There is never a convenient time to have your home flooded, but something about returning from a vacation to find your basement submerged in feet of water is especially hard to take. In a perfect world, our homes wouldn’t flood. There wouldn’t be anything to restore because our basements would always stay dry, our pipes always leak-free and our drywall and carpeting would never have mold.
Causes can vary, but your reaction should be the same regardless. While nothing can completely stop floods, it’s nice to know there is a place to go for help if you have one, call a flood damage restoration specialist.
Instinctually you might want to enter your home and start cleaning yourself. It’s important that you don’t because the structural and electrical systems of your home could have been compromised by the damage. You also might want to give your flood insurance carrier a call, but what they will probably tell you is to call a flood restoration company and get them out there as soon as possible. The reason being is that the quicker restoration experts can evaluate the extent of damage and get to work on fixing it, the less there will be to replace by the insurance company.
Once the restoration professionals arrive, they will take the following steps to clear your home of water and save what can be saved.
1. Assess The Damage
The water damage restoration expert that you hire is best qualified to evaluate the degree to which the water damaged your home. The reason being is that identifying the class and category of damage is a complex process. This is needed to understand how best to restore your home.
The class of water damage pertains to how much moisture is present. Class 1, for example, is the lowest level of moisture absorbed by your home. Class 2 means an entire room was affected and has absorbed a considerable amount of water into carpeting, furniture and walls. Class 3 means all of the contents of the room are saturated and water may be coming through the ceiling.
The category of water defines how clean the water was by identifying its color. Category 1 is clean water from the likes of toilet tanks and pipes. If not cleaned up, it can become Category 2 or worse quickly. Category 2 water would be from a dishwasher or washing machine containing dirt and detergents. Category 3 is unsanitary water from raw sewage, river water or rainwater that has stood for an extended period.
2. Rid Your Home Of Water
Your water damage removal professional will bring in the necessary pumps, vacuums and other tools used to take away all of the water. These experts will know which equipment they need to do the job based on how bad the damage is. They will need to work fast to prevent mold, bacteria, and microbes from growing.
3. Dry Everything
Once all of the standing water and absorbing parts of your house are vacuumed up, your restoration experts will bring in the drying and dehumidifying equipment. Vacuums can only pick up so much. This step will remove the water that you can’t see but is most certainly there. The process of drying can take a few weeks to complete.
4. Clean Everything
All furniture items, personal belongings and anything you want to salvage need to be scrubbed, cleaned and disinfected to prevent mold, mildew, and bacteria from appearing. The carpets, rugs, drapes and any saturated clothes should be treated with antimicrobial agents. There are also air scrubbers that will take away the mold particles and remaining moisture floating around.
5. Start The Restoration Process
All of the previous steps build-up to the most substantial task of restoring your property. If the damage is extensive enough, the drywall, insulation, and carpeting may need to be replaced. Again, the extent of restoration will depend on the damage and it can range from replacing a panel or two to gutting out an entire wall. While newer homes are free of harmful substances like lead and asbestos, older homes tend to be more at risk for exposure.
It’s possible that water damage can go unnoticed in some areas of the home, such as leaky pipes. These leaks can go on for several days, weeks or even months and the damage they inflict can result in a prolonged restoration process.
Get Things Done Right, the First Time
The chances of problems coming back after the restoration is complete highly increase if you do it yourself. A professional home restoration staff will have the experience, resources and safety protocols to effectively handle the water damage restoration process.