Water Damage Restoration and the Worst Case Scenario
Imagine that you and your family are gone from your home for a week or so, and early on in that time, the basement floods. There could be any number of reasons for this either outdoors or inside. Perhaps torrential rains or heavy snow produce the flooding. Maybe there’s a defect in the house’s foundation. Possibly you have broken pipes, conceivably because they froze. Perhaps an appliance that uses water malfunctions. Maybe the roof leaked.
Whatever the cause, you end up with water damage that stands for an extended period of time in a flooded basement or elsewhere. It ruins flooring and soaks into walls as well. It wicks its way up and into items that happen to be standing in it while the pervasive dampness even damages items that aren’t in direct contact with the flooding. The wetness leads to the growth of mold that’s not just ugly but hazardous to a person’s health. In short, you return from your trip to discover that over the course of just a few days, water damage has reduced your house to an unsightly, dangerous, and essentially uninhabitable wreck, and to make matters even worse, many of your possessions have seemingly been destroyed.
You might be amazed to learn that even in this extreme situation, a water mitigation specialist can restore your home and your life to normal.
Water Damage Restoration: Call for Help Fast
That, however, doesn’t mean there’s no rush about seeking help. Water damage progresses quickly. The sooner you get the water mitigation process started, the less extensive the damage will be, and that means the job will be less complicated, take less time, and be less expensive. A quick start likewise addresses safety issues which can otherwise end up adding significantly to expense: The Environmental Protection Agency recommends getting rid of all materials that haven’t been thoroughly dried and cleaned after 48 hours. So call a reputable, professional water restoration company as soon as you discover there’s a problem.
How Water Damage Restoration Works: Inspection
The first step in water mitigation is a thorough inspection. The expert from the water restoration company needs to identify everything that must be done to reverse the water damage and return your house to normal, and thanks to his or her training and tools is likely to spot problems you would have missed. As a part of the inspection, the professional will determine the category and class of water damage, information that aids in generating the water damage cleanup and water damage repair plan.
The 3 Categories of Water Damage
- Category 1 water damage involves flooding from a clean water source like broken pipes that carry clean water or a defective toilet tank. Category 1 damage is the easiest to address, but unfortunately, this situation can quickly deteriorate into Category 2 water damage.
- Category 2 water damage is damage from so-called “gray water,” the kind that typically comes from toilet overflows, dishwashers that were running with detergent in them, and washing machines. Just as Category 1 water can degrade into Category2 water, Category 2 can degrade into Category 3.
- Category 3 water damage involves extremely unsanitary water capable of causing sickness or even death. Category 3 water is apt to come from flooded rivers, sewage, and standing water that’s started growing bacteria and other germs.
The 4 Classes of Water Damage
- Class 1 water damage is found in areas that have absorbed relatively little moisture and presents the least complex and difficult water mitigation task.
- Class 2 water damage is water damage that’s occurred throughout an entire room and where walls and carpeting have absorbed water.
- Class 3 water damage is considered the most serious. In this type of damage, water has often come through the ceiling. It’s saturated the room, and a lot of it has soaked into the walls.
- Class 4 water damage is damage to materials that require specialty drying. Concrete, stone and hardwood are examples of such materials.
How Water Damage Restoration Works: Water Removal
Naturally, water damage repair can’t begin until standing water is gone. Your water restoration company will take care of this with specialty vacuums and pumps and use the particular equipment that’s the best choice for addressing your particular situation. Beginning water removal as quickly as possible is important for any number of reasons including discouraging the growth of germs and mold that can otherwise cause allergic reactions or illness.
How Water Damage Removal Works: Drying and Dehumidification
Once the standing water is gone and the crew from your water restoration company has vacuumed all absorbent surfaces, drying and dehumidification can commence. This step is essential to remove any moister the water removal process couldn’t get and can take as long as several weeks depending on the particular circumstances.
How Water Damage Removal Works: Cleaning
After drying and dehumidification, personal items affected by the flooding require cleaning and sanitization to restore their appearance, functionality, and keep germs and mold from growing. Clothes, drapes, and carpeting receive antimicrobial treatments, and a scrubber can be employed to extract lingering moisture and potentially harmful particles from the air.
How Water Damage Restoration Works: Replacement
Depending on the extent of the water damage, water mitigation may require replacing materials like insulation and drywall. Sometimes this requires replacing entire walls, and sometimes, usually in older homes, the process is complicated by the need to protect workers from toxic materials like asbestos and lead. If mold has grown despite the water restoration company’s efforts to prevent it, getting rid of it can also complicate and extend the restoration step.
Here’s a partial list of things that may need to be replaced during the cleaning and restoration steps:
- Air conditioning and heating systems
Water Damage Restoration: The Bottom Line
The takeaway from all this is that water damage is serious, and if your house suffers it, for the sake of your home, your possessions, and even your health, you should contact a water restoration company to undertake water mitigation as soon as possible. We at Five Star Complete Restoration would be happy to help you with our team of experts and state-of-the-art equipment.