This year, according to Tucson.com, the Tucson monsoon is the wettest on record. Known for bringing strong winds and heavy rains to Tucson’s monsoons can cause flash floods that occur within minutes. Commercial Cleaning and Restoration is seeing increased water damage this year because of the intense heat and lack of rainfall for the last several years.
We notice four main issues that arise from the monsoon season.
- Condensation line back ups
- Landscape drainage
- Roof leaks
- Odor from pet urine
Condensation Line Backups from AC Systems
This is the number one cause of water damage to your home. This type of a leak is normally slow at first and goes undetected. Although normally it will not flood the whole house, most of the affected area will need to be removed due to water contamination.
In Tucson, we usually see clogged AC drain lines during or right after the monsoon season because there’s a lot of dust and debris being blown around, which can easily get into the drain line and cause a clog.
What is a condensation line?
Ever notice the water droplets on your ice-cold water glass. This condensation occurs with your air conditioner too. The condensation line is responsible for getting rid of the condensation. It connects directly to your air conditioning unit and drains outdoors, often through an exterior wall. A clogged line can cause a buildup of excess water that can flood and damage the surrounding area.
A little clog in your condensate drain can create a huge problem!
BONUS TIPS: To prevent a clogged line going forward, you should:
1. Make sure when the humidity starts that you can see the water flowing out from the drain. Have an HVAC company due a summer season maintenance check. Or check with your HVAC provider if there are other steps you can do to prevent this from happening.
2. Have your drain line and AC system cleaned by a professional at least once a year. Note: If there is a strong monsoon and/or dust storm season, you should schedule an additional coil cleaning to combat any dirt trying to make its way into the system.
To unclog the drain yourself:
• Turn off the power to your HVAC unit
• Find your AC drain line, the location will vary depending on your AC unit. Look for a white PVC pipe that drains outside
• Push a stiff, thin brush into the end of the drain line to clean out debris and critters
• Attach the end of your wet/dry vacuum to the end of the AC drain line
• After you’ve run the vacuum for about a minute, remove the wet/dry vac and head indoors
• Locate the pipe fitting that connects your AC drain line to the drainage tray
• Remove the PVC cap from the top of the pipe fitting.
• Use the wire brush to clean this end
If these steps don’t help when your AC drain line is clogged, then it’s time to call in the professionals. Please, don’t attempt to unclog the drain yourself, if:
- Your AC has shut off and isn’t working
- There is water leaking around your indoor AC unit
- You notice water stains from AC
- You notice that your ceiling is stained
The best way to protect your condensation drain, your AC unit, and your home is to keep your unit maintained and functioning properly. The potential for any issues or damage is dramatically reduced with regular maintenance and cleaning. A clogged condensation drain can cost you big to repair water damage to your home– and it’s totally avoidable!
PRO TIPBuilt up flat roofs should be recoated periodically. Elastomeric roofs will need this repair every 4-6 years, while silicone should last around 10 years before needing to be recoated.
Landscape DrainageIf your rain water doesn’t drain away smoothly and quickly— especially during a torrential monsoon storm — it can be very destructive. The dry soil of Southern Arizona is unable to absorb the sudden rainfall, leaving many homes susceptible to flooding. Be on the watch for rising water or mini ponds in your yard or on your patios.
How does this happen?A lot of the newer subdivisions have installed block walls around the back yard. The block walls have drainage blocks around the bottom to drain the water away from the home and into the street or storm run-off areas. If the drainage blocks are filled with debris and vegetation, the water will build up. The storm water can intrude the home under the seal plate or under the door thresh holds.
Prevention tip: make sure that the drainage blocks are below the rest of the grade of the back yard and are free of debris.
Because of the low rainfall, many Tucson homes are built with little to no drainage equipment, except on the roof. As a result, water dumps off the roof quickly and ends up right next to your home’s foundations where soil may start washing away. Soil can wash away from your home’s foundation and excess moisture can build up under the foundation.
Prevention tip: good drainage starts with the proper grading. Consider talking to a professional landscaping company water drainage plan.
A roof leak during a monsoon storm can cause major water damage to your home. When you are dealing with water damage, it is vital to take action immediately. It is tempting to let water leaks dry on their own, but there are consequences to waiting for the water to disappear. A quick response often means less damage and the least amount of work that we have to do to fix your property.
Also, water leaks can lead to mold damage as quickly as 24-48 hours depending on the overall conditions. Even worse, mold will continue to grow if steps are not taken to eliminate the source of the leak. This problem is a threat to your human health and the structural integrity of your home, so the sooner the source is found, the better off you will be.
Water damage repair is a multi-step process that should be handled by an experienced, certified, licensed water restoration contractor.
- The first thing we do is to find and stop the source of the water damage.
- The second part of our process involves removing any standing water in the area. We have large water extractors that can remove water very quickly.
- Once water has been removed, we use special equipment like water meters to assess the damage within the walls.
- Next, we will begin preparation for a thorough drying process by allowing airflow into the walls. Depending on the damage assessment, drying could involve lifting the baseboards or removing damaged walls.
- Dehumidifiers and air movers are brought in to dry the damaged structure thoroughly.
- Once the structure is dry then we are ready to rebuild and make it Like New Again!
How Do Roof Leaks Happen?Your roof is much more than just the shingles or tiles on the outside. To function properly, each part of your roofing system needs to be in good working order. Issues with any part of your roof system, which includes the roof coating, flashing, roof vents, and roof’s to scuppers or down spouts, can result in damage to other parts of your roof or your home’s interior.
Insurance Claims for Water Damage Restoration
For insurance claims, consider calling your agent or getting a hold of a Commercial Cleaning and Restoration rep first. When you call the claim line, they automatically open a claim. It will stay on your insurance record whether you decide to use it or not. We can provide an opinion and a damage quote. With our expertise and your agent’s knowledge of your policy, we can help you decide if a claim is the right way to go.
Just for your information: when the flood water is on the ground and enters your facility, this is covered by flood insurance. If the water comes down the roof and walls, your regular insurance will cover it.
Water Damage RestorationRestoration is multi-step process that should be handled by an experienced, certified, licensed water restoration contractor. It is important to determine the degree the water has been contaminated to develop the right restoration plan for fixing the damage.
Odor From Pet Urine
While pet urine odor doesn’t sound anything like monsoon water damage, Commercial Cleaning and Restoration experiences an increase in appointments for removing the odor. Pet urine odors are much more noticeable during Tucson’s monsoon season because of the high humidity and temperature.
How does this happen? Humidity can reactivate odors that you haven’t smelled in a while. Pet odors are difficult to remove. Even if you have no visible pet stains, the pet urine may have penetrated the carpet pad and subfloor. This will allow the odor to reactive during periods of high humidity. In order to rid yourself of the odor, the effected area will need to undergo a process called pet decontamination.
Suggestion: you can identify effected areas with an ultraviolet light.
The Pet Decontamination Process
Category 1: Small pet decontamination job is defined as two or three urine stains in a standard 10×12 room. To remove the urine and odor, it is treated topically with an enzyme and flushed thoroughly with the water claw. Once the urine is extracted, the whole room is cleaned.
Category 2: Medium pet decontamination is defined as an area within a room where a pet has chosen to continuously urinate in the same area several times. This requires pulling back the carpet in the affected area, removing the padding, cleaning the subfloor, cleaning both sides of the carpet, installing a new carpet pad, reattaching the carpet, and cleaning the entire room.
Category 3: Large pet decontamination is defined as more than one-third of the carpeted areas being affected in a room. In this instance, all the room’s carpet and padding is removed and properly disposed of. Any tack strips that are contaminated are also removed. The subfloor will then be cleaned and sealed. After this is completed, new carpet and padding can be installed without the worry of odor penetration.
Should I Hire a Restoration Professional?
Water is one of the most common causes of damage that can occur in a home or commercial building. According to ISO (Insurance Services Office), water damage claims are the second most frequent insurance claim.
There are many things to look for when it comes to water damage:
- Range of contamination in the originating water source
- Drying methods for damaged areas including drywall, brick, or concrete
- Mold growth if water is left unattended for over 24-48 hours
Let our team of professionals assess and repair your water damage so that you and your family can stay safe.
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