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How Long Does It Take to Dry Out Water Damage?

Water damage can lead to short- and long-term problems in your home. It creates risks for those living in the space, as well as for the home itself. It’s important to call in water damage professionals to deal with water damage immediately and prevent the problem from worsening. The first step is drying out the wet or damp areas that were exposed to water.

How long does it take for water damage to dry?

It depends on several factors, but in general, you can expect areas in your home exposed to water or moisture to dry in about five days. Sometimes it takes as little as two days to dry an area and other times it could take several weeks. Areas that are not that saturated with dryer air tend to be on the shorter end, while humid areas that have been fully saturated will stay wet longer. Professional water damage experts are able to speed the process and reduce the long-term damage with industrial tools.

It’s also important to realize that the drying out phase is only the first step in dealing with water damage. There are several other steps in the cleanup process. To prevent water exposure from creating long-term damage in your home, turn to Rapid Dry Restoration for professional cleanup.

How Do You Dry Water Damage?

Several methods are used to dry out water damage in a home.

The first step water damage professionals take is to identify the source and stop additional water from entering the space. Next, the cleanup process begins. The area must be deemed safe and children and pets need to be kept out of the area. There should also be no electrical risks.

At this point, we’ll assess the type of water that caused the damage. Was it clean, dirty, or contaminated?

Clean water, as long as there are no electrical risks, usually isn’t going to pose any kind of health problem. The next step in the cleanup can begin and we’ll dry out the area without concern for anyone’s health. But gray water could be risky to work with and black water most certainly is contaminated. There might also additional steps in the restoration process for gray and black water because your home has now been exposed to more than just water.

Drying Methods

Once we know the water poses no immediate health threats, we’ll determine the best drying method or methods to use. The options include:

  • Dehumidifying
  • Fan
  • Air Drying

For many homes, the best option is a combination of all three methods. This tends to speed drying time and ensures the least amount of long-term damage.

Keep in mind, just because you can’t see or feel water doesn’t mean the area is completely dry. There could be wetness in the walls which can lead to swelling and cracking and eventually mold growth. It’s also possible for wetness to seep down into the foundation of your home and cause mold to develop underground.

Assessing Water Damage and Finding the Help You Need for Water Restoration

Water damage in a home can be a simple matter – your sanitary tub clogs and overfills and water runs onto the floor and down the storm drain – or it can be more complex. More complex events would include a pipe bursting and causing several inches of water to flood a carpeted room. Or the sewer drain backing up due to a tree root blocking the water’s pathway out of your home and dirty toilet water flooding into your basement.

Some simple water damage issues might be easy enough for a homeowner to clean up without assistance, but anything beyond a mild problem requires professional help to avoid further damage.

Additionally, the location of a flood can create a problem because not all areas of your home are prepped to handle water exposure. We need to be concerned about where the water came from because there are far greater health risks with damage from dirty water than from clean.

Contact a professional water restoration company when dealing with any type of water damage that is moderate to severe. There are even instances when it’s better to call in a pro even if the damage is mild, depending on where the problem occurred and what caused it.

If you need to speak to someone about water damage in your home or you have a flooding emergency and need immediate service, contact Rapid Dry Restoration at 303.710.8423.

What are the Services Provided by Water Restoration Companies?

Proper and safe water restoration requires several steps. Although it might be possible to handle some of the cleanup and restoration process without professional help, it’s easier and safer to contact a professional water restoration company to avoid making the situation worse – and more expensive.

Not only can a professional help you deal with the immediate damage, but they are also able to provide long-term assistance and ensure your home or business is clean, healthy, and protected from future water damage risk.

What Do Water Restoration Companies Do?

There are several phases to the restoration process after water damage occurs and the best restoration companies handle all of them.

The first phase is removing the moisture and drying out the space. Many water restoration companies provide emergency service because it’s so important to eliminate moisture as quickly as possible.

Water damage restoration companies use professional tools to ensure the removal of the water and the drying process is as efficient as possible. They use a combination of wet/dry vacuums, industrial-sized fans, and dehumidifiers to remove all moisture from the space so the next phase of cleanup can begin. That phase begins after the immediate area, including any carpeting, is dry.

Water restoration companies make sure the drywall and floorboards have dried and that they were not damaged. If there is damage, replacement or repair is needed because they can warp and rot.

Moisture behind the walls and in the floor create concerns about mold, so professionals take the necessary precautions to prevent mold from developing after water exposure. The earlier these issues are addressed the better because, over time, mold removal becomes more extensive and costs a lot more.

What Should You Look for in a Water Restoration Company?

Start by assessing the basic information about a company before you make your choice. You need to know that they offer reliable customer service, have decent reviews from previous customers, and can be counted on to do the work and be professional.

Next, you’ll want to consider the specific services that are offered by the company. Some companies might offer far more than you need, while others won’t be able to handle your job if your home or business was exposed to extensive water damage.

Ideally, you’ll find a company that offers a range of services and can take the job off your hands completely. They’ll arrive in an emergency if needed, stop the damage from getting worse, and begin the drying and restoration process.

It’s also important to determine if the company offers sanitization services and mold remediation. These are important steps in the cleanup process. Some companies even offer basic renovation services. These extra services can be helpful because you won’t need to switch off to other contractors, but they aren’t necessary to make for a quality water restoration company.

Finally, you’ll want to consider the cost. In some cases, your insurance policy will pay for restoration services. Other times you’ll be paying out of pocket. Cost should never be the primary determining factor, but you should be wary of companies that charge far more or far less than their competitors.

If you need assistance with water damage restoration or you have questions about the process, we can help. Contact Rapid Dry Restoration at 303.710.8423 for more information.

Why Time is of the Essence in Water Damage

Many home and business owners don’t realize the time factor when dealing with water damage. After the initial damage, water invades and creeps into the home structure as time progresses. With each minute that passes, the water may affect carpet padding, the walls, hardwood floors, and even grout lines in tiles. Unattended water damage in the ceiling is even more damaging because this can lead to the collapse of the ceiling.

Aside from structural damage, water damage can lead to serious problems like poor air quality, growth of mold and mildew, humid atmosphere, and an unpleasant smell that permeates walls, floors, and ceilings. These conditions result in health hazards. More than that, when water sits for a long time, total reconstruction is often the only option left for homeowners and business owners.

In order to avoid further problems, it is important that you act quickly on a water damage problem and control the environment within the affected home or building.

Call in a Certified Water Damage Expert

The first thing you need to do is to call in a water damage restoration expert to do assessment of the affected area. The water damage restoration expert can fully determine the extent of the damage (where the moisture has gone, how damaged it is, etc). After the inspection and assessment, the expert can develop a comprehensive restoration plan. The plan should include determining which items are worthy of restoration, and which aren’t.

Control the Home or Building Indoor Environment

As water damage results in poor indoor environment, it is very important that you attend to this problem to avoid health hazards. You can limit the bad effects of water damage through controlling temperature, airflow, and relative humidity. An effective way to control these conditions, high moisture environment in particular, is to use damage restoration drying equipment like air movers and dehumidifiers. If these are not readily available and the water damage started within the last 24 hours, turn on the air conditioning if it’s available. If your furnace and A/C have not been damaged, you’re A/C is a large dehumidifier, so this can be used to assist in eliminating the high humidity.

Drying the structure using drying equipment often eliminates the necessity of replacing walls, carpet, hardwood floor, and other affected area, which can be expensive. More importantly, you remove the bad odor and stain caused by mold and mildew. If drying the structure is not properly done, these problems will come back after few weeks.

Although you can purchase drying equipment and other necessary water damage restoration equipment, your best option is to go with damage restoration professionals. These professionals are trained to handle your problem using state-of-the-art equipment.

What Is Involved with IICRC Certification

You’ve probably heard it many times before while looking for a cleaning or restoration company: “we are IICRC certified“. While the average consumer may find comfort in this phrase, what exactly does being IICRC certified mean? Does it contribute to the safety of your home or the efficiency of the work being done when you have a flooded room? Let’s delve a bit deeper into the myriad aspects that being certified entails to find out exactly what value it brings to the table.

IICRC stands for the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. Unlike many other industries, the water damage business is not strictly regulated by the federal government. This is both good and bad in some ways; while it allows smaller, family-owned companies to get their foot in the door, the lack of regulation also makes it possible for shady operators to do a poor job at their clients’ expense. When a restoration contractor is lower-quality, it’s usually impossible to tell until it’s far too late when the fans and dehumidifiers are set up in your home.
Originally established in 1972, the IICRC was first set up to regulate the quality of work performed by carpet and upholstery cleaners. Nowadays, it embodies all types of cleaning and restoration and is comprised of over 50,000 active certified technicians and over 6,000 certified firms worldwide. The IICRC offers multiple training courses and seminars which are required to be taken yearly by all certified technicians in order to maintain their status.

The courses offered at the IICRC cover a broad range of topics, ranging from technical aspects — such as how to extract water, studying the properties of moist air, optimal usage of equipment — to the wider aspects of the restoration business. Since there are many parts of a home that are interconnected, having a greater understanding of carpets, flooring and drywall is absolutely essential to understanding the most efficient ways to restore a flooded room in the most efficient way possible.

Let’s say you experience a flooded room due to a burst pipe and need someone out to your home immediately, and the first choices you come up with are a local company that isn’t IICRC certified and another one that’s farther out but is certified. The other company seems less appealing: not only would they take longer to come out, but would charge for trip fees and extra time spent. You hire the local company to come out instead, and within an hour they are set up at your home with dryers filling your room.

But as the days pass, you notice that the water isn’t fully dried yet. A musty smell starts developing in your house and you wonder if mold has started growing. Some of the carpet still looks wet, and other parts of the room appear dried but still have fans set up. The company you hired starts dragging their feet and when you ask them questions about what’s going on, they don’t sound very confident on the phone. After a few more days, you realize that the task of getting your insurance claim paid out has fallen square on your shoulders and that your home is still not dried yet.

This is one of the worst-case scenarios that can occur but when it comes to an uncertified company, is very much possible. Of course, working with an IICRC-certified water damage company is no guarantee of good customer service but due to the time and financial investment required to go through the training, the chances of the company being not only reputable but dedicated to client satisfaction is exponentially higher. Since the certification abides by the strictest guidelines, only companies interested in their long term success will take the time out to go through with them. This is the kind of dedication you would be looking for as a client; a little investigation and extra money can go a long way in saving you time and money when disaster strikes.

Of course, no one is under any obligation to go through a certified company, and in some rare cases where the damage is smaller, it may not seem worthwhile to do so. For example, a toilet tank overflow may only affect a small portion of your room, and since it’s the tank and not the bowl, the water involved is clean and non-contaminated. Would an IICRC-certified company be in your better interests? Yes, always. Would it be strictly necessary? Not always. If a company that isn’t certified but has a good reputation can get the job done for cheaper and less time, then they may just be the right people for the task. Just be aware of all the points mentioned earlier, as well as the risks involved. Be sure to ask questions and if the answers you receive aren’t satisfactory, then perhaps it may be a better idea to go certified after all.

Rapid Dry Restoration is one of the few fully IICRC-certified water damage companies in Longmont and Boulder. With over 15 years of experience in the cleaning and restoration business, Rapid Dry has an excellent reputation for high quality of work and second-to-none customer service. Rapid Dry provides complete restoration work from the initial dryout, to negotiation with the insurance companies so that clients are fully taken care of from start to finish with the least amount of hassle and headache.

Contact Rapid Dry anytime at 303-417-9000.

Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes are one of the most common and costliest property damage events during the cold winter months. In fact, a burst pipe can result in tens of thousands of dollars in damage. Fortunately, frozen pipes can be prevented quite easily and inexpensively.

Water freezes when heat in the water is transferred to subfreezing air. The best way to keep water in pipes from freezing is to slow or stop this transfer of heat. Ideally, the best way to protect pipes from subfreezing temperatures is by placing them only in heated spaces and out of attics, crawl spaces and outside walls. Unfortunately, this may not be a practical solution for existing homes. In the case of new construction, however, optimal pipe placement can be designed into the building.

Vulnerable pipes in existing homes should be fitted with insulation sleeves or wrapping to slow the heat transfer. It is important not to leave gaps in the insulation that expose the pipe to cold air. Hardware stores and home centers stock a variety of foam rubber and fiberglass sleeves, in various thicknesses.

Cracks and holes in outside walls and foundations near water pipes should be sealed with caulking to keep cold wind away from the pipes. Kitchen and bathroom cabinets can keep warm inside air from reaching pipes under sinks and in adjacent outside walls. It’s a good idea to keep cabinet doors open during cold spells to let the warm air circulate around the pipes.

Electric heating tapes and cables are also available to run along pipes to keep the water from freezing. These must be used with extreme caution; follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to avoid the risk of fire, and check to make sure the product conforms to UL 2049. Tapes and cables with a built-in thermostat will turn heat on when needed. Tapes without a thermostat have to be plugged in each time heat is needed, and may be forgotten.

Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes:

  • Install a reliable back-up power source to ensure continuous power to the building.
  • Insulate all attic penetrations.
  • Properly seal all doors and windows.
  • Seal all wall cracks and penetrations, including utility service lines.
  • Install insulation and/or heat trace tape with a reliable power source on various wet sprinkler system piping. This includes main lines coming up from underground passing through a wall as well as sprinkler branch lines.
  • Place a monitored automatic excess flow switch on the main incoming domestic water line to provide early detection of a broken pipe or valve when the space is unoccupied.
  • When away from home for an extended period of time, don’t set the thermostat at too low of a temperature. If you are not sure how low to set the temperature, consider shutting off the main water supply and draining the water system.

Open bathroom or kitchen faucets adjacent to outside walls to allow the water to slowly drip. This won’t necessarily prevent the pipe from freezing, but it will relieve excessive pressure to prevent the pipe from bursting, if it does freeze.

Water Is Everywhere

Water is a necessity in life, but it can also cause great problems.

Water is the most abundant compound on Earth’s surface, covering 70 percent of the planet. Roughly 70 percent of an adult’s body is made up of water and at birth, water accounts for approximately 80 percent of an infant’s body weight. Water is a necessity in life, but it can also cause great problems.

Water damage can lead to wood rot, peeling paint, insect infestation, and shorter lifespan of roofing and siding increasing maintenance cost.

The best ways to prevent water damage from rainwater and snowmelt:

  • Windows/Doors: Check for leaks around your windows and doors, paying extra attention near the corners. Peeling paint could be signs of water getting into the wood.  Discolored paint or caulking, swelling of the window or door frame could be signs of water damage.
  • Roof: Repair or replace shingles around any area that allows water to penetrate the roof sheathing. Leaks will most commonly be found around chimneys, plumbing vents and attic vents. To find the source of a ceiling leak, measure its location from the nearest outside wall and then locate this point in the attic using a measuring tape. Water may run along the attic floor, rafters, or truss for quite a distance before coming through the ceiling.
  • Foundation and Exterior Walls: Seal any cracks and holes in external walls, joints, and foundations. Ensure you have positive drainage away from your house.
  • Plumbing: Check for leaking faucets and dripping or “sweating” pipes. Inspect washing machine hoses for bulges, cracks or wetness around the connections. Replace them every few years or sooner if problems are found. Inspect the water heater for signs of rust or water on the floor.

Rapid Dry Restoration specializes in Water Damage Restoration.  Rapid Dry Restoration will go through the entire process of drying all the way to the rebuild.  We use cutting edge drying equipment and thermal cameras that show exactly where the problems are quickly focusing on detecting energy waste, moisture, and electrical issues.  It’s the most cost-effective and easy way to help save our customers money.  Other companies will try to increase the bill amount.  We accommodate the homeowner and insurance agent by cutting cost by using our thermal imaging cameras.

Winter is soon to be upon us and very quick!  If water damage is something you’d like to avoid at all costs, be sure to check out our article on frozen pipes –

Fire & Water Damage Insurance Claims

The “Advocate Approach” to customer satisfaction you need.

Large loss insurance claims that require the services of both an insurance restoration company and a general contractor can be a nightmare for many insurance agents and adjusters, as well as their claimants. This is primarily due to lapses in coordination, cooperation, and communication between the two companies and the insurer.

When there is a breakdown in these areas, the whole project suffers, causing significant delays, frustration, and extra costs. These issues all add up to an unsatisfied customer.

At Rapid Dry Restoration, we eliminate these issues through the implementation of our “Advocate Approach” to customer satisfaction. This integrated system combines the expertise of our property restoration and professional construction divisions to coordinate, facilitate, and schedule the project to expedite the claims process.

Our Advocate Approach provides:

  • Immediate response to loss
  • Courteous, compassionate service
  • Timely, accurate estimates
  • Transparent project status
  • Precise scope of work
  • Knowledgeable consulting
  • Excellent value
  • Phased reconstruction process
  • Reliable scheduling
  • Quality workmanship
  • Guaranteed completion date

Our systematic approach ensures consistent, quality, and timely communication throughout the restoration and reconstruction project, eliminating delays, mistakes, and cost overruns. A restoration project supervisor and a reconstruction project supervisor are assigned to each job site with the sole mission to provide open communication channels between both divisions, subcontractors, suppliers, and the customer.

When you have a restoration company and a general contractor on the same team; every aspect of a large loss restoration project, from assessment, to reconstruction, to the final punch list, runs fluidly through the system from one task to the next.

Contact us today to learn more about how our “Advocate Approach” is the fastest way to close insurance restoration and reconstruction claims, and get you back to your “normal routine”

Time is the essence of everything!  Read more about why time is the essence –

How Do Pipes Burst ?

Contrary to popular belief, pipes do not typically burst where the ice blockage is located. The expansion of the ice against the wall of the pipe does not cause it to break. Rather, after a complete ice blockage in a pipe occurs, the continued freezing and expansion inside the pipe causes water pressure to increase downstream, between the ice blockage and a closed faucet at the end. This increase in water pressure is what causes the pipe to fail. Usually the pipe bursts where little or no ice has formed. Upstream from the ice blockage the water can always flow back towards its source, so there is no pressure build-up to cause a break. Water has to freeze for ice blockages to occur. Pipes that are adequately insulated along their entire length are usually safe from freezing.

Which Pipes are Susceptible to Freezing?

Generally, homes and structures in northern climates are built with the water pipes located inside the building insulation, which protects the pipes from subfreezing weather. However, extremely cold weather and holes in the building that allow a flow of cold air to come into contact with pipes can lead to freezing and bursting.

Pipes in attics, crawl spaces and outside walls are all vulnerable to freezing, especially if there are cracks or openings that allow cold, outside air to reach the pipes. Research has shown that “wind chill,” can accelerate the freezing process.

Holes in outside walls where television, cable, or phone lines enter can allow cold air to reach pipes. The size of pipes and their composition (e.g., copper or PVC) have some bearing on how fast ice forms, but they are relatively minor factors in pipe bursting compared with the absence of heat, pipe insulation and exposure to subfreezing air.

At What Temperature do Pipes Freeze?

When should you be alert to the danger of freezing pipes? That depends on the climate where you live, but the “temperature alert threshold” is 20 degrees F.

This threshold is based upon research conducted by the Building Research Council at the University of Illinois. Field tests of residential water systems subjected to winter temperatures demonstrated that, for un-insulated pipes installed in an unconditioned attic, the onset of freezing occurred when the outside temperature fell to 20 degrees F or below.

However, freezing incidents can occur when the temperature remains above 20 degrees F for an extended period of time. This is especially true if pipes are exposed to cold, flowing air, as on a windy day, due to cracks in an outside wall or lack of insulation. However, the 20 degrees F “temperature alert threshold” should be applicable in most cases.

How Do I Choose My Contractor

Experiencing property loss due to a flood, fire or other disaster can be a very stressful and confusing event for the building owner. For that reason alone, it is very important that you choose a qualified restoration contractor who can answer any questions you have about the restoration process, to help alleviate your concerns. The project manager should listen closely to you and offer an open line of communication to guide you through the entire restoration process, without making you feel uncomfortable. This will ensure the project runs smoothly and gets completed on time, and to your satisfaction.

Certified restoration contractors are required to meet a strict set of standards, dictated by insurance companies and industry organizations to restore property to its pre-loss healthy condition. If a restoration project is done improperly, it can result in mold growth or other toxic hazards that can cause serious health issues for the occupants.

Before choosing a restoration contractor, research your options carefully and take these four tips into consideration:

Tip #1: Do Not Choose a Friend or Family Member in the Construction Business

We’ve all heard the horror stories about someone who hired their handy brother-in-law with construction experience to put a new roof on their home, and it turned out to be a disaster. It is never a good idea to try to save money and cut corners by hiring a friend or family member to make building repairs that are beyond their skill level. This usually harms the relationship and costs more time and money in the long run.

Tip #2: Do Not Choose the Contractor Who Built Your Home or Building

General contractors and construction companies who mostly build new construction do not have adequate insurance restoration experience, let alone the Contractor Pollution Liability insurance required. They lack the equipment, experience and certified training required to perform water mitigation, smoke odor removal, content restorative cleaning, deodorizing and handling techniques. Also, they may not understand the proper methods for reconstruction and repairs under these unique conditions, not to mention how to identify and deal with the hazardous materials and dangerous structural conditions, after a disaster.

Tip #3: Do Not Choose a Contractor Who Has Little, or No Experience Working With Insurance Companies

As the insurance policy holder, it is your responsibility to disclose any loss to the insurance company and provide the necessary documentation required to process the claim. You will need an estimate from a restoration company that meets the strict insurance company requirements, created using specific estimating software. If the estimate format does not meet the insurance company standards, it may be rejected.

Tip #4: Do Not Choose a Cleaning Service

Carpet cleaning and house cleaning services are great for everyday, small-scale cleaning jobs. But when it comes to flooding, fire, and smoke damage, they don’t have the technical capabilities or knowledge to remove high levels of moisture that infiltrates the floors and walls, causing dangerous mold to accumulate in a matter of days. Smoke damage also goes far beyond the soot that is left on walls, ceilings and furniture. If not cleaned and deodorized properly, it can leave behind microscopic toxins and fine particulates that can be hazardous to the health of the occupants. And after they’re gone you’re left with your house torn apart and no one to put it back.

Years of experience and extensive training are required to be a certified restoration contractor, and obviously, there are many good reasons for that. Call us at 303-417-900 if you have any questions

5 Maintenance Tasks You Should Do Before Winter

When cold weather restricts us from outdoor activities, we should make the best of the time we spend indoors. Besides pursuing your hobbies, here are some maintenance tasks you should do this winter to make your home safer and better prepared for cold temperatures:

Change the furnace filter.

Your furnace runs inefficiently when the filter is filled with the airborne particles it captures, such as dust or pollen. Filters should be changed once a month during the heating season, but consult the manufacturer’s instructions first.

Check smoke and CO alarms.

Test these alarms monthly during winter, when there’s an increased risk of heating equipment fires. Batteries should be changed once a year (preferably in the fall). Replace smoke alarms every 10 years and CO alarms every 5 years, depending on the manufacturer.

Maintain your humidifier.

If you use a humidifier during the dry winter months, you should clean its components frequently. Over time, your humidifier builds up scale due to the minerals in the tap water that will cause bacteria to grow. Consult the owner’s manual to see which components need cleaning and what cleaners to use. Replace filters and wicks periodically.

Perform a Radon test.

Radon is a carcinogenic gas that seeps in through the soil and rocks under your house. The cold season is a good time to test your home for Radon (with a specialized monitoring device) because windows and doors are likely to be closed, trapping in substances such as Radon.

Reverse your ceiling fans.

In the summer, you run your ceiling fans counter-clockwise to move a breeze around and cool the air. When your ceiling fans run clockwise, the warm air will be pushed towards the floor, resulting in an increased temperature in the room. This will potentially allow you to turn down the thermostat by a degree or two.

Preventing water pipes from freezing is another important maintenance task to keep in mind during winter. Check out this article to learn how to prevent pipes from freezing. For professional fire, water or mold restoration services, contact your local Rapid Dry Restoration office.

Fire and Water Restoration Experts

Fire or water damage? Dealing with Mold or Asbestos Problems? We can help. We’re an experience local company servicing Boulder, Longmont, and the surrounding areas. We’re your advocate, hand-picked to fix your immediate problems and long term issues.