How to Handle a Water Damage Incident
How to Handle a Water Damage Incident
Flood damage or water damage from other sources is serious business. Water in a business or water in a home that is left standing can not only cause decay and leave foul smelling odors and mold, but it can even leave the property structurally unsound, potentially causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses.
Luckily, there are professionals who are expert in water damage restoration and who can almost always effectively combat water damage, restoring the property to its former condition, 100 percent. However, it's important the people know that this is a job that entails doing some difficult work with highly sophisticated equipment in a set order. People without the equipment, experience or extensive knowledge necessary who attempt mitigation of water damage and restoration of the property on their own often end up with disastrous consequences, including the total loss of the property.
The five step flood damage restoration process:
Water in the home or water in the business can very quickly lead to irreversible damage, including structural compromise that can require tearing down and rebuilding entire sections of the structure. But with a professional restoration and mitigation firm, there is an established, five-step process that can ensure an almost guaranteed complete restoration of the property, in all but the most extreme natural disasters.
Emergency call, inspection and damage assessment
The first step is to seek help. Most professional restoration firms have 24/7, on call staff who can immediately dispatch a team to the site of the flood damage. Using sophisticated equipment, including infrared detectors and hygrometers, specialists can assess the extent to which the water has seeped into areas beyond view, immediately ordering in specialized equipment, such as industrial floor drying equipment, that can begin drying any affected areas of the flooring or structural components of the home or business.
The first task with water in the home or water in the business will be to completely remove any standing water from the floor or basement. This can be accomplished with amazing speed, using industrial vacuum equipment and submersible pumps. Again, attempting to remove standing water should never be undertaken by non-professionals. There are serious hazards in doing so and the equipment is likely to be insufficient and subject to failure.
Drying and dehumidifying
Once the standing water in the home or water in the business has been removed, the water cleanup process can move forward. The next step is drying. While it may sound simple, it's far from it. Different materials dry at vastly different rates. Some out-of-sight structural components may absorb water and retain it for months or years. This water must be removed. Failure to do so will certainly result in rotting and structural compromise. Professional firms have both high-power, specialized drying equipment as well as cutting-edge capabilities to dehumidify large spaces, dropping the humidity to almost zero.
The water cleanup company will also remove all furniture, books, artwork and other valuable items that may need to be dried or could be vulnerable to standing water. Drying is one of the most important parts of the water cleanup and damage mitigation process.
Cleaning and sanitizing
When flood damage occurs, part of the water cleanup process is categorizing the water. The damage mitigation team will either classify the water as clean, grey or black. Clean water may not involve much in the way of cleaning. However, grey and black water will involve extensive cleaning of movable items as well as fixed surfaces. The team will also sanitize the entire affected site, ensuring that no harmful organisms are allowed to fester.
Finally, the damage control team will touch up the affected area, restoring it and everything it contains back to exactly as it was before the flood event. In all but the most extreme cases, the property will be completely restored to its previous condition, with a prompt call to a competent water damage company.
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