Have you ever wanted to take a relaxing bath after a long day? Well, what should have been a relaxing evening for one of our clients turned into a long night and en even longer days when the bath tub flooded 2 floors of their Longmont home.
The homeowners had recently remodeled their bathroom including a new bath tub installation. The first time it was put to use turned out to be an unpleasant experience. Unfortunately, the new tub’s drainage piping was not completely secure.
So when the tub was drained the water ran into the ceiling and down through all the walls in their home. Water saturated the first floor walls and ran into the basement where the walls and ceilings were saturated with sections of the ceiling threatening to come down in the basement.
Our client, in a justified panic, found us through an online search for “water damage restoration, Longmont” and gave us a call. When they called were were able to be on site within an hour to assess the damage and contain the problem. A quick response is critical in these events, water that is left standing becomes contaminated potentially forcing removal of some of the exposed materials such as walls and carpets. A quick response can save those items and save a lot of money and headache.
Fortunately, it was clean water that had leaked throughout the house. Using our extensive catalog of equipment we extracted the standing water and set up our drying equipment. Once the standing water is extracted strategic placement of air movers and dehumidifiers will establish the perfect conditions for drying. When we first arrived, there was standing water on the first floor and the basement, walls as far as sixty feet from the tub were saturated and the ceiling in the basement was showing signs of damage and potential collapse.
After water extraction and twelve hours of aggressive drying the walls were showing progress, reducing the extent of the damage. Our process requires that we monitor the drying progress daily using moisture meters. This provides us a measurable method of evaluating progress of drying and helps us to determine what changes need to be made to equipment placement for maximum efficiency in the drying process. Within 2 days most of the walls and floors were getting close to being dry as normal leaving only a few trouble spots.
The first wet trouble spot was in the ceiling. Demolition of ceilings, walls and floors is a last resort for us and for the insurance companies. We always try and dry ceilings, walls and floors before we resort to demolition. Ceiling are particularly troublesome as often the builder will use insulation to dampen noise and contain heat. When we see an area of walls or ceiling that refuse to dry we can be fairly certain there is wet insulation that will have to be removed. We can’t dry wet insulation. If it’s cellulose insulation mold will grow very quickly. Cellulose insulation is an excellent food source for mold. If it’s fiberglass insulation mold won’t grow but it will hold the moisture like a sponge and inevitably, mold will begin to grow on the drywall adjacent to the insulation. In these cases removal of the wet insulation and drywall are the only responsible approach. We removed a 4 by 8 section of the ceiling to eliminate the wet insulation and allow the rest of the ceiling to dry.
We also found trouble spots in the carpet. Investigation showed that the carpet had been laid over a pet pad. Pet pads have a layer of plastic film which is supposed to stop fluids from being absorbed into the pad. Unfortunately they have the reciprocal effect in that they don’t allow water to evaporate out if the floor is flooded. A saturated pet pad has to be removed. This carpet was saturated so the pad had to be removed. Fortunately the client called us quickly and we were able to start drying quickly. That decision saved their carpet. The rpid response allowed us to remove the pad and save the carpet.
Overall this project took four days. If the customer had not called so quickly and allowed us to get in and to work as fast as they did, they could have seen their basement ceiling collapse from water damage, mold growth and a carpet damaged beyond recovery.
Since they moved quickly, we were able save the carpet and limit the damage to the ceiling. What could have been a $20,000+ plus problem taking months was contained to <$4,000 and was resolved in days. Fast reaction on the part of the homeowner and on our part saved the home from huge flood damage and costly repair bills.