What is Water Damage?

Bathroom Mold

water damage

Water damage is used to describe a large number of losses that are caused by water where it attacks the material or system by a destructive process such as rotting wood, the rusting of steel, damage to walls and ceilings and more. This damage can be present itself in many forms. Such as damage that happens over time that can permanently damage a ceiling or wall or it can be damage that happens quickly such as a flood or a burst pipe. There has been a great deal of loss of property due to water damage. To protect yourself you need to get flood insurance. It is usually not part of the regular homeowner’s policy. It has to be purchased separately in order to have professional mold removal in Cape May.

Water damage can be caused by many factors like a leaky roof, a broken pipe, a toilet that overflows a broken hose on a dishwasher or washing machine, foundation leaks and plumbing leaks. All of these can cause much damage to a home. Repairing the damage can be costly, time consuming and a hassle.

There are three types of water damage. The first type of water damage does not create serious damage. This type of damage can come from a broken pipe, an overflowing tub, a sink and malfunctions of simple water lines. The second category is water that contains contaminants in it that causes damage. Examples would be things like urine and feces from a toilet and detergent from a washer. The last category is backwater. It is grossly unsanitary. The water containing unsanitary agents, fungus and harmful bacteria can cause sickness. Items in this category are contaminated water sources.

Sewage is the most dangerous substance in a home. When it is involved in a flood it will contaminate whatever it comes into contact with. This poses a huge problem for people who are old, very young or have a compromised immune system.

The IICRC complied guidelines for professional sewage clean-up called the Standard for Water Damage Restoration (S500).

Here are the key principles homeowners should know about sewage back-ups:

  • Sewage contains a variety of pathogenic – disease causing – fungi, bacteria, viruses and parasites. Anyone who works on sewage losses must have updated vaccinations, including one for Hepatitis B.
  • Sewage exposure is particularly dangerous for people with weakened immune systems, including anyone under two or over 60, those who are pregnant, ill, recovering from surgery, on prescription drugs or chemotherapy, or are AIDS victims.
  • It is not safe to stay in a building that’s flooded with sewage unless the contaminated area can be completely sealed off and placed under controlled air flow so that there will be no cross contamination of unaffected areas.
  • Highly absorbent sewage-saturated materials, such as carpet, pad, upholstery, bedding, wicker, paper or even fabrics that can’t be washed in hot water (130°F/54°C) for at least 10 minutes, must be contained and disposed of properly.  This goes for sewage-saturated drywall, insulation and several other structural materials too.  There’s simply too great a health risk involved if any of these materials are dried in place and cleaned only.
  • Only the most highly trained professionals should attempt sewage remediation work. Then, a “third party” indoor environmental professional can provide post-remediation verification or “clearance testing” to ensure that the home or building is safe to re-occupy.”

The removal method for water damage will depend on the category of water damage.  The amount of water and the time the water remained stagnant will determine how someone will go about removal and repairs.  One example is the carpet. If it was not wet for more than 48 hours and the water did not contain sewage it can usually be saved. Many people can perform water damage restoration; however, the most reliable and safest way to remove water and restore property is to hire a professional. They are usually listed under “Fire and Water Restoration” and they can help speed repairs, whether for individual homeowners or for the largest of institutions. They are usually licensed by the appropriate state’s Department of Consumer Affairs-usually the state contractor’s license board.

Water damage can have a costly effect on a homeowner. It can destroy property and cost a great deal of money in removal and repair.


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