If you come home to discover a water damage emergency in your home from a broken pipe, you probably know you have to shut off the water main. The first critical step when you have a flood or water damage emergency is to always stop any active leak. Once the water is shut off and the plumber repairs the broken pipe, a professional restoration company should be called out to evaluate the damages. Once the inspection has been completed the technicians should be able to inform you on what to expect from water damage cleanup.
It is highly recommended to contact a local water restoration company as soon as possible to remove any standing water and begin the cleanup and drying process. Each hour water is allowed to remain in the home allows the destructive energy of water to do more damage and increase the cost of repairs. Let us not forget the possibility of mold being introduced into the home if water is left to itself in as little as 48 hours.
How to restore a home after water damage
Not all water damage is the same and often the unique circumstances that cause the water damage to begin with will determine the process. Some of the factors that determine how bad the water damage is will be based upon the source of the water. For instance water from a backed up sewer drain is going to be more involved than water from a sink overflow due to the contamination level of the water. Water damage from a refrigerator leak can go on unnoticed for days and weeks causing hidden damage that will require expert evaluation.
The professional restoration company you contact will be able to inspect your property in minutes of their arrival and instruct you in detail as to the cleanup process as well as a timeline when you can expect the completion of your service. Here are several steps that will allow you to know what to expect from water damage cleanup.
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REASONS TO CALL THE PROFESSIONALS
Inspection of the water damaged property
Professionals will be capable of determining what materials have become affected by the water with an inspection. Utilizing specialty moisture detection meters they will be capable of discovering trapped and hidden water that is invisible to the naked eye. Wet building materials like carpet, pad, dry wall, paneling and flooring will be easily accessed for the presence of water. If the materials tested are of a moisture content that is high or dangerous, the restorer will recommend service. If the materials are not affected by water then something as simple as an application of a germ killing agent may be all that is necessary. Often when the amount of water that has inundated an environment is several inches, the damages the restorer finds is great. It is essential for drying equipment to be introduced when humidity is high and salvageable materials are wet.
Classifying the category of water
The degree of contamination in the water will determine the cleanup standards and allow you to know what to expect from water damage cleanup. There are 3 types of water damage categories ranging from category 1 to category 3. If the water was from a fresh water source like a broken water pipe, sink overflow or a leaky hot water heater the classification of the water is category 1. This type of water damage is not supplied with contaminates heavy enough to require materials to be removed. In most cases, water removal and drying is all that will need to be required.
If however the water damage is from a backed up sewer drain that the classification will be category 3. This type of water is highly contaminated and any material that has absorbed this water will have to be removed and germ killing agents utilized to sanitize the property. The professional water damage restorer will be equip to make the appropriate classification of your water damage.
Remove all standing water
Immediately after the inspection of the water damaged property, water removal needs to take place. The water removal process is managed with highly powerful extraction units that are capable of removing water from surfaces and even wet carpet pad. If the flooring the water is standing on is carpet the amount of time will be more than if it is tile flooring. When basements flood often the amount of water can be hundreds of gallons. Furniture may need to be manipulated to allow all wet carpet to be extracted and serviced. Personnel contents may need to be temporarily stored in a garage or unaffected room to allow complete restoration and repairs.
Cleanup and disinfecting of materials
Once the water is removed any wet building materials will need to be treated based upon the type of water and amount of moisture present. Dry wall that is wet from water with minimal contamination will be capable of being dried without removal. Dry wall that is wet from raw sewage from a drain will need to be removed and the surrounding areas sanitized with appropriate agents. Where ever the water has gone there needs to be the application of a disinfectant to help restore the environment.
Drying equipment placed to remove humidity.
Once the water has been removed the materials that came into direct contact with the water will need to be dried with professional drying equipment. Air movers are placed in specific locations to create air movement forcing wet material to release moisture into the air. Dehumidifiers will quickly reduce the humidity allowing complete structural drying in as little as 2 days.
Monitoring drying equipment
After water damage restoration companies place their drying equipment, they will monitor the drying progress with daily monitoring of the materials and the environment. This allows the restorer to carefully observe the speed and success of the drying, allowing for changes if necessary to achieve their drying goals. The readings in temperature and humidity should be greatly reduced each day until the property can be certified dry.
When these steps are followed then what to expect from water damage cleanup is a safe and completely restored home.