Who Should you Call – Restoration Contractor or Plumber?

Years ago a song by Credence Clearwater Revival asked the question, “Who’ll stop the rain? The question many ask when rain or other water sources damage their home is, “Who to call to repair the damages?’’ Should you call a restoration contractor or plumber.

Who should you call when various water issues arise in your home?

3 Primary Sources that can Cause Water Damage in the Home

Plumbing Issues

  • Broken / frozen / pipe
  • Rupture in a water supply line
  • Leaky pipe or P-trap
  • Drain clog with backup
  • Sewage Backup

Mechanical Issues

  • Burst hot water heater
  • Sump pump failure
  • Septic tank failure
  • Sewage Backup
  • Radiator heat system leak
  • Toilet overflow or malfunction

Appliance Malfunction

  • Dish washer leak
  • Washing machine overflow or leak
  • Refrigerator supply line or system leak
  • Deteriorated appliance seals

Who do You Call When any of These Water Issues Manifest – Restoration Contractor or Plumber?

If you discover water in your basement or crawl space you have a problem requiring attention. Knowing who to call will help avoid unnecessary confusion and potentially save you money. Calling the wrong person could add confusion and begin a downward spiraling affect that could cost you dearly. Do you call a Restoration Contractor or Plumber? Here is a real life example.

Calling the Wrong Contractor Can Cheat you Out of the Best Solution

Years ago Action Extraction was called out to evaluate a home for water damage. The homeowners discovered a leaking supply line to the refrigerator that has affected the carpet in their living room adjacent the kitchen. Previously looked at by a carpet cleaner, his recommendation was to place a fan on the carpet and once it was dry he would come and steam clean it making it once again fresh and worry free.

This could be nothing from the truth as my evaluation would demonstrate. First I used a non-penetrating moisture meter and learned the water had wicked into the dry wall 12” up from the base and that small area of wet carpet was actually 30 sq. ft. When the carpet was pulled back we discovered mold growth on the tackles strip.

Equally shocking was the amount of moisture found in the ceramic tile of the kitchen that could only be discovered with moisture detection instruments. Lastly we learned that the water had deluged into the basement below affecting ceiling tiles, dry wall and carpet.

These materials had been languishing wet and stagnating for over a week and what the carpet cleaner said would be fine with a steam cleaning ended up being an insurance claim that included dry out and new materials; new kitchen, multiple rooms of carpet, dry wall replacement and half of the house painted.

Calling the Right Contractor Matters.

Our real world example is not an irregular scenario as it occurs often when property owners are undecided as to what professional to call when water issues arise. Knowing the specialty of each contractor can help you know who to reach out to in a time of crisis such as a basement flood or leaky dehumidifier. A restoration contractor or plumber, who to call first? Making the right call can save you time and will potentially save you money on repairs.

Here is a list of several contractors homeowners typically call when specific water related symptoms manifest on their property. This brief general description of what they do will help clarify their specialty.

1. Water Restoration Contractor

A restoration contractor is trained in water damage and drying techniques that allow for fast and efficient drying of wet building materials. They can determine the source of water as well as the category and class of the water damage. They are specialist at mitigating the damages created in property from water and getting the property dry.

They use specialty equipment for finding moisture in building materials and will place various pieces of commercial grade equipment to achieve drying. They specialize in the art and science of drying called “Psychrometry” and if certified can be relied upon to safely manage the oversight of any wet property. They will be capable of achieving the specific goal of complete structural drying, assuring there will be no mold or harmful germs that exist during or after service.

A water restoration contractor will also be familiar with the insurance claims process. They will take the necessary photos to document the damages as well as manage moisture mapping and all other related documentation insurance carrier require.

You should always call a water restoration contractor if you have standing water in your home but also if you discover mold. Mold is a dangerous spore that travels and migrates from one location to another. Contractors not familiar with the nature of mold and its spread may make things much worse.

Often when mold is discovered a plumber or water proofer will presume they are an authority and attempt to do one of the following. Cut the dry wall out, apply bleach on the mold or place a fan to dry a wet material. Each one of these actions will do the opposite of the intended outcome and will exacerbate the hazardous condition of the home.

2. Plumber

A plumber specializes in installing, maintaining, and repairing pipes and fittings in a property that carry water or gas. They regularly service the drain system of properties allowing waste water to drain into a sanitary or septic system.

Their specialties included installing toilets, sinks, faucets and fixtures as well as repairing or replacing them when they fail. They also snake out drain systems when they become clogged with tree roots or other materials. There work can include sometimes cut holes in floors, ceilings and walls to run pipe or hang supports.

Calling a plumber when you notice a plumbing leak in a pipe, faucet, toilet or hot water heater will get the plumbing issue fixed, but you may need more. If the water has migrated to a wall, carpeted area or could be languishing in a ceramic tile floor, this will not be known without a moisture evaluation. Water restoration contractors are the individuals to contact when you are not certain water may be trapped or lying in stealth in a material.

3. Water Proofing Company

A water proofing contractor provides guidance and service to keep water out of a basement, crawl space and away from the foundation. They can fill cracks, fix foundations, add drainage systems and dig outside foundation walls to fix leaky cracks from the outside.

They are specialist at finding out how water may be introduced into the home and can help prevent water damage by installing downspout extensions and raising the grade around a property.

They should be called when water is seen coming into a basement through a crack in the wall or concrete floor of the basement. If each time it rains you find water in the basement they should be able to diagnose why and help create a solution to keep it from happening in the future.

Who do You Call for a Flooded Basement or Wet Crawl Space – Restoration Contractor or Plumber?

Determining the contractor to consider when you have water in your basement or crawl space will be predicated on the known symptoms your home is experiencing. The source of the water in your basement or crawl space can sometimes be conspicuous like a burst pipe. But sometimes, it’s not evident and some detailed evaluations must be made.

Once the cause is determined and a viable solution implemented by a plumber or water proofer, a restoration company will be necessary for the drying. This needs to begin as soon as possible in order to prevent mold growth and germ spread.

Here is a graph that can help determine the contractor to call when water is discovered in the home.

Restoration Graph

Summary on Who to Call for a Flooded Basement or Crawl Space

Plumbers are the contractor to repair leaks in plumbing, fix broken faucets and fixtures but not the damages created by the water. Wet carpet, wet dry wall and wet base moldings can easily produce mold and other injurious conditions in the home. The water restoration contractor will be able to quickly locate and dry these materials keeping the property safe and mold free.

A basement waterproofing contractor will manage the repairs required to keep the foundation from leaking water into the basement. They can provide answers to keep the basement dry, such as a sump pump placement or a dehumidifier.

If water however, has been introduced into the property it will be necessary to contact a disaster restoration contractor. They will be able to remove any standing water, remove damaged materials, sanitize all surfaces and dry all wet structures.

Water always places a property at risk for mold and mildew when water comes into contact with building materials. Plumbers can fix the leak and water proofers can provide solution to keep it out but, only a water restoration contractor is able to locate, sanitize and structurally dry property keeping it free of mold and other harmful microorganisms.

Call the Professionals at Action Extraction When Suspicious Water Damage is Discovered.

In the unfortunate event of discovering water damage in your basement or crawl space call the professionals at Action Extraction. We are a 5-star rated flood restoration contractor located in Macomb Michigan with over 3 decades of experience. We provide emergency water removal and cleanup 24/7 day or night.

We have a local team of IICRC certified experts that will provide a free inspection allowing you to know if your damages are minor or require more extensive service. Call today for a free evaluation (586) 949-4448