Portishead Flood restoration & Carpet Repair

A slow escape of water from an adjoining bathroom had caused black mould beneath the bath, as well as brown water damage to the carpet. We were asked to attend this apartment near the waterfront in Portishead last week in order to put things right. Although we wouldn’t classify this as a flood, it serves as another example of how water can cause damage to absorbent materials over time.

Assessing moisture levels

The first step here was to lift the carpet & underlay to determine how wet the sub-floor was. There would be no point fixing the issues with the other elements, but just sweeping under the carpet any underlying damp issues. Our team use a variety of Tramex moisture meters to assess levels of moisture in a variety of surfaces. In this case, we were dealing with a wood composite sub-floor.

Flood restoration in Portishead

In this image, you can see that we’ve stripped out the damaged underlay. Unlike carpet, underlay cannot be decontaminated & fully cleaned.

We then inserted a metal probe into the boards to discover whether they were in danger of secondary damage.

The meter here shows a moisture content of 16%. This is slightly above the norm for this material, but below the threshold for structural damage.

Without moisture measurements, we would look for the physical signs of water damage – browning, a breakdown in structure or mould growth.

Repairing the minor damage

The damp underlay was removed and the rotten gripper rods lifted out. Once this was complete, the subfloor and area beneath the bath (in the adjoining bathroom) were cleaned of mould & an anti-fungal solution applied.

Now we were able to install new gripper rods and underlay into the area.

Professional flood specialists in Portishead
Professional drying service in Portishead

Decontaminating the affected carpet

Now that the sub-floor, underlay and gripper rods were cleaned and replaced, the carpet could be re-fitted and cleaned. The type of water damage evident on the carpet suggested that it might not revert to its former state, but it was worth a try. We set up the rinse extraction machine on the floor below and ran hoses up to the affected room.

After a biocidal detergent had been applied to the carpet, we used a small hand tool to carefully rinsed the reinstalled carpet. The results were not great –

Portishead carpet repair service

The carpet had been permanently damaged by the ongoing leak & was not going to improve further.

At this stage, we discussed the possibility of a carpet repair.

Replacing the damaged carpet

There was plenty of spare carpet available in various cupboards in the home, so we decided to proceed with a repair.

Carpet repairs tend to be small, whereas this one would need to be 110cm long –

Cutting carpet requires a lot of measuring to ensure an accurate and regular hole is available for the insertion of new material.

A sharp blade is also essential. Without this, the edge of the cut is likely to cause the carpet to tear or fray. This will mean that the repair is unlikely to last long.

Once the damaged carpet had been carefully excised, we measured the replacement carpet and cut it as precisely as possible to ensure a close fit.

Heat seaming tape was inserted around the hole and the new carpet carefully lowered in.

We then applied steam through the carpet to bond the existing carpet to the insert.

Damaged carpet repair in Portishead
Carpet damage in Portishead
Carpet repair in Portishead

If you have experienced a flood or escape of water and would like a survey, or are interested in our carpet repair service, please do get in touch, Our friendly, zero-pressure team will be happy to help.

Excellent domestic flood restoration in Cinderford, Gloucestershire.

A flood in your home can be devastating, and is certainly something you want to get addressed as soon as possible. Prior to Christmas, Pete was called to this domestic property in Cinderford to address an escape of clean water in a living room that had soaked the carpets.

After an initial survey to assess the extent of the flooding and damage, a quotation and drying plan was agreed to restore this lounge to its best.

Carpet inspection and flood restoration in Gloucestershire
Carpet inspection and flood restoration in Gloucestershire
Checking out the damage
Checking out the damage

In this instance, the carpet and the underlay both needed to be lifted to ensure the flooring could dry out fully. Both an industrial air mover and dehumidifier were installed to ensure the property dries out thoroughly before everything can be reinstated. Once as much water had been removed as possible from the carpets and flooring, the carpets were ready to be thoroughly cleaned and replaced. An anti-microbial is also applied to address any bacteria that may be present due to the increased humidity in the environment.

Assessing underlay after a flood
Assessing underlay after a flood
Carpet inspection and flood restoration in Gloucestershire
Carpet inspection and flood restoration in Gloucestershire
Domestic flood in Cinderford Gloucestershire.
Domestic flood in Cinderford Gloucestershire.

Fortunately, in this instance, the water that had caused the flood was clean water. In the unfortunate circumstance that the water is contaminated this can require evacuation of the property followed by appropriate decontamination services.

Each flood requires a unique approach to address each individual issue, however our usual process is as follows;

  • Remove standing water & extract water from saturated, recoverable soft furnishings
  • Remove any materials that may inhibit effective drying (obtaining clear consent from either yourself or your loss adjustor where these may be objects of either sentimental or financial value)
  • Disinfect any contaminated areas
  • Install drying equipment (air-movers, dehumidifiers etc.) to begin effective drying
  • Monitor the drying process & make adjustments, if needed
  • Communicate clearly & honestly with you/ your loss adjustor throughout the process
  • Determine that your home/premises have returned to their pre-loss condition, remove our equipment & professionally clean any affected soft furnishings

To read more about our flood restoration process, you can read more here.

In this instance, the flood was addressed and the lounge was back in working order in time for Christmas. This family can now relax in their home, knowing it is clean with no hidden moisture and bacteria that could be causing further problems in the home.

If you have an enquiry about carpet, hard floor or upholstery cleaning, or our flood or decontamination services, please feel to get in touch with our team using the button below. We are always happy to help and advise.

Contact Us
Carpet cleaned after a flood in Gloucestershire
Carpet cleaned after a flood in Gloucestershire

Responsive flood restoration in Bristol

This weekend, our team attended a Category 2 escape of water at a music college in the Stokes Croft part of Bristol. Category 2 indicates the level of contamination in the water. In this case, the grey flood water had overflowed from the communal toilet area. Because we were able to attend within 48 hours & because the water was predominantly clean water, we were able to disinfect the carpets & save our client the cost of replacement.

Full survey

Water tends to find its way down through a building and can exploit cavities and holes in ceilings. In this case, once the flood had filled the communal toilet area, it spilled into the adjacent corridor & rapidly down through the floor and through the suspended ceiling below into a music performance area & another corridor.

Moisture meter readings gave a clear picture of how the water had travelled. The readings also gave a clear indication of how much water had been absorbed into skirting boards & plasterboard walls. Luckily, at the time of the survey, the signs were that there had been minimal “secondary damage”. It was therefore critical to carry out the cleaning & decontamination work before 48 hours elapsed. This is because even clean water becomes significantly more contaminated as time goes on, owing to exponential microbial activity.

The deep-clean

Commercial carpet cleaning service in Bristol

Our first job was to carry out a methodical deep-clean of all affected areas & surfaces. We used a commercial grade solution to knock-back the bacterial & soil load, prior to rinse extraction cleaning.

Flood extraction service in Bristol

In order to carry out the deep-cleaning of safety flooring in the toilet areas, we used a rotary machine. The flooring was textured, so the stiff brush element of the machine ensured the strong detergent solution we used was effectively worked into the floor.

We used a wet vac to lift the resulting slurry, then rinsed the floor & repeated.

We applied a specialist cleaning solution to the carpet, agitated it with a rotary machine with a soft brush, then rinse extracted the floor.

After both the safety flooring & the carpets had been deep-cleaned, we next applied a biocidal/anti-fungal solution with a LOG KILL of:

ANTI-BACTERIAL EN1276 LOG KILL 6 = 99.9999%

ANTI-VIRAL EN14476 LOG KILL 4.33 = 99.99%

ANTI-FUNGAL EN1650 LOG KILL 6 = 99.9999%

After a ten minute contact time with each surface, we rinse extracted the areas.

We carried out the same process on the downstairs performance areas & additional corridor.

Commercial carpet cleaning after a flood in Bristol

Decontamination fogging

Once a thorough clean has been carried out, decontamination can begin. Our standard professional clean will usually achieve a sanitising level of hygiene. To achieve d i s i n f e c t i o n, a suitable biocidal solution needs to be employed. With easier to reach surfaces like the safety flooring & carpet, this can simply be sprayed down, given sufficient kill time, then extracted.

Within complex environments such as the cavity within the suspended ceiling, where there is a complex network of ducted cabling and rock wool insulation, standard cleaning is impossible. In situations such this, ULV fogging (Ultra Low Volume) can offer an effective method of biological control. The disinfecting solution is atomised into very fine droplets that permeate the volume of air and (because of their low density) remain suspended in the atmosphere and penetrate hard to reach places.

The images & short video below show our technician wearing a mask & safely carrying out the fogging in the ceiling cavity.

Professional fogging service in Bristol

Commercial drying services

After our team had carried out the deep-clean & decontamination treatments, all that remained was to ensure that the areas were dried effectively. We installed an array of air-movers to promote rapid evaporation. Ordinarily, we would pair these with large commercial dehumidifiers.

However, because the remaining moisture levels were not too high & this college has a modern HVAC system, we liased with the site team to ensure that the interior humidity levels were brought down by the in-house system. This saved our client both the cost of additional machine hire & electricity costs.

If you have any questions regarding either our commercial flood restoration service in Bristol, decontamination cleaning

or hiring commercial drying equipment in Bristol, please feel free to get in touch.

Thank you for reading!

Commercial flood restoration in Bristol

Collapsed ceiling flood in Chepstow

A few week’s ago, we were called out to a cottage alongside the River Wye in Chepstow. A pipe fitting beneath the upstairs bath had failed, eventually causing the living room ceiling to collapse.

A photo of the bathroom floor where flooding caused the ceiling to collapse in Chepstow
A photo of the bathroom floor where flooding caused the ceiling to collapse in Chepstow
A photo of the bathroom floor where flooding caused the ceiling to collapsejpg
A photo of the bathroom floor where flooding caused the ceiling to collapsejpg

The initial mess of ruined plasterboard had already been cleared by the owner, so our role was to assess the situation & implement drying measures so that this room could be mended & redecorated as soon as possible.

Step 1: Survey

The first thing to do was to investigate exactly where the water had travelled & what materials it had affected. In this case, moisture readings showed significant absorption of water in several of the walls, particularly where plasterboard was fixed over existing brick walls. The carpet was ruined & would need removal.

Flooded carpet in a Chepstow cottage
Flooded carpet in a Chepstow cottage

Step 2: Remove damaged/saturated materials

Once we had lifted the carpet & removed it, we could see the state of the floor beneath. In this case, the floor was OSB board over joists-

The area of a flood shown clearly on the affetced floor
The area of a flood shown clearly on the affected floor

You can see in the image how clearly the moisture shows in this absorbent material. There was a removable panel in the floor (top right of the image) which allowed us to investigate the void beneath. This showed there was bare soil below.

Interestingly, as this property was on the river bank, we would expect higher than average moisture readings throughout the property, particularly as it was build before the era of damp proof courses & vapour barrier membranes.

Step 3: Apply anti-fungal solutions & install drying equipment

Once we had removed the carpet & underlay, we were able to spray the areas of damp with an anti-fungal solution to arrest any potential growth of black mould. This was not likely, given the low temperatures at the moment, but is worth doing as a preventative measure.

This video shows the initial emplacement of dehumidifiers & air movers-

Note how we have used ducting to channel the dry air into the small cavities between the plasterboard and brick walls.

PXL 20220119 165104905
Installation of drying equipment after a flood in a cottage in Chepstow
Installation of drying equipment after a flood in a cottage in Chepstow

Once the equipment had been installed, we explained to the home owner how to turn it off when needed and arranged a series of return visits to monitor the drying.

As we left, the stillness of the River Wye made for a spectacular reflection of Chepstow Castle.

Thanks for reading!

A view of Chepstow castle
A view of Chepstow castle

Flood restoration in a commercial office & a student house

Our team spent several hours last week carrying out surveys & removing drying equipment from a large flood that had affected two adjoining properties in Clifton, Bristol. The escape of water had originated from the pipework of washing machine on the second floor of a 6 bedroom student property & had cascaded down & flooded this property, as well as a newly converted commercial premises beneath.

The initial call-out had been from the flood at the student house, but it soon became clear that the commercial premises was the more badly affected.

Full Survey

The first element of our flood restoration work is an initial Health & Safety/ Risk Assessment to determine whether the location is safe to work in. Once this was complete, we began measuring moisture & humidity levels to establish how severe the flood had been.

Unfortunately, the water had fallen directly onto the electrical RCU in the property, which meant we couldn’t begin any drying until an alternative means of power was organised. After several days, a local electrician installed a temporary RCU drawing power from next door.

Our first job was then to extract any remaining sitting water & decontaminate the affected areas…

flood

Extracting flood water with one of our powerful rinse extraction machines

Flood remediation scaled

Mould on this plasterboard is a sign of secondary damage

Secondary damage

Where possible, we will always seek to begin the drying process as soon as possible after a flood incident. One of the key reasons for this is to prevent secondary damage. Secondary damage occurs when porous materials & surfaces absorb water & begin to deteriorate. The video below shows how the absorption of water has caused the plasterboard wall & composite wood skirting board to loose structural integrity-

Once this has occurred, it is often necessary to remove all damaged material to ensure that drying can proceed effectively. The ruined areas will need to be repaired after the drying is complete.

Installing drying equipment

Once the flood survey, extraction of water & decontamination work is complete, we can install commercial dehumidification equipment. This usually consists of large dehumidifiers & air movers. These are positioned according to calcluation of the volume of water in the area in each location. This ensures that the drying process is as efficient as possible.

The following two videos are a walkthrough of the drying equipment in the commercial premises & the student house. 

An average time that insurance companies might expect the drying process to take would be 2 weeks…

Even though there was an initial delay in being able to commence drying on this project, both properties only took a week to be declared dry.

We were reasonably pleased with this outcome & our client was very satisfied with the work we had done.

If you have any questions relating to flood restoration at any of our locations across the South West, please feel free to get in touch.

Professional flood services in Bristol

When a flood occurs, it is preferable to deal with it fast. Water tends to move quickly and is capable of moving in unexpected directions, so a rapid response is preferable to prevent as much damage as possible.

A few weeks back, Green Man were called out to deal with a Cat 2 escape of water in a Georgian block of flats in Clifton, Bristol.

Stage 1: The survey

Flood restoration

Although reaction time is important, a thorough initial survey is vital. At this stage, we gather as much information about the flood- how it started, where it came from, the type of water, how long it lasted. From a thorough understanding of the cause, we can then begin to put together a viable drying strategy.

At this stage, we also use a variety of moisture detecting equipment to take readings. This is the only way we can ensure we are able to monitor how the drying process is proceeding. 

Stage 2: Extraction of flood water

We now use powerful water extraction equipment to recover as much water as possible. In this instance, because the flood was recent & was pure water from the mains, we are using a large commercial carpet cleaning machine. We moved the furniture off the affected areas as much as was possible. The decision about which items were or were not recoverable was not ours in this instance.

Flood water removal in Bristol scaled 1


The images here is of one of the flats below the flood. The volume of water and force of gravity were quite sufficient to mean that the water moved laterally across the floor above and fell into this flat through the light fixtures.

The water has also soaked through the wall in this image…

How do you think you dry a wall?

The answer is: it depends what it is made of. The main wall affected by the flood in this instance was constructed of cinder block with plaster. 

This type of initial extraction is able to recover a large amount of water from non permeable surfaces, or areas (like carpet) which will release the water as easily as they absorb it.

Stage 3: Install drying equipment.

3 commercial dehumidifiers for drying a flood
A row of commercial dehumidifiers waiting to be installed.
A commercial dehumidifier and an air mover.

This job required a large commercial dehumidifier and 2 air movers in each affected room. Drying is accelerated through increasing the heat and air movement to promote evaporation. Once we can begin to get evaporation occurring, we can recover the moisture using a dehumidifier. Without this equipment, moisture that is trapped within materials such as brick, wood and plaster will remain where it is and cause secondary damage. Once everything had been set up, we returned to monitor the drying every three or four days.

After about ten days, we took final moisture readings which indicated all the affected structures were dry to a satisfactory point. We cleaned the carpets with a biocidal solution to ensure that mould would not have any chance to develop. We were then able to remove the drying kit & declare the flats dry and ready for redecoration. 

Thank you for reading.

If you have any questions about this article or about our flood work, please use the CONTACT page to get in touch.

Category 2 Escape of Water – Flood restoration

Yesterday, we were called out to investigate a flood in a basement bedroom. A rapid response is vital in flood restoration work, so we attended the property within three hours of the initial call. Unfortunately, the owner had called another company 4 days ago!

Needless to say, this company had not turned up.

Unfortunately, this contributed to several factors that compounded the original issue:

  1. The clean water that had leaked now needed to be classified as “grey water”. This is because enough time had passed in conditions favourable to microbial growth.
  2. The water had saturated the carpet and been allowed to penetrate the concrete sub-floor. This will take considerably longer to dry.

The next stage involved creating a survey of the affected area. In the image, you see the use of an infrared thermometer. This is useful as it gives a good idea of areas that may be evaporating, and therefore have a lower temperature.

In this case, the temperature readings allowed us to confirm that the area the tenant had said was most affected was where we should focus

Monitoring temperature Flood restoration Bristol
Measuring humidity Flood restoration Bristol 980x656 1

Stage 1: Pre-inspection

Our team (me & Aaron!) took initial humidity readings outside and inside the property.

This gives us a good sense of how the flood has impacted on the property. In this instance, internal humidity levels were over 60%, meaning that there was already a danger that microbial growth could have begun.

This was more likely as the property was near the river and the weather has been warm for several weeks.

Having determined the site of the flood, we removed most of the furniture (sufficient to treat the affected areas) and lifted the carpet and underlay for inspection.

We used our concrete moisture meter to take accurate readings of the moisture levels here. Unfortunately, the readings at this point were off the scale! The concrete was saturated, meaning that this area would need to remain exposed for focussed drying.

Flood restoration cleaning in Bristol
Flood restoration cleaning in Bristol

Once the survey was complete, we contacted the owner & explained our findings. Between the owner and the tenant, we discussed the possibilities. Unfortunately, because of the current Covid-19 lockdown, there was no alternative accommodation for the tenant. We devised a plan to:

  1. deep-clean the affected areas
  2. sanitise all surfaces
  3. leave the affected areas exposed for drying
  4. while still allowing the tenant to sleep in her bedroom!

Now it was time to get the machines out and begin the cleaning process. We moved the bed (in what is quite a tight area) and conducted a full deep-clean on the carpet, using an anti-microbial solution that will kill and continue to suppress any potential mould growth.

Dehumidifier hire
Dehumidifier hire

Once the carpet & underlay had been cleaned and got as dry as possible, we exposed the sub-floor as far as necessary.

We put the bed back into place and positioned a commercial dehumidifier & air-mover to allow for maximum recovery of water from the concrete, carpet, underlay & the room in general.

We will be able to monitor how much water we remove using the following measures:

  1. How much water the dehumidifier removes from the air
  2. The relative humidity in the room compared to Day 1 of the work
  3. The moisture content of the concrete (as well as any visible change in appearance)

The work took about 2.5 hours for both of us to complete.

Once we were done, we explained to the tenant how to turn the drying machinery on & off, so that she would be able to sleep comfortably without the noise of the kit. This may also have helped her feel empowered and part of the process. We had explained the methodology from start to finish so that she had the peace of mind that the room had been throughly cleaned and any microbial action stopped in its tracks using an eco-friendly solution that poses no risks to her health.

If you would like any further information about our flood restoration services, please follow the link here or drop us a line on our Contact page.

Thank you for reading!