Water Damage Restoration
Water damage restoration can be as easy as using a vacuum to remove water and drying out a room. Or conversely it can mean rebuilding entire areas of your home. In this article we’ll talk about what all goes into the water restoration process however big or little your damages might be.
What’s Involved in Water Restoration?
In order to restore your home to it’s pre-damaged conditions the process involves removing excess water, decontamination and drying.
Acting fast is key in water removal, leaving excess water for any length of time increases the likelihood of further damage. A moist environment is the perfect environment for mold and bacteria which can lead to allergic reactions and disease for some.
Certain areas of your home may need to be rebuilt due to the fact that absorbed water can develop bacteria and mold that can’t be removed. You’ll want to replace these to prevent spores saturating infecting the air.
These materials in your home may need to be replaced:
*Heating and Cooling systems
The Water Restoration Process
Step 1: Inspection
The first step in restoration is a thorough inspection of home water damage. The inspection will check the need for possible replacements of floors, walls and ceilings. It’s best to hire a professional who can best assess the extent of damage to your home. Every time an inspection is conducted the professional will determine a class and category of water damage. This helps to define the best means needed in order to fully restore the property. Here are the various classes of water damage:
*Class 1 – This is the least level of damage, it involves only a small section of a room and has absorbed very little moisture.
*Class 2 – this incorporates the kind of damage that has affected an entire room and moisture that has been absorbed into carpeting and walls.
*Class 3 – this is considered the worst level of damage, where moisture has absorbed into the walls, continued to saturate most of the area and has possibly created a water damaged ceiling as well.
*Class 4 – this class incorporates damage that requires specialty drying for damaged materials like hardwood, stone and/or concrete.
Water Damage Categories
*Category 1 – this encompasses water damage caused by a clean water source such as water from toilet tanks or broken pipes that supply clean water. If this kind of water sits for too long it can become a Category 2 or 3.
*Category 2 – this involves damage from “grey water” which falls under water from washing machines, dishwashers or water that contains detergents. It also includes water that contains urine originating from toilet water.
*Category 3 – this is damage caused by unsanitary water which can cause disease, sickness or even death. This water originates from sewage, flooded rivers and standing water that has been left too long that is now growing bacteria and other harmful microbes.
Step 2: Water Removal
Water restoration equipment such as pumps and vacuums are used by disaster restoration services to remove the water from your house. Depending on the extent of the damage the water damage company can use several different types of equipment. The water removal process begins as soon as possible so that water mitigation can prevent the growth of mold and bacteria.
Step 3: Drying
After the water removal process has been completed the next step in water damage repair is to dry and dehumidify the home and air. This step clears up any remaining moisture and can take several weeks to complete fully.
Step 4: Cleaning
Next, all personal belongings will need to be given antimicrobial treatments in order to prevent mold and bacterial growth. Belongings may include carpeting, clothing and drapes. In addition air scrubbers may also be required in order to remove particles and moisture from the air.
Step 5: Restoration
The final step is the biggest, now that the home has been dried and further water damage prevented, it’s time for the water restoration company to repair any disaster damage. This can include tasks like replacing drywall and insulation or it can be as simple as installing a couple panels of drywall. More serious cases could mean replacing entire walls. Note that in older homes exposure to lead and asbestos can be likely while working on restoration. Quality disaster restoration companies will be familiar with how to address this and the process for removal.
Note that if unknown water damage is found and mold growth has not been prevented the restoration process can take longer.
Acting Fast is Crucial
Whatever the extent of the damage, a quick response and containment to the affected area is crucial for the best outcome. If there are materials that haven’t been thoroughly cleaned and dried within 48 hours of the initial water damage the EPA(Environmental Protection Agency) recommends discarding them. This reduces the likelihood that microorganisms will spread, it will also improve the air quality and make the restoration process easier.
After you have removed all the wet and contaminated materials be sure to contact a disaster restoration service or water damage service to begin the restoration process.