Water Damage Restoration – Important Things To Know

Water damage can be caused due to several different factors, from leaky pipes and cracked or broken drains to flash floods, heavy rains or hurricanes. The extent of the damage can run the gamut from mild superficial dampness to severe structural damage compounded by extensive mold formation.

Regardless of the cause, prompt water damage restoration is crucial to mitigating the damage. The big question that often arises for homeowners is whether they should tackle this themselves or call a professional water damage restoration company.

Water Damage Restoration Is Not As Simple As It May Seem

  • Water damage is insidious. As water comes in contact with any building material, it seeps into the smallest cracks and even into the porous material itself. The water you can see around you is only a very small part of the problem. The larger problem is the water that is trapped within the building material including the drywall, hardwood, carpet and floor tiles. This is what causes the most damage.
  • Water damage restoration involves more than just mopping up the visible water. An effective restoration involves several steps that can be separated into two main categories – water damage mitigation and water damage restoration.
  • Water damage mitigation involves:
  • Extracting the excess water
  • Removing the debris
  • Cleaning the affected areas
  • 100% mold removal
  • Demolishing any structures if necessary
  • Complete structural drying using specialized, professional equipment

Water damage restoration is carried out only after the mitigation steps are completed. This involves:

Repairing, rebuilding and reinstalling structures and materials such as the drywall, hardwood, carpeting and others that could not be salvaged.

The whole process can be tedious and time-consuming but doing it properly is absolutely crucial. Missing any one of these steps can cause long term problems both to your health and to the structure of your home.

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Hidden Dangers Of Water Damage Restoration

One of the biggest dangers of dealing with water extraction is that there’s no way to know if the water has come in contact with any electrical wiring or electrical fixtures along its path. If it has, the water could be ‘live’ and you could get electrocuted while wading into the water or even when you touch a damp surface with your bare hands.

Another danger is exposure to mold spores. It can take as little as 24 to 48 hours for mold and other microorganisms to develop and thrive in damp places. Damp walls, flooring, carpets, furniture or upholstery all provide mold with favorable conditions to develop and multiply rapidly. Trying to remove the mold by scrubbing or brushing can be just as hazardous as leaving the mold untouched. Mold spores are extremely light and can become airborne immediately when disturbed. These spores will then settle on your clothes and get carried to other rooms in your home, increasing the risk of infection and allergies.

The only way to minimize the risks from electrocution and mold exposure is with proper training combined with wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment.

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Water Damage Can Cause Hazardous Health Concerns Beyond Mold Exposure and Electrocution

Another health hazard that can arise during water damage restoration is from the type of water that has entered the home. Water that has originated from the leaking faucet is relatively clean and poses no great health threat. The same cannot be said of water that originates from household appliances such as a dishwasher or washing machine or from a toilet bowl, which contains simple bacteria and other microorganisms. The most hazardous is the water that originates from flooded rivers and streams or from somewhere within the sewage system. This water can be contaminated with several different dangerous microorganisms, from toxic bacteria such as Salmonella and E. Coli to the Hepatitis A virus.

Exposure to these toxins can cause serious short and long term health issues. The longer the contaminated water remains in your home, the faster and wider the bacteria will spread, becoming a serious health risk to the whole family. These toxins will also affect the air quality in your home, resulting in severe long term illnesses and respiratory issues as the bacteria multiply and grow.

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Hidden Costs Of Water Damage Restoration

Safe and effective water damage mitigation and restoration requires a lot of specialized equipment including specialized camera, heavy duty personal protective equipment to protect you from electrocution, mold spores and contaminated water, air dryers to extract all the excess moisture from the atmosphere, and more. All of this can cost you lot of money upfront.

Another hidden cost can arise is if the work is not carried out properly. The residual water or mold spores left behind could do irreparable structural damage, which can be even be even more expensive to fix. This is in addition to the long term health implications.

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Why Water Damage Restoration is Best Left to the Professionals

There’s no getting away from the fact that DIY water damage restoration can be tedious, time-consuming, dangerous and expensive. It’s just not worth the risk. Instead, it is far better to pay for professional water damage restoration services.

Most water damage restoration companies have highly trained teams on the ready to attend to any emergency. They understand that a quick response time is crucial to preventing further damage, which could result in expensive recovery and reconstruction.

When you call a water damage restoration company, their team will arrive within hours with the necessary equipment and get down to work immediately. Every member of the team would have undergone extensive training in how to handle different types of water damage mitigation and restoration using state of the art equipment. All of this helps to get the work done as quickly as possible, resulting in minimum damage to your home and minimum cost of repair and reconstruction.

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