Inspecting Your Home and Assessing Your Water Damage
Upon arrival, a professional water damage restoration specialist will immediately tend to a checklist. In order for your damage to be fixed, your specialist will have to do a little detective work. He or she will need to know the source of the damage, the details about the water, what was affected, and discover anything that may contribute to further problems before your home can be restored.
If you are unfamiliar with the complexities of water damage, you may not know what to look for. A trained professional can spot hidden water and looming dangers before they take over your home, creating a problem that will be far more costly to resolve further down the line. Armed with moisture detectors and a keen eye, and investigative water damage specialist will be able to quickly see the full scope of the problem.
Preventing More Water from Entering Your Home
The first thing your specialist will do is figure out where the water is coming from. In some cases, such as an apparent dishwasher or toilet overflow, the water will have already stopped. If the cause of the water damage is not apparent on sight, you may have an ongoing leak. The source of the water has to be determined, and the water needs to be stopped. If there is a dedicated valve in the area, the specialist will shut it off. If there isn’t and the water is still flowing, all water to your home may need to be disconnected.
Determining What Kind of Water Caused the Damage
Water is divided into three categories: White, gray, and black. The type of water involved sets the tone for how the specialist will approach your damage. White water is water that came straight from a pipe, gray water is drainage from any pipes that don’t handle sewage, and black water is water that has potentially or definitely come into contact with sewage.
White water is the safest to come into contact with and doesn’t generally pose any threat to safety. Gray water contains microbes and human bacteria, but is not always dangerous. This is the water that drains away from sinks, bathtubs, and most household appliances. It’s also the most common category of water in most water damage scenarios. Black water is very dangerous, as it contains live bacteria that can spread disease.
Black water makes for a unique circumstance. If the source is determined to be black water, specialists will need to use industrial grade decontamination suits to work inside your home. Your family will need to vacate the affected area, and porous items affected by black water may not be salvageable. If it is discovered that black water is the culprit, your home restoration specialist will immediately make arrangements to sterilize the affected area. Removing sewage from a home is a top priority.
Surveying the Damage
After the causes have been identified, the specialist will examine the extent of the damage. This involves inspecting cabinetry and looking for any vulnerable electrical outlets that may have been affected by the water. Once the inspector knows the extent of the damage, a plan to solve the issue can be drawn up. The inspector will then know how long it will take to restore your home and what the total cost will be. The inspector can help you file a claim with your insurance if the damage falls under your coverage.
During this process, the specialist will examine the structure of your home with moisture detection equipment. This will allow the specialist to see how much water has been absorbed beneath your floor, within your walls, or in your ceiling. Structural drying and dehumidification are crucial steps in water damage restoration, as they prevent the damage from spreading and remove the potential for mold cultivation.
Looking for Any Other Concerns
Can the same issue happen again? Does anything else need to be fixed to prevent future water damage? That’s what your specialist will attempt to find out. For example, if a pipe bursts due to rust and old age, are the surrounding pipes just as likely to burst in the near future? Are there issues with the electrical in your home that create a looming threat for an electrical fire? Your specialist wants to get the job done right, and they only want to do it once. If anything else needs to be fixed immediately, your specialist will want to fix these issues as they’re spotted.
There’s no sense in putting a bandage on a wound that requires stitches, and that’s why it’s so important to thoroughly check the whole home for the potential of compounded damage, or damage that can recur.
Preparing the Area for Restoration
After all the bases have been covered, it’s time to get the area ready for restoration. Furniture may need to be moved out of the way to keep the area open for restoration equipment. Any furniture that has absorbed water will need to be thoroughly dried before it’s returned to your home. The specialist will move the equipment in, and get to work on fixing the damage
If flooring needs to be removed or pieces of a wall need to be cut away for replacement, the specialist will do so at this time. After the area has been thoroughly dried, new flooring can be installed and walls will be patched. During the drying process, things may be upside down. Once the restoration is complete, your home will be as good as new.
Finding a Specialist for Your Home
Attempting to assess and repair the damage yourself is difficult, and making mistakes can create a whole new world of problems that are far more expensive to repair. Restoration Local is available 24 hours a day. At the first site of damage, give us a call at 1-888-443-3110. One of our water damage restoration experts will be able to provide you with a free estimate during your inspection, and get to work immediately.