DIY Guide for Water Damage. Part 1, from Freezing to Flooding
What to Think About and Plan for Before You Take on the Soggy Mess
After the devastating cold took over Texas in early 2021, we saw a great deal of water damage caused by broken water pipes inside homes, businesses, industry, and public areas.
A DIY Water Damage Clean-Up is a Big Responsibility
This guide is for homeowners looking for tips and information on how to conduct a DIY how to clean up after severe water damage has occurred. This article is designed for educational purposes and is not intended to replace the qualified opinion and advice of a licensed professional contractor. Always seek professional help whenever possible and refer to your local Code Enforcement office for specific details on restrictions and laws impacting your specific clean-up situation.
Know Your Limits
But first, let's talk about what a homeowner should never do. First, asbestos must be removed by a certified professional. This is the law, not a soft recommendation.
Next, let's talk about mold. According to the Center for Disease Control and the Environmental Protection Agency, a homeowner should hire trained mold remediation professionals if there are more than one hundred square feet of mold growth present in an area. Remember 100 square feet is calculated as 10ft by 10ft.
Hiring a Contractor
If an area of at least 100 square feet of mold is present, the homeowner needs to hire a contractor. When searching for a qualified contractor for this job, consider these tips to find the right one for you. Learn the rules about licensed mold remediation in your state. Some states require a license to perform this kind of work. It is against the law for you to hire someone unlicensed if your state requires it. Also, ask the contractor upfront what kind of approach they use. It is not advisable to hire a contractor who says they want to use fog or spray techniques to deal with the mold.
Get Multiple Quotes
As with any Contracting project, it is better to get multiple quotes instead of taking the first bid you get. Also, ask for references and finally be sure to get their plan in writing. This will involve a detailed plan for how you and other people in your home, your pets, your things, and the people working will stay safe during this process.
Get the Details in Writing
Have them provide a detailed scope of work document that outlines what to do and they should also provide an agreement that outlines exactly how much the process will cost and when payment is expected.
Get Proof of Insurance
You will also want to get proof of insurance for liability and contractual liability which is different, especially when working with a mold remediation situation. Last but not least, make sure you hire a qualified professional for the final inspection and testing. Your health and safety, and the health and safety of everyone in you're home, depends on it. Having an accurate reliable report will ensure you know it is safe to return or rebuild. Always keep this document for future home sales.
Pest Control Chemical Regulations
One final note about the documentation required: if it is determined that borate solutions will be required, make sure the contractor has the appropriate Pest Control operating license that permits the use of these products.