restoration & damage repair in Phoenix, Arizona: fire, water, flood, storm, hail, smoke, roof in AZ

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Leaks, water damage, and mold in Phoenix

Are you in Phoenix, Arizona and need us to help you by detecting the source of a water leak in your home or building? We'll find the source, stop the flow of water, and then restore the damage for you!

What are some common sources of water damage in homes in Phoenix?

Roof leaks? Yes, but they are not as common in Phoenix as outside of central Arizona

People may think that water leaking through a damaged roof during a storm is one of the most common sources of water damage. Outside of Arizona, leaking roofs can be a very serious problem almost any time of the year. However, in the dry parts of Arizona (like Phoenix), a leaking roof causing water damage is only common during of a few seasons of the year. In fact, the most common source of water leaking into your home in Phoenix is water that is already inside of your home. For information on roof inspections, click why regular inspections of your roof are essential.

Leaking water lines (like in your kitchen plumbing) often cause water damage and even mold contamination

water_damage_restoration_company in AZ Of course there are many other kinds of plumbing leaks outside of the kitchen that can lead to water damage: a leaking water heater, a flooded toilet, or even a washing machine. But the #1 most common source might surprise you....

In Phoenix, one of the most common sources of water damage that we see here regularly is actually from the water line that connects to the refrigerator (the plumbing that provides water for the ice maker). In fact, last week (in mid-February of 2016), our restoration company performed two emergency repair services in which the source of the water damage were leaks from that water line to the ice maker in the refrigerator.

Not only can those leaks lead to extensive water damage and the need to remove or extract the leaked water, but mold contamination. The mold damage can spread quickly, resulting in the need to remodel the entire kitchen (including replacing the walls, cabinets, and countertops). Also, whatever other rooms are adjacent to that wet wall in the kitchen can also get moisture intrusion.

What did the homeowners notice that led to the call for a restoration service in Phoenix?

In one case, the homeowners noticed that when they stepped on their laminate wood flooring in their living room, it started to move. Over time, it gradually began to move even more. Each time they stepped on it, it sunk down a little bit, almost like walking on mud or snow.

Eventually, the flooring was responding like when pushing on a balloon or a water bed. When they stepped in one place, it would sink down some under each step while raising up nearby parts of the flooring. That was a clear sign of water underneath the flooring.

How bad was the water damage caused by that small leak in the kitchen?

So, the leaking water was flooding down the walls behind the refrigerator, just following the paths of least resistance by gravity. By the time the home owners found it, we think that the water had been running for about two or three days.

By that time, the water damage had ruined all their laminate wood flooring, all their cabinets, and all their countertops. That was all because of a tiny leak in the cheap plastic line to the ice maker.

burst plastic water line So when that type of plastic water line fails, they usually burst. Unless the break in the line is just a tiny pinhole (which is typical of copper water lines), then the leak will constantly gush out a stream of water. So, since the water leak is behind the refrigerator and hidden by the the cabinets, people would not see the leak from just normal activities like walking through the kitchen to open the fridge.

What did our water damage response team do to help?

After they contacted our restoration company and we arrived, then we got out our infrared cameras and other specialized equipment for detecting moisture levels. We located the source of the leaking water. We moved the refrigerator and of course stopped the leaking of the water.

Next was actually contacting the insurance company to assist the homeowner in the filing of the claim. We talked to the insurance company for them and explained what was going on. As expected, the insurance company immediately approved emergency repairs.

We pulled out the effected materials including the drywall. We sprayed everything with an anti-microbial solution to make sure that their would be no additional bacterial issues. We started the fans to accelerate the drying process.

Once we had finished the restoration service, there was still the issue of replacing the water line to the ice maker. Instead of another plastic water line, we used a much better quality water line: a braided line made of stainless steel.

The value of high-quality plumbing: plastic, copper, or braided water lines?

braided stainless water line for steel ice maker Braided water lines are the best. What we recommend that homeowners always use is a quarter-inch braided water line. In fact, with both of these two leak restoration jobs last week, that was the replacement water line that we installed. Those are about thirty dollars.

Plastic is the worst (the cheapest in every sense of the word "cheap"). It is about ten dollars for a 25 foot kit.

The copper water lines are about seventeen dollars. They are more reliable than the plastic, but only slightly better (because when they fail, the damage can be even worse by the time it is detected).

copper pipe with pinhole leak What exactly is the problem with the standard copper lines? Typically, those lines get slightly moved around over time and pressure bends the copper so that it develops a tiny pinhole leak. That is a very slow leak so the damage is not quickly apparent. In other words, the water is leaking for a longer period of time before detection and so the damage would be much worse.

How do braided water lines protect from serious water damage?

No water lines last forever. The nice thing about those braided water lines is that when they eventually fail, they drip.

They do not burst like plastic and send a flood of water all over the place. They do not form pinhole leaks like copper, which lead to a small but steady flow of moisture to the wall behind the fridge, resulting in mold contamination and health issues.

So, the braided water lines will fail eventually of course, but when they fail, they will simply drip. Dripping is so easy to notice!

Again, it doesn't create the mess and widespread water damage that the other water lines will cause when they fail. Insurance covers the water damage but not the repair and replacement of the plumbing. Literally, homeowners in Phoenix who select cheap water lines are saving a tiny amount of money in exchange for losing a huge amount of time and trouble if they have a serious water damage caused by a bad leak from cheap plumbing materials.

How was the leak in the copper plumbing detected by the homeowner?

They had tile in their house. They saw the color of the grout between the tiles changing color. The water gets under the tiles and under the grout. Then, the water started to bubble up from under the grout.

How did the emergency restoration team help with that leak?

When they called us in, they did not know where the water was coming from, which is often the case. So, the first thing that we do again is to find the source of the leak and cut off the water to the leaking plumbing.

(In both of the cases last week of leaks leading to emergency water damage restoration services, we had to turn the water off at the street. The reason for that was that the shut-off valves inside the house were not working and so we replaced those as well. For more information about the precautions that we recommend, contact us today or click the link at the bottom to read our article on the value of annual plumbing inspections.)

Because the leak from the copper line was a small, slow leak, there was a huge amount of mold all over the back of the kitchen cabinets. So, in that case, the actual complications to the homeowner are much larger. They were not able to use their kitchen for a long time because of all the protocols we had to use to prevent mold spores from spreading through the air to other parts of their home.

The leaking copper line led to a major damage from water as well as mold

leak in copper pipe So, the restoration contractors will have to use protective sheeting to contain the mold in those rooms before we start to remove the contaminated materials. We block off the air space so that mold spores do not spread throughout the interior of the house in Phoenix.

Ultimately, we will do all the same steps that we would do in any water damage restoration. First, before we set the fans down to begin the drying, we have to sand down surfaces and clean very thoroughly to make sure that the mold is killed and contained. Then we test for the presence of mold to confirm that it is finally safe to proceed with removing the contaminated surfaces.


RELATED TOPIC: The huge value of an annual plumbing inspection for homeowners in Phoenix

"I talked to reps from a few companies here in Mesa, but only this one was tuning in to exactly what I actually wanted. What a relief that someone finally really listened! I felt immediately comfortable from the very first phone call."

These remodeling contractors in Mesa AZ really listened to what I wanted. They are the best!

"We were skeptical that they would be able to finish the restoration service as fast as they said, but... they sure did. We are really pleased that what they were able to make the repairs in such a way that everything goes together so well."

These remodeling contractors in Phoenix AZ really listened to what I wanted. They are the best!

"After some hail storm damage, I got a bid from a big roofing contractor in Phoenix to repair my roof (and I was prepared to pay that entire amount out-of-pocket), but then my son-in-law told me to call here for a restoration estimate. In short, he arranged for me to get my entire roof replaced (with a totally brand new roof) & the insurance company paid for it. WOW!"

My roof was damaged by a hail storm in Phoenix AZ, so I called this RESTORATION company & got a replacement roof paid for almost entirely by my insurance coverage.

"His numbers were very different from what my friends in Scottsdale were all telling me. However, everything worked out just like he said it would. I was quite impressed. The service was excellent and the company was very professional."

My roof was damaged by a hail storm in Phoenix AZ, so I called this RESTORATION company & got a replacement roof paid for almost entirely by my insurance coverage.

Need a free estimate, restoration bid, or an in-person consulation? If so, click the image below now!

Need a free estimate in Phoenix AZ for repairs, restoration, or remodeling?

In addition to emergency roof repairs and emergency damage restoration services in Phoenix AZ,
we also provide many other services. To see a full list, click services in AZ.

Emergency restoration services in AZ: Flood damage, smoke damage, & more

For instance, we offer Phoenix emergency repair services to restore your home after damage caused by fire, water, mold, and wind. Of all the types of damage, fire damage can be the most extensive and obvious, including because of the lasting scent of smoke. Water damage can also be extensive, but is not always as obvious. After a storm or leak, the moisture can accumulate rapidly and then suddenly overflow and flood into the ceiling, walls, and floors. Or, if the water is leaking very slowly, then there can be serious problems with mold within a few days.

However, it can take months or even years before the water damage is detected, such as when the owner of the home is planning to sell it and orders a home inspection. If the home inspector uses thermal imaging, that will detect temperature variations in the walls, floors, and ceilings, which can be the result of accumulated moisture. Even slightly wet dry wall will rot faster and the moisture can quickly lead to toxic mold growth which can complicate the sale of the home and of course greatly reduces the value of the home.

Hail storm damage repair for roofs in Phoenix AZ

Finally, if there have been heavy winds or a hailstorm recently and you are concerned about damage to the roof of your home in AZ, then we recommend that you contact us immediately. We can assess the damage to your roof and also review your insurance coverage and even warranty coverage. Many roofs come with long periods of warranty coverage which can save you the money that you would otherwise pay out-of-pocket for an insurance deductible when we repair or replace your roof for you in greater Phoenix.

Mold damage inspections & remediation in Phoenix AZ

Mold damage can be difficult for the average homeowner in Phoenix AZ to recognize, so our inspection specialists come equipped to make precise tests and measurements. Your homeowner's insurance will cover some types of mold damage, such as from a burst pipes. If there has been water damage to your home or building in Phoenix AZ within the last few days, then it is extremely important for you to contact us immediately so that we can prevent the added complication of mold contamination (and the need for extensive remediation services).