Protect Your Home From Water Damage

PROTECTING YOUR HOME FROM COSTLY WATER DAMAGE

You are well aware that water is a necessary part of life. But just because you need water to live, it doesn’t mean your home needs it as well. In fact, water anywhere in or around your home can be a serious problem with costly consequences. You might think that a little bit of water is no big deal. While a small spill isn’t anything to worry about, a burst water pipe, flooded basement, or leaky roof can cost you a fortune. How much exactly? Here are a few things you should know:

Fixing a single leaky or missing shingle can cost anywhere from $100 to $300 (not counting water damage).

A flooded basement will cost anywhere from $500 to $10,000 to dry and repair. Factors that contribute to cost include the size of the basement, the severity of the flood, and the length of time the basement was flooded.

A burst water pipe will cost at least $5,000 to fix, and can cost as much as $70,000 in damages.

Homeowners or flood insurance will usually cover water damage costs but not always the full amount (and it depends on the cause as well).

Water damage is a serious problem with potentially serious financial consequences. What can you do to protect your home and prevent problems in the first place? With a few careful additions, steps, and prevention methods, most homeowners can all but eliminate the risk of water damage ruining your home.

BE AWARE, STAY INFORMED

One of the most important things you can do to prevent water damage and save money is to be aware of your home environment and stay informed about what’s around you. What exactly does that mean? Here are a few things you should know:

Know how old your home is, what the pipes are made of, and what type of issues usually plague homes just like yours. If you live in an older home it’s important to know what the pipes are made of (you can find that out by calling a plumbing service, asking the previous homeowner, or hiring an inspector). There are a variety of pipe materials used in new and old homes, and some are more prone to leaks than others.

Be aware of your climate. Do you live somewhere cold and snowy? If so, you might need to insulate your pipes throughout the winter. Without a bit of insulation, exposed pipes can freeze, crack, and burst. As mentioned above, a burst pipe can cost thousands of dollars to fix. But don’t think the only pipes you need to worry about are those that are exposed; even pipes underneath your home, in your garage, or near outer walls can freeze. Luckily, all it takes is a bit of foam insulation to prevent most problems.

Being aware of the weather problems are common in your area. Weather is perhaps the biggest factor you need to consider when preventing water damage. Make sure you know what to expect and take specific measures to protect your home.

Look over your water bill each month and pay attention to unusual fluctuations. If you find you are paying more than you should, it might indicate a leak.

Inspect your roof at least once a season. Any damage on your roof can lead to serious problems throughout the rest of your home. If you can’t see your roof or are incapable of climbing on it, call a roofing company for assistance.

SPRINKLER SYSTEMS

Damaged sprinkler systems are a major cause of yard and basement floods throughout the country. It’s common for sprinklers to wear out over time and with frequent use, eventually leading to leaks. And in areas that drop below freezing during the winter, broken or burst pipes are even more common. If your city shuts off the water to your sprinkler systems each fall, make sure you know when they will turn the water back on. Once you know when the water will be turned on in the spring, spend a few days after they do so watching your yard for any soggy, damp, or unusually spongy areas. If you notice any excess water, you will need to repair the damage quickly. If the main water line does not leak, turn your sprinkler system on and watch for the same signs of damage. If the sprinklers seem to be working poorly or with reduced pressure there might be a leak somewhere in the system.

FIXING THE DAMAGE

We can help you fix and repair anything that may be causing water damage throughout your home. While we are more than happy to help get your life back on track, preventing water damage is always better than fixing it. But we know that life happens and some problems simply can’t be stopped. If that’s the case, you need to act fast to save your home and belongings. The first thing you need to do if you have a leak or to prevent more water damage is to turn off the water throughout your home. The longer you leave it on, the greater the damage will be. If the flood is caused by Mother Nature, consider placing sandbags and other dams around your home as an alternative. Once the water is off (or the flow is redirected) make sure you turn the power off throughout your home. It is very easy to electrocute yourself during a flood if you keep the power on. After the water and electricity are off, remove all of your belongings and furniture as quickly as possible. You will need to dry and repair furniture and electronics, but most of it can be salvaged if you act quickly. If the water subsides or dries on its own, you will need to clean any wet surfaces to prevent mold, mildew, and bacteria from growing. Avoid using high or direct heat, as that can ruin fabrics and warp most materials. Once you have done your best and if there is still water in your home, it’s time to call for professional help. Like we said before, we are ready with the tools and experience you need, when you need us, if you can’t do it on your own.

The Potential Hazards of Water Damage

Millions of Americans must deal with the adverse effects of water damage to their home or property each year. Thousands will find that had they been proactive and arranged for restorations immediately it would have been cheaper in the end or in extreme cases had saved their residence. Water damage is one of the leading causes of loss of property in the United States. It is vital that homeowners be able to identify possible water damage and more importantly find experienced and certified professionals to assess the damage and restore their home. There are several dangers associated with water damage that can put the property and the residents at risk. Often times the severity of water damage is underestimated leading to one of several unfortunate scenarios which will be discussed at a later juncture. There are also several health risks that will also be addressed that homeowners need to be aware of. The goal of this article is to reinforce the absolute importance of hiring an experienced and knowledgeable team to examine any water damage immediately upon discovery by the residents.

There are several causes of water damage, each of which carry a different severity and set of risks. Malfunctioning appliances have been known to cause damage and range in severity based on the particulars such as the nature of the appliance and its location. Dishwashers and washing machines can leak or overflow leading to damages. Broken pipes or cracks in the foundation of a home can cause water to accumulate in unseen locations and often go unnoticed until water spots appear on walls or on the ceiling. Broken sump pumps and overflowing toilets are a common cause of water damage and can be among the most hazardous. Natural disasters and bad weather are some of the most destructive causes of water damage and are largely not preventable by routine maintenance. No matter what the cause is, untreated water damage can result in massive expenses and headaches for homeowners and that is why it is important to understand the risks of damage associated with these occurrences.

Many homeowners are not aware just how damaging household disasters involving water can be. Often times simply fixing a leak or the source of the water is not enough to resolve many unforeseen issues. When wood is exposed to water for significant amounts of time it can begin to rot, damaging the structural integrity of a home. Many times large sections of affected wood must actually be replaced to prevent future collapses which can occur months or even years after the initial contact. Water can also cause delamination of household building materials which can also compromise structural integrity which often results in a higher price tag down the road. The severity of water damage is often underestimated simply because water can seep down into unseen locations and cause damage in areas that only an expert would know to check. Many homeowners will not call in the experts soon enough because they don’t want to pay for restoration which ends up costing much more than the initial repairs. If the damages are severe enough and the residence is deemed unfit to live in it can result in total loss of property. Because some forms of water damage are not covered by standard insurance policies it can also cause a loss of principle investment in the home. It is important to have an insurance policy that covers flood damage in areas that are prone to flooding because flood damage repairs can often be quite costly. Some areas that are vulnerable to flash flooding include Denver, Colorado Springs, Boulder, Fort Collins and the surrounding area. In many cases hesitation to call in an experienced water damage restoration contractor cannot only cost residents more money but it can take a toll on their health and the health of their family as well.

There are numerous health risks associated with water damage that many people may not be aware of. One common risk associated with water damage, especially in unseen locations is the growth of toxic mold. There are countless strains of mold which can grow in affected areas which pose serious health risks to humans. Many short term effects are quite unpleasant such as fatigue, coughing and rashes. The long term effects of mold can be far more frightening than in the short term as long term mold exposure has been linked to several different cancers and severe, possibly life threatening infections. Aside from mold, water damage can bring humans into contact with a variety of extremely harmful micro organisms that can cause severe illness and even death. Water leaks within a home are rated in three categories. Category 1 consists of water from water supply lines. This can be either a broken or leaking supply line or the malfunction of an appliance which is fed from one of these lines. Category 1 water is considered relatively clean and posses little health risk. Category 2 water, often termed “grey water,” can carry micro organisms and often backs up due to a sump pump failure or compromised dishwashers or similar appliances. Water of the Category 3 posses serious health risks to humans and carries a range of life threatening fungi, bacteria, viruses and other microbes. This water contains sewage backed up from septic tanks or toilets or could originate from groundwater, nearby bodies of running water or stagnant surface water. Due to the possible health risks associated with the latter categories it is important that a professional is brought in to assess the severity of the situation.

In conclusion, water damage can be a very serious issue for a variety of different reasons. Untreated damages can lead to elevated expense of repair down the road or even total loss of property and investment as some damages are not covered by insurance. Damages can bring with them unforeseen health risks that can range in severity based on the category of water. For many people a home is the largest investment they will make. It is important that homeowners protect their investment and call in an expert at the first sign of water damage. Homes can often be replaced but families cannot. It is also vital that homeowners not put the health of their families at risk by trying to categorize and assess the dangers of household disasters themselves. Calling a certified water damage restoration expert is the safest way to go about restoring ones home after a disaster has occurred. Don’t take chances with your home or your health, call in an expert, it might just be the most important call you ever make.

Buying Real Estate Taxes – Invest in Tax Property and Triple Your Income

If you’re considering buying real estate taxes in the form of a tax lien, you may want to consider switching up your strategy and buying property directly from owners instead. You can often do this with as little risk as buying real estate taxes, and without having to wait long periods of time to see the return on your money. Plus, the income potential is 1000-2000% higher, and that number is nothing to sneeze at.Buying real estate taxes isn’t without its risks, by the way. You could end up owning a property you thought the owner was going to redeem. Since you can’t inspect the property you’re buying real estate taxes on before bidding, you could end up the owner of a property that’s in dire need of repairs and actually lose money on the deal.The way to skirt those risks is to buy property directly from the owners – after tax sale. Most investors don’t realize it’s still legal to buy property during this time period, even though the deeds or liens have already been “sold”. This way, you can actually inspect the property before you buy it, and you catch the owners at just the right time, when they are most desperate to sell.The best technique to use at this point in the game is to offer to buy deeds for little to no money down, and offer to give the owner a percentage of the proceeds when you sell. Owners that have decided to just let the property go are instant “yeses” for these kinds of deals, and those that are dying to sell don’t have much other choice.Then, once you have the property deeded to you, you simply flip to another investor before the redemption period is up. You never even have to record the deed in your name, much less pay the taxes if you don’t want to. Price the property high enough that you make a nice $5,000-$10,000 (or more) profit, but low enough so that it is still far enough below market value to attract a buyer within days. Having only invested $100-$200 for the initial deed purchase, this is very easy to do.The recession has caused a huge number of people to fall into foreclosure. There’s never been a better time to try your hand at “deed grabbing,” even if you’ve been trying to buy real estate taxes until now. Try this technique, and you could make ten times more than you planned this year.