Water, Fire, & Mold Restoration Blog

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Roof Water Damage Inspection Tips

Inspecting your roof for water damage on a regular basis can help to prevent water damage to both the interior and the exterior of your house. Here are some things that you should watch out for:

Buildup of leaves, twigs, and other yard debris can clog roof gutter and downspouts and can impede drainage.  Take the time to properly clear these areas.

Before winter, make sure that all garden hoses are disconnected from spigots and outdoor watering systems, like sprinklers are turned off.

Curling, cracked, or broken shingles may indicate damage from trees. This damage can cause water damage during a rainstorm.  Repair all broken or damaged shingles promptly.

Keeping your roof in good repair will help to ensure that your house remains in good repair as well.

By |March 19th, 2011|Flood|0 Comments

Preventing Water Damage In The Home

Water damage in the home can be a costly and inconvenient circumstance. When your home suffers water damage, underlying structural damage may also occur. If left untreated, this damage can weaken the foundation of your home.

Fortunately, there are many things that you can do to prevent water damage in your home.

Routinely check for leaks by tightening faucets and monitoring your water meter. If you notice that water meter readings change when no water is being run, this can be the first sign of a hidden leak.

Check your appliances that use water, i.e. dishwashers, sinks, refrigerators, and washing machines on a regular basis to make sure that they are free of leaks and shorts as well.

Don’t forget about your water heaters and air conditioners. Water heaters are designed to last for ten to fifteen years, but if you notice wet spots on the floor or rust spots on the tank, this can be the first sign of a problem. Air conditioners should be professionally inspected at the start of the summer to make sure that the condensation pan is clean and working properly.

These are just some of the ways that you can help prevent water damage and keep your home safe.

By |March 8th, 2011|Flood|0 Comments

What To Do After A Flood

A flood in your home can be a traumatic and costly experience. Whether the flood was caused by a leaky pipe, a roof leak, excessive rainfall, or other circumstances, once a flood occurs, there are certain steps that every homeowner must take in order to secure their property and the health of those that occupy it.

At Orange Restoration, we specialize in San Diego flood restoration and mold remediation, and have helped many homeowners recover from indoor flood situations.  Here are some tips to help you do the same:

Hazards associated with flooded buildings include:

  • Slip and fall hazards
  • Build-up of toxic materials and bacteria
  • Electrical shock
  • Growth and buildup of toxic mold

Step One: Stop the entry of water and remove all standing water. This includes hiring a professional to pump flooded rooms, and removing all mud, dirt, and other debris that may have entered the home as a result of the flood.  You should also remove all wet furniture and carpets.

Step Two: Arrange for a flood inspection.  Hire a professional flood San Diego flood restoration company to inspect your building for damage to insulation, electrical components, and structural damage.

Step Three: Test for mold. Mold test kits can be purchased in most hardware stores, but you should also arrange for a professional mold inspection, just to be on the safe side. A mold remediation specialist can check for the presence of mold in areas such as insulation and drywall that a mod test kit cannot.

Don’t take chances with your home. Take the appropriate action after a flood to minimize damage and reduce health risks.

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By |February 3rd, 2011|Flood|0 Comments

When A Flood Occurs

The word flood usually evokes images of streets and cities immersed in water, or large-scale natural disasters. For the majority of people, though, the type of flood they are most likely to experience is one that occurs in their own home.  While these types of floods may not cause widespread catastrophic damage, the damage that they do cause can be very devastating for the families that experience them.

Indoor flooding can be caused by a wide variety of things. Faulty plumbing is the most common cause, followed by roof leaks.  Pipes can burst quickly, old toilets can malfunction and over flow, and the result is almost always large amounts of water coming into contact with furniture, carpet, and personal belongings.

When a flood occurs in your San Diego home, the first thing to do is to try to locate the source. If you can turn off toilets, or temporarily turn off water in the home, do this as quickly as possible.  Placing a large trash can or a container under the source of a roof leak can also help to prevent further damage.

Next, use towels to absorb as much of the water as possible and fans to dry the area. If you can move some of your belongings to another room or location, do so before they become damaged further.  Avoid direct contact with the water if possible, use gloves, wear rubber boots, and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards. This is especially important when it comes to water overflow and flooding from toilets and septic tanks.

Finally, give us a call to assist with cleanup and water removal. Simply using a vacuum and fans isn’t enough, and even if the water is removed from the surface, water that seeps into flooring and carpeting can lead to mold, mildew, and structural problems later on.

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By |January 4th, 2011|Flood|0 Comments

Choosing A Flood Remediation Company

When it comes to choosing a San Diego flood remediation company, there are many things to consider. You may think that you don’t need to worry about this if you have flood insurance or a flood insurance clause in your homeowner’s insurance policy.  The truth is though, if the damage isn’t covered by your policy, the cost of repairs and the task of finding a qualified remediation company become your responsibility.

Even though San Diego isn’t a place where floods normally occur on a large scale, what most people don’t realize is that the majority of floods are indoor floods, that is, caused by inside sources such as burst pipes or broken appliances.

Here are some tips to help you choose the right San Diego flood Remediation Company.

Ask for a referral. Your insurance company may be able to give you a list of reputable companies. Friends and coworkers can also be a source of referrals if they have worked with a company in the past and have had a positive experience.

Read the fine print. As with any service-oriented business, you can’t assume that services are included without making sure that they are. The fine print of the contract contains important information about what is included and your rights as a customer that you should pay attention to.

Ask about their areas of expertise.  Are they a certified mold removal company? Do they have experience in fire damage as well? The more expertise a company has, the more likely that they will be able to assist both in the present and the future.

Check references.  Study their website carefully. Do they have testimonials from past customers? Are they willing to provide references? If so, contact these references to verify the information provided by the company before you sign on the dotted line.

Remember, the more well informed you are as a consumer, the better your business decisions will be. Take the time to research your options and then to weigh them carefully.

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By |December 22nd, 2010|Flood|Comments Off on Choosing A Flood Remediation Company

Flood Damage Prevention Tricks & Tips

Flood damage is costly to repair, and can make your house a breeding ground for molds, mildew, and other unwanted substances.  As your San Diego flood damage repair specialists, the pros at Orange Restoration have seen their fair share of devastating flood damage that could have been easily prevented or caught early before costly repairs were necessary.  Here are some tips to help you recognize signs of flood damage and how to prevent it.

Plumbing Repairs

Correct minor plumbing repairs as soon as possible. Most of the time, especially in San Diego where flash floods are less common, indoor flooding due to burst pipes or faulty plumbing causes water damage.  Leaky toilets or pipes may seem like a nuisance, but if you ignore the problem, you may find yourself dealing with both a major indoor flood and the resulting water damage.

Odors And Mold

Mold has a telltale musty odor, and likes to grow in dark, damp places. Carpet, because of its absorbent properties, is one of the places where mold can grow quickly if left unchecked.  If you notice musty smells or see any mold on your carpet or walls, it is time to call a flood restoration company or mold remediation expert to come in and repair the damage. Like decay on a tooth, mold and mildew that is visible to the naked eye represents only a small part of the actual damage.

Leaky Roofs

Like leaky pipes, small roof leaks may seem like a nuisance, something that you only notice when it rains and probably try to ignore.  You should know, though, that the water that drips in to your house is slowly causing damage to your furniture, floors, and walls, even if you can’t see it at first.  Not to mention that leaky roofs can lead to structural instabilities. In other words, don’t wait until the roof literally falls in before you call a repairman.

Check back often for more San Diego flood remediation and other related expert tips.

By |December 9th, 2010|Flood|Comments Off on Flood Damage Prevention Tricks & Tips

Drywall Water Damage

Interesting facts, who would of thought that replacing dry wall is much more beneficial and coast efficient than trying to dry out the area. Typically when an area of drywall gets damaged by water it is very difficult to paint over. When the drywall gets wet it tends to bubble and wrinkle just as any piece of paper would. So when you have had any water damage in your home, be sure to check for area’s that may have encountered damage. Look for sign of discoloration, sagging, cracks, and bulging in the wall. Drywall that is wet is an ideal environment for mold and mildew; so do not hesitate address the area immediately to prevent any further complications.

Keep in mind surfaces that are painted are less likely to show the damages as easily. Use caution and check the area, you will be able to feel the dampness or softness where the damage has occurred.
Another potential area that may not be as obvious to detected would be the ceiling, if there is a leak there is likely going to be an area where there will be a drip and the paint will bubble.

Drywall water damage is not a problem that will go away on its own. So if and when you may find yourself in this type of situation, remember it is more beneficial to replace the wall as opposed to try to dry the area. The time and money will surely be less than the drying process, as well as it will prevent any potential structural and health problems!

By |June 17th, 2010|Flood|Comments Off on Drywall Water Damage

Hardwood Floors Water Damage

Wood floors are tricky. Unlike drywall and insulation, that upon contact with water must be discarded and there is no financial sense in trying to dry them out, wood floors experiencing water damage are often worth trying to save. Especially the nice expensive kind!

After contact with water the grains in the wood to swell and crack which on the surface could lead to swelling and then buckling. The grains in the wood are saturated with water, so the wood panels in your floor would slightly expand. If this expansion is not stopped by drying out the wood panels, the floor would eventually buckle; the panels would rise up from the subfloor in an arch shape.

The drying protocol that in used in the property with wood floors is has to be one specifically adapted for such floors. Make sure you hire a professional for the job even if it appears easy! It’s not enough to crank up the drying equipment and dry the floor as quickly as possible (as often less knowledgeable restoration companies that are on a tight schedule would try to do). Wood floors need to be dried gradually and evenly across the affected area. Sudden and unequal drying could cause cracking or splitting.

Using a certified professional with reliable and effective drying equipment is critical in a situation of hardwood floors. Using the correct equipment can accelerate the drying process, but shooting dry air on the floor from above and below as well as from different directions. Sometimes your restoration professional would opt to remove a wood panel every few feet to create another opening to the cavity in order to force air in, as well as to relieve the pressure between the wood panels as those swell from the moisture. This can expedite drying and prevent cracking of the panels. Another technique used in many cases is to create a small containment above the wood floor, to limit the air space that is necessary to dry along with the floor. The entire floor would be tented with plastic and machines would force dry air into the containment and onto the floors. A lot of times this can really reduce the time of the drying process.

Another common mistake is to sand the floor when it is still slightly moist or wet. When the wood is saturated, it expands and becomes slightly cupped on the surface (the edges of the panel rise up slightly). If the floor is sanded while still wet it would appear leveled once you are done sanding, but it is deceiving. Once the floor dries back to its normal shape, each panel will become crowned leaving an uneven surface. It will be permanently damaged.

If for any reason you choose to attempt the drying of your hardwood floors on your own, make sure not to use direct heat to dry hardwood floors, since this can cause uneven drying, which will lead to cracking. Even continuous air flow is most conducive to drying. Try opening all windows and floors, and turning on fans for better circulation. If your floors are dear to you – even if it doesn’t look like a big deal at first – turn to a professional and ask for a cost effective deal, it will be worth your while in the long run.

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By |May 11th, 2010|Flood|Comments Off on Hardwood Floors Water Damage

Homeowners Insurance Water Damage

Being in the water damage business, I deal daily with insurance adjusters from all the major property insurance carriers answering their questions regarding our invoices and our technicians’ water damage restoration protocols. While the way insurance claims are handled seems like a mystery to most average homeowners, to a water damage specialist like us, it is really very clear.

Home owners insurance is purchased by homeowners when their home is in good order, clean and healthy. This is very much like a life insurance policy is purchased when you are generally alive. The same way life insurance will be denied to anyone who seems like they may take advantage of it, homeowners insurance is often denied to residents that clearly don’t take a good care of their property.

Homeowners insurance wants to see routine maintenance done to the property, and most importantly – any red flags or problems not ignored or their treatment delayed.

Generally speaking your homeowners insurance will cover any claim that arises from what we call “a sudden cause”. This could include burst water heaters and pipes, exploding dishwashers, toilets and overflowing tubs. If you’re a good homeowner, handle all maintenance issues in a timely manner, and all of the sudden wake up to find your floor is covered in several inches of water? You have a much better case against your insurance company.

Please be careful when considering filing claims that have to do with ongoing damage. While some homeowners do have mold insurance that covers their property up to a certain dollar cap, you should know that rarely the amount of coverage would actually be sufficient to cover the cost of repairs in case of extensive mold damage. For the less extensive jobs, it is clear that it’s best to pay out of pocket and not involve the insurance at all. Any kind of damage like a slow pinhole leak to a pipe, a dripping ice maker in the fridge or a leaky toilet or incorrectly sealed bath or shower, will likely to not be covered since they are attributed to a certain negligence by the homeowner.

If your situation is at all in a “gray area” between the above mentioned two sets of cases, you would be well served by a statement from your plumber, or another professional who will confirm the specific cause of the leak.

What to do about deductibles?

You have a high deductible on your policy? $500? $1000? Or even more? My honest advice would be to try and work out a deal with your contractor to help you with this charge. Your contractor would write up the invoice for the job at a certain amount, bill your insurance, who would in turn send you a check for that billed amount less any deductible amounts you may owe based on the agreement of your policy. Let me tell you a professional secret – water damage restoration is a very lucrative industry. While the specialists you hire do perform legitimate and absolutely necessary service, they also get paid by insurance amounts which leave them often with quite a bit of wiggle room. Your property cost $10K to repair? I think it’s fair for you to ask your contractor to absorb your $500 deductible, or at least split it with you.

My insurance says I have to use their contractor?

Your house is flooded, you’re stressing, you don’t know who will pay, when, how will it all get fixed, and the emotional toll of a home emergency that comes unexpectedly is always high for you and your family. You call your insurance agent who tells you to file a claim, and the adjuster tells you not to worry, just call Water Damage Company ABC and they’ll take care of everything for you. This is a common scenario. Should you call this contractor? I recommend you always go with the contractor you feel most comfortable with, regardless of if it’s the one recommended by your insurance or not. The fact of the matter is your insurance will work identically with a company they “refer you to” or to a company you contract on your own.

Insurance professionals may have different reasons to recommend you call a specific company. It could be based on a company wide policy to refer only to a specific company, it could be a company from a list of merely “suggested” contractors, it could be based on a personal relationship with the owner of the company, or based on any number of backend deals or agreements you may not be aware of. When given a phone number of a contractor who could solve your problem you should remember 3 key points.

1.Always check references, license expirations, liability insurance, BBB rating, and any other means that would help you establish that you’re dealing with a good, legal, licensed, reputable company. Don’t be ashamed to speak to the owner or a past customer, even in a time of emergency – to make sure that you are comfortable with all aspects of the contractor and their water damage restoration protocols.

2.Your insurance is obligated to pay for the repair of all items to their pre-loss condition on any covered claims whether you choose the contractor suggested by your insurance, or you chose one yourself.

3.In the state of California, all water damage restoration contractors are governed by the CSLB, the California State Licensing Board, and all clients of contractors are guaranteed by law the ability to cancel any contracting agreement with no questions asked within 3 days of signing anything unless clients specifically waive this right. You realized after a small delay the guys you’re working with are not the ones you want to? You should be able to get them off the job immediately with no explanations and have to pay ONLY for what was already performed. Read any contract with very carefully and watch out for a waiver for this right within the contract.

Please note that this article gives nothing but some general guidance. There are so many types of insurance policies, and insurance carriers with different rules that we cannot possibly predict whether your claim will be covered in any given case. To find out if a certain problem is covered by your insurance please read your own policy carefully, and then consult your insurance professional.

By |March 17th, 2010|Flood|0 Comments

New Dehumidification Equipment!

In the spirit of Thanksigiving Orange Restoration has lots to be thankful for! While other companies are struggling to make ends meet, we are very fortunate to be able to capitalize on this difficult time, re-think and re-double our efforts and emerge as a stronger company.

We got lots of new jobs come in this past week or two, and decided to invest in a new piece of machinery – we bought a brand new desiccant dehumidifier.

Here’s some info about this technology.

Dessicant Dehumidification
While refrigerant dehumidification works by passing air through refrigerated coils to condense water, desiccant dehumidifiers work when moist incoming air flows over a wheel filled with a silica gel desiccant. A desiccant is a material that attracts and holds moisture. This material sucks in moisture from the air. When the wheel rotates through heated exhaust air, the moisture evaporates and is carried outside. Then the cycle repeats. This process absorbs moisture without ice build-up and is not limited by low temperatures. A desiccant usually produces air with a relative humidity in the range of 4% – 8% – meaning – EXTREMELY DRY!

Our new dessicant will now provide a blanket of very dry air in our water restoration jobs to remove moisture from the contents and structure allowing both to dry simultaneously in place. Careful monitoring ensures wood floors and the structure are safely dried to prevent secondary damage, shorter drying time and clients getting their homes back sooner. NOW THAT’S GREAT NEWS!

By |November 24th, 2009|Flood|0 Comments