There are many different reasons why you might need a water damage restoration specialist
Want to know if you need to hire a professional water damage repair company? The right choice doesn’t always have to do with what you’re doing. It’s more about damage mitigation — is the rate of evaporation high enough to get everything thoroughly dry before further destruction set into place. Only people who have special training and equipment should clean up a sewage backup. Water that has been soaking into different areas of the house, it can quickly get into and under all sorts of things. The water moves slowly and steadily up in walls and reaches deep into the structure. From there the water stays trapped, hidden, and within the structure for a long time. Within the first day or two, progressive damage can begin.
- carpets mold underneath
- drywall sags and disintegrates
- wood swells, warps, splits and eventually rots
- paint bubbles
- electric wiring corrodes and shorts
- wood flooring buckles or cups
- tiles become loose
- and more
Structural drying is often necessary after surface water damage cleanup. If there are any doubts about how to fix something, call the insurance company and ask them how to fix it, as they will generally require professional water damage mitigation for any secondary damage to be covered.. Here are the basic things you need to know.
The science behind properly drying water damaged homes
The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is the leading non-profit organization that certifies cleaning and restoration companies. Their Standards and Guidelines publication divides water damage cleanup into 4 classifications based on the area and types of material affected (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_damage).
Class 1 is where you might find wood, vinyl tile and concrete. These incidents can often be handled by homeowners and business owners. If water has seeped into the walls and has soaked the carpets, Class2, drying out requires a high rate of evaporation. Without special training and equipment, the risk of further damage is increased.
The IICRC also defines 3 categories for water damage restoration based on the degree of biological contamination. Categories 1 and 2 include sources such as household appliances and plumbing that do not cause serious health hazards for several days. Category 3 is anything that might have contact with sewage, water that has been in contact with the ground, and water that has been around for a long time, usually more than 48-72 hours. These require special procedures that need to be followed, and we need an anti-microbial expert to help.
What should be done
The goal is to get all moisture levels inside your house to safe levels, like within 2-3 days. Removing “flood waters” alone is not enough. When there is water on the floor or a wall, it is possible that there is still hidden moisture. There are lots of instructions on water damage removal on the web and in theory there’s nothing you can’t do yourself. However, by the time you find out something isn’t working as planned it will be too late to prevent mold and other secondary damage. A professional team will have plenty of people who have the training and equipment to quickly fix any damage that is done to the property. They should guarantee their services.
Here are some of the things you need to do.
- Remove any standing water.
- Open cabinet and closet doors.
- Remove wet furniture and other items from the area.
- Use a wet/dry shop vac for surface water extraction.
- Lift carpet so that it can dry from both sides. Discard and replace the padding.
- Set up fans to circulate indoor air, especially in closets, corners, and small recesses.
- If the outdoor humidity is low, open windows and use additional fans to provide lots of dry air.
- Keep all fans running 24 hours a day for several days.
- In the meantime clean and disinfect all affected surfaces.
A vacuum cleaner, a dehumidifier, or an air purifier are more effective than a cloth in extracting water, dehumidifying, or filtering air. When the flooding is very severe, it is often necessary to open up wall cavities to remove the structural moisture. If there is water damage, the person who found the leak may have to remove the baseboards and drill small holes, or open up large sections of a wall.
To repair a flood, you often need to do the following:
- replace carpet padding and often the carpet or other flooring materials,
- replace acoustic tile,
- replacing cabinetry,
- patch or replace wallboard, and
- access and replace the insulation.
If the scale of the flooding is such that you are confident you can complete all your tasks in just a few days, study up and go for it. Keep in mind, when you have a break in your pipe, there is a big risk of extensive (and expensive) secondary damage if you don’t bring in professional water damage restoration specialists.