Information on what to do?
If you are one of several thousand homes that received flood damage in their basement from the massive rain storm on July 8, 2013, then you need to know the following:
First, let us say how sorry we are that you are going through this. You will possibly have some difficult days ahead trying to dry out your home and dealing with the insurance company and contractors.
Most flood restoration companies will be very difficult to get a hold of and they will likely be very busy. Also the insurance adjusters will likely also not be able to visit your home for the next few days even weeks in some cases.
The most important thing to do at this point is…
- Document the damage as best as possible with lots of pictures. Take an inventory of what areas and what contents are affected by water.
- Trytodetermineifthewaterdamagewasthroughthefoundation,throughthe drains, through the sanitary drains or toilets, or a combination thereof.
- Someinsurancepoliciesdonotcoveryouforseepagesocheckyourinsurance policy and speak to your insurance company before you do anything.
- The clock is ticking! You need to dry out the basement as fast as possible before mould growth begins. Generally, your have roughly 48 to 72 hours to do this. Any contents or surfaces that remain wet after 72 hours could begin to grow mould. Should this occur, you should get the help of a professional mould remediation contractor.
- If the water damage was through toilets or sanitary drains then the water and all surfaces it has come in contact with could be contaminated with E.coli and harmful bacteria. These will be grossly unsanitary. This will need to be removed and disinfected properly by a professional restoration contractor following the IICRC S-500 Standard and Guideline for Professional Water Damage Restoration. Be careful not to cross-contaminate other areas.
- If the water damage was through the foundation or storm sewer without the possibility of containing fecal matter from sanitary drains or toilets, then the removal can be done without disinfection in most cases. Be careful if you have a mould issue then you could be spreading mould spores if these areas are removed or disturbed without protecting the rest of the home. In most cases, this should be done by a professional mould remediation contractor following the IICRC S-520 Standard and Guideline for Professional Mold Remediation.
- Carpets and underpad that received water damage need to be dried ASAP. The carpet should be rolled back. The underpad must be removed and the carpet should be dried with blowers and dehumidifiers. If it’s humid outside keep windows closed. If it is less humid outside, open windows. This helps dry things out faster.
- All baseboards in the affected area must be removed to avoid trapping of moisture leading to mould growth. In some cases walls must be cut in order to dry out the wall cavity. Careful, if there could be mould from a past leak or if mould is visible this can not be done without protecting unaffected areas and should be done by a professional.
- Wet contents must be dried ASAP. Do not place them in plastic bags or containers unless you are sure they are completely dry.
- Do not use blowers or fans to dry out the building without also using dehumidifiers as you could begin to grow mould on surfaces from the elevated humidity.
- Try to isolate the wet areas from the dry areas with well sealed plastic sheeting (available at Home Depot, Lowes, etc). This will seal off the room or rooms affected by water damage so you can dry these rooms only. This will make the areas that are wet easier to dry since there will be less square footage that the dehumidifiers have to deal with.
- Lastly, if you have concerns…CALL US at (416) 414-5690. We will be happy to give you as much advice as possible over the phone. We can also do a moisture and/or mould assessment to assist you through this difficult time.
Please note: We will not be responsible in any way for any advice provided in this bulletin or over the phone. This serves as a general guide only. You are advised to consult your insurance provider and/or a professional water damage restoration for further advice. Your situation may differ significantly from the brief overview provided above and any advice provided may not pertain to your water damage or mould growth issue.
Any reference to health symptoms or information dealing with health is not meant to serve as medical advice or a medical diagnosis in anyway. Should you experience health issues, changes in your health or believe there may be danger to your health, it is strongly recommended that you leave the building and contact your physician immediately.
We recommend that all work to be performed be carried out by qualified personnel in accordance with all municipal, provincial and federal laws as well as in accordance with industry accepted water damage and mould remediation guidelines such as but not limited to the IICRC S-500 and IICRC S-520.
No oral representation made by any person shall modify or amend this report. Should conditions become apparent that differ significantly from our understanding and conditions as presented in this report, we request that we be notified immediately to reassess the conclusions provided herein.
The client shall not hold or cause to hold Haverkate & Associates Inc., its directors, employees or contractors liable in any way.