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Tag Archives: Broken Pipe

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The Danger of Mold and Wood Rot After Water Damage

One of the more dangerous things that can happen to a homeowner is to experience water damage.

Whether caused by heavy rains, a failed sump pump or an undetected leaking pipe, water damage is quite simply, devastating.

It compromises the very structural integrity of your home, in addition to causing permanent damage or loss of personal items.

If not cleaned and dried quickly, mold and wood rot sets in and causes even more extensive damage.

The Dangers of Mold Due to Water Damage

If water damage is not completely dried and cleaned, mold can set in within days.

The deceiving part of DIY drying and cleaning after water damage is that areas that appear to be clean and dry are really not.

Interior and exterior walls and flooring are capable of retaining moisture inside even though appearing outwardly dry.

It takes a professional mold remediation company to be able to spot these hidden areas and make sure everything is completely dry.

Mold grows quickly under damp conditions. Once mold takes over, it produces mold spores and when disturbed, these mold spores become airborne and spread to other areas throughout your home.

When mold spores become airborne, they are easily inhaled and spell disaster for anyone suffering from compromised immune systems, asthma, allergies, or other lung afflictions.

The Dangers of Wood Rot Due to Water Damage

Wood rot is what happens when mold and mildew settle into any wooden structure or surface.

Over time, mold grows and eats away at moist, water-soaked wood. As mold grows and eats away at more of the wood, it causes serious and expensive structural damage to your home.

When wood rot sets in, nothing short of replacing the rotted wood and calling in a professional mold remediation team can fix the problem.

Wood rot commonly shows up in interior and exterior walls, attics, basements and crawlspaces.

Other than flooding, an undetected water leak through cracks in the foundation, clogged gutters, holes in the roof or uninsulated/unprotected concrete or dirt crawlspace floors are prime spots for the formation of mold and wood rot.

Preventing Mold and Wood Rot

The best way to prevent mold and wood rot damage is to find and nip water problems in the bud before they turn into bigger, more expensive and dangerous structural issues.

  • If you notice a musty odor in certain areas of your home, there is mold growing somewhere in the area.
  • Pay close attention to and immediately repair any leaks, drips, cracks or clogged gutters and downspouts.
  • Check crawlspaces and watch for wood damage or moist, damp conditions.
  • Use treated wood or completely seal any structural repairs or remodeling projects requiring wood.


At the end of the day, these are serious issues best handled by professionals.

For inspection, repair and restoration, call in the professionals at RCS. Let our years of experience work for you to fix the structural and eliminate the health risks that come along with mold and wood rot due to water damage.

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Restoration After Sewer/Water Damage

If you have experienced sewer or water damage to your home, you may think that once the cleanup is complete, you’re done.

However, in some cases that’s only about half of the process. The final step is to restore your home to its pristine condition prior to the damage.

Here is what to expect.

Assessing the Damage

Your part in the process is to act quickly. The longer you wait, the more time there is for further damage, potential structural damage and the longer the cleanup and restoration process will take.

Aside from the structural impact on your home, prolonging sewer or water damage cleanup leaves conditions right for mold, mildew and bacteria to form, leading to airborne pathogens that result in potential illness and respiratory distress.

Depending upon the amount of water left behind, standing water (especially due to sewer backups) should be turned over to a professional to properly remove, dry and sanitize every inch of the damaged space.

Water doesn’t just pool on the floor, it seeps into drywall, wood, insulation, carpeting, flooring, stored personal items and porous surfaces. It’s this that causes more extensive damage.

The level of water damage determines the cleanup and restoration plan.

At the assessment stage, water damage is rated from Category 1 to 3. Category 1 is minor damage, while Category 3 is severe and earmarked by saturated flooring, carpet and drywall, and evidence of contaminated water filled with dangerous bacteria and pathogens.

After inspection, most likely done on an emergency basis due to the urgency of water removal, damage is assessed, and a cleanup and restoration plan is discussed and put into action as soon as possible.

After the water is removed, the space is dried completely, cleaning and sanitizing have been completed, the final step, or restoration work begins.

The Restoration Process

When the restoration work begins, you know you are in the final stretch and typically within a few days, you’ll be able to enjoy your space once again.

Depending on the extent of damage, restoration can range from relatively minor repairs to a more extensive, involved project.

If the damage was rated a Category 3, the restoration process involves replacing any and all materials that were damaged from the water.

This includes replacement of drywall, flooring, sub-flooring and restoration of any other damaged structures such as built-in cabinets, a kitchen, bar, and any other structural damage.


While a small amount of water is something you can probably manage yourself, it’s the burst pipes, broken water heaters, floods or sewer back-ups that call for the professionals.

At RCS, we’re here for you in an emergency or to answer any of your questions. Let our highly skilled professionals in Santa Rosa, CA handle the entire sewer/water damage restoration process for you.

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Who To Call For A Broken Pipe In The Wall

An issue commonly faced by homeowners and renters is water damage from a leaking or broken pipe, and since plumbing takes place behind the scenes, it can be confusing for someone to deal with it if they have no prior knowledge. Fortunately, it’s not very difficult to spot the symptoms of a faulty pipe, but the damage could all come at once. If you see water damage on the walls or ceiling or notice the odor of sewage in your home, then it’s likely you have a broken (or soon to be broken pipe) and you should contact a professional immediately.

In the case of a water emergency, you’ll want to shut off the main-valve as soon as you notice a burst pipe, this will prevent any further damage. There should be two main-valves (if not more) located at your water-meter; once you’ve located these, you should turn them both off until you understand the location of the damaged pipe and the nature of the leak. (If you don’t know where your water-meter is, you should locate it before an issue like this occurs if possible.)

Once the potential of further damage has ceased, you should proceed to secure any valuable items and documents from harm’s way; if there is a pool of water, you should shut-off your electricity to avoid electrocution until you’re certain there is no risk, then find a method to drain the water out of your house (most easily with a water pump). Remove any rugs or items which may have gotten wet and vacuum the water out to prevent mold from growing (you may need to hire a carpet-cleaner).

When the urgent water damage has been dealt with, it’s time to hire a water damage specialist near you to repair the damage and clean any mold which has potentially grown in your home. What needs to be done is: cut out the drywall around the affected area, precisely locate the broken pipe, remove the pipe, clean the pipe (inside and out), solder on a copper repair-sleeve, ensure the leak has been repaired, then patch the wall. You can also skip cleaning the pipe and mounting a repair-sleeve by simply replacing the pipe.

In the case of a broken sewage pipe (accompanied by a disgusting odor), attempt to secure the leak by blocking both sides with a rag and duct-tape, then call a professional immediately (these leaks can release harmful chemicals into your home).

Repairing a broken pipe in your wall can be tricky and, if done improperly, can cause further damage to your home. Your best course of action is to personally deal with any urgent threats of water damage and call a professional plumber immediately. For additional help in the north bay, contact us for a qualified plumber.