Water Damage in your Denver Home from Floods and Heavy Rains

Water Damage in your Denver Home from Floods and Heavy Rains

Posted by Brian Burke on Sunday, September 15th, 2013 at 12:57pm.

I have water in my Colorado home, My carpet is damp, What do I do? 

With the current flooding in the Denver Metro area I felt that as a Real Estate Broker, it is important that you know the facts about the ground water that has risen or run through communities in Colorado. It appears that the north Denver area and Boulder area is effected most by the heavy rains.

First our thoughts go out to those who have lost so much in the recent flooding over the past few days in Colorado. The call of the local Denver/Boulder neighborhoods are abound with generosity to help those in need.. I would say that Colorado is blessed with good people, however the United States of America as a whole is blessed with the "lets pick it up and get this taken care of," attitude!

The current flooding coming from the high water levels rising to the surface or over the ground is called a Category 3. I have included the IICRC S500 description of contaminated water below.

If you have any moisture in your home you may find that window wells, holes in the walls from cable tv and such and roof/flashing issues may have let water and or moisture in your home in places it never has gone before.  

Keep the water away from the foundation

It is very important that your downspouts from the rain gutters are not dumpling the water next to the home.You need downspout extensions and or concrete splash blocks to get the water coming off of the roof at least 5 feet away from the home to prevent water damage to your home’s foundation.

If you notice a putrid and or “musty” smell emanating from the carpeting after being wet or even damp for a few days is evident that there are food sources that have entered the home, these are fabulous breeding areas for many different species of mold. What you are smelling is the growth of the most basic of evolution, microscopic spores that breed life, morphing into things that could eventually create havoc within the human immune system….Mold!

Mold feeds on wood products, Plywood, Carpet, drywall, paper, framing materials, and most products that our lovely homes are made from.

 Mold begins growth at 36 hours the latest standard of the IICRC S500.

 It is important to note than once the mold spores dry they become airborne and spread via the life blood of a home , the HVAC system. Transference can happen via shoes, sock, clothing, and hair, these are all vehicles for spores that once airborne are subject to hitching a ride throughout the home as well.

This article is specifically regarding the carpeting, padding and drywall in the home of those affected and will be handling the issue themselves. I urge you to call professional help if you can not dry out moist areas yourself.

Category 3 - Category 3 water is grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic or other harmful agents. Examples of Category 3 water can include, but are not limited to: sewage; toilet backflows that originate from beyond the toilet trap regardless of visible content or color; all forms of flooding from seawater; ground surface water and rising water from rivers or streams, and other contaminated water entering or affecting the indoor environment, such as wind-driven rain from hurricanes, tropical storms, or other weather-related events. Such water sources may carry silt, organic matter, pesticides, sewage, waste, heavy metals, regulated materials, or toxic organic substances.

Special Situations - If a regulated or hazardous material is part of a water damage restoration project, then a specialized expert may be necessary to assist in damage assessment, and government regulations apply. Regulated materials posing potential or recognized health risks may include, but are not limited to: arsenic, mercury, lead, asbestos, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), pesticides, fuels, solvents, caustic chemicals, radiological residues. For situations involving visible or suspected mold, refer to IICRC S520 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation.

You may want materials tested by a professional for Lead and Asbestos if you are tearing out wet drywall.

Obviously there is so much massive damage that the professionals are backed up on getting to all of the homes. There is always a possibility that the drywall contains small amounts of asbestos, we realize that many affected will be removing these items themselves, use caution with dust masks and goggles. Clean up all drywall to avoid dust particles from the drywall flying through the home. 

Once the affected materials have been removed an anti-microbial disinfectant should be used to kill and curb any future growth. There are several professional cleaning agents available to use and many of the new products on the market are made from organic materials and called botanicals that are not as harmful to the living space.. This is not to say that many hospital grade disinfectants are bad, they work fabulous and technology for the development of these disinfectants has progressed significantly within the profession. These products have been in use for decades by professionals.

Sill plates are the 2 x 4 boards that are in contact with the cement, underneath these boards is the last place to dry and of course the hardest. Heated drying units will speed the process however any air movement is essential to make sure it is dry. A professional will have the proper moisture measuring tools that can tell whether you have reached the optimal standard for being dry. 

When it comes to wet crawl spaces, air movement is essential in keeping the mold at bay, the ground will be slow to give up the moisture and the crawlspace will remain wet and humid.

 That moisture in the air will permeate the wood sub floor and wood joists. It does not take long for the mold to grow and become a seriously expensive issue to clean up.

Area rugs can be saved; they need to be dried quickly to avoid mold growth. The dirt can then be beaten out and the rug cleaned.

 I don't want to drag this article out as I could expound on the subject for hours and we have a lot of work to do today. I feel it is important that the public be informed to the facts and the IICRC Standard S500 for Water Damage that the service professionals have been trained on as opposed to the many different opinions from those that are not informed.

As a Real Estate Broker I am well Educated on these Items from a long history or Construction and Property Management.  I urge ALL to consult professionals. The best thing to do now is dry up effected areas ASAP!

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Brian Burke | Broker | ePRO | Expert   | 303.955.4220 Office | 303.710.2609 Direct |  Brian@kennarealestate.com

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