Furniture, clothes, electronics, important documents, keepsakes, appliances, medical equipment – we know your personal property means a lot to you. After all, it’s what turns a house into a home. That’s why Clarke Contractors specializes in restoring contents damaged by fire, water, mold and smoke. And because we approach every job with a “restore” versus “replace” mindset, we keep costs down while saving your precious keepsakes.
Most homeowners insurance policies will help cover water damage. There are exceptions. For example if your damage is caused by an ongoing mainteance issue or if the damage is the result of a water backup from an outside sewer or drain. Separate flood insurance is required to make a claim for floods from water surges originating from rivers, ponds, lakes or oceans.
It's always best to confirm with your agent what is and what isn't covered before a water event happens. Asking questions like "Is my basement covered for water damage if my sump pump fails?" will help clarify if additional insurance is necessary or if covered through traditional homeowners.
One of the most dangerous losses that can occur at your home is a raw sewage back-up. Unlike small fires, wind damage or clean water floods, most of the damage can be cleaned or repaired on these types of losses. With raw sewage or what the standards call category 3 water loss, nothing can be saved.
Raw sewage is mainly gray or black water. It usually contains the organic waste and wastewater produced by household and industrial sources. Sewage typically contains everything from soap to solid waste, human excrement and debris. It is discharged by drains and sewer lines.
The IICRC S500 (Standard) defines category 3 loss as follows...
Category 3 water is referred to as “Black Water”. Black water contains pathogenic agents and is grossly unsanitary. Black water includes sewage and other contaminated water sources entering or affecting the indoor environment.
There are millions of different types of bacteria in sewage that include, but not limited to E coli, gastroenteritis and cryptosporidiosis. Most of those affected suffer stomach cramps and diarrhea, but untreated sewage can also spread horrible diseases such as cholera and hepatitis. Studies have indicated that one million people a year become ill as a direct result of sewer related problems.
A pipe bursts or leaky hose can be tricky because they can happen in an unseen areas like behind a wall or in a cabinet or ceiling. When you do notice the damage you will need to act fast to prevent extensive damage to your property. A fast response to a burst pipe can save additional costs to restore your home or business back to its original condition.
Here are steps to take for a pipe burst:
Heavy rain, a pipe burst or faulty appliance can quickly turn your basement into wet mess. It is important to act quickly to find the source of the water and if possible, stop the flooding. Try to clean and dry what you can to protect structures and content from water damage and potential mold growth.
If you have a large amount of water, be sure to disconnect any electrical service to the area if you attempt to walk in the standing water.
In the restoration business, one of the most common concerns encountered after water damage is the growth of mold. There are many different causes and warning signs that may help you identify without giving out the slightest of clues to their presence until they are well established. The more times they get to develop and grow, the bigger the problem becomes to both your personal heath and your property.
It is important to be able to identify and remove molds as soon as possible. Here are some warning signs you should know and be alert for.
Mold Triggers and Indicators:
While mold growth can cause damage to your property and health, it is a problem that can be recognized and corrected. Depending on the extent of the mold growth and locations of infiltration, fixing the problem can be as simple as a mild treatment to the areas or the removal and replacement of the affected areas. Clarke Contractors is a certified mold mitigation company.
In colder months, ice damming is a common cause of cause water damage to walls, ceilings and insulation. Ice dams are formed when the heat from the inside of a home escapes into the attic and warms the roof decking in the winter. This heat, along with the heat from the sun, can melt the snow on the roof. This melting snow then runs down to the eaves, where there is no attic heat, and refreezes. The continual thaw and refreeze process creates ice dams at the edges of the roof and into the gutters. The result is water backing up under the roof shingles or behind the fascia boards where it soaks through the roof decking or wall sheathing causing water damage to attics, ceilings and walls.
There are three ways to defend against ice dams: insulation, ventilation and water proofing shingle underlayment. Each of the above will work together to keep ice damming and the damage it creates in check.
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