As we move into the middle of a Sacramento summer, we begin to experience late afternoon showers and the occasional thunderstorm. Summer showers may often be of the severe variety, bringing torrential rains, damaging hail, strong winds, and dangerous lightning. Many times the damage left behind may be considerable. This threat is especially pertinent in light of the recent mild winter, which forecasters predict will give way to a very active storm season. It is important to be properly prepared when it comes to protecting your home or business from a malevolent Mother Nature.
Water damage is the single most destructive force that can affect any home, even more dangerous than fire. Water damage has the ability to cause severe damage from the outset, and then continuing to cause problems for as long as it is allowed to remain standing. Carpets, furniture and valuable items may be seriously damaged or destroyed, floors may warp and crack, and drywall may be softened to the point where it is damaged beyond repair. Water may also get into the homes electrical and HVAC systems, requiring substantial repairs and inspections before any further use is granted.
Worse, substantial flood waters may actually shift a home on its very foundation, making it prone to collapse. Always verify that a water or flood damaged structure is solid before making any attempt to re-enter. The building could collapse around you.
If the spill occurs upstairs, such as from an overflowed tub (or worse, a burst pipe), then you end up with a trickle down effect, where water runs until it finds a vulnerable spot to seep down, through ceilings and drywall, causing more and more damage as it goes. Ceilings may often begin to sag and droop as the result of water weight being placed upon it. If you happen upon a room where the ceiling has a visible sag, avoid it. It could give way at any time, sending hundreds of gallons of water cascading into the room. A person standing in the wrong place could be seriously hurt.
It goes without saying that electrical devices and switches should be avoided. Water and electricity do not mix, and turning on a light while standing ankle deep in water (as depicted in a rather notorious Youtube clip) may have dire results. Instead, turn off all utilities at their source. If you are unable to reach the source, don’t put yourself at risk. Call in a professional electrician or gas representative or whoever you need to find.
Already this year we have seen strong storms across theOhioValleyand the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Any time you’re staring down severe weather, it can only mean that you have to protect your home from the elements, and that includes your chimney.
Chimneys are probably the most often overlooked portions of a house when guarding against water damage, which is strange since the chimney is an open outlet on the very top of your house, a veritable welcome wagon for water problems. And recent studies have concluded that the major cause of damage to chimney construction is water, not fire. They are built to withstand fire, less so to tolerate that much water, and water exposure deteriorates mortar, brick, and tile. It also corrodes steel and cast iron components. Thawing after a hard and long free may also result in gaps which can allow dangerous gases into the home.
In any event of damage to your home, prevention is the key. Head the problem off at the pass before it has a chance to take root.
Chimney caps or rain covers should be standard on your chimney, since it is the most cost effective way of keeping out leaves, debris and small animals. Any one of these may easily fit down an unprotected flue, and the same covering also prevents sparks from leaping out of the chimney and accidentally igniting something.
The chimney crown should be looked at and replaced if it is damaged. Most of these are made of mortar, which is not designed to withstand years of abuse at the hands of wind, rain, ice, and snow. High quality cement should be utilized in the construction to create an overhang offering protection for all sides of the chimney. If the crown has been damaged, there is a good chance that the flashing around it has been as well. Damaged flashing is a main culprit when it comes to allowing water inside your house.
Not many folks think about waterproofing their chimneys, but remember that mortar and brick are like sponges, absorbing moisture like nobody’s business. Utilize a waterproofing agent that is designed to release moisture but not accept it. Paint is also a big problem when it comes to retaining water inside the chimney.
Pay for a quality chimney inspection every year or so before firing up the fireplace for the first time. This will allow you to catch any threat before it has the chance to cause problems. If there is already water damage, repair it. Remember the longer water damage is allowed to remain, the more problems you will have.
In most cases of water damage, you should contact your local Sacramento water restoration professionals. The restoration process is a complex one, with a series of steps to be taken in a predetermined order, so you want somebody who knows how the procedure works. Your local industry certified professionals will be available 24/7 and ready to serve the Sacramentoarea area with quality, efficient water damage restoration services. Same day service is provided in most cases, and all work performed is guaranteed.