Water damage is never pleasant. Your home and furniture get soaked in water and you need to call a restoration company like Valley Restoration and Construction to mitigate the damage and restore your home.
The first thing to remember is that time is of the essence, as you must be quick to limit the damage. The first two calls you must make are to your insurance company and to an experienced restoration company that will start pumping water from your home.
Through our extensive experience, we have realized that water damage can be treacherous and deceptively harmful. Lingering water is the perfect environment formold development. Also, when your belongings are immersed in water for long stretches of time, they can be damaged beyond repair. Think of wood, rugs, carpets, upholstery, and other materials that get destroyed by water damage. The faster you act, the more chances you have of salvaging your property and your belongings.
We have helped hundreds of homeowners deal with water damage around Montrose, Colorado. We can also help you deal with the insurance company, thus further speeding up the restoration process.
The perfect conditions for mold to grow are very similar to those needed for bacteria to grow. Temperatures between 77 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit, humidity levels around 50%, and plenty of food are required for mold growth.
Water damage ensures that there is plenty of humidity for mold to grow. As for food, mold will happily grow on paper, wallpaper, cardboard, insulating material, and wood. It’s hardly a coincidence that these common places where mold grows are also among those that are easily water-damaged.
When water gets into your home, it can reach into cables, plugs, and your electrical system. You can’t be sure about the real harm until a certified electrician has come to inspect your electrical system and assessed the damage.
Your electrician will check whether your lines, meter, wiring, boxes, and plugs are dry and undamaged by water. They will also check whether there is a short circuit or any power surges that may result in appliance failure in the future.
Any appliance or electronic component plugged in could be affected by water damage, especially if these appliances were functioning when water damage occurred. Think of computers and laptops, television sets, washing machines and dryers, and other electronics. Some of them could be salvageable but others could be damaged beyond repair.
A technician will check your appliances and electronics and advise you on your next steps.
Many bugs and insects love humidity. A water-damaged house could be the perfect environment for beetles, mosquitoes, termites, and ticks. As long as it is relatively moist and warm, these unwanted visitors could start breeding in your drywall, wooden furniture, and even inside your moist carpets.
We suggest you get your home checked for bugs and insects as soon as possible. A professional team of exterminators can ensure that your home is not offering hospitality to any uninvited guests.
High Utility Bills
If the water damage was due to a broken or leaky pipe, you could face increased utility bills. Your water bill will probably be higher than expected. In addition, your electricity bill may see an unwelcome spike because of the pumps, vacuums, dehumidifiers, etc. necessary to restore the damage.
As restoration and mitigation specialists, we will make sure that all residual humidity has been removed from your home. We will have dehumidifiers running day and night to remove humidity and return your home’s moisture levels to acceptable and safe levels.
These expenses are unavoidable. If you hire specialists, however, they will make sure that the cause of your water damage has been dealt with properly. You won’t incur high utility bills in the future and you will know your home is fully restored and repaired.
Aftermitigating the water damage, we will start restoring your home. We will dehumidify your belongings and repair drywall, ceilings, pipes, and electrics so that your home is safe for you and your family.
We can also deal with insurance companies on your behalf, thus giving you as much peace of mind as possible during a stressful time. Our wide experience testifies to the quality of our work and the expertise of our crews.
Asbestos used to be an insulating material until the early 1980s, when it was discovered that asbestos may become friable and release airborne fibers that can be detrimental to a homeowner’s health.
Because of those fibers’ carcinogenic properties, asbestos is no longer used in home construction. Homes that were built before the early 1980s, however, could still have asbestos in them.
If you own an older home and want to improve it, you may start tearing down walls, drilling holes, and removing construction materials. Unfortunately, by doing so, you may be releasing dangerous asbestos fibers into the air. Likewise, when you repair a wall or fix something that’s broken, you need to ensure you are not hammering, drilling, or screwing through an asbestos layer.
Many homeowners wonder how they can detect whether their home has asbestos and whether they can do anything about it. Valley Restoration and Construction has the answer.
What Is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a mineral that was widely used in construction for its durability, low cost, and fire-resistant qualities. It was used extensively in homes throughout the US for decades and you could find asbestos in insulation, roofing, tile glue, drywall, window caulking, glazing, pipe insulation, boilers, HVAC systems, siding, and even fireplaces.
Since the 1970s, however, it gradually became apparent that asbestos could cause lung disease and lung cancer. More than half a million Americans have died from asbestos-related diseases so far. As a result, asbestos has been banned from construction, particularly in homes.
Given its decades-long popularity, however, there is still a large stock of homes that were built 40 or 60 years ago and that still contain asbestos.
How Dangerous Is Asbestos?
If asbestos is left untouched and has not gone through any sort of damage, it poses no risk to your health. That’s because the airborne fibers cannot be released until asbestos becomes friable, so solid asbestos is safe.
Problems can occur after natural disasters such as earthquakes or flooding that disturb the asbestos in the walls. Another common problem is homeowners who start home improvement work to fix broken parts of their homes without suspecting they might have asbestos behind their drywalls. In this case, they may disturb the asbestos already encased in the home and make it release its fibers as it is broken through.
Attic renovation, pipe insulation, drilling, scraping, or new flooring installation are typical activities that can lead to major asbestos breakdown and asbestos-related problems.
How Do I Know If My Home Contains Asbestos?
It can be difficult to be sure about the presence of asbestos in your home.
Generally speaking, if your home was built before the early 1980s, there is a chance that asbestos has been used somewhere in your home construction:
Vinyl tiles often contained asbestos. If your home has vinyl tiles, perhaps you should check if there is any asbestos hiding in there.
Plumbers used asbestos for pipe insulation and for ceiling tiles. This is another common area where asbestos can be found.
Asbestos was used in roofing sheets as well. Tears and abrasions around these parts could be a sign that asbestos is deteriorating and crumbling, thus releasing fibers.
Asbestos was also used in drywall texture and joint compound used for drywall surfacing. Also known as drywall mud, this is a gypsum-based paste used to finish drywall joints and corners in new drywall installations. As surfacing can become extremely friable during renovation activities, this is a serious potential risk for you.
If you can, draw a blueprint of all the home areas where asbestos may be present. Don’t scrape, drill, hammer, or do any home renovation around these areas without talking to an asbestos professional first.
What Should I Do About Asbestos in My Home?
If you suspect your home may have asbestos, you should reach out to professionals like Valley Restoration and Construction to take samples and send them to a certified lab for testing.
It is best if you don’t take the sample yourself. Our crews wear special protective gear to protect themselves from coming into contact with asbestos. Also, they know how to remove a sample without releasing fibers into your home.
Can I Take Care of the Asbestos Problem Myself?
The State of Colorado has stringent regulations regarding asbestos that include residential homes. Any home that requires the removal of 32 square feet or more of a suspect material, regardless of the age of the home, requires asbestos testing or the material should be treated as asbestos in lieu of testing.
The best way to handle asbestos is abatement, whereby a state-licensed contractor completely removes it for you.
Covering up or encapsulating is another way of handling it and can be effective depending on the situation. The aim is to seal the asbestos problem and stop it from leaking its fibers. However, the material is still there and may well present a problem in the future.
The State of Colorado, under certain circumstances, does allow a homeowner to opt out of state regulations regarding asbestos. Federal regulations, however, must still be adhered to. These include the proper disposal of the asbestos material in a landfill certified to accept asbestos waste—you can’t simply dust off the broken asbestos and throw it in the bin. Unfortunately, certified landfills are few and far between.
From the above, it becomes clear that most people don’t have the specialist knowledge, licenses, or gear to take care of an asbestos problem in their homes. Even the simplest way of dealing with asbestos—by encapsulating the area where asbestos has been disturbed—requires specific materials that bind the fibers together and stop them from flowing freely. Most homeowners are unlikely to have such high-end materials in their possession.
If we determine that you have friable asbestos in your home, the specialists from Valley Restoration and Construction will proceed with fixing the problem. We will remove the asbestos pieces that were disturbed and dispose of them in a licensed landfill, according to strict regulations.
Talk to Valley Restoration and Construction About Your Asbestos Problem
Call us at 970-964-4437 or contact Valley Restoration and Construction online and our technicians will come to assess the problem and offer affordable and effective solutions to any asbestos problems. We have the know-how, equipment, gear, and materials to encapsulate and seal the asbestos and ensure you and your family live in a healthy home environment.
Most people may find it hard to believe that summer can help mold grow. As a mitigation and restoration company, however, we have first-hand experience of how fast mold builds up in hot and humid summers.
Summer humidity and warm temperatures are the perfect conditions for mold to expand throughout your home. Once established, mold creates unsightly discolorations on walls, furniture, and floorings.
This, however, is the least of your worries. Extended exposure to mold spores may cause allergic symptoms such as sneezing, itching, coughing, watery eyes, runny nose, headache, fatigue, and more. Left untreated, mold can even increase a person’s sensitivity in the long term, causing health problems and allergic reactions.
If the problem has already spread, you need the help of mold experts like Valley Restoration and Construction to mitigate the problem and eradicate the mold. When mold has taken hold of an area, simple homemade cleaning methods are not strong enough to clean out the mold spores.
Prevention, though, is always better than remediation. Now that summer is upon us, here are a few useful steps you can take to help your home remain healthy, dry, and mold-free.
What Does Mold Need to Grow?
When thinking about mold, it’s good to remember that mold spores are everywhere. You can’t eradicate all the mold spores around you, simply because it’s impossible.
You can, however, make the surrounding conditions unfavorable to their development:
Mold needs warm temperatures, moisture, and something to grow on. The perfect temperatures for mold spores to grow are between 77 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit, which are pretty much the temperatures we have in most of the US in the summer.
Mold also requires humidity. Puddles, humid air, steam, and other sources of humidity help mold spores thrive.
Finally, mold needs something to feed on. That is usually paper, wallpaper, cardboard, insulation materials, and wood. Very often, mold settles on dust and dirt.
Summer Heat and Humidity
Warm summer temperatures are great for outdoor activities, BBQs, and other fun events. Unfortunately, they are also perfect for mold.
Summers in the US are often accompanied by high relative humidity. When the outside air is too humid, it inevitably enters our homes. Together with warm temperatures, these are the perfect conditions for mold to spread.
How Can I Prevent Mold Buildup in the Summer?
Ventilate Your Home
Proper ventilation allows air to flow in and out of your home. You should be particularly careful about ventilating rooms that, by nature, produce a lot of steam and humidity, such as bathrooms and kitchens.
Make sure your fans work properly and turn them on when you are cooking or taking a shower. If you don’t have any exhaust fans in your home, perhaps it’s a good idea to install them to help air circulate freely.
Use Your A/C
Your A/C unit will bring down the temperatures in your home and lower the humidity levels. These together will make the conditions harder for mold to grow.
You shouldn’t run your A/C too low, though. It is generally recommended to have a home ambient temperature of around 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
Install a Dehumidifier
A dehumidifier will take away excess humidity from your home. Pleasant internal relative humidity levels hover between 30% and 50%. Anything above these levels feels uncomfortable and stifling—and is also a great breeding ground for mold spores.
You can install a central dehumidifying system to maintain a steady humidity level in your home. A more economical solution may be to buy a portable one, which captures water in a tank.
Don’t Dry Your Clothes Inside
You should either use a dryer or air-dry your clothes outside if possible. When you dry your clothes inside, the air that evaporates lingers in your home and increases the overall relative humidity of your home.
When using your dryer, make sure the area is well ventilated so that steam doesn’t stay trapped inside.
Improve Your Insulation
Good insulation will ensure that all your rooms and areas have a relatively constant temperature. Attics and basements are particularly vulnerable to hot temperatures in the summer and cold temperatures in winter.
Mold loves to grow in inaccessible parts of your home such as behind the bathtub, in the attic, the basement, the crawl space, or behind cabinets. Good insulation will provide consistent temperatures and low humidity levels.
Should I Open a Window?
It is a great idea to open a window and let fresh air flow in as long as the external relative humidity is not above 60%, otherwise you are simply bringing humidity into your home.
As a rule, you should keep your windows closed when it’s raining, as excess humidity will enter your home. Alongside warm temperatures, excessive humidity will make mold spores happy.
Make Sure All Leaks Are Fixed
Mold buildup gives you an extra incentive to be diligent with your roof, spouts, and drains. Check your gutters regularly for leaks and fix any blockages so that water doesn’t enter your home. Also, check your downspouts. Once a year, you should check and fix your roof as well, to avoid water leaks in the winter.
Valley Restoration and Construction for Mold Mitigation and Remediation
If, despite your best efforts, mold has taken hold of your home, contact Valley Restoration and Construction online or call us at 970-964-4437 and we will be there to remedy the problem. We are available 24/7 and serve all the areas on the Western Colorado Slope, including Montrose, Gunnison, Grand Junction, Delta, Telluride, and Durango.
Spring can be a lovely season: average temperatures, blooming flowers, and nature at its best. Unfortunately, it also comes with storms and heavy rain showers that can cause water damage to your Colorado home.
As always, prevention is better than repair. Once winter is over in your area and before spring and summer storms make an appearance, take a look around your home and make sure you are well prepared for heavy rains and winds.
Starting from top to bottom, check your roof, shingles, windows, doors, and gutters. Then, head to your yard to ensure all furniture is secure and all tree branches are sturdy.
Repair Any Winter Damage from Ice and Snow
Winter can be heavy and taxing on your home. Ice and snow can break your shingles or create cracks on your roof, around your windows and doors.
Once the snow has melted, repair any ice damage. Inspect your shingles and change any tiles or shingles that bear signs of damage. Confirm that your roof is insulated and no water can enter your attic.
Clean Gutters and Downspouts
The wind carries debris like branches and leaves. These can clog your gutters and downspouts. Clean them properly so that water can flow freely toward the drains.
Rainwater should be directed from your roof down the gutters and downspouts and into the drains, which should be located far away from your home. If your gutters and downspouts end too close to your home, consider extending them to drive the water away from your home and its foundation. That way, water will not linger and seep into your basement.
If possible, change your gutters and downspouts to steel from aluminum or vinyl. Steel is stronger and can better withstand strong winds and hail.
Make Sure Your Sump Pump Works Properly
If you have a sump pump in your basement, make sure it works properly and can pump water away from your home. Remember that when snow and ice melt in spring, the water table rises. That makes your basement more vulnerable to flooding.
If your sump pump runs on a battery, check that the battery is fully operational.
Remove Branches and Clean Your Yard
Rain and winds can break branches and harm your home. With leaves about to come back, check your trees and cut any branches that are too close to your home. You should also cut branches that are limping or look weak: they are the first to break and could damage your yard or home.
Is Your Garage Door Sturdy?
Many accidents happen when garage doors fail to withstand high winds that push against them. Garage damage is one of the first setbacks after a storm.
Ask a professional to rate your garage door and, if necessary, consider changing your garage door to a sturdy one that will not break from heavy winds.
Repair Loose Siding
Wind and rain can tear away any loose siding and cause damage to your home’s foundation and overall structure. If you have loose siding, you may need to tighten it. Repair the problem before summer storms worsen the damage.
Secure Patio Furniture
You don’t want to see your summer chairs and table fly away during a storm! They can break or even crack your windows. Secure your patio furniture in your shed or place any movable items in your basement. Make sure that any rakes, shovels, and other tools in your garden are also secured.
Are Your Fence Posts Solidly in the Ground?
Colorado’s strong winds can pull out fence posts if they are not solidly set in the ground. Take a stroll around your property, check your fence posts, and fix any wobbly posts.
Consider Flood Insurance
Now that the storm season is almost upon us, it is a good time to check your homeowner insurance and make sure you are covered for all emergencies. Sometimes, flood insurance is not included in your contract, and some insurance packages will not cover sewage flooding.
If your home sits in an area prone to flooding, make sure that your home insurance covers you in all eventualities. Water damage mitigation and restoration in Colorado can be costly, while a small increase in your insurance premium could protect you from expensive repairs.
Valley Restoration and Construction in Colorado
Should your home suffer water damage from spring storms, our mitigation and restoration teams in Montrose and Gunnison, Colorado are available 24/7 to help your home recover any damage. We work with your insurance to help you manage your budget.
There are so many reasons that can cause water damage: floods, heavy rains, a burst pipe while you are on vacation, drainage problems, or snow melting and seeping through your basement. Whatever the cause, it is devastating to see water flooding your home.
The best thing to do when water damage happens in your home is to call a mitigation and restoration company like Valley Restoration and Construction right away. Our first task will be to extract the water, evaluate the damage, and move on to mitigation and restoration.
It only takes 24 hours for fungus and mold to develop where water is stagnating. Not to mention that hidden water is the perfect setting for mold to settle in. That is why water extraction is crucial for the soundness of your home’s structure and for mitigating further damage.
If you wonder what water extraction entails and how it differs from water mitigation, this guide will help you better understand the work we do here at Valley Restoration and Construction.
What Is Water Extraction?
Water extraction involves the removal of water from your home. It needs specialized equipment like pumps, dry systems, and vacuums that pump water out of floors, ceilings, and walls. Once the water has been extracted, we can move on to emergency water mitigation to make sure the building is safe.
An emergency such as a flood can fill your home with immense quantities of water. A normal mop and bucket simply can’t tackle such problems. That’s why you need professional equipment and an experienced crew.
What Do You Do In Water Extraction?
Here is the process we follow here at Valley Restoration & Construction during water extraction:
1.Stop the Water
The first step is to determine the source of the damage and stop any more water from coming into the house. For example, you must first turn off the water at the mains in case of a burst pipe. Only then can you move on to fixing it.
2.Check Electricity Circuit and Sockets
Water and electricity don’t mix well. Our professional crews will check sockets and wires to make sure they were not damaged from water, otherwise you are at high risk of a shock.
3.Extract the Water
Once electricity has been tackled, we start pumping water out of the home or building. We use specialized equipment, such as pumps that take water outside and professional vacuums that extract water and store it in a tank. We also use dry systems and other tools to pump out the water.
4.Water Extraction from Hidden Spots
The problem with water is that it’s not only found in visible spots but in hidden ones as well. Water can hide in the ceiling, under the floor, or behind drywall and walls in general. The last thing you want is for your ceiling to cave in from water damage.
We use infrared cameras to look through walls as well as moisture detectors to find whether water is lingering in invisible spots. We also use fans to evaporate water from the smallest spots in your home.
If a bucket of water falls on the floor, you pick up a mop and remove it. You must have noticed, however, that some moisture remains on the floor until it slowly evaporates. The same happens when large quantities of water flood your interior.
While we extract the largest proportion of water, there will be residual moisture lingering around. This moisture is sufficient for mold to develop, which is why we need to dry it out as fast as possible. We use special fans and dehumidifiers to drive away the last remnants of humidity from your home.
The musky smell of moisture is perfect for the woods in fall but rather unpleasant in your home. A proper water extraction schedule includes deodorizing the area with foggers and approved chemicals. The aim is to eliminate any residual smells and odors from the water damage.
What Is Water Mitigation?
Once the water has been extracted, it is time for water mitigation.
What’s the difference between water mitigation and water extraction? Water mitigation comes after water extraction and aims at limiting the damage from the water. Unsalvageable items are thrown away, while those that can be professionally cleaned and repaired are removed from the property to be properly restored.
If drywall has sustained water damage, our water mitigation crew will remove the parts that have been wrecked because they are dangerous for the stability and safety of the house.
Likewise, hardwood floors are very sensitive to water damage. No matter how fast and thorough water extraction was, your wooden floorboards may have sustained damage. They can bend, crack, buckle, or cup, thus creating an uneven floor. Stains may also appear on parts of the wood that absorbed water. Water mitigation will remove any floorboards that are beyond repair.
Wooden window frames and doors can be damaged by water as well. The purpose of water mitigation is to remove those beyond repair and board up the windows to protect the home from intruders and further damage.
Water mitigation includes all the professional steps to limit the damage and stabilize the situation before a restoration crew can come in and start installing windows, doors, and floors. Water mitigation will help retain your home’s structural integrity and protect its foundations.
Once your house has dried completely, our VRC restoration professionals will start rebuilding it to welcome you home again.
Valley Restoration and Construction is your Montrose, CO, restoration company. Call us first at 970-964-4437 or contact Valley Restoration and Construction online and we will start our water extraction immediately. We work with your insurance to help you manage your budget!
Are you ready to buy the house of your dreams? Before signing the contract, make sure the house doesn’t show signs of water damage.
Water can damage the structure of your home. Leaks and broken pipes may require expensive repairs, and water damage can cause the development of mold, which is dangerous for your health.
Before embarking on your life as a homeowner, it is good to take a detailed look into your prospective home for signs of past—or present—water damage. If you don’t know where to look and how to check, here is a brief guide to help you spot any signs of water damage.
Check the Land and Where the Home Stands
If you are buying a single-family home, check the land surrounding the house. Is the home situated at the highest point of the land or is it placed at the bottom, where all the water will gather?
Your prospective home should be located at the highest point to let water flow downhill without damaging the basement or the foundation of the house. This way, it will experience less humidity and have fewer opportunities for water damage and stagnant waters.
Check for Water Puddles and Look at the Gutters and Downspouts
While you are looking at the house from the outside, notice the state of the gutters and the downspouts. Are the gutters clean and well-maintained? Are they securely attached to the roof and walls?
Likewise, check the downspouts and where they direct the water. How are the drains? Do they lead the rainwater away from the house?
You want to ensure that the pipes, drains, and gutters divert all water away from the house to minimize damage and humidity.
Water puddles around the house are signs that water stagnates there. If water sits there, it can slowly enter your basement and damage the house’s foundations.
Are All Roof Shingles Intact?
Missing, cracked, or damaged roof shingles mean that water may seep into the attic and cause damage. Make sure the roof is well-insulated and that all shingles are intact. Otherwise, you will have to budget for roof repairs.
Do the Ceilings Have Water Stains or Rings?
Once inside the house, look up and check the ceilings. Do they have water stains? Water rings and stains are signs that moisture is trapped in the ceiling. They are usually more obvious at the corners of ceilings, so check carefully the ceiling’s full length.
Walls that have been water-damaged can also display water stains, so be sure to check those as well. If you spot any, ask the current owner whether it’s an ongoing water leakage or a past one. If it’s a past one, make sure it has been addressed properly.
Inspect All the Plumbing around the House
Water is distributed in your home through the plumbing system pipes. You may notice water damage and leakages along their path.
Check the pipes all around the house: in the cabinet under the sink, around the bathtub, and behind faucets. Look for watermarks, discolorations, mold, and any sign that water has damaged these areas. For instance, a wooden cabinet that has been water-damaged will show warping signs on the wood.
How Does the Floor Look?
A flood can seriously damage a wooden floor. Are there any soft spots on the floor? Is the floor warped or cracking? Do you see any discolorations? Are the floorboards uneven? If the floor is tiled, are there any loose tiles or tiles that seem to be elevated compared to the rest?
All of the above can be signs of water damage and should be further inspected.
Remember to lift any rugs and check the state of the floor underneath as well. Sometimes, rugs are placed strategically by house owners to hide previous water damage.
Smell Your Way Around the House
Some homeowners may fit a room with a carpet to hide water damage. While it may be easy to fool the eye, it will be much harder to hide the scent of mold. Your nose won’t lie to you. Smell your way around the house. Mold has a musky scent that we can all easily discern. Walk around the house, focusing on the bathroom and kitchen where most of the plumbing is found.
If you can smell mold, it means that humidity or water is trapped somewhere in the walls, floors, or ceilings.
Attics and Basements
Water usually enters a house from the roof or the ground. Attics and basements are the most exposed areas of a home and the places where moisture, leaks, and water damage will be most evident.
Take a look around the attic and the basement and notice any water damage. In the attic, water damage will be more obvious around the ceilings. In the basement, it will be more evident near the floor.
Note Any Icicles Hanging from the Roof
If the area where you are planning to buy a home has frequent and heavy snowfall, check for any icicles hanging from the roof. Although they are very beautiful to look at, they are also a sign of ice dams and suggest that the house, especially the attic, is poorly insulated.
Flaking Paint and Damp Walls
Paint sometimes peels away, giving you the perfect excuse to change the color of the room. If, however, you see paint flaking away in significant quantities, you could be facing water damage and humidity inside the wall.
Run your hand along the wall’s surface. Does it feel damp or loose to the touch? If so, humidity may be trapped somewhere behind the paint or wallpaper.
Check Metals and Water Heater
Metals rust in the presence of water and constant humidity. Check any metallic items, such as radiators or door handles, to see if they are rusty. Also check the water heater for signs of rust. If there has been a water leak from the hot water heater sometime in the past, the water will have corroded the metal, causing it to rust.
If You Find Water Damage, Call Valley Restoration and Construction