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What to Know About Flood Damage to Minimize Loss, Costs & Stress

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Flood Damage Solutions Based on IICRC Water Damage & Mold Remediation Protocols for Better Outcomes through Mitigation, Remediation & Restoration


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What You Should Know About Flood Damage

Often without any warning or preparation, a flood can turn your home into a disaster zone. When flood damage happens, a rapid response with appropriate interventions is critical. With the right preparation and timely response by a trustworthy flood damage cleanup and disaster restoration company, you can expect much less stress and disruption to your life while keeping your out of pocket costs to a minimum.

Flooding can happen for a variety of reasons. The severity and proper management of floods is based on the source, whether it involves clean or dirty water and the length of time before appropriate intervention is started. A clean water category 1 flood from a broken pipe will become a category 3 toxic event if extraction, drying, and dehumidification is not initiated within 48 hours. A properly managed category 1 flood means that most building structures and materials can be saved. This means a minimum of replacement building structures and materials during the restoration phase and at a much lower cost. Not all water damage and mold remediation companies will base their actions on recommended protocols. Treating every category flood in the same way generally means unnecessary and extensive demolition with greater inconvenience and expense for the homeowner.

Continuing Effects of Water Damage
Minutes, Hours and Days After Water Damage
Water Damage after Minutes

Within Minutes

  • Water spreads to other areas and rapidly increases the scope and cleanup of the damage.
  • Dyes released from furniture discolor carpet.
  • Drywall and base molding absorb water rapidly.
Water Damage after Hours

Within Hours

  • Furniture and cabinets begin to delaminate, split or swell.
  • Pressboard swells and disintegrates
  • Bacterial odor develops.
Water Damage in Days

Within Days

  • Fungus begins to appear with a musty odor.
  • Metal surfaces begin to rust.
  • Respiratory health problems can occur.
  • Water damaged contents can’t be salvaged.
  • Damage costs escalate.
How We Manage Flood Damage

Here’s what you can expect from Armstrong as an experienced, licensed and certified provider of water damage, flood damage, mold remediation and disaster restoration services.

  • Upon arrival at your home or business, our immediate goal is to ensure your safety while accurately identifying the cause, extent, and duration of your flood damage.
  • With your consent, we work directly with your insurance company. We act as your advocate to assure maximum claim reimbursement based on your policy, claim and our analysis.
  • We follow IICRC protocols that define appropriate practices for containing and managing your category of flood damage.
  • When it is not safe for you to remain in your home, we help you find suitable accommodations for your family and pets.
  • Unlike most other companies, we have invested in specialized equipment that allows us to dry and dehumidify building structures in locations where access is more difficult.
  • We protect and restore personal property that can be salvaged.
  • Our moisture detection equipment allows us to accurately measure moisture and the effectiveness of drying.
  • Our special industrial equipment allows us to rapidly extract water and dry building structures.
  • We remain in contact with specialty contractors who are involved in your project. This allows for a safe, quality, efficient and appropriate workflow process.
  • Prior to mold remediation, we recommend inspection and testing from a certified and unbiased mold environmental company.
  • We act swiftly and responsibly to get your property managed and restored to a better than new condition.
  • From beginning to end, your personal account representative is available to help you to cope with a catastrophic event in the best possible way.
Flood Damage Frequently Asked Questions

How do I prepare for flood damage?

One of the best ways to prepare for flood damage is to make sure you have the proper insurance from a highly rated company. Check with your insurance company to find out if you need a separate rider for flood damage. Ask about flood damage from storms, heavy rain, burst pipes and sewage backups. Ask about benefits for temporary housing in the event that your home becomes uninhabitable. Asking questions in advance and making it clear what coverage you are looking for will help you tremendously when and if the time comes to put in a claim.

When a flood occurs, that is not the time to go hunting for your insurance information and other important papers. You will need ready access to your insurance policy and the phone number to call for initiating a claim. Keep your insurance policy in a safe and accessible location along with other important documents. Some insurance companies have a list of approved water damage cleanup providers who follow strict flood classification protocols that safeguard the consumer from unnecessary demolition. When water damage expenses are covered and approved vendors are used, 100% of their fees are covered and paid directly by the insurance company.

What should I do if I have flood damage?

The type and cause of flood damage will determine the correct steps to take when and if you experience a flood. When floods result from severe weather, it may not be safe to remain in the property. Be sure to follow evacuation directives from community officials. When there is significant flooding from any source, it is recommended that you turn the water off from the main shut off valve. Then contact your insurance company. A reputable certified water damage cleanup provider will identify the source of the damage and help you to get access to quality specialty contractors who will correct the underlying cause.

What should I know about flood damage from severe weather?

If the flood occurs from heavy rain, a tropical storm, tornado or hurricane, it may not be safe to remain in the property. Be sure to follow evacuation directives from community officials. It is recommended that you turn the water off from the main shut off valve. Then proceed to a nearby shelter or find other suitable accommodations. Even if you are unsure about storm coverage, contact your insurance company. In the event of extreme weather conditions, sometimes you will be entitled to additional financial help when your area is declared to be in a state of emergency.

Flooding from extreme weather conditions is classified as the most severe. Flood water is assumed to be contaminated with microbial organisms that can cause serious illness. It also provides an ideal breeding ground for toxic mold. For these reasons, properties immersed in flood water from extreme weather require full mitigation with demolition, mold remediation and restoration before they can be reoccupied.

What should I know about flooding from a burst pipe?

A burst pipe is a plumbing emergency that should be handled immediately by a reputable and trustworthy plumber. A burst pipe may be obvious or behind building structures where the source of water damage is hidden from view. Evidence of a flood may be discovered after receipt of an enormous water bill that prompts investigation. Until the source of the flood and water damage can be determined, the first initial step is to turn off the water at the main shut-off valve and call a plumber. Then contact your insurance company and initiate a claim. The final step is to call a reputable water damage, mold remediation, and restoration company.

Rapid response to a broken pipe can greatly reduce catastrophic damage, preventing the need for extensive remediation and restoration. A broken pipe with clean water is classified as a category 1 flood. If managed within 48 hours through proper extraction, drying and dehumidification, building structures, furniture and other personal items can often be saved. Rapid burst pipe cleanup is the best way to prevent the formation and spread of mold that can be harmful to health and will require costly and extensive repairs, remediation and restoration.

What should i know about flooding from a sewer backup?

Floods from the backup of sewage are one of the most serious. They occur when water enters your home through the pipes from sewer or drainage systems. Even if the water appears clean, it is dirty water, filled with microbes that pose serious health risks and can rapidly promote the growth of toxic mold.

A sewage backup cleanup requires a plumber, preferably one certified in the management of backups. Be cautious however in allowing your plumber to assist you in obtaining water damage repair services to remove the flood water. Unethical water damage companies are known to pay kickbacks to plumbers who get them involved in the sewage backup cleanup. These providers are known to overcharge and exploit homeowners with extensive demolition that may not be needed.

It is always best to contact your insurance company and ask them who they recommend. They may offer to send someone to your property and cover 100% of the cost. Armstrong Water Mold Cleanup & Restorations is one of only a few water damage service providers recommended by insurance companies because of our quality and ethical practices.

When do I need flood damage repair?

Professional cleanups for all floods, big and small is highly recommended to prevent the formation and spread of mold in dark, hidden areas with poor ventilation. Areas behind cabinets, baseboards and under flooring is virtually impossible to access and adequately dry and dehumidify through conventional methods. Without proper drying and removal of moisture, water can also result in irreversible structural damage. Within 48-72 hours, Mold begins to grow and rapidly spreads to other areas of your home. Hiring a water damage repair professional can be a relatively minor expense to prevent catastrophic damage when left untreated.

Water damage repair services are performed by a state licensed, insured and certified contractor to assure safe, quality and appropriate intervention. Water damage repair can consist of extraction, structural drying, and repair and/or replacement of affected building structures, appliances, and materials. It also includes cleaning to restore water damaged furniture, draperies, carpets, tile flooring, and personal property.

What are classifications for flood damage?

The following are IICRC classifications are used to define safe and appropriate protocols for the management of flood damage:

  • Category 1 floods involve clean water with the flood within 48 hours. In these cases, drying and dehumidification methods can be used to restore building structures, furniture and personal property.
  • Category 2 floods involve fresh water from a washing machine, sink or toilet within 48 hours. In these cases, water damaged sheet rock and baseboards are removed.  Cabinets and solid wood furniture can often be saved.
  • Category 3 floods involve outside water such as from a sewer backup or fresh water after 48 hours. In these cases, the presence of microbial growth dictates a full demolition of all removable building structures and removal of personal property affected.
  • Category 4 floods involve toxic waste in which bacteria and toxic mold are assumed. Flood damage resulting from severe weather in which there is overflow from water tables is classified as a category 4 flood. In such cases all removable structures and personal property is removed and discarded.

When and why should mold inspection and testing be done?

When flooding is extensive, caused by an extreme weather event and/or has exceeded a 48-72 hour duration, IICRC  protocols recommend that mitigation includes mold remediation. In other situations, Mold inspection and testing by an unbiased licensed and ACAC Certified Indoor Environmentalist company prior to mold remediation is used to verify the presence, type, and extent of mold. These specially trained professionals provide detailed inspection reports that document the source of mold and extent of mold contamination. They also make recommendations for cleanup according to nationally accepted industry standards such as S-520 and S-500.

What is water damage restoration?

Water damage restoration is performed after initial steps are implemented. These include eliminating the cause, drying and dehumidifying affected surfaces and building structures, and removing porous materials that cannot be salvaged. When there is evidence of a mold infestation or toxic mold confirmed by testing, mold remediation would be performed to safely remove the mold and prevent the spread of mold spores.

Restoration is the final step to bring the property to its like new condition. This may include replacement of flooring, drywall, baseboards, ceiling tiles, ceramic tiles and anything else that restores the property to its pre-damaged condition. Included in this phase of water damage restoration is proper cleaning and odor removal for affected upholstered furniture, draperies, and tile and grout. AC duct cleaning is also recommended to remove mold spores that could spread throughout the home.

Besides being IICRC and an EPA lead-safe certified contractor, Armstrong is a fully licensed and insured Florida contractor for providing complete restorations and renovations in residential and most commercial properties.

What is mold cleanup restoration?

After toxic mold or a mold infestation of any type is safely removed through IICRC mold remediation protocols, restoring the property to its pre-damaged condition is the final step. During the mold remediation restoration phase, we repair and replace all building structures and other materials that were removed during demolition and cleanup. This may include replacement of flooring, drywall, baseboards, ceiling tiles, ceramic tiles and other affected structures.

Restoration services include cleaning and odor removal for affected furnishings, tile and grout and personal property that can safely be salvaged. AC duct cleaning is also performed to remove mold spores that could spread throughout the home. During this time, the homeowner can purchase and replace discarded soft surfaces such as draperies, pillows, linens, and upholstered furniture.

How do you help with insurance claims?

We have specialized knowledge and experience in working closely with insurance companies for water damage, mold remediation and fire damage. Because of our ethics and reputation for strictly adhering to IICRC certification requirements, Armstrong is one of only a few water damage, mold and restoration companies to be on the approved and recommended list by some of the leading homeowners’ insurance companies.

We are able to read through the legalese within your policy to determine exactly what is covered as well as the specific terms. We provide your insurance carrier with detailed itemized documents for all damages including pictures and descriptions that accurately define replacement needs and costs. This allows us to work in your behalf to expedite claims and maximize your benefits for covered expenses.

What types of expenses does insurance cover?

Each insurance company has their own policy benefits, exclusions, deductibles and premium costs for water damage, floods, roof leaks and sewer backup events.

Why should I choose Armstrong services?

We are a fully licensed, certified and insured general contractor in Florida and a specialist in providing water damage, mold removal, fire damage and disaster restoration services. For more than three decades, our experience, training, and values for integrity, quality, and dependable services have made us a trusted water, mold, fire and restoration contractor.

Unlike some of our competitors, we follow IICRC standards to assure safe and appropriate practices. This means that customers are not overcharged for unnecessary and costly demolition and restoration of their property. We are one of a few trusted residential contractors for water damage, mold remediation, and restoration services by leading homeowner insurance companies.

When you contact Armstrong Water Mold Cleanup & Restorations, it will take the burden off you to figure out what is needed and at what time. We provide you with a free inspection and estimate, identifying the cause and classification so that the correct procedures can be implemented promptly. We also help you with insurance claims, assist you in finding suitable accommodations, and help you to obtain reputable plumbers, roofers and other trades or companies that provide services needed in your flood damage repair and restoration.

We respond 24/7 within a 2-hour response time to water damage and mold service calls within Southwest Florida. The inspection and estimate are free. We stand behind all of our work with an unconditional guarantee for quality, workmanship and dependable service.

What are the areas where you provide services?

Our service areas span all of Southwest Florida. This includes Marco Island, Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach, N. Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Sanibel Island, Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte and other inland areas of Collier, Lee and Charlotte Counties.

Water Leaks

Mold Problem in Florida

Flood Damage

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Broken Pipe

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Water Damage

When water damage occurs, you need rapid response from a quality, dependable company you can trust. We are there for you 24/7 with a response time under 2 hours.

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Preventing toxic mold and minimizing damage when it occurs, is our primary mission when it comes to water damage and mold remediation services.


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