Home Improvement

Published on January 1st, 2020 | by admin

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What Does Water Damage Restoration Mean

Water damage restoration is a broad term to describe the multi-step process that occurs after a home has suffered a water event. It can be as simple as using a vacuum to remove water before drying the area or as complicated as rebuilding entire sections of a home. It can get confusing, so let’s break the steps down.

What Does Water Restoration Entail? 

The purpose here is restoring the home to a livable condition that’s at least up to par with its pre-damage condition. Depending on the degree of damage, this can entail several processes: 

  • Water removal 
  • Decontamination 
  • Drying 
  • Rebuilding/Replacing 

In all the above, it’s imperative to act fast following water damage since standing water creates a breeding ground for harmful mold and bacteria growth. Exposure to such allergens can create or worsen several health problems and diseases, including allergic reactions and asthma symptoms. 

Five Steps To The Restoration Process 

The aftermath of water events in a home is a multi-step process. 

  1. Inspection

Walls, ceilings, flooring, and other structural components will be assessed for damage. A professional will be able to provide both a class and category of water damage, which includes: 

  • Class One: Little moisture has been absorbed by only part of a room. 
  • Class Two: An entire room is affected and moisture is present in flooring and walls. 
  • Class Three: Walls and/or ceiling have absorbed water; the area is saturated with water. 
  • Class Four: Harder materials such as stone, hardwood, tile, and concrete have suffered water damage and should be safely dried with professional equipment.
  • Category One: Water damage is from a clean water source, such as a toilet tank or water pipe, and is recent. 
  • Category Two: Water damage is from grey water, such as a washing machine, dishwater, or urine-only toilet overflow. 
  • Category Three: Water damage caused by unsanitary water capable of causing disease, infection, or death, such as sewage, flood water, or clean water that’s had time to become stagnant and grow microbes or bacteria. 

Basically, class involves the amount, or rather saturation, of water. Category involves the type of water present. Keep in mind that category one can rapidly deteriorate into lower classes as it has time to sit and become unsanitary. 

The above professional determinations guide how to proceed with water restoration, also called water remediation, services. 

  1. Water Removal / Extraction 

Specialized equipment, such as pumps, vacuums, dehumidifiers, and air movers, are used to remove the water from the home. As mentioned above, the extent of the water damage guides the professional water removal technician on what equipment is necessary for remediation. 

An expedient extraction service is necessary for all classes and categories to deprive mold and bacteria from an environment whereby they’re able to thrive and multiply. 

  1. Drying 

Drying and dehumidification can begin once all absorbent surfaces and standing water is removed from the area. Depending on the degree of wetness, it can take several hours to weeks to complete the drying process and ensure all residual moisture is addressed. 

  1. Cleaning / Sanitation 

Any household items, including upholstery and clothing, in the affected area should be thoroughly sanitized and treated with antimicrobials. Sometimes, an air scrubber is necessary to ensure the air is free of harmful particles and excess moisture. 

The EPA recommends discarding any materials/items if they’re not cleaned properly and dried within 48 hours of a water damage event. Homeowners can act on this immediately, even before a professional inspection to make the process go faster and reduce the risk of dangerous toxin exposure. 

  1. Restoration / Remediation 

This is step whereby any materials damaged by the water event will be restored. Walls, flooring, shelves, ductwork, HVAC components, and upholstered items are common belongings that need to be replaced for restoration.

Depending on the degree of damage, this may be as simple as a few pieces of new drywall and insulation, but it could involve a complete ceiling to floor removal and replacement. It’s vital to complete the restoration as per the water restoration professional advice. If not, dangerous toxins may remain behind from an incomplete restoration. 

Another important point is professional removal of damaged materials. Aside from mold and bacteria from the recent water event, removal and restoration processes may expose the household to toxins like underlying lead and asbestos. 

In closing, water damage restoration is absolutely necessary after any water event to ensure the home returns to a safe, livable state. The absolute worst thing a homeowner can do is to delay professional help. Doing so may worsen the severity of damage and unnecessarily expose the home to and leave behind dangerous toxins.


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