Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Why do we need a professional to dry our house?

     No matter how much we prepare, it still takes a lot of work to clean up after a storm.  In water damage restoration the work needs to be done right away.  The first 24 hours are the most important, mold can begin to grow within 24-48 hours.  The tough part is that your insurance company cannot get out there fast enough.  Be sure to get authorization to begin emergency drying services from the insurance company and take lots of pictures.  After Hurricane Irene A Better Image Restorations was dispatched to about 15 water losses.  Remediation companies tend to get overwhelmed at this time, but it is important to use a local company or a local franchise.  Storm Chasers, even one's with big names, tend to come in collect your deductible, do the minimum required and leave some equipment.  I have even seen them pick up the equipment before drying was complete because they were "leaving the area."  A local company is more likely to try to make you happy, you may need them again, at least that is our philosophy.
     It is important, if you have a any loss, to consult a professional.  We have been trained for many situations and know what to look for.  For instance a small leak under a window may just be the tip of the iceberg.  I have seen a roof leak go down an exterior wall and drain in to crawlspace, the problem went undetected for years.  A strong storm came in and drove some of the rain into the wall, saturating the drywall in the corner of a window.  I was dispatched to assess the situation and begin the drying process.  One of the first things we learn is to check all adjacent areas, water can travel along rafters before entering the living environment.  Using my moisture meter I found moisture in the whole wall and even the ceiling.   Luckily I could take a look at the ceiling in the attic so I continued my investigation up there.  What I found was very bad, it looked like black mold had taken residence in the attic near the area of a roof leak, which was running down an exterior wall and drain into the crawlspace.  This leak had been going on for a long time and that strong storm was just enough to push it through to the living space.
        Never assume it will just dry out naturally, buildings built since the 1970's have been increasingly energy efficient.  With efficiency in mind we seal up our buildings and take control of the indoor environment.  We can make this a good environment or a bad one, do you know what is good for your home?  That is a post for another day or even another industry for that matter.
     The point is, let the professionals handle the drying.
For all the DIYer's it maybe the last, most costly mistake you ever make.  Would you remediate asbestos or lead?  Mold can be just as dangerous and improper drying will sometimes lead to mold growth.  I am all about DIY projects,  but if you do not know what "psychrometry" means without clicking the link please call a professional for a consultation.

Remember, You have control over who works on/in your home. 
 Insurance companies have a list of preferred vendors, they may not have your best interests in mind.