The Basics of Water Damage Restoration
Water damage restoration can be daunting, but some tips and tricks can help make the process easier and less costly. First, it is important to understand the different types of water damage. There are three categories based on source and quality:
1. Remove the Water
The most important thing to do in the event of water damage is to get rid of as much standing water as possible. This should be done by a professional with the proper equipment to extract and remove the excess moisture. This includes machines like wet vacs and pumps. It is recommended that you look for an IICRC-certified Infinity Restoration service.
This will ensure that the technicians working on your home are trained and skilled. Also, they will follow the strictest safety guidelines to ensure nothing goes wrong while working on your property.
If there is serious water damage at your property, you should ensure that everyone in the house stays away from the affected area. This is to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries that may occur while trying to deal with the water.
Before any water damage restoration can occur, the water damage’s source needs to be shut off. This is because it can prevent further complications and may even help you save money in the long run. It is also crucial that the electricity in the affected area is turned off. If it is not, there is a risk of electrical fires and other dangerous problems.
After the source of the water damage is turned off, it’s time to start drying out the affected area. This can be a time-consuming process, but it is essential in order to minimize the damage and prevent further issues from taking place.
Moisture left untreated for too long can cause severe structural damage and mold growth. This can result in costly repairs and may even require that you replace certain materials at your property.
2. Clean and Sanitize
Once the water has been removed, the next step is to clean and sanitize the area. This is vital to prevent mold growth and bacteria, as these can cause serious health problems for you and your family. Once the affected areas have been cleaned and sanitized, they can be ready for any repairs that may need to be done.
This process usually involves using commercial cleaning products, such as bleach and water. You should also use dehumidifiers to remove any excess moisture from the air. This can help speed up the drying process and reduce the risk of any further damage to the affected areas.
If there are any items that can’t be washed or disinfected, such as drywall and insulation, they should be discarded. It is also important to remove any wood that has rotted or developed mold, as these should be replaced as soon as possible to avoid structural issues in the future.
Before beginning the cleanup process, it’s crucial to discover where the water came from. There are three different types of water: Category 1 Water Damage (Fresh Water), Category 2 Water Damage (Gray Water), and Category 3 Water Damage (Black Water). Category 1 water comes from sanitary sources, such as leaky pipes or rainwater. Gray water is contaminated with harsh chemicals and can be dangerous to handle without proper safety precautions. Category 3 water contains serious health hazards and is unsafe to be around.
If you’re not sure what type of water you’re dealing with, you should always contact a professional water restoration company for assistance. An IICRC-certified professional will be able to assess the situation and determine the best course of action for your home or business.
3. Dry the Area
The water damage restoration process isn’t complete without thoroughly drying the area. This is a time-consuming task that can take days or even weeks depending on the extent of the damage and the type of building material.
During the drying process, technicians use a variety of tools to ensure that all moisture is removed from the property. They may start by using a non-invasive moisture meter to determine the level of dampness in walls and other structural components. This information is then used to create a drying plan. Often, the plan includes placing dehumidifiers in strategic locations to remove excess moisture from the property as quickly as possible.
It’s also common for the restoration professionals to place moisture barriers in wall cavities. This solution has been proven to be the most effective way to dry interior walls. Additionally, they may also use a method called “inner-wall drying,” which involves creating small holes above the sill plate and forcing air into the wall cavity to speed up the drying process.
Once the area is dry, restoration specialists may clean, sanitize, and deodorize it. They will also repair any areas where water can reenter the home or business, such as roof leaks or gaps in window frames.
For the homeowner, it’s important to keep an eye out for any signs of water damage. This can include cracks in the foundation or exterior walls, as well as discoloration of the siding. These issues can be a sign of serious problems, so it’s crucial to have them checked out by a professional. By following these tips, you can protect your property from water damage and minimize the chances of expensive restoration costs in the future.
4. Clean the Structural Components
Even if the water damage is minimal, you still have to take steps to clean and sanitize the area. This will help prevent the spread of bacteria, fungus, and other contaminants. It also helps eliminate any unpleasant odors caused by the water damage.
This is a vital step, especially in cases of category 2 or 3 water damage, which can contain harmful contaminants. The restoration professionals will disinfect surfaces and materials using specialized cleaning agents. They may also use ozone generators to destroy bacteria and other contaminants in the air.
After the water is removed, the structural components of the home need to be cleaned and dried. This can be done by running fans and dehumidifiers. If the structure is badly damaged, it might need to be completely replaced. During this time, it is important to make sure that any electrical components are turned off and that the water is not getting into the walls or floors of the house.
If you do decide to hire a professional water restoration company, it is important to choose one that has IICRC certification. This will ensure that they follow proper industry practices and have the skills to restore the home to its original condition. It is also helpful to ask for references from previous clients.
Managing water damage can be difficult, but by following the tips above, you can reduce the risk of long-term damage to your property. Be sure to contact a professional if the damage is severe, as this can be a dangerous process. The pros at COIT have the knowledge, expertise, and capacity to fix even the most complicated water damage. They have been working in the industry for over 70 years, and will get your home back to normal quickly.
5. Disinfect the Area
Water damage can be a disastrous event for your home or business. However, there are several steps you can take to mitigate the damage and restore your property. These steps include shutting off the water source, unplugging electronics, and sanitizing affected areas. These steps should be taken as soon as possible to reduce the amount of damage caused by the water and prevent mold from forming. In addition, it is important to contact an IICRC-certified water restoration professional. These professionals follow strict industry standards and keep up to date on the latest technology.
Before the restoration process begins, it is crucial to identify and shut off the source of the water. This will minimize the amount of damage and prevent additional hazards like electrical shocks and explosions. Then, the water restoration experts will start by assessing the extent of the damage. This involves going over every inch of the property and checking the condition of the structure and its contents. They will also determine the category of water damage to help them plan the restoration process accordingly.
The experts will then begin removing the standing water from the affected area using high-powered pumps and vacuums. This can be a tedious job, but it is essential to remove as much water as possible to avoid further damage and short circuiting. They may also use dehumidifiers to help remove excess moisture and speed up the drying process.
Once the standing water is removed, the professionals will clean and sanitize the affected area. This includes scrubbing the surfaces, disinfecting appliances and electronics, and cleaning furniture and other contents. This step is particularly important if the water was contaminated with bacteria, viruses, or other toxins. It is also a good idea to document the entire process, including photographs and videos, so that you can provide them to your insurance company if needed.