We always urge people to call us right away if they ever have a water leak in a home or business because it only takes 48 hours for mold to form in wet spaces, such as insulation, sheetrock and flooring. Green Star Eco Services owner Marc Patel was recently en route to a routine meeting when he got a call from a property owner about a leaking water heater in a rental home. He got the address and turned the truck around to immediately respond to the water damage.
Upon his arrival at the Sugar Land home, he found the water leak was active and raced up to the attic to turn off the water heater valve. While quickly shutting off the water source is an essential first step, it’s just the beginning in a water restoration job.
Still, halting the leak quickly meant that the water damage was limited to a 9’ ceiling area over a balcony and was not able to spread to two nearby areas with 20’ ceilings. Green Star moisture-mapped the area using an infrared and standard moisture meters, then set up a containment barrier with plastic sheeting around the balcony before proceeding to remove the ceiling and the soggy insulation materials. This prevented further environmental disruption to the other areas of the house.
Once all the wet materials were removed, a two-and-a-half day dryout process began. Our equipment includes large dehumidifiers and axial fans to move air and dry out a space.
An area affected by a leak must be properly dried out or mold will start growing.
“After 48 hours, it can become a moldy mess,” Marc said. And, the damage will always be more extensive if allowed to leak longer, he added.
To curtail water damage, keep these tips in mind:
• Whenever working with plumbing or repairing or moving appliances that use plumbing, such as washing machines, dishwashers or refrigerators, cut off the water to the house. Sometimes a valve directly connected to the appliance can fail, so a better precaution is to turn off all the water to the home or building.
• As soon as you notice a leak, turn off the water source.
Our ability to quickly work the situation should mitigate the extent of the damage. In the example of the water heater leak above, had the residents not immediately reported the situation, the water would have flowed into more and more of the building materials and potentially caused a ceiling collapse, which is not an uncommon event with water heater leaks.
Based on our experience in responding to such extreme cases, the residents must move out, the furniture must be removed and the work is far more time consuming and expensive.
“We can save you time and money,” Marc said.