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Water Removal a Big Job for Cleanup Crews

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After a tree falls on a house, the cleanup effort employs a multitude of contractors and specialists.

Joshua Hunt, project manager at Certified Property Rescue, said the company has fielded many dozens of calls related to Thursday's Northern California rainstorm. FOX40 caught up with Hunt and his crew repairing water damage at a home in Folsom where a redwood tree had fallen onto the roof, puncturing the ceiling.

"In this case, we're working on ceilings, walls, floors, virtually everything," Hunt said.

Inside the house, the crew quickly set up an air purifier and dehumidifiers capable of removing 140 pints of water from the air in a 24 hour period.

Rain water had leaked through the ceiling into the insulation and walls. Hunt said if not dealt with quickly, water within walls can lead to the development of mold within 24 hours.

In some cases, the experts force dehumidified air into wall cavities through small punctures. Other jobs require taking walls apart.

In cases where flood water gets into a home, Hunt said naturally-occurring bacteria in the water poses a health hazard. He cautions home-owners against cleaning it up themselves.

"Those contaminants can be easily aerosolized and breathed and redistributed throughout the house, cross-contaminating an entire structure if it's not taken care of professionally and properly," Hunt explained.

Unfortunately, most homeowners' insurance policies do not cover damage from flood water. Hunt recommends homeowners buy flood insurance even if they do not live in a designated flood zone.

In the case of the Folsom home damaged by a redwood tree, the homeowners' policy will cover the damage because it came from above, not from a flood.