Even in Southern California rain can still happen and if your roof is not ready, problems can happen. Water entering your building is never a pleasant experience. If water or any accumulated dampness is not addressed quickly, it can cause potential health risks. Here are some precautions and remedies to consider if intruding water has made their way inside your building.
The Possible Health Risks from Water Damage:
Your Health is Utmost Important
Immediate and proper clean-up is important for your health. Materials that are not properly cleaned quickly or discarded can contribute to poor air quality. Microorganisms can contaminate indoor air in the presence of excess moisture and cause respiratory problems and allergies. Floodwaters can also contain microorganisms such as bacteria, molds, and viruses and can contain raw sewage too, so you need to be especially aware of this.
Long-Term Damage Caused by Water
You must immediately dry out anything that came in direct contact with the water, such as drywall, and any equipment. If not, you will be at risk for long-term damage and ruined equipment as well as damage to the integral building structure. The most critical part of the cleanup process is drying out the area completely. Remember that, moisture can hide in drywall and sub-flooring and may go undetected. Signs of damage can include odors from mold and mildew on walls, buckled floors, peeling paint/wallpaper, and weakened sub-floors. It may be necessary to remove portions of walls, ceilings, and floors to completely dry everything out. Consider removing and replacing those materials to avoid future indoor air quality problems. For the best results begin the drying out process within 48 hours of water exposure.
When You Need a Professional
Depending on the source of the water and the extent of the damage you may need to bring in a professional. Water caused damage that can be categorized into three basic types: clean water, gray water, and black water. Professional restoration companies will use different techniques to remove the water depending on its classification.
- Clean Water comes from a clean source such as an indoor sink. Clean water sources usually do not contain any contaminants.
- Gray Water comes from a source that may contain contaminants, such as snow or rainfall, machine or toilet overflows.
- Black Water includes sewage, flood waters from rivers or streams, or groundwater.
Blackwater contains pathogenic, fungal, and viral contamination, pesticides, or heavy metals. This can be the most serious health risk to anyone who comes in contact with it unprotected. Insurance companies recommend and almost always require immediate clean up quickly to avoid long-term damage. A Water Damage Restoration Company can provide you with an assessment to help you determine if you should be filing a claim with your insurance. In the meantime, there are a few things you should be doing. Remove water using a pump, or sweep, or drain water from the building, remove any debris, remove all equipment and any items damaged by the water. Remove moisture using fans (if it is safe to use electricity), open windows to increase air circulation, ventilation and drying and use dehumidifiers with windows and doors closed. You may also need to remove portions of walls, ceilings, and floors to completely dry out the inside of the building or rooms if water damage has gone deep within the structure. Continue the drying process for days or weeks until humidity levels return to normal (35-55%). There should not be a musty odor if the areas are completely dried.
The next thing to do is to determine the source of the water. There are many ways that water can enter your building such as leaky roof, faulty gutter system, or cracks in the foundation or structures. It is important to determine the source and work with a professional to address the problem after you have mitigated any threats to your health. Call us today and we can help to identify the source of unwanted water and any roof repairs needed to prevent future problems and water damage. We will help you protect your building and your health.