This category contains contaminants that will cause serious health issues and possibly death. Only professionals should handle most large-scale black water accidents such as flooding. Some cleanup, like a backed-up toilet, can be handled by competent homeowners. This type of cleanup and repair is usually the most expensive, often requiring specialized equipment used by qualified mold and chemical remediation crews. It will often require replacement (not just cleaning) of the affected home materials.
It’s important to get rid of all moisture ASAP before it causes more damage. And for small leaks, this may not be difficult, but it’s important to be thorough. Use fans to circulate air in the affected area. For larger projects, consider renting a large-capacity dehumidifier to really dry out surrounding wood, carpet, and other materials. You don’t want any moisture left after your water damage repair.
Unlike sites which blend pricing from dissimilar jobs, Homewyse estimates are based on the Unit Cost method. This method uses job specific detail for superior pricing accuracy and transparency - and has become an industry standard through publications and guidance of leading trade associations, including: PHCCA, the NKBA, the NECA, the AIA, and the ASPE.
Showers, tubs, sinks, toilets, windows, and doors. Water leaks around bathtubs, showers, sinks, and toilets can cause damage because the leak is often out of sight. To prevent leaks, make sure you have a watertight seal of caulk around tubs, sinks, toilets, tubs, shower stalls, windows, and doors. Cracks or mold on caulk or tile grout may indicate that you don't have a watertight seal. Remove all caulk or grout, clean and dry the surface thoroughly, and apply fresh caulk. Don't apply new caulk or grout on top of the old materials.
After you learn how to remove mold, you’ll want to prevent it in the future. The key to stopping most mold is to control dampness. The worst infestations usually occur in damp crawlspaces, in attics and walls where water has leaked in from the outside, and in basements with poor foundation drainage. Stopping leaks, ensuring good ventilation in attics, keeping crawlspaces dry and routing water away from the foundation are the best defenses on how to get rid of mold.
When you’re sure the mold has been eliminated, seal the wood surfaces with pigmented shellac like BIN or an oil-based primer like KILZ. Repaint cleaned wall surfaces with a regular latex paint that contains a mildewcide to help stop future mold growth. Then install new insulation and drywall and nail the trim back on. And keep in mind that if the moisture returns, mold will return.
And even if you do have flood insurance, you should make sure what is covered. "Many people don't realize their homeowner insurance doesn't cover rising water," says Kent. In other words, "some flood insurance will cover rain water if it comes through your roof, but most of the time, it won't cover water rising in your home, like what's happening in Texas, unless you ask for it specifically."
While there are currently no government regulations in the United States dictating procedures, two certifying bodies, the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and the RIA, do recommend standards of care. The current IICRC standard is ANSI/IICRC S500-2015. It is the collaborative work of the IICRC, SCRT, IEI, IAQA, and NADCA.