Okay now when you think of water damage what is the first thing that comes to your mind? This will differ greatly depending on the individual and that individual’s personal preferences and current situation. If you are trying to get your cell phone to turn on but it will not because you dropped it in the toilet or the sink, then your cell phone has suffered from water damage.
So how would you go about fixing a cell phone suffering from water damage? I have no freakin clue I am a handyman from Florida and this is the wrong kind of water damage that I know anything about.
One thing that I tend to see a lot from being a handyman in a very populated apartment complex is mold, which if is not treated hastily it can cause some major damage to property and health, especially for women that are pregnant and for infants. Mold is a sign of water damage and must be treated by a professional immediately.
So how do you know that you have mold? Well for one you may start to pick up some allergic reactions…coughing and such. If you know of any water damage that has occurred in your home than that would be the first spot for you to look to see if there is mold anywhere in the area.
There are many ways to identify mold as through test kits and other means that are not recommended and I will not put on this blog. But if you suspect that you have a mold issue then you need to get rid of it immediately. I will cover mold up and down in future posts but for now I want to go over how to prevent mold, which ultimately leads to the answer that to prevent mold you have to prevent water damage.
How to Prevent Water Damage
I don’t mean to sound like a smart ass but the main places you need to be looking for water damage would be wherever water may be in the house. Now if a hurricane had came through your home or something similar like a flood, then your entire home will be suffering from water damage. I am not going to get into that as situations like those are handled by insurance companies such as flood insurance and hurricane insurance, which is something you should have if you have a home in Florida like I do.
I merely want to help you be aware of water damage and where it is that it could occur, and since I am from Florida, work here in Florida, and have spent 90% of my handyman career here in Florida, everything I am about to cover is from my personal experience. Not some crap that I read off another blog or hub page. I actually do this stuff for a living, I am a professional, well, I have been called one by a small handful of people on rare occasions so I will take that and stick to my story.
Roof leaks are a major cause of water damage in Florida. Good for me that I am a handyman and not a roofer. But this can be fixed by getting on the roof and seeing what is wrong, which is usually some loose shingles that just need to be replaced. If you have experienced water damage coming through the ceiling or the roof, you will more than likely see a yellow spot on the ceiling. The best thing to do whenever you have a leak in the roof, is to poke a hole in the ceiling, hell, poke a couple of holes.
Now why in the hell would you want to poke a hole in the roof when it is leaking or has been leaking? Because you do not want mold to form. By making an opening in a confined area like the space between either a story or the space between the roof and the ceiling, you are letting air in that confined space. And if you stick with me you will learn that water in confined places with no air circulation will cause mold in a 40 hours or so.
Look For Water Damage under Sinks, Garbage Disposals and Dishwashers
All it takes is a drip. If there is a drip then there will be another drip sooner or later which will lead to water damage. There may be an instance where a faucet has a drip, if this is in the sink the depending on the situation it may not lead to water damage. But if there is a drip that is under the sink from a loose connection, old and corroded garbage disposal, or loose or messed with, improperly installed plumbing fixture, then that will lead to water damage.
Under a sink, or most water damage that occurs from drips are minor. But one can be very serious. The minor part of the water damage would be the cabinets, if you have wood cabinets. Mold takes awhile to form in cabinets because of the thickness of wood and the fact that they are always open to air flow. But water will soften the wood and eventually rot, especially if this is a long term drip. A long term drip in my opinion is a drip that has been occurring for more than a day.
Flooding Can Cause Serious Water Damage
There are many reasons that flooding in a home may occur, some of these may be a broken toilet seal or even an air conditioning unit condensate line that is backed up. Most of the water damages that I see in the field that I work as a maintenance man is from water heaters. Most water heaters only have a life expectancy of about 20 years, and that is if you have one of the older models, the newer they are the less time it is that they last, as with most of modern technology.
So besides being installed by idiots, that is why many water heaters will leak is just because of corrosion or age. The fittings will not leak if they are installed correctly. Although I have seen some instances where old copper lines get pinhole leaks, which can lead to serious floods.
If you are suffering water damage on the carpet, you must examine how serious it is to know how to decide the best corrective action to take at the current time. If you put your put your foot on the carpet and it is squishy that means that the pad under the carpet is saturated with water. You will need a serious carpet extraction from a powerful vacuum to cure this. A wet vacuum may work to cure the problem in some cases.
Another solution that will work is to get a dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers take up the surrounding water better than wet vacuums do, but they will not extract water. Meaning that you need to get up as much water as you can from the carpet and the pad before using the dehumidifier on the carpet, this will make it less likely to suffer from water damage.
If you can pull the carpet back after that then do so as this will give the carpet pad the ventilation that it need to dry up from the water damage and prevent mold and mildew from growing.
If you have water damaged baseboards or drywall, and you can poke a screwdriver through it then that means that it is pretty bad. The best way to deal with this is to remove the water damaged drywall or baseboard, and then spraying it with some sort of mold killing spray, bleach will work but it is not recommended due to the health hazards that bleach produces, there are many other products that are out there that are much safer and will accomplish the same goal.
Bottom line, if you experienced any kind of water damage it is best to treat it as soon as you can. Mold can start to grow in as little as 48 hours from water damage, and I will be sure to cover that as mold is a whole new can of worms I am about to open to you.