What Does A Water Damage Restoration Service Do?

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Water damage can be one of the most destructive forms of damage to your home. A trained water damage restoration service can step in 24/7 to assess and fix the problem, prevent additional damage, and restore your home. They have advanced equipment, and the training and certified technicians to guide you through every step of water remediation to water restoration. Water damage restoration is the full process of water remediation and restoration including water removal, water extraction, water cleanup including removal of water, drying your home and your possessions, and restoring your home. Most qualified water damage experts will follow a similar protocol which will be adjusted to best address our water damage issue.

Water damage can spread in your home very quickly and lead to mold and other health hazards as quickly as within 24-48 hours. It is essential that you call the right professionals as soon as you become aware of water damage in your home or business. Treat this like the emergency situation it is.

Most water damage restoration services follow the same steps although they will be customized to your situation. You may find that various water restoration services use different terms but the procedure remains very much the same. A typical restoration process follows these steps:

  • Contact a  Water Damage Restoration Company.
  • Inspection and Assessment 
  • Water Remediation 
  • Water Mitigation Water Removal and Extraction
  • Drying and Dehumidification Process
  • Water Damage Cleaning and Sanitizing
  • Restoration 

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) has set standards for professional water damage restoration that includes water damage cleaning, sanitizing, and deodorizing services.

When Contact a Water Damage Restoration Company

Contact a water damage specialist in your area at the first sign of water damage. Damage from even a small leak can quickly escalate causing major damage to your home, up to and including structural damage. Left unchecked the damage can also lead to health hazards and other dangers like electrical shock or ceiling collapse. 

It is overwhelming to find your home and family endangered from water damage, regardless of the cause or source of the water. Think of your restoration company as your first responder. They are open 24/7 and depending on the situation will come out immediately to contain or stop the leak and take any immediate steps to limit the damage and prevent further harm. 

You will find them listed under “Water Damage Restoration” or “Water Damage Specialists.” Before you call, quickly check their site for verified reviews, and see whether they are insured and certified. 

NOTE: This is also when you will want to call your insurance company. Your damage specialist will prepare a plan and quote  for you and you’ll want to know what, if anything is covered by insurance. Most water restoration companies will work with your insurance company to make the water removal and restoration process as easy as possible. 

When you reach the damage specialist they will ask you a few questions to help them best address the situation. They will be looking for basic information such as your name and the address of the affected property, information on your insurance company when the water damage happened, and what caused it (if known) and about the status of the electricity.

Water Damage Inspection and Assessment

The restoration company will do a detailed inspection of your home and the damage. You should walk through the entire home with them and talk about the scope of what needs to be done. They will identify and stop the water source and inspect for contaminated water. In order to restore your home to industry specifications they will identify the type of water, ie white, gray or black. 

They will also be looking for any safety issues such as exposure of electrical wires or weak structures.  They will also move furniture and contents to prevent additional damage or rust. They would also remove any unsalvageable contents and personal items. You should be sure to document all of your damage and losses along the way. 

Once they have evaluated the damage and the work that needs to be done, as well as the equipment they will need, they will present you with an estimate. Be sure you fully review the contract and understand exactly what is and what is not included in the estimate. Even if the insurance company is covering your claim, you will be responsible for paying for the work.

Water Damage Remediation – Water Removal and Extraction

Your specialist will extract as much water as possible, using commercial pumps and vacuums. They can remove thousands of gallons of water easily and quickly. This is important as it will reduce our drying time and help prevent mold and other water damage. If your damage is extensive, they can manage the move of your belongings out of the damaged property. They will also remove carpets and pads if appropriate. 

Water damage specialists use a host of advanced equipment including moisture detectors, to find hidden damage and to measure the extent of the saturation. They may use infrared cameras to “see” into your walls and ceilings. Their state-of-the-art pumping equipment provides continuous high volume pumping.

Water Damage Drying and Dehumidification Process

Once the water is removed they will start the drying process. It’s Important to note that while your walls and floors may look dry, most building materials retain water due to their porous nature. Over time, the moisture can cause them to warp, crack or mold. A water damage specialist will use advanced equipment including industrial air movers and dehumidifiers to carefully remove any remaining moisture from the house. They also use moisture meters to monitor the progress. Their state-of-the-art equipment creates air flow to speed up the evaporation of moisture and prevent secondary water damage like warped floors.

Water Damage Cleaning and Sanitizing

They will thoroughly clean and dry the air as quickly as possible to control the spread of contaminants. In addition to cleaning the air and the area, they will clean any of your belongings such as furniture, clothing or other items. If required they will handle odor removal, and deodorization to rid your things of the musty smell of water damage. They use air scrubbers and fogging equipment to handle this part. 

The extensive cleaning includes wet cleaning, foam cleaning, abrasive cleaning, and other types of sanitization and may include the application of antimicrobial agents and deodorizers and other antibacterials or disinfectants. Remember they want to prevent further contamination.

Water Damage Restoration

Restoration of your home to its original condition may be as simple as replacing some sheetrock, painting, replacing carpet or drying out your floors. It can also be as extensive as rebuilding entire sections of your home. Not all water damage restoration companies offer full building services. 

They may assist with temporary measures such as boarding up the windows, or tarping the roof or helping you move your possessions out of the house.  When calling a specialist, ask about the scope of their rebuilding services. If they do not offer this service, they may well have colleagues that they recommend.

Steps to take until the water restoration service arrives

ONLY take these steps if you are sure there are no hidden dangers such as electrical shock or unsecured structures. These are for minor issues only! Safety first.

Some Safety tips:

  • Turn off the water to the house if appropriate.
  • Disconnect the power to any affected areas.
  • Unplug and remove electronics from the area.
  • Never enter a room with standing water until the electricity is off. 
  • Don’t try to use a regular vacuum for water.
  • Don’t use electrical appliances while you’re on wet flooring or carpeting.

Get started before the water damage specialists arrive

Mop up as much water as possible

Remove any wet rugs or floor coverings that are not attached. 

  • Do not try to pull out the wet wall-to-wall carpet!
  • Lift drapes from the floor and loop them over the curtain rod.
  • Wipe the furniture and place something under the furniture legs to protect them.
  • Move any photos, art, important pictures, or personal items to a high and dry area.
  • Open closets, drawers, and cabinets to help the drying. 
    Remember, regardless of the cause of your water damage, quick remediation is the key to minimizing damage and risk to your health. Be sure to call a trained professional to handle your water damage emergency.

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