Monday, 1 July 2013

Calgary Clean Up

Welcome to our new blog!  And Happy Canada Day!

First just a bit about ourselves.  We at AAMD Renovations Inc. operate a renovation business local to the Calgary area.  We offer complete renovation solutions specializing in basement, kitchen, bath renovations as well as decks, pergolas and garages.

This first entry of our blog comes just a week and half after Calgary and many of our neighboring cities, towns, and communities announced a state of emergency due to unprecedented flooding.  The community has come together to get back on its feet.  Volunteers have been helping strangers move sludge, appliances and everything else, and also providing warm meals and a dry place to sleep for those evacuated.  Slowly some of those affected are being allowed to return to their homes... it pains me to think about what they might find.

With so many damp basements in Calgary and the surrounding areas, this is bound to be an insurance nightmare.  Over-land flooding is likely not covered by most homeowners insurance policies, though sewer backups often are.  The insurance industry will likely be swamped (mind the pun).  If you have flood damage, phone your insurance company as soon as possible to determine what is covered and keep in mind that there is also disaster relieve out there.  Regardless, it is your duty to mitigate losses and do whatever you can to prevent further losses.  This means... get the place dry!  But, before you move anything, take pictures of everything.

All wet items need to be removed from the basement floor.  Cement is a porous material, so it is normal that water will come and go through it, but it needs to be able to dry out.  Make sure that the floor drain in your basement is not blocked. The floor drain should be located at the lowest spot in your basement floor.  If walls need to be ripped out of the basement and you want to change the layout, keep in mind that the floor drain should be left accessible in case of any future water problems.  It is not advisable to install new walls or flooring until the entire area is dry.

If your basement has been developed, you will need to determine the extent to which the building materials need to be ripped out.  If the drywall is damaged, you may be able to just remove the bottom portions. 

Water damaged materials may be salvageable, but only if the water was clean (like a overflowed washing machine or a broken pipe).  The sludge coming out of this is not to be put down the storm drains or back into the rivers, as it might be toxic... therefore, this is NOT clean water we are dealing with.  Carpeting, etc. is probably not salvageable.

Mould grows in warm, damp environments, and given our weather this past week, it is likely already too late if you have not been able to get to it.  There are many types of mould, some are toxic, some are not.  If the water damage is recent it is important to dry out the area as soon as possible to avoid mould growth.  Mould spores are ever present in our homes.  All they need is a warm, damp environment in which to grow and multiply.  If you think you may be dealing with black mould, do not attempt to clean this up yourself.

How to know if you might be dealing with black mould...

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