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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Flash Flood Home Repair and Restoration in Smyrna GA

2/14/2020 (Permalink)

tarped roof after storm damage SERVPRO of Marietta West is here 24/7 to handle all of your emergency water restoration needs. Flash Floods? Tree on roof? Better call SERVPRO!

If you’ve lived in the North Georgia area for a few years, then you’ve probably noticed that we get the full array of weather events. Blazing hot summers, bitter cold winters and any number of weather events from tornadoes to wildfires. There’s a popular saying that applies to this winters weather, “If you don't like the weather, wait about 15 minutes.” We’ve seen weeks that start out in the mid 70’s that have flash flood warnings mid-week, and a couple of inches of snow to round out the weekend. With unpredictable weather comes unpredictable home damage like a tree falling on your roof or your basement getting flooded during a flash flood. The good news is that there is a dependable, locally owned and operated restoration company that is always on duty to answer your emergency home repair and water extraction calls...SERVPRO of Marietta West!

In Smyrna Ga, a local homeowner woke up to a flash flood warning after a rough night’s sleep due to a heavy rainstorm that lasted into the morning. After waking up and getting out of bed, they headed downstairs to the kitchen to start a pot of coffee. The homeowner discovered water throughout the front half of the main-level of their home. The dining room had pools of water along the exterior walls as well as the front door entrance-way and the study. What the homeowner hadn't seen yet was the basement level. Water had penetrated the main level's sub-floor, seeping through the ceiling and into a stairwell and entertainment room. The water had a brown-red tinge to it which was a tail-tail sign of Georgia red clay. Needless to say this was not how the homeowner wanted to start their morning.

This Smyrna homeowner wisely decided to call the best restoration company in the Metro Atlanta area, SERVPRO of Marietta West. Our trained loss coordinators were able to calm the homeowners fears and ease their worries by assuring them that help was on the way,  giving them clear and concise direction on what they could do until help arrives. The homeowner did not have to wait long because SERVPRO of Marietta West has an average response time of under two hours and in this case, we made it on-site within one hour. 

The home was a brick two story structure with a finished basement and was built during the mid 90’s. The basement originally served as a spare guest room and additional storage space, but was converted into a movie theater room with an entertainment area several years later. The house was built on the far-side of its lot with a long steep driveway leading up to the street. The front yard also had a steep pitch to it that angled back toward the house creating almost a miniature valley that the house sat in. The house’s builder took these topographical factors into account when building the house and planning the landscaping. They made sure to build up the foundation so that there was a gentle slope way from the home to prevent water from flooding the home and also strategically place landscaping beds along the front of the house to help direct rainfall and water run-off away from the house. But with even the best laid plans, things go awry, and when it comes to home ownership anything that can go wrong, will. The rainfall was so heavy that the entire front lawn was under several feet of water and part of the driveway was submerged as well. 

Once our technicians arrived on-site they immediately sprang into action. The first step was to determine that the site was safe to enter and document the loss for the homeowner’s insurance company. Luckily, this homeowner had the foresight to purchase flood coverage in addition to their standard homeowner’s insurance policy, so coverage was not an issue. SERVPRO of Marietta West’s talented loss coordinators were even able to help the homeowner file their insurance claim and took care of all the “red tape” and headaches normally associated with filing a homeowner’s insurance claim. The next step was to remove all the free standing water from both levels of the home. After the site was deemed safe and the damage had been documented, our drying specialist began extracting water from the main level of the home using truck mounted vacuum extractors and set up a sump-pump in the basement to remove more than a foot of standing water. Once the sump-pump had pumped out most of the standing water in the basement, technicians used portable extractors to remove the remaining pools of water and extract water from the sopping wet carpets. 

Water Damage Comes In Many Classifications

Damage from water can occur from different sources throughout your home. Your kitchen can develop a leak in a water hose leading from a dishwasher or a kitchen pipe under the sink. Your washing machine can overflow, etc. Many people believe that the water caused by these instances is clean, but the EPA reports that “clean water” can carry unhealthy bacteria. Other causes of damage can also be caused by a leaking room, bad weather, or cracks within the foundation. Water damage is classified into four different classes for proper treatment. If you experience water damage in your Marietta, GA home, restoration experts can determine what is needed in the clean-up efforts. The classification of water damage is based on the effects of the water, the rate of evaporation, and how much moisture is absorbed by the materials in the area. For more information on all four classifications click here.

*The following is a room-by-room breakdown of how SERVPRO of Marietta West made this home owners flash flood disaster “Like it never even happened.”

Cause of Loss: The cause of loss was due to outside water coming into the home during a flash flood. Water gathered in the front yard and eventually made its way into the home via the front entrance. It penetrated the sub-floor and flooded the finished basement as well.  

Front Entrance - When SERVPRO arrived on site there were several inches of water standing in the affected area, which would have to be extracted using SERVPRO’s cutting edge portable extractors and truck mounted vacuum systems. The front entrance hardwood floors and baseboards were fully saturated and 100% affected by grossly contaminated water and would have to be removed, bagged, and safely disposed of off-site. The drywall in the front entrance was also partially affected by grossly contaminated water. SERVPRO’s highly trained technicians used chalk-lines to plan-out their demolition cuts, then carefully removed the bottom three feet of drywall in the affected area. Most drywall is made of (gypsum), when it comes into contact with water it naturally absorbs the moisture and pulls it inward. This is now as the capillary action or more commonly referred to in the restoration industry as “wicking”. This means that if the bottom few inches of drywall comes in direct contact with water, mold causing moisture could be absorbed and wick several feet above the high water mark (depending on the amount of time the drywall is exposed). 

Once the demolition phase was completed and all non-salvageable materials (or items that were cost prohibitive to restore) were documented and disposed of properly, SERVPRO’s restoration specialist treated the exposed wall studs and sub-floor with SERVPRO’s proprietary cleaning products and antimicrobial treatments (Sporicidin Disinfectant Solution) to prevent future mold growth. A single low grain refrigerant (LRG) dehumidifier and two Phoenix AirMax air movers were strategically placed in the affected area to facilitate the drying process. Moisture is removed by moving warm dehumidified air over, across, and around materials or surfaces with high moisture content levels. The warm dry air easily absorbs moisture from the wet materials and becomes saturated with moisture. This constant movement of air creates what restoration specialists call a “drying cycle”. The cycle starts with the air being dehumidified, then blown into contact with the wet surface or material by air movers. The dehumidified air easily absorbs the moisture from the surface or material and is displaced by more dehumidified air. The newly saturated air is then either vented way or re-dried by the dehumidifier, starting the drying cycle over again. Over the course of the next few days, our drying specialist monitored and documented the drying progress for the homeowner and insurance adjuster’s records. After only four days, the front entrance was dried to IICRC S500 Standards and was ready for our construction team to make it “Like it never even happened."  

During the construction phase, the drywall was mended, resurfaced, and painted with 2 coats of Benjamin Moore Regal Select Interior Paint. New hardwood floors were installed, stained, and finished on-site. The transitional area between new and old hardwoods was able to be feathered-in and perfectly matched the existing hardwood, creating a seamless transition. New baseboards were then installed and painted with Benjamin Moore Advance interior Paint. This homeowner was astonished and pleased with the way the restoration of the front entrance turned out.

Study - The study shared an adjoining wall with the front entrance and suffered the brunt of the damage to the home’s main level. Like the front entrance, the hardwood floors and baseboards in the study were 100% affected by grossly contaminated water and would have to be removed, bagged, and properly disposed of off site. The study however had over six inches of standing water that had to be extracted before our technician could start removing the hardwood floors and baseboards. Once all the standing water was extracted from the study, our contents and moving teams carefully documented and processed the personal effects in the room. Making note of damages to the personal items and determining the cost effectiveness of restoration. Items like photo albums, books, a bookshelf, a couple of high back reading chairs with matching end tables, several lamps and a heirloom coffee table were initially cleaned on site to prevent contamination of non-affected areas. Then the furniture and other contents were carefully packed and transported off-site to be further cleaned and stored off-site at our 10,000 square foot cleaning and storage facility. 

With the homeowner’s belongings safely removed the demolition process could begin. Large portions of drywall were removed due to contact with grossly contaminated water. The lower three feet of drywall was carefully removed using a chalk-line and drywall oscillating cutting tool. With the wall studs and sub-floor exposed, our restoration technicians cleaned and applied antimicrobial treatments to prevent future mold growth. A single LRG dehumidifier and five centrifugal air movers were carefully placed and space throughout the study. Over the course of the next few days, our restoration specialist monitored and documented the progress of the drying process for the homeowner and insurance adjuster’s records. After only four days, the study was dried to preloss condition and was ready for our construction team

In the study our construction team started with drywall repairs. Prepping and painting the newly installed walls with Aura Interior Paint from Benjamin Moore. The hardwood floors were then installed. Because the study was connected to the remainder of the house via the front entrance, matching the new hardwoods to the original hardwoods was not an issue. New baseboards were then installed and painted using Benjamin Moore Advance interior Paint. A final cleaning gave our construction team an opportunity to touch up any final details before our contents team moved the homeowner’s furniture and personal items back to preloss positions.

Dining Room - The dining room was also heavily affected by the flood damage and had over six inches of standing water pooling along the exterior facing walls. Water extraction was performed by our drying specialist using portable water extractors. After all the standing water had been removed our contents team processed and documented furniture and other items like fine china, a china cabinet, hanging wall art, as well as the dining room table and eight matching chairs. These items were initially clean on-site to prevent contamination of non affected areas during the moving process, and were further cleaned once they were safely unpacked for deep cleaning and storage at our state-of-the-art cleaning and storage facility. With the homeowner’s belongings safely stored off-site the demolition process could commence, starting with the removal of hardwood floors, baseboards and drywall. These materials were grossly contaminated by outside water and would have to be bagged and disposed of in accordance with Georgia Environmental Protection Division guidelines. Drywall removal was pretty extensive due to water wicking almost two feet up the walls. This required the removal of the lower four feet of drywall along the exterior walls. Behind the drywall, wet insulation was found that would also have to be removed. The exposed sub-floor and wall studs were then cleaned using SERVPRO’s proprietary cleaning product and Sporicidin Disinfectant Solution was used to prevent mold from growing in the future. A single LRG dehumidifier and five centrifugal air movers were placed and monitored over the next four days while the property dried to preloss condition. 

The construction team made short work of the dining room remodel following the same steps mentioned in the previous rooms. New hardwood floors were installed throughout the room and were sanded, stained, and finished on sight using Minwax flooring products. Fresh insulation and drywall were installed to replace the water damaged materials. Before the construction department’s final cleaning, all walls and baseboards were painted using high quality Benjamin Moore paint products. The home owner’s dining room set, china cabinet, and artwork were re-staged back in their original locations and the dining room looked “Like it never even happened.”        

Stairwell - This hardwood stairwell connected the main level and the finished basement, starting in the front entrance and emptying out into the lower level hallway. During the flash flood event, water cascaded down the stairs like a waterfall as the front entrance filled with murky-red water. The hardwoods and baseboards came in contact with grossly contaminated water which industry professionals often refer to as “black water”. These materials had to be removed, bagged and disposed of properly, along with all of the drywall in the stairwell. Professional cleaning products and antimicrobial treatments were applied to the exposed sub-floor and wall studs to prevent mold growth from developing prior to placing drying equipment. The stairwell only required three Phoenix AirMax air movers to create an environment conducive to drying. The equipment was monitored and moved as needed over the next four day until dry readings were achieved by our technician using their Delmhorst Navigator Pro moisture meter.

Construction was pretty straight forward. New hardwood floors were installed and finished on-site. Drywall was installed and prepped for paint along with the baseboards. After a final cleaning and a few paint touch-ups the stairs look "Like it never even happened."

Lower Level Hallway - Water saturated almost all surfaces and materials in the lower level hallway. From the ceiling to the carpeted floor, everything had come in contact with grossly contaminated water. Between the stairwell that turned into a waterfall and the fully saturated flooring above, water was pouring into the lower level hallway from all directions. The carpet, drywall and baseboards throughout the lower hallway had to be removed, bagged, and disposed of properly, including ceiling tiles and ceiling grid system. The exposed structure was thoroughly cleaned and treated with an antimicrobial solution to prevent future mold growth. Three commercial grade air movers were strategically placed in the lower hallway to start the drying process and were monitored over the next four days until all materials achieved dry readings.

Not unlike the front entrance and stairway, construction was completed very quickly in the lower level hallway. A new ceiling grid was installed along with new acoustical ceiling tiles. Then the drywall was hung and prepped for paint. The homeowners choice of plush high grade carpet from Shaw Flooring was installed along with new carpet pad. All that remained was to paint the freshly installed drywall and baseboards, touch-ups and final cleaning.

Theater and Entertainment Area- The area in the house that was most affected by the flash flood was the theater and entertainment area. This room happened to be the largest room in the house and coincidentally it was also the lowest point of elevation in the home. Anybody that knows anything about water and gravity, knows that when water is allowed to flow freely over an area, it will seek-out the lowest point of elevation. This is why water flows down hill and why the ancient aqueducts were able to move massive amounts of water without pumps. This house however was built in the modern age so SERVPRO of Marietta West took full advantage of our sump-pump systems and high powered vacuum extractors to remove almost two feet of  water from the theater and entertainment area. Once all the standing water was removed and most of the moisture was extracted from the carpet and pad, our skilled restoration specialist removed both carpet and pad by cutting it into manageable strips, bagging it up on-site, and disposing of it property. In the theater and entertainment area there were 6 luxury theater recliners arranged in two elevated rows, a projector mounted on the ceiling, motorized projection screen on the wall, several framed classic movie posters, and an audio visual/gaming entertainment center (AV system) to organize the homeowners many digital devices. These contents were carefully evaluated for cost effective restoration and documented. Items that were deemed cost ineffective to restore or too contaminated to be cleaned were disposed of properly and under the advisement of the insurance adjuster. Along with the carpet, all of the drywall, baseboards, insulation and ceiling had to be completely removed due to grossly contaminated water that saturated these materials. In places the drywall had begun to pull away from the ceiling and large areas had visible swelling where water had pooled. Our skilled technicians carefully and safely demoed the ceiling, walls, insulation and baseboards bagging them and disposing of them properly. At this point the theater and entertainment area was pretty much “gutted” and with the structure exposed, it was time to clean and sanitize the area using SERVPRO’s professional cleaning products and techniques. All wall studs and sub-floor were treated with antimicrobial agents as a preventative measure against future mold growth. Two dehumidifiers were placed in the theater and entertainment area, one at either end of the large room. Three axial fans were used to circulate air effectively around the ceiling joists and were moved several times during monitoring visits to speed up the drying process. Along with the three axial fans eight low profile air movers were used to dry the cement sub-floor and wall studs. After four days the structure was dried to IICRC Standards and ready for the construction team.

This large room was pretty much a blank slate for the construction team to work their magic. Drywall was installed on the ceiling and walls then prepped for paint. New carpet and pad were laid and new baseboards were installed. Paint was the next item on the construction’s team punch-out list and with that step completed the room was ready for the move back. Due to the levels of contamination and the types of items that were damaged, the adjuster allotted for the homeowner to purchase all new furniture and electronic devices. So the new furniture was placed in the same arrangement as previous to the flood, and electronics like the projector, surround sound system, and several gaming consoles were reinstalled and networked with the homes AV system. With the remodel completed and electronics installed and working, a final cleaning was performed to ensure that the customer was pleased with our construction team’s handy work.

The homeowner was more than pleased with our restoration work and attention to detail. They told us that they would recommend us to anyone that experiences a water loss, that they were also impressed with our commitment to getting the job done right the first time, and our ability to work on their schedule. The homeowner was particularly impressed with our team's communication skills and punctuality. All and all, this was another successful restoration project completed by SERVPRO of Marietta West. 

*If you enjoy this blog or would like learn more about SERVPRO of Marietta West check out the following links to previous Blogs and Before & After pictures:

Blog - Why Hire A Professional Water Restoration Company?

Blog - What Kennesaw Customers Can Expect When They Call SERVPRO of Marietta West

Blog - Why does your Kennesaw basement flood?

Before & After photos -  “Cleanup After Sprinkler System Goes Off”

Before & After photos -  “Disaster to Designer”

Before and After photos - "Bathroom Flooded by Water from Exterior of Home"

Water Damage Repair and Restoration

SERVPRO of Marietta West is your local emergency water removal and cleanup specialists that can make it "Like it never even happened." Using our state-of-the-art water extraction equipment and advanced drying techniques, SERVPRO of Marietta West will quickly and safely dry your Marietta home when flooding strikes or water leaks cause damage. If you are looking to have work done right the first time, don't hesitate and call SERVPRO of Marietta West. For over three decades, we have documented and restored customer's homes and business after water losses. Working seamlessly with insurance providers all along the way, and earning our reputation as the premier service provider in the Atlanta Metro Area. SERVPRO of Marietta West is also a preferred service provider for most major insurance companies and has a great working relationship with local insurance agents and adjusters.

If your home or business has suffered water damage, all you want is for things to go back to normal and put the whole ordeal behind you. SERVPRO of Marietta West can help by shouldering all of the heavy lifting and get your property back to preloss condition. Choose the pros that are faster to any size disaster, SERVPRO of Marietta West!

Checkout what some of our customers have to say about working with SERVPRO of Marietta West!

Call Us Today – (770) 428-5467

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We live and work in this community too; we might even be neighbors. As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Marietta West is close by and ready to respond to your flood or water damage emergency. We are proud to be an active member of the Marietta community and want to do our part to make our community the best it can be.

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