Flood Damage Preparedness

Water can enter a home or business fast.  Worse, flood damage cleanup can cost a home owner tens of thousands of  dollars and businesses millions in damages!








Water leaks can happen anywhere in the house, but they occur most frequently in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry rooms. Flood damage preparedness is crucial to protecting your home or business. Here are several common sources of water damage in your property. 

  • Kitchen Dishwasher – Periodically check under the sink to see if the hose connection to the water supply line is secure and is not leaking. Check around the base of the dishwasher for evidence of leaks. Leaking connections or hoses can cause damage to building materials including warping or soft flooring materials, water damage and discoloration to nearby cabinets and even mold. Consider hiring only  IICRC WRT Certified Technicians to perform broken dishwasher line clean-ups and structural drying services!
  • Refrigerator – If your refrigerator has an ice maker, check the hose connection to make sure it is securely attached to the water supply line. The wet spot you see on the floor near the refrigerator may be melted ice cubes or it may be a crimped ice maker line about to burst.  Water damage caused by a broken refrigerator line can be extensive.  Consider hiring only  IICRC WRT Certified Technicians to perform broken refrigerator line clean-ups and structural drying services!
  • Sink – Re caulk around sinks and pay attention to slow-draining pipes. This may indicate a partially blocked drain. Check the pipes under the sink for signs of water leaks.  Consider hiring only  IICRC Certified Technicians to perform sink back-up clean-ups and structural drying services!
  • Bathroom Showers and Bathtubs – Discoloration or soft areas around floors and walls near showers or bathtubs may be your first indication there is a leak. Check caulking at joints where the walls meet the floor or the bathtub, looking for cracks or mold. If walls around the bathtub are soft or there is visible mold , consider hiring only  IICRC AMRT Certified Technicians to perform repairs.
  • Toilets – Placing inappropriate objects or too much toilet paper in the bowl can accidentally clog toilets, especially low-flow toilets which are now required in homes. Hanging bowl deodorants are frequently the culprits. These objects can lodge deep in the plumbing system, and can block the line or create an obstruction that grease and other materials can cling to – eventually causing blockage. In addition, some chlorine tablet cleaners may corrode some of the internal components, eventually leading to a leak. Toilet back-ups may contain dangerous bacteria.  Consider hiring only  IICRC WRT Certified Technicians to perform toilet back-up clean-ups and structural drying services!
  • Laundry/Utility Room Washing Machine – Inspect washing machine hoses regularly for wetness around hose ends and signs of bulging, cracking or fraying. Replace the hose if a problem is found or every three to five years as part of a proactive maintenance program.  Consider hiring only  IICRC WRT Certified Technicians to perform broken washing machine clean-ups and structural drying services!
  • Air conditioning – At the start of the cooling season, have the A/C system serviced by a qualified contractor. Make sure their service includes inspecting and cleaning the air conditioner condensation pan drain line to keep it free of obstructions. Change the air filters on a regular basis.
  • Basement sump pump – Sump pump systems assist in keeping unwanted water out of your home. Battery-operated back-up sump pumps can offer a degree of protection against power failure or failure of the primary pump. A generator can also be used to power the pump in case of a power failure. Test the sump pump before the start of each wet season to ensure it is in working order. Sump pumps are not intended to last more than 10 years and must have some components replaced or serviced within those 10 years. Sump pump failures are common and should be handled by a plumbing professional.  If you experience a sump pump failure consider hiring only  IICRC WRT Certified Technicians to perform structural drying services!
  • Water Heater – Most water heaters last 10 to 15 years. Wet spots on the floor or a rusted tank may signal a problem. Hot water heaters should be installed on the lowest level of the home and always located next to a floor drain. If installed above or adjacent to finished spaces, the hot water heater should be placed inside a drain pan with the drain pan piped to the floor drain.  Consider hiring only  IICRC WRT Certified Technicians to perform structural drying services!


  • Leaking roofs, poor drainage, and clogged gutters and downspouts can lead to significant water damage inside your home.
  • It is best to disconnect garden hoses from all spigots before the start of winter, fill in any low spots around the house so water drains away from the foundation, repaint wood siding as needed, and inspect caulking around windows and doors. Replace any caulking where it is cracked or deteriorated.
  • Roof – keep valleys, gutters and downspouts free from buildup of leaves, twigs and other litter that would prevent proper drainage. Proper roof and eave ventilation may help extend the life of the roof by reducing the buildup of heat and moisture in the attic. Preservatives available for some types of roofs may help limit weathering effects of moisture and retard growth of molds and mosses. Avoid walking on a roof to limit wear and tear. Only necessary repairs or inspections should warrant walking on the roof. Keep trees trimmed to prevent them from rubbing against the roof or from providing excessive shade.

Watch for:

  1. Missing, curling, cupping, broken or cracked shingles.
  2. Damage or deterioration around the flashing at chimneys, vents and other junctions.
  3. Damage or deterioration in valley areas of the roof.
  4. Water stains on your ceiling. If possible, check your attic around flues, plumbing vents, and chimneys.
  5. Pooling or ponds of water that fail to drain from flat or low sloped roofs may indicate low areas and inadequate drainage.
  6. Make sure downspouts are extend several feet away from the house so water is carried away from the foundation.


Water Damage is classified by Category and Class of damage:


The Category of the water loss is based on the waters point of origin:

  • CATEGORY 1 – Originates from a source that does not pose a substantial harm to humans. ( Water from faucet, garden hose, water heater, water supply line etc. )
  • CATEGORY 2 – Contains an elevated level of contamination and has potential to cause discomfort or sickness if consumed by or exposed to humans. ( Water from dishwasher, washing machine, laundry tub, water softener etc. )
  • CATEGORY 3 – Contains pathogenic (disease causing) agents and is grossly unsanitary.”Black water” includes sewage and other contaminated water sources entering or affecting the indoor environment. ( Water from drains, rivers, lakes, oceans etc. )

If Category 2 water is not removed promptly from the structure, it may be reclassified as Category 3.


The Class of the water loss is based on the size and items affected:

  • CLASS 1 – Slow rate of evaporation – (Least amount of water) Water losses that could affect only part of a room or area; or even large losses containing low permeability/porosity materials (e.g. plywood,particle board, structural wood, VCT, concrete.) Little or no wet carpet and/or cushion is present. Minimum amount of moisture can be held in the remaining structural materials.
  • CLASS 2 -Fast rate of evaporation – (More water than class 1) Water losses that affect the entire room of “carpet and pad.” Water has wicked up the walls as much as 24 inches. There is moisture remaining in structural materials (e.g. plywood, particle board, structural wood, VCT, concrete.) Due to the amount of water held in dirt or mud, Crawl spaces in most circumstances, will also fit under Class 2.
  • CLASS 3 – Fastest rate of evaporation – ( Most amount of water) Water may have come from overhead. Everything is wet. Must have carpet and pad. Ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet, cushion, and sub floor in virtually the entire area are saturated.
  • CLASS 4 – Specialty Drying Situation- ( Same amount of water as a Class 1 ) These losses involve wet materials with very low permeability/porosity ( e.g. hardwoods, sub floor, plaster, brick, concrete, stone ) Class 4 differs from a Class 1 due to the deep pockets of saturation that require the use of a desiccant or low grain dehumidifier to achieve the low specific humidity. Even then, the Class 4 drying job will take longer to dry than a typical Class 1.


Indoor water destruction encourages the growth of bacteria, which are disease-causing pathogens and allergens!

When flooding occurs a quick reaction to seepage, spillage or backups can save your valuable property from direct water damage, as well as protect your family or other occupants from harmful contaminants. Immediate response to a water emergency saves time and money and protects property and health.

A Professional Consultant can immediately assess the loss, then bring in the contractor to remove harmful substances, salvage and restore valuable property and sanitize all surfaces and systems to remove raw sewage and dangerous organic contaminants.

When your building is contaminated with sewage backing up from the septic lines or from flooding that involves sewage or organic matter, as in the case of a river overflowing and invading your property, there is a serious threat to human health. Decontamination, which includes water extraction, cleaning, and disinfection, can be effective in reducing this particular potential health risk. Without appropriate action, extensive damage will occur immediately. Several days may elapse before the cause of the backup is determined, the problem is corrected and the flooding subsides. This exposes your property to permeation and contamination and leads to the growth of potentially disease-causing bacteria, which may pose a serious health risk to occupants of the building.

The process for restoring a loss that has occurred due to sewage back-flow is handled much differently than a fresh water situation.

• We assess the damage and clean up the problem by completely sanitizing and decontaminating the surfaces, structures and systems.

• Everything is cleansed properly and residue and microbial contaminants are effectively removed.

• We completely remove all water used for cleaning.

• All contaminated and saturated materials are disposed of appropriately.

• Technicians are equipped with proper protective coverings to avoid “cross- contamination” foot traffic or material handling.

The following are considered sewage back-flow:

• Rising water from rivers or streams

• Sump Pump Failures

• Floor Drain Backups

• Flooding of Sea Water

• Septic tank back-flows

Exposure to sewage and contaminants poses serious consequences. Sewage water contains pathogenic, fungal, and viral contamination that is a severe health risk. Health and safety are our primary concern. Failure to remove sewage will result in a dangerous environment.  Emergency response teams are armed with extensive Personal Protective Equipment (P.P.E) to protect themselves against exposure. After all safety precautions have been taken, removal of any and all porous material that have been affected occurs. Material includes carpet, wood, linoleum, plaster, and anything else that can absorb moisture. Non-porous material needs to be thoroughly rinsed with a biocide solution to kill remaining bacteria.