If you repair damage resulting from an appliance-related leak, you need to get a Certificate of Appliance-Related Water Damage Remediation (WDR-1). The certificate verifies that the damage was properly replaced or repaired and that any related physical damage was properly remediated, repaired, or replaced. If you don't have the repairs or remediation certified by a WDR-1, an insurance company can deny you coverage in the future based on previous appliance-related damage or claims.
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.

Even if the water in your home is clear, it could be contaminated by sewage or household chemicals. Ramirez recommends wearing waders, hip- or waist-high waterproof boots. In addition, wear rubber gloves to remove water-damaged possessions and to avoid contaminants, Ramirez notes. Be sure to throw out any food that may have come into contact with flood waters. FEMA recommends boiling water until authorities declare the water supply is safe.


The average homeowner spends $7.00 per square foot for professional cleanup. That does not include the amounts for repairing and replacing items. Typically, anything that can absorb the contaminants in black water should be replaced, including upholstered furniture, beds, carpets, clothing, and all permeable building materials. Replacement is often more cost effective than restoration.

Our technicians are certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), which is the hallmark of professional knowledge in the cleaning and restoration industry. You will be able to tell the difference: Rainbow International emergency water damage crews use state-of-the-art equipment and we employ Rapid Structural Drying techniques to dry your structure as quickly and completely as possible.
If the flood was serious enough for you to leave your home, be sure you stay safe upon your return. The Federal Emergency Management Agency warns that you should check for any visible structural damage, such as warping, loosened or cracked foundation elements, cracks, and holes before entering the home and contact utility companies if you suspect damage to water, gas, electric, and sewer lines.  
Cut through the paper facing of the drywall sheet with a razor knife. Cut along the drawn lines. Break the drywall along the face cut, and fold the drywall slightly to make a crease in the paper backing of the drywall sheet. Cut through the crease in the backing paper with a razor knife from the backside of the drywall sheet, and remove the unwanted portion of drywall. To make cuts that are perpendicular to each other, use a keyhole saw for the shorter of the two cuts, and then fold and cut the drywall.
All severely warped wood (particularly flooring), rotting wood and wood that has developed mold/mildew problems will need to be replaced. Pry apart damaged boards and thoroughly clean beneath them before replacing them. And if the wood is a structural component of your house, you must be very careful when replacing it so that the structure has the right support during and after the water damage repair project.

We offer mold prevention services, as any place in your home that has constant moisture is susceptible to mold growth. Mold is often detected by smell, but the problem of mold goes far beyond the odor it creates. Mold creates an unhealthy environment, and many people have severe allergic reactions when they are in the presence of mold or mildew. Any mold that is in your home now must be completely eliminated. More importantly, we can also remove the source of the moisture that allows the mold to begin thriving in the first place. It does no good to get rid of the mold if the conditions remain that allow it to grow again. We can do a thorough assessment of your home and advise you on the best course of action.
Throughout the drying process, crews will stop by periodically to monitor how the drying is progressing. Specifically, they monitor the dehumidifiers’ intake and output temperatures and humidity levels to make sure the dehumidifiers aren’t putting wet air out into the room. They’ll also go back and take readings of the same surfaces they did during the inspection phase. As rooms are declared dry, crews will often move equipment around to other areas of the home that are still wet.
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.

Structure is a word I don’t care for, but it seems to be required in most everything we do. In mold design, mold building, molding parts, and, yes, in mold repair. As a kid, my dad used to “structure” any rebuilding work on 19th-century gasoline engines that my brothers and I did. Coming home one day to find his super-organized shop littered with pistons, flywheels, crankshafts, and other miscellaneous engine parts and tools, he “structured” an immediate change in our work habits. After that painful experience, we did not have the freedom to just tear into the old engines without first clearing with him our plan for the day—which meant we would always be tested as to what we thought a good rebuilding sequence should be, based on what we know about a particular engine. It took a few rebuilds to appreciate the value of a structured sequence.
Gray water contains a significant level of contamination and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if consumed by or exposed to humans. Gray water may contain chemicals, bio-contaminants (fungal, bacterial, viral, algae), or other contaminants. Examples include: discharge from dishwashers or washing machines, overflows from washing machines, overflows from toilet bowls with some urine (no feces), sump pump failures, seepage due to hydrostatic pressure, broken aquariums, and punctured water beds. Gray water that remains untreated for longer than 48 hours may escalate to Category 3.
Remove all of the drywall from the wall if the wrong type of drywall was initially installed. On rare occasions, mold damage results from using the wrong type of drywall for a particular application. The two most common causes of mold damage, not created by water leaks, are drywall installed behind tile, or regular drywall installed in a bathroom instead of mold resistant drywall.
Ceilings exposed to water damage are more at risk due to gravity: You don’t want them sagging or collapsing. So, remove affected ceiling panels or boards first. If the ceiling leak is caused by a roof problem, it’s important to find the true source of the leak, which may be somewhere far removed from the water stain. And take this time to make sure the water caused no structural damage to beams or rafters. You can contact professionals to find out what replacing a water damaged ceiling repair cost job runs.
Position the drywall section in the opening, and use a helper to hold the new drywall in place. Install fasteners through the drywall into the wall or ceiling framing. You can use drywall nails or drywall screws. Screws are better because they cause much less damage to the internal structure of the drywall sheet during installation. Install fasteners every 9 inches on the perimeter, and every 12 inches in the field. If necessary, use a piece of plywood or one-by lumber for a backing and fastening surface behind any drywall edges that don't fall over framing.
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.

If you’ve recently experienced a flood or pipe burst and have water damage in your home, you’re probably wondering “what happens now?” The first, and most important, step when dealing with water or flood damage is to stop any active leaks in the home. This can be done by shutting off the home’s main water supply. If you don’t know how to shut off your home’s water supply, call a professional plumber or your local water supply company for assistance. Once any active leaks have been addressed and all water has been turned off, it’s imperative you call a professional to start the water damage cleanup process as quickly as possible to minimize damage.

All water damage restoration jobs are unique and the amount of work required for each depends on a variety of factors such as the amount of area in the home that’s been damaged and how long the water has been present. Once a professional water damage cleanup vendor arrives and has a chance to inspect the home, they’ll be able to put together a detailed project timeline specific to your job. In the meantime, we’ve listed the eight common phases that occur during the water damage restoration process and what happens in each, so you’ll know what to expect.
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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