Water Damage Restoration is more than cleaning up the visible mess; it’s about repairing and restoring the structure and its contents. Water can easily degrade building materials, leading to hidden emergencies like mold. Choosing a water damage restoration company with experienced and certified technicians is essential. Read our reviews to find the best provider for you.
1. Remove Water
After an initial inspection, the water damage restoration process begins with removing standing water. This involves using specialized equipment, such as wet vacs and pumps, to quickly remove thousands of gallons of water. Water damage restoration professionals also know how to handle the cleanup of various materials.
The next step is to dry out the structure and its contents. This is crucial because the longer the items remain wet, the more likely they are to suffer permanent damage. This can include warping, swelling, rusting, and even molding. It is important to open windows and doors to help air circulate and speed up the drying process. It is also helpful to use dehumidifiers and fans if safe to do so.
In some cases, the water may be considered “clean” and posing no health risks. This type of water typically comes from a water line break or natural sources such as rainwater and melting snow. Other times, it may be considered “gray” or “black” and poses a risk of bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants. This type of water can come from toilets, washing machines, and dishwashers.
Once the water is removed, it’s important to disinfect the affected areas. This will help ensure that any germs that could cause illness are eliminated. It’s also a good idea to wipe down any surfaces that might be slippery or dangerous, and to clean any furniture that has been affected by the water.
The final step is to repair any structural components that have been damaged by the water. This may include replacing drywall, flooring, carpeting and other surfaces. This stage can take a significant amount of time, especially if the building has been extensively damaged by water.
2. Dry Out
As soon as water damage is discovered, it’s important to dry out the affected structure as quickly as possible. This will reduce the amount of damage and help prevent mold.
Water restoration professionals will use industrial-grade truck-mounted pumps to extract the water and dehumidifiers to reduce moisture levels. This process is time consuming and labor intensive. The type of material that has been damaged will determine how long it takes to dry the structure. For example, porous materials like carpet, gypsum board, fiber-fill insulation and concrete masonry unit (CMU) will take longer to dry than non-porous materials such as wood or plaster.
When it comes to drying out a home, the key is air circulation. If the weather allows it, open windows in the affected rooms and use fans to circulate the air and speed up the drying process. Pedestal fans can be directed to dry higher areas, blower and circulator fans can powerfully move air throughout the room and dehumidifiers can be placed near impacted drywall to remove excess water vapor from the air.
Another factor to consider is the contamination that may have been picked up by the water. Standing water often contains bacteria, fungi and chemicals that can cause health problems for those who live in the house. It is important that a professional uses anti-microbial sprays in the home to kill any organisms that may be living in the damp spaces.
During the drying out process, it is crucial that a professional identifies any structural issues that have been caused by the water. This will help ensure that any repair work is done correctly, and the home can be returned to normal as quickly as possible.
3. Clean Up
When a structure has been damaged by water, it is not uncommon for odors to develop. To combat these odors, the structure needs to be cleaned up thoroughly. This can include scrubbing the floors and removing soiled fabrics and carpets. It may also be necessary to clean and sanitize the contents of the structure, including furnishings and personal belongings.
Before beginning any cleanup, the property owner should shut off the power. This is especially important if the water damage is from a backed-up sewer, as the floodwater may contain dangerous bacteria and viruses. It is also a good idea to contact an insurance company as soon as possible, as they can help the homeowner through the claims process and ensure that the proper documents are filed.
A professional will assess the situation, using hygrometers to measure moisture levels and specialized equipment to identify areas of the structure that need attention. This helps the restoration company determine whether items can be restored or if they need to be replaced.
The water damage restoration company will begin by removing any standing water. The longer the water is present, the more damage it will cause. Professionals can use specialized pumps to quickly and efficiently remove the water from a structure.
Once the water is removed, the property will need to be dried out. This step can take some time, but it is essential for preventing secondary damage. The professionals will use fans and dehumidifiers to circulate air throughout the structure, as well as to remove moisture from the building’s contents.
The restoration company will also use ozone generators to disinfect surfaces. This process eliminates odors, kills bacteria and viruses, and prevents mold growth.
4. Replace Structural Components
In some cases, especially in a severe flood, water damage will cause structural issues and require repairs to be made. This could include wood that has rotted or mildewed, foundation problems and more. This type of damage requires immediate attention so that it does not worsen. This is why it is important to work with a company that specializes in water damage restoration so they can get to the bottom of the problem and repair the area as soon as possible.
When water damage affects fixed materials such as drywall, carpeting, baseboards and more it is crucial that they are replaced right away. This not only protects the health of the home or business owner but also prevents further damage from occurring. Once the fixed materials have been removed it is a good idea to use fans to circulate air and rent a large-capacity dehumidifier to ensure there is no moisture left behind.
It is also a good idea to check all metal connectors, ties and hangers for any corrosion that may occur from water damage. These parts can often be repaired but if they are severely damaged it is a good idea to replace them.
Finally, it is a good idea to check all electrical components for any signs of water damage. It is best to leave this task to a professional as there may be hidden electrical damage that can be very dangerous. Standing water can also pose a danger to anyone that enters the home, as they may be electrocuted by exposed outlets and wires. In addition, mold and other bacteria can grow in damp areas that are not cleaned properly. If left untreated, this can lead to a variety of health issues, such as sneezing, coughing, and headaches.
Using water-based cleaning solutions, any surfaces that were exposed to standing water should be disinfected. This includes floors, walls and furniture, as well as the surfaces of appliances and electrical equipment. After this, the property must be thoroughly dried and dehumidified to prevent mold, rust, mildew and other problems from developing. In some cases, drywall and carpeting may need to be removed and replaced.
The first step in this process is an inspection and assessment of the damage. This is done by trained professionals who use advanced equipment, such as hygrometers and moisture detectors to determine the extent of the water damage and how much repair work will be needed. It is always best to contact a professional, as they can help you avoid further damage to your structure and belongings.
Next, the water remediation experts will begin removing the excess water from the damaged area. This typically involves pumps and vacuums and is done quickly to minimize the risk of bacteria and mold growth. In some cases, the water might be contaminated with sewage or other hazardous substances, which makes it more difficult to remove.
After the standing water has been removed, air movers and dehumidifiers are used to dry the affected areas. This is a crucial step to ensure that all of the moisture is extracted, as otherwise mold and rust can develop in hidden places. Mold is especially dangerous, as it can cause respiratory illness and other health issues in people who are exposed to it.
After the drying and dehumidification processes are complete, the restoration company will apply antimicrobials to prevent future mold and fungus growth. This will also kill any existing spores and ensure that the property is safe for re-occupancy.