5 Safety Tips to Prevent Water Damage in Your Home – Our Guide

Spring is famous for having unexpected weather conditions. When spring weather starts to warm up, spring thaw occurs, and it often leads to many problems. Leftover snow and ice, including the frozen ground, start to thaw out as the temperature rises. This spring thaw results in excess water that could lead to in-home flooding, water damage, or any other problems around your home. Don’t let spring thaw create more damage to your home.

Below are five tips that you can follow to protect your home against flooding:

1. Clear your roof

After a long winter, snow can accumulate on your roof. Once the temperature increases, this snow buildup can create a high amount of water on your roof. This excess water can loosen shingles, overflow gutters, and in worse cases, cause flooding inside your home. These situations will affect the ceilings, walls, and installations.

To prevent the formation of ice dams, it is important to clear your roof of ice and snow before they melt. The ice dams that are found at the edge of the roof happen when the snow melts on the warmer portion of the roof. You will know this when you see icicles forming in that area. When water gets accumulated in the ditch, it can cause rook leaks, which may require a comprehensive and expensive water damage repair.

2. Clean your gutter and gutter systems

Water, debris, and ice can accumulate in your drainage, causing blockages. Before the snow and ice melt, make sure to have your gutters and downspouts cleaned and cleared of any dirt and debris. Check as well that the melting snow is drained properly. To reduce the risk of water damage, install an additional downspout extension to make sure that all the excess water escapes far away from your foundation or the basement.

3. Fill in cracks and look for signs of mold

Windows, walls, ceilings, and doors can also suffer from water damage over time, especially after the winter season. Poor air circulation and damp weather conditions are the main reasons for water damage in these areas. You will need to patch up cracks in the drywall, replace seals of chaulking around windows and ceilings, and do some early spring cleaning. If you see molds, contact a professional water damage and flood restoration company like Pride Restoration of NC to remove these toxic molds in your home.

4. Inspect your property

Sometimes, what you don’t realize is that the slope of our property is directing water straight into your homes due to heavy rain or snow. Most water damage and property flooding can be prevented by having your lot grading checked and taking the needed steps to alter the slope to make sure that water is directed away from your property.

5. Consider flood insurance

Most homeowners skip flood insurance, thinking that their homeowner’s insurance will sufficiently cover flood damage. The truth is, most home insurance does not cover flood and water damage. Start doing your research and look for a suitable flood insurance company for your needs. This ensures that no matter what happens, your home is protected against any type of flood damage.

These simple tips will help protect your home from the possible water caused by the spring thaw. If you experience flooding or water damage in Wilmington, contact Pride Restore NC today!

Tips to Avoid Health & Safety Hazards After a Home Flood – What to Know

The hazardous effects of a flood to the household last more than one night. It takes days, weeks, or even months to eliminate health and safety hazards due to heavy flooding totally. The presence of floodwater puts the household at several risks, such as bacterial or mold infections and electrical hazards.

Listed below are some helpful safety tips to avoid hazards after encountering a flood:

1. Throw away any food or medicine that is exposed to floodwater

Floodwater is more than just rainwater. It probably came in contact with sewage and street water. After hours of being stagnant, bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella grow more rapidly in floodwater. That said, homeowners must throw away any food that has come in contact with floodwater, especially perishable ones like eggs or meat. Homeowners must also throw away any medicines, cosmetics, and other toiletries that have touched floodwater. They are at risk for contamination that can cause severe and permanent infectious and diarrheal diseases.

2. Check bottled or canned goods for possible contamination

The risk of contamination is not limited to food that is openly exposed to the water. Contamination also affects those that are kept inside a bottle, jar, or any container. This includes bottled sauces, pickles, and beverages. Homeowners must also be wary of canned goods and take note of visible dents in the can. This might be signs of possible holes that put them at risk of contamination.

3. Keep open wounds away from floodwater

Aside from the possibility of contamination through food and medicine intake, any contact with floodwater can cause bacterial diseases. It’s imperative to exercise proper hygiene by frequently washing hands with soap and water. Open wounds are at higher risk of soft tissue wound infection. Because of that, any cuts must be kept clean and covered with a waterproof bandage to avoid any possibility of dirty water exposure.

4. Eliminate any mold infestation in common home furnishings

Home floods cause common furnishings to soak up water that contains bacteria. After absorbing contaminated water for an extended period, these furnishings may develop a mold infestation. Mold starts to form within 24–48 hours after water comes in contact with surfaces, such as wallboards, plaster, wood, or flooring. Before moving back to the home after a flood, you must conduct a mold and water damage clean-up. Contact a professional damage restoration company to prevent mold from taking over basic home furnishings on your property. They assess the condition of prevalent home furnishings to check whether they can still be repaired or need to be replaced.

5. Avoid electrical hazards by checking electrical wirings

One of the most dangerous effects of a home flood is the risk of electrical hazards. Damaged outlets and appliances are at risk of malfunctioning, which results in causing electrical shocks or explosions. It is best to contact a professional electrician who checks the house’s electrical wirings and conducts the proper fixes.

Conclusion

After a flood, every household must take proper precautions against safety and health hazards. To prevent any bacterial or mold infections, as well as electrical hazards, contact a professional cleaning and restoration company for a thorough clean-up.

If you’re looking for water damage restoration in Wilmington, get in touch with us today to see how we can help.

Water Restoration Wilmington

4 Practical Steps in Spotting Water Damage – Our Guide

A house is considered as one of your greatest possessions in life, and purchasing a new home can even be such a significant investment. To protect your investment, however, you should always take good care of your house. This means that you need to be always on the lookout for possible household issues and address them as soon as possible before they get worse.

One household problem that is dreaded by most homeowners is water damage because residential water damage can be such a headache. If left unattended, water damage can negatively impact your house, causing many other complications and posing health risks to the occupants.

For this reason, it’s important to be wary of possible water damages in and out of your house. Below are four practical steps on how to spot water damage at home.

1. Examine the entire flooring.

The house flooring will always manifest signs of water damage, no matter what types of flooring you have. Make sure to check the entire flooring at home to see for possible signs of water damage. If you have a tile or wood flooring, look for cracked, buckling, or warped flooring. If you have a carpet, on the other hand, examine for damp spots, gradual rises, soft spots, or the smell of mold and dampness.

2. Check for visible stains.

Water stains are some of the most obvious signs of water damage. You can check for stains on the floor around the bathtub, toilet, or sink, as well as on ceilings and walls. Also, be wary of cracks in the drywall or areas that appear swollen. Lastly, peeling paint is another indication of loose water within wall spaces. Overall, unusual stains may indicate a possible leaky pipe or drain inside the wall.

3. Make sure to inspect outside.

While checking the interiors of your home is the most practical step, observing the exterior of your house also says much about possible water damage. First, check the pools of standing water that can indicate poor drainage in the yard. Second, inspect gutter spouts that aren’t transporting water far enough from the house or leaky rain gutters because both can compromise the foundation of your house. Lastly, be wary of common signs of water damage on the roof—pools of water, cracked, curled or missing shingles, or broken flashing.

4. Look for rust and mold.

Never miss out on some of the appliances or systems at home, which can show signs of water damage. First, check your water heater, and look for signs of rust on the tank or damp spots on the floor. A rusted tank can mean a slow leak, and corrosion around pipe connections can be caused by water seepage. Second, be on the lookout for mold growth caused by moisture at home. Know that mold and bacteria can grow in moist areas and even around stagnant water. As a result, they can produce a musty, unpleasant smell and can be very harmful to the health of those inside the house.

It’s possible that water damage may have already occurred without you knowing it. This is why you should check for early signs of water damage so that you’ll be able to spot the problem and address it immediately before it gets worse. Make sure to follow the steps outlined above because early detection can translate into an early solution.

If you are looking for water damage repair services in Wilmington, NC, get in touch with us today to see how we can help.

4 Benefits of Hiring a Water Damage Restoration Company – What to Know

You must seek immediate help if water has taken over your house after a burst pipe. This situation leaves you no option for pondering on whether you want to hire a water damage restoration company or perform the cleanup by yourself. There is no doubt that you’ll save more money when you go the DIY route. However, accomplishing the job the right way is another matter.

Water damage involves underlying chaos starting from water seeping through every crack to soak your floorboards, carpets, walls, and furniture. The damage worsens when not addressed quickly, and here’s where a water damage restoration company can help. 

Water Damage Restoration Benefits

Getting reliable, professional services ensures that they will conduct the restoration tasks correctly. However, before they proceed with the job, they will assess the damage first before finalizing the process that must be done to restore your home to its original beauty.

Likewise, they have the proper certification to facilitate the restoration job, which means that their credibility is on the line if ever they perform a shoddy task. Here are six benefits of hiring a water damage restoration firm.

1. Quick service

All it takes is one call, and a professional restoration company that deals with water damage will be on their way. The firm will send capable technicians to your home, and they will bring their top-notch training and advanced restoration tools to get the job done without any error.

2. Maintained health

Depending on the severity of water damage, microorganisms and contaminations are other prevailing conditions that you must deal with. These adverse situations can lead to severe effects like infection, disease, and parasites. Sewage and flood water are notorious for contaminants, and a professional water damage restoration company will be able to address the contaminated water itself and the related conditions. Since your health is their primary concern, the water restoration company will leave your home clean and sanitized.

3. Reduction of loss

Your home and the possessions inside will be severely affected by water damage, and it will only worsen until the flooding subsides. It is best to call the experts before the situation gets worse, as they can arrive within an hour. When they arrive, let them quickly address the situation to reduce restoration costs.

4. Handling insurance companies

Companies that deal with water damage can handle insurance companies. This benefit is worth mentioning because most homeowners don’t have experience in filing insurance claims. However, the need for it arises during instances of severe property damage. 

Unfortunately, the lack of experience and knowledge hinders homeowners from filing claims quickly. With the help from restoration companies, they can help file your insurance claim for water damage and work with the adjuster to keep the process going.

Your house will be dealt with efficiently when a professional water damage restoration company starts to work on your flooded residence. They will go through the cleaning process systematically and stop only when your home is free of contamination. Schedule a consultation with a water damage restoration company as soon as flooding becomes an issue.

If you are looking to hire a water damage restoration company in Wilmington NC, get in touch with us today! We’re happy to help.

Hurricane Florence Mold

What to Do if Your Home was Damaged by a Hurricane – Our Guide

Hurricanes, floods, and other storm surges can be devastating for your home and your wallet. Most are unprotected by flood insurance as standard insurance policies don’t shoulder the damages from natural disasters, leaving homeowners with a worn-down property and large out-of-pocket costs. 

Hurricane Florence alone demands a whopping $22 billion for property damage expenses, which emphasizes the importance of acquiring insurance claims to save you the trouble of covering for house repairs on top of the emotional toll. This begs the question, what do you do next when a natural calamity hits your home?

Flood Insurance 

Flood insurance can cover up to $250,000 worth of repairs for the property of a single-family home, while an extra $100,000 is given for personal possessions. It’s a different policy from typical homeowners or renters insurance as it is run by a separate insurer called the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). 

On that note, homes set in high-risk flood area are required by law to purchase flood insurance, though buying for moderate- to the low-risk areas are highly recommended for the benefit of your future needs. With that in mind, you can file for claims by following the steps below: 

Step #1: Document the Damage

Before anything else, be sure that your home is safe to enter before proceeding with the documentation. Once you’re sure that it is no longer a highly hazardous zone, take your time photographing the damages in every possible angle before you hire a clean-up crew to remove the leftover debris and flood. 

This is a crucial step as it will serve as your proof for making an insurance claim. Additionally, it will help you in cases where a contractor tries to take advantage of the charges for the damages or if an insurer clashes with your claims. 

Step #2: File for Insurance Claims as Soon as Possible

When dealing with the aftermaths of a hurricane, it’s best to initiate your claim sooner rather than later as there are tens of thousands of victims who will also file for a claim. Include the full documentation of your property’s damages and ask which insurance it falls under. After all, there are different policies to note. 

Wind damages, for instance, will fall under the homeowner’s insurance policy. Damages from regional floods, on the other hand, will be covered by your flood insurance policy. With that in mind, filing for insurance as soon as possible will ensure that the insurers have the time to assess your situation and get you started with the repairing process of hiring contractors. 

Other Notes

Ask Your Insurer Agent for Contractor Referrals

Finding the right contractor can be a daunting process, but you can fast-track it by asking referrals from your insurance company. They typically have a list of contractors on-hand, which will be favorable on your part as you can have peace of mind knowing that the recommendations will be reliable. Don’t forget to ask the insurer to sign a guarantee on the contactor’s work in cases wherein the initial repairs are not up to par with what was promised. 

In Conclusion

Dealing with the aftermath of natural disasters can be devastating for anyone. Preparing for the repair projects, scouting for the right contractors, and the process that follows can be time-consuming. Taking the extra mile to search your options, however, will be worth your time for the benefit of your home and family’s safety down the line.  

If you’re looking to fix your water damaged home in Wilmington NC, get in touch with us to see how we can help.

How To Winterize Your Home Wilmington NC

Winterize Your Home For Colder Weather

Take advantage of these cold weather tips for home:

Because Wilmington winters are relatively mild, many homeowners put prepping for the cold on the back burner. Unfortunately, that delay to winterize your home can have some expensive consequences when the temperature drops below freezing. Just one icy night can leave you with busted pipes, surprise flooding and thousands of dollars in water and mold damage. 

To fight off Old Man Winter this season, it’s time to place your other to-dos to the side and make protecting your pipes a top priority.

Five steps to winterize your home

Winter weather is the third biggest cause of insured catastrophic loses, right behind hurricanes and tornadoes. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the cold costs homeowners $1 billion a year in damages, with flooding from frozen pipes alone hitting $27,000 per claim on average. 

Reducing your risk of winter flooding requires just a few quick steps you can easily do over a weekend:

  1. Stop cold air from coming in. Frigid air can cause your pipes to freeze and eventually crack from the pressure, spilling hundreds of gallons of water into your home. Take a walk around your house and caulk any holes or cracks in the walls and foundation to keep the cold outside. Also, be sure to close off crawl space vents and cover any openings with insulation to prevent drafts.
  2. Suit up your pipes in winter gear. Wrap any accessible pipes in fiberglass or foam rubber insulation sleeves from your local hardware store, especially those in your attic or crawl spaces. If you notice any cracks in your pipes, it’s best to call a professional plumber to stop the problem from getting worse.
  3. Leave your cabinet doors open. In many kitchens and bathrooms, the pipes run along the exterior walls, making them more susceptible to the cold. The easiest way to prevent freezing is to leave any cabinet doors around the plumbing open, and on especially cold nights, let the faucets slowly drip to keep water moving.
  4. Disconnect your outdoor plumbing. While the temperature’s still on the warm side, don’t forget to disconnect garden hoses from the spigot and drain the water from the pipes. You can also purchase an insulated foam faucet cover or faucet sock from a home improvement store to add an extra level of protection. If you have a sprinkler system, be sure to turn off the valve, and if you can’t drain the system yourself, contact your irrigation company for assistance.
  5. Don’t be stingy with the thermostat. If you’re trying to save money by turning off your heat, you could end up with an even pricier problem on your hands. If you truly want to winterize your home, keep your thermostat at 55 degrees, even if you will be away from home for a few days, to ensure your pipes are warm and cozy.

Help for wintertime flooding in Wilmington

If you follow these cold winter tips for home, but still experience flooding from broken pipes thanks to an unexpected Arctic blast, contact the experts at Pride Cleaning & Restoration in Wilmington. Not only will we dry out your flooded rooms, but we’ll also restore them back to their original condition and remove any sign of mold growth. To learn more, contact the Pride team today at 910-507-2060.

Hidden Water Damage Wilmington NC

Do You Have HIDDEN Water Damage and/or Mold Problem?

How Do You Know for Sure You Don’t Have a Hidden Water Damage and/or Mold Problem?

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the families that have been greatly impacted by hurricane Florence. Our team has been involved in helping to move people out of their homes that have been even moderately damaged. In some cases, the initial inspection revealed only minor damage. We have been doing our due diligence and our years of experience in looking and finding hidden moisture behind baseboards, window and door casings, and insulation. We are discovering microbial growth due to wind-driven rain.

The longer you wait to inspect your home or property after you have received water damage to the exposed surfaces of the drywall, it will often dry out. Does this mean the insulation and the wood is also dry? Absolutely not! The inside of the wall cavities are not exposed to air. The moist conditions are perfect breeding grounds for mold development and wood rot.

What if this is not discovered at the time of your inspection with your insurance adjuster? You only claim the obvious damage that you and the adjuster can see. Remember, the adjusters are expecting YOU to point out any damage. They are not going to open up walls, remove baseboards, crown moldings, hardwood flooring, etc. Why is this? For one, your adjuster already has an overloaded schedule due to all the claims being handled. This is the reason you need to have a restoration company with expertise to know how to look for and find hidden damage working on your behalf now.

I often advise my clients that water damage plays hide and seek. Another example is there is always dumb water and smart water after storm damage. You will clearly see the dumb water. Where is the smart water? It’s hiding behind cabinets, under flooring, behind baseboards, in the insulation, etc. How much effort did you and your adjuster make to find and identify hidden damage? I advise my clients to be proactive and submit your concerns to your insurance company and adjuster,

There are many experienced and knowledgeable insurance adjusters who do a great job and want to go above and beyond to help their insureds. They are seasoned veterans and often have experience in construction. They understand there may be hidden damage and want to make sure the restoration company that has been hired by the insured can properly document the damage. We have seen a large number of claims that have been denied by FEMA due to the property owner failing to act to prevent further damage such as putting a tarp on the roof.

If you already had a restoration company out to your property, does this mean they discovered all the damage? That depends on how much experience the company and technician have. I have been called to inspect homes and businesses that were already dried out by other restoration contractors. The property owners were having health issues, had musty odors, and elevated humidity. Obviously, more work needed to be done. Don’t risk your family’s health or additional property damage by not getting your inspection by experienced, professional experts!

Hurricane Florence Mold

What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You and Your Home

When Hurricane Florence hit our area with record rainfall, 100+ mph winds, and spurned tornadoes, most of you had left the area. When you returned home you may have noticed a few shingles missing, maybe a piece of siding gone, etc., and you thought you had escaped serious damage. You possibly even filed a claim with your insurance company just to be sure. The adjuster came out to inspect your home and or business and maybe your insurance company has even sent you a check along with a breakdown of how much they determined you have in damage. All is good, right?  I’m sorry to say, not necessarily.

My wife and I just returned to the area on the first of November and rented the top half of a local beach house for a week. Before we booked, we asked the property manager if there was damage to the home. He said there were a few shingles missing, but the house was basically unharmed. He had actually found the shingles and had them put back on, and the place was in great shape. All was good.  

We walked in ready for a nice stay on the beach in a very cozy cottage and immediately knew this house had some serious issues. At first glance it looked great, but we are trained to notice the damage. I looked up, and there was separation above the windows, traces of mold around the air vent, and areas where the tape was separating from the drywall on the ceiling. These are all signs of hidden damage. These symptoms may not show up right away, but they start occurring after the water sits inside the walls and ceiling for a period of time. Unfortunately, it will only get worse.  

This house already has mold that is taking hold. There was only a tiny bit of mold showing on the ceiling next to this air vent. Twelve hours later, it was appearing on the front of the cover. I took out our thermo imaging camera and verified that there is hidden water throughout the house. The areas in blue indicate wet areas. The room looked normal, but there was definitely water sitting in the insulation. I took similar pictures in almost every room of this house. Did the property manager do anything wrong? No, but you don’t know what you don’t know.  

Unfortunately, this house is typical of what we are seeing in houses in the area. The wind driven rain came in at an angle, and water got into the structure of the homes. The problem is it can’t be seen by the naked eye, and you most likely aren’t trained to find the damage or have the tools to do so. Think of hidden water as a cancer in your home. It may look fine on the outside, but it is sick. NOW is the time to get it treated.    

Now is when you can file an insurance claim because the damage was caused by the storm. If you wait for months, the insurance company may question when the damage occurred, and that can seriously affect how you are covered. Insurance policies cover storm damage differently than they cover mold damage. Now is when we can bring your adjuster back out to see that the damage was more extensive than it first appeared. Now is when you can start the mitigation so the repairs can be started more quickly.    

If you suspect you may have hidden damage get it checked out by a qualified restoration professional with the tools and the experience to give you an accurate analysis of your home or building. Hopefully, they will tell you it is fine, but if not, they can help your home get on the road to recovery.