How to ensure your house was properly dried after a flood?

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After dealing with all the trouble of mopping the floor, drying the furniture and appliances, leaving the cabinets open for hours, your home is as good as new after that flood, right?… Well, not exactly. Some of the consequences of this event can only be visible mid or even long term.

There are tell-tale signs to look for if you suspect your home isn’t properly dried and has been a victim of fungi, such as unpleasant odor and stains in practically any surface, but be aware that a lot of damage might be out of sight until things get a lot worse.

Properly drying after a flood is the top priority. A damp house or facility is the first step for the development of mold, which not only has negative effects on your health, but causes structural damage as well and can lead to the decay of your home’s structure. Wooden furniture, appliances, beams, columns and walls are especially susceptible to this aggression, and rotting is the most dangerous consequence that poses a risk to your safety and your property as well.

While rot can occur anywhere around your home or facility, some places are prone to developing issues before others, such as vents, floor joists, girders and others. Sadly, making reparations is not always an option with mold, and replacements can be very expensive. Moreover, even replacements are not a definitive solution. Rot will be back if the moisture continues to be present, leading to even more costs further on.    

By not executing sufficient drying techniques and letting the moisture take hold, you’re exposing yourself to health issues, structural damage, and very high repair and replacement costs. Luckily, there’s a way to avoid all this: by ensuring your house was properly dried after a flood. Taking the right measures right after the incident occurred by yourself, or even better, have the work done by professionals who can guarantee an amazing job.

Hire Water & Flood Damage Services

ProTech drying specialists will calculate the types and quantities of air-movers and dehumidifiers needed to optimize the evaporation process. They will also need to determine the best atmospheric conditions for drying to occur. By setting up drying equipment in specific locations of the affected areas and creating the optimal atmospheric conditions, balanced drying, or “the ideal situation in which the rate of dehumidification is slightly greater than the rate of evaporation”, can be achieved.  In turn, the drying goal or “dry standard” can be reached the fastest.

Check out ProTech Flood & Water Damage services in Texas. We have over 35 years of experience in the field. Our experts will record the incident, perform the water-extracting process flawlessly, take care of all mold-affected contents and items. Walls, ceilings and floors will also be deep cleaned and we’ll provide disinfecting services to eliminate any odor. Our 24/7 response team will be happy to help, just contact us.

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What to do if your house or facility floods: before, during and after

In an instant, your business, facility or home could be inundated with water stirring quite a panic. The very second you realize what’s happening, you might run and try to fix it right away, but a flood not only endangers possessions: it might entail greater risks for you if you don’t take your environment into account, so the first things you should do are:

Stay calm

Remember a kitchen is full of electrical appliances and there are great chances of slipping on the wet floor. The last thing you need is a visit to the doctor on top of the mess.

Assess the situation

From a safe distance, take a look at your surroundings and try to determine the source of the flooding. It could be from a broken pipeline, a kitchen sink or a kitchen appliance such as a refrigerator or a dishwasher. Sometimes it is more obvious than you think. Try to verify if the water has gotten into electrical appliances or outlets, again, from a safe distance. This is the moment to take pictures and record videos for your insurance company. A professional team like ours will then quickly assess the situation, record photo & video documentation of the damage and begin setting up equipment for water extraction. Communication with the insurance adjuster will be established and employees or materially interested parties may begin managing personal belongings or high-value items.

Cut off the power and shut off the water pipes before stepping into the kitchen

Most of the time you’ll be able to shut off the flow from the main water pipeline and cut the power from your circuit box outside. This ensures the greater risks for your safety are now under control. Now you can carefully step into the kitchen, finish recording the incident and unplug every electrical appliance, including the ones at the countertops.

Begin the water-extraction process

Effective extraction of water is one of the most important steps in water damage recovery. This step must be completed as quickly as possible to mitigate the damage. All furniture must be moved outside where it can dry properly and then the mopping nightmare begins. It is a taxing process to do by yourself and it requires a lot of time and effort as well as preparation, so specialized teams like ours are real-life savers. ProTech technicians utilize powerful equipment such as wet-vacs, water claws, roller-vacs, or weighted vacs to remove water from carpets and padding. Vac Squeegees and scrub wands are used for water extraction on hard surfaces such as wood and tile.

Assess the damage

The next logical step is to determine what was damaged, what can be saved and what must be restored or substituted. This applies especially to those instances where you discover the flood several days after the incident. And of course, the first thing that needs fixing is the source of the flooding.

Dry the whole area

Make sure every cabinet, drawer, window and door is open and create a strong current of air using fans from all directions. Depending on the severity of the flooding, this could take more or less time –two to three days is usually enough for it to be completely dry-, or even require dehumidifiers to ensure no mold problems will follow. This part is extremely important and should be performed thoroughly to avoid the consequences of a bad flood damage response, which is why teams like ProTech are such a convenient solution.

While all this process could be performed just by yourself, remember the most important thing is your safety, so don’t hesitate to call for help. Sometimes it is too much to handle. Check out ProTech Flood & Water Damage services in Texas. We have over 35 years of experience in the field. Our experts will record the incident, perform the water-extraction process flawlessly, take care of all mold-affected contents and items. Walls, ceilings and floors will also be deep cleaned and we’ll provide disinfecting services to eliminate any odor. Our 24/7 response team will be happy to help, just contact us.

How to thaw your frozen pipes

You wake up one winter day and start shoveling snow from the entrance…in Texas? It has been a hard frost season and the only thing you want right now is a hot cup of tea. You turn on a faucet for water and… only a few drops come out. Turns out, you’ve got frozen pipes.

This can be extremely dangerous for your pipes, as water expands and makes the tubes burst if measures are not taken soon. If you find yourself with your water pipelines already frozen, don’t panic! We will show you some things you can do to solve this problem with no damage.

To begin with, open the faucet and let the water run out. This will help melt the ice in the pipes. Plus, keeping the water flowing can prevent it from freezing again.

You can also apply heat to the pipes with a hairdryer, heating pads or towels soaked in hot water to melt the ice inside. This is a particularly good measure to restore water pressure as soon as possible. Just keep applying heat until water pressure is fully restored. But be careful, never apply a direct flame on the pipes or they will get damaged!

If you have done the last two things for a while and water pressure does not come back to normal, maybe there is another connected pipeline that is still frozen. Try locating it by following the pipeline system and opening the faucets that connect with each section to find the source of the problem.

If there are any hard-to-reach pipes, the best option is to call an expert. Licensed plumbers are certified and trained to help you solve this issues and it is better to call a professional when things get particularly complicated.

These are just some tips you can use to take out the harsh winter away from your in-door water system. Nevertheless, most of these problems can be avoided if your pipelines are properly insulated and protected against low temperatures.

Do you want to insulate your home or repair an already burst pipe? We are here to help. Contact us now to protect or repair your frozen pipes!

A quick guide to avoid frozen pipes

Every year winter comes and wreaks havoc on running water systems across the country, but particularly true this year in Texas with the historically low, freezing temperatures have resulted in a lot of frozen pipes.

The water in the pipes ends up freezing, cutting our supply and damaging the pipes itself. Since water expands when it freezes, this puts pressure on the pipelines and even causes them to burst, creating a big problem for your house (and your pocket).

To avoid any complications in your house, here is a quick guide of what to take into account to avoid this problem and keep your running water system in shape!

How to avoid frozen pipes

The first thing to do is to properly drain any water from the lines outside the house. Pipes outside are particularly susceptible to bursting, such as those of the sprinklers and swimming pool lines. While doing this, it is also advisable to remove any hose from outside, drain them, store them for the winter and leave the valves outside open to allow the water to expand without damaging the pipe.

After finishing with the outside part of the house, let’s turn to the interior. A good first step is to insulate all your in-door pipelines. This includes pipes in the attic, crawl spaces, basements and garages. You can also install products made to insulate the pipes even further such as “pipe sleeves” or UL-listed heat tape and heat cables. This will protect your water systems from low temperatures, making it more resistant to freezing.

Nevertheless, you will also have to take some daily actions to ensure your inner pipelines don’t get damaged by the temperature. It is important to close any doors leading to the outside of the house to avoid the heat from escaping- Also, open the kitchen and bathroom cabinets to let the warm air circulate close to the pipelines.

Another good tip, though it might increase your heating bill a little, is to keep your thermostat at the same temperature throughout the whole day. This is particularly important if you decide to go out on vacations during winter, since unsupervised pipelines are more prone to freeze and burst if the heater is not regulating temperature constantly. Just remember that some extra bucks in the heating bill are way better than a bill for a broken or frozen pipe.

It is also good to look for any leakages and reparations to do in the house. Remember that leaking water in the pipe, when it comes in small quantities, is prone to freezing and damaging the pipelines. For more info, read How to thaw your frozen pipes here.

These are just some guidelines to keep your pipelines protected from the harsh winter. You can do many of these things by yourself, but it means time and some procedures like insulating the pipelines are susceptible to human error but you don’t need to worry, in ProTech we are experts in frozen pipes repairing. Just call us at 281-933-3330 to get your frozen pipes repared in Texas and schedule your appointment!

Consequences of a bad flood damage response

A kitchen flood is a dreadful experience. From the moment you set foot on the kitchen floor, panic is the first thing that comes into mind: soaked appliances, drenched cabinets, your belongings floating adrift and you watch the scene with disbelief as you try to solve the whole situation without slipping on the wet floor and trying to avoid electrical hazards.

After all that awful experience is over and you finally put away your mop and towels after hours of work, you might think you solved the issue… well, not really. Water damage usually occurs suddenly and without warning, and its full consequences may develop a while after the flood damage.

The most obvious consequence is the presence of mold, which entails its own threats to the health of your family and/or employees. We have a whole article about that here. Mold proliferates in all sorts of materials and acts as an allergen that can cause serious health problems for sensitive people.

Like the mold issue isn’t terrible enough, flood damage can also cause serious structural damage, especially on porous materials like wood and drywall, where it will seep, stagnate and create a perfect environment for microbial hazards. Walls, floors and cabinets can be permanently damaged, which incurs in bigger expenses in restoration and substitution, and terrible headaches for you and your company. More so, even with the greatest of efforts, the use of specialized equipment such as industrial dehumidifiers might be necessary to get rid of the problem for good. Mops and towels and leaving the windows open won’t do the trick by themselves.

An adequate, efficient and thorough response is key to avoid long-lasting problems and greater expenses. If not dealt with the utmost care from the beginning, repercussions are very sure to be expected.

ProTech Restoration specialists understand the need to move quickly and effectively when a flood or water disaster event occurs to prevent further damage to the structures and –more importantly- your health. Our teams are well instructed in the use of industrial equipment -like dehumidifiers- and appropriate techniques to deal with the flooding without any further consequences. 

Check out ProTech Water & Flood Damage services. We have over 35 years of experience in the field. Our experts will take care of all mold-affected contents and items. Walls, ceilings and floors will also be deep cleaned and we’ll provide disinfecting services to eliminate any odor. Our 24/7 response team will be happy to help, just contact us.

How can prolonged mold exposure affect you and your house?

We have all smelled the humid, backwater smell and seen those awful spots that mold creates when it proliferates. Rainy seasons, water leaks, badly-dried floods are all perfect opportunities for this fungus to grow. Unfortunately, there’s much more to worry about than just the stench and those dark grey spots on surfaces. Mold can affect both your house and your health if you allow it to.

The consequences of mold exposure

Depending on the type, mold spores can cause a variety of health problems. While some individuals may not develop any reactions to mold spores, a lot of people experience symptoms ranging from relatively minor allergic responses to severe reactions and health complications that may endanger their life.

Mold spores act as allergens, which are irritants and produce potential toxins. Sensitive people might experience symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, nasal congestion, sore throat, itchy skin or red eyes. People with allergies, and especially asthma, may experience health complications so violent as to cause obstruction of the airway. These symptoms increase with exposure, notably amongst occupational settings, and workers may even develop fever or shortness of breath, which makes every task they perform harder and more exhausting. Individuals with immune suppression and underlying lung diseases have an increased risk of fungal lung infections, which can be very severe under these circumstances.

One can never truly “remove mold” because mold spores are microscopic, and they are everywhere, surrounding us at every turn. They can also be carried indoors by sticking to our clothing and attached to pets’ fur. They can easily travel through open windows, doors, or even through our HVAC units, invading both indoor and outdoor spaces without prejudice. It is when moisture is introduced into the equation that mold really thrives, quickly spreading into colonies and multiplying in a variety of surfaces such as wood, ceiling tiles, paper or cardboard, as well as house materials like paint, wallpaper, carpets, upholstery and others.

In the event of a water disaster, there is always a chance for mold to develop if timely action is not taken, causing secondary damage to once unaffected areas. These cases are to be addressed very quickly and corrective actions recommended by the CDC are specific and rigorous; it’s even suggested they should be performed with personal protection equipment due to the exposure to cleaning agents.

What can be done about the mold in house?

In order to avoid health consequences, just removing the mold spots with detergents is not enough. Buildings should be checked for water damage, leaks and infiltrations, and a proper cleaning plan is to be applied thoroughly and periodically.

Household products, soap and water or a bleach solution are recommended by the CDC to deal with this issue, but this entails risks as well, in the form of allergic reactions to said products or inhaling poisonous gas produced by mixing bleaching with other cleaners. Personal protection equipment is a necessary precaution.

Humidity levels should be supervised; keeping an airflow constant inside the building and adding mold inhibitors to paints before painting, cleaning carpets and upholstery -among other actions- must be considered. These proceedings may prove to be time-consuming and involve a lot of physical effort, which is why many people prefer special teams to deal with their mold issues. These are highly specialized teams that guarantee a thorough and efficient cleaning without the tiring effort of doing it yourself.

Are you thinking about contracting a mold cleaning service in Houston? Check out ProTech Flood & Water Damage services. We have over 35 years of experience in the field. Our experts will take care of all mold-affected contents and items. Walls, ceilings and floors will also be deep cleaned and we’ll provide disinfecting services to eliminate any odor. Our 24/7 response team will be happy to help, just contact us.