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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How Do I Know if the Floodwater in My Home is Contaminated?

9/7/2020 (Permalink)

flooded room with green recliners and a coffee table Regardless of how flooding made its way into your living space, team SERVPRO can help. Call right away for water removal efforts.

SERVPRO technicians can test and remove flooding in your Monroe home

When flood water enters your Monroe home, it brings a distinctive, musty odor. However, there is no way to ascertain if the water contains contaminants visually, and groundwater can contain a host of them, including sewage, chemicals, bacteria, and pathogenic elements. SERVPRO technicians have access to equipment and the training to scope the work-site through the use of:   

  • Inspection cameras and borescopes to look within cavities for contamination without the need to remove structural pieces  
  • Luminometers test surfaces for organic contamination  
  • The use of a local, certified industrial hygienist (IH)

How Can Flood Damage Get Cleaned Safely?  

SERVPRO technicians use a wide array of extraction equipment to clean up flood damage in Monroe properties. They test the water on arrival to determine the extent of the existing contaminants or harmful elements in the water and apply the appropriate water treatments to make it safer to handle during the mitigation process. 

The amount of water on-site can determine, in part, the type of removal equipment that the techs choose to use. Frequently, the flood water recedes before the cleanup starts; however, elevated moisture levels remain under flooring, behind walls, and migrate downward once in the home. The techs use their moisture detection equipment such as:   

  • Penetrating and non-penetrating moisture meters
  • Infrared cameras to locate water within the property without opening walls 
  • Thermo-Hygrometers to measure water vapor in the air

When chemicals, pathogens, or sewage are present in the water in the home, the techs adhere to the highest safety standards and wear head to toe protective gear. This type of water damage needs disposal as a biohazard, and the techs observe local regulations to make sure they work within municipal guidelines.

What is a Controlled Demolition?  

Flood Water in your Monroe home can be one of the most destructive events that can happen, and unfortunately, if the water shows through testing to contain contaminants, anything that absorbs the water requires disposal. Typical things that need removal in this way are sheetrock that wicks moisture into walls or ceilings on lower floors where the flood water enters the home. The techs try to remove the least amount necessary by measuring just over the waterline by several inches and cutting above it.

Although carpet usually has restoration potential after exposure to water damage that begins cleanup within 24-hours. The absorption of floodwater generally renders the carpet without the possibility of reuse in the home. There is no way to bring it to a sanitized level after exposure to contaminants such as harmful bacteria or sewage so that it can remain in the home. The techs extract the water and cut the carpet into strips for disposal.

SERVPRO technicians may be able to restore hardwood flooring on a case by case basis. Determinants for restoration include the materials used in making the floorboards, the length of time the boards got exposed to water and if warping, cupping or crowning has occurred.  After extraction, the techs use a combination of air mats and air movers to force the boards.

Under all types of flooring, there can be a subfloor or concrete slab substrate. When seepage from flood water occurs, the carpet, tile, or wood floorboards require removal to dry the area underneath.

Prevention of Mold  

The techs undergo extensive training in mold remediation and know the early warning signs of a mold infestation. During the cleanup and restoration services from floodwater, they keep a careful watch on the structure for signs that spores have germinated and spread. The techs have access to professional-grade antimicrobial cleaning solutions to wipe down surfaces and discourage mold growth.  

In situations where colonies established themselves due to the presence of high moisture conditions from the floodwater, the techs can dry the mold and remove it using manual methods such as scrapers and hand vacuums fitted with HEPA filtration. For large-scale removal, particularly on wood beams and studs, the use of soda or ice blasting is beneficial. Afterward, the use of a sealant ensures no return of the problem.  

Final Steps For Restoration  

Before the needed repairs can happen, the property needs to get verified as dry through the use of the scoping equipment as well as odor-free. SERVPRO techs have a diverse selection of odor control methods depending on the level of scent control needed. It is not uncommon for a multi-layered approach to get used to ensure that both airborne and embedded odors get eradicated. 

When flood damage is the problem, call SERVPRO of Monroe / West Monroe at (318) 345-5121. The certified, trained technicians arrive promptly and are available 24/7 to handle any amount of floodwater in your home.

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