC companies wilI be busy now, so at least get on their waiting list.) Remove any flammable cardboard boxes, or other clutter that may have accumulated near the furnace during the past months, move stuff a safe distance away or dispose of any trash to prevent fire.
  • While you are thinking about it, this is also a good time to have duct work and carpets cleaned. This will really improve your indoor air quality and spiff up the home for the holiday season ahead. Clean out the clothes dryer vent.
  • Call a qualified chimney sweep to clean and inspect fireplaces, stoves, chimneys or flues before further use during the Winter. If you are burning wood or pellets this should be an every fall maintenance item! Winter fires associated with wood stoves are all too often deadly.
  • Be sure smoke alarms and Carbon Monoxide detectors are fully functioning. Replace older units and install fresh batteries.
  • Cover drafty windows and doors with weather-stripping or plastic to prevent heat loss. Switch out Summer window screens with glass replacements, install storm windows if you have them. Your windows are the largest cause of heat loss, so caulking to stop infiltration or insulation to slow heat loss will pay for the material with energy savings this season!
  • Prevent ice dams by adding extra insulation to your attic, cleaning out rain gutters and down spouts. Commit to remove any icicles as they form. Ice dams cause extensive water damage when they accumulate and then back up water through roofing into a structure.
  • Get out your snow thrower (and what-the-heck, put away the lawn mower and sporting goods). Drain the gas from your lawn mower and other lawn care equipment before storing. Tune up your snow blower, make sure it’s in working condition for the first big storm. Pull out your shovels from the garage. Stock up on ice melt.
  • Protect against plumbing freezes by draining garden hoses. Locate and label your Water Main so it is easily found by anyone in the house in case it needs to be shut off in an emergency. Always leave the home heat at least 55 degrees if you leave for any length of time. Arrange for a friend to watch the place before leaving for Thanksgiving Holiday.
  • And the easiest preparation tip of all, place FloodCo’s  phone number 406 892-1717 on your fridge or in your smart phone contacts. We can be there in a hurry to help you get things back to normal if disaster should strike. We are also happy to answer complex home maintenance questions or suggest other contractors to help with your winterizing challenges. Call us and get acquainted. We are here when you need help!

Posted by Lloy Griffing   Comments are welcome, feel free to email lloy@floodco.net.