Water damage occurs when excess water begins to pool in areas where it shouldn’t. Many different factors can create this excess water and thereby contribute to water damage. When you are aware of the potential causes, you can take precautionary measures to help insure against a leak or flood. You will also be able to spot a problem as soon as it arises and nip it in the bud before it has a chance to cause any additional damage. The more quickly you notice the problem, the less work the water extraction and >water damage restoration company will have to fix.
Inspect damaged materials for mold and mildew. Mold can start to grow in the right conditions in as little as 24 hours. For long-term issues, like mold caused by attic condensation, the mold may have started growing a long time ago. And if you find mold and mildew issues, you need to be very careful. Some mold is toxic to humans, and all mold is very damaging to the materials it infests. For small mold issues, cut out the material, bag it, and throw it away immediately. For serious mold issues, get out of the area, shut down any airflow (to avoid spore contamination) and call a professional. And keep in mind that mold can show up in hidden areas like inside walls or under floors, so this inspection and water damage repair will be ongoing.

If you’ve just experienced a water event, you might be wondering what to do next: Seeping water damage is progressive, pervasive and can mean valuable objects may become permanently damaged – especially if emergency response is delayed beyond the first 48 hours. When moisture seeps into items of value there are immediate steps that can be taken to reduce the amount of long-term damage that results.


Part of drying a house and cleaning it is knowing what you are doing, not learning on the job. Our team is local, understands the soil and water tables of Virginia, but using national standards. We’ve got thousands of happy customers in Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC, and if you look through our testimonials we probably have one from your town. We’re a hometown team, so your neighbors are our neighbors.
No type of flood damage, no matter the source of the water, is covered by standard homeowners policies. Flooding, for example, can occur from storms, over-saturated ground, overflowing or surging bodies of water such as rivers, ponds, lakes and oceans. You may be able to purchase a separate flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program.
In addition, it’s important to have a working flashlight and turn off all water and electrical sources within the home, says Dr. Maurice A. Ramirez, author of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Disaster Preparedness.” Even if the power isn’t operational, it’s a good idea to go to your fuse box and turn off the main, plus all of the individual fuse connections. That way, if the power is reactivated, you’re not at risk for mixing standing water and electricity.

Wear a respirator or a facemask rated for black mold spore protection, and cover arms, legs and hands to avoid contact with mold spores. Use soap and a sponge to remove visible mold. If the moldy area is dry, lightly spray with water, as this will reduce the incidence of airborne mold spores during cleaning. Next, use commercial black mold removal products, which can be found in most hardware or home repair stores, to disinfect the moldy areas, in addition to any adjacent areas. If you use bleach, make sure it won't discolor the material or surface. Place all sponges, equipment and other materials used in cleaning in a heavy duty garbage bag, and if possible, remove the bag through an nearby exit as opposed to the main house, to avoid distributing mold spores.
Even a competent DIYer should have a qualified professional assess the damage first — making sure no part of the cleanup is missed. Before doing anything, check with your insurance company — they may require a licensed assessment. Don't wait. As soon as you detect any damage, call a professional. With time, each class and category quickly degrades into something worse.

Category 3 Water - Known as "black water" and is grossly unsanitary. This water contains unsanitary agents, harmful bacteria and fungi, causing severe discomfort or sickness. Type 3 category are contaminated water sources that affect the indoor environment. This category includes water sources from sewage, seawater, rising water from rivers or streams, ground surface water or standing water. Category 2 Water or Grey Water that is not promptly removed from the structure and or have remained stagnant may be re classified as Category 3 Water. Toilet back flows that originates from beyond the toilet trap is considered black water contamination regardless of visible content or color.[6]
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