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Water Damage Mitigation And What To Expect During The Process

Water damage can occur without warning at any home or business and cause ruined building materials, mold growth, soaked documents, and wrecked furniture. Whether the source of flooding comes from violent storms or a broken pipe in your bathroom, the aftermath can be devastating and you may not know where to start when it comes to cleanup efforts. Calling in a professional water damage mitigation service can put you on the path toward recovery and knowing what to expect once help arrives may help you feel more confident about the process.

What Is Water Damage Mitigation? 

Unlike restoration, mitigation is performed to reduce the immediate impact of the flood. For example, when mitigation technicians arrive, they will likely review the situation and decide which actions should be taken right away to reduce the damage. This may include:

  • Stemming the spread of floodwater
  • Sealing off flooded rooms
  • Removing items at risk for damage (electronics, etc.)

Mitigation may help lower the overall cost of flood repair and prevent adjacent areas from being impacted by contaminated water.

What Initial Steps Might Be Taken? 

When your flood mitigation and restoration technicians arrive, one of the first steps they may take is to inspect the area and gauge how serious the issue is. For example, if you have United Water Restoration Group come to handle the aftermath of a flood, the company’s employees might first take note of the flooding’s source, remove or stem it, if possible, by shutting off your home or business’ water and formulate a plan to remove standing water the flood has left behind.

How Is The Water Drained Away? 

No matter the nature of the flood at your home or business, one of the first steps remediation technicians may take after grading the water is to drain it. Large tanker trucks that utilize hoses may be brought in, as might portable underwater sump pumps. If you are experiencing a basement flood because your pump failed, technicians may use a trash pump to remove sand, mud, silt or other debris that entered your home due to an outdoor or sewer flood. Your mitigation workers may wear specialized equipment during this phase, especially if the water is Category 3, which usually contains raw sewage and other dangerous contaminants.

How Are Items Salvaged? 

You may be concerned about your most valuable or precious belongings in the wake of a flood because not only can dirty water ruin upholstery and fabric, it may also leave foul odors behind. Your water damage mitigation technicians may be able to pull certain items from the flood, such as furniture, clothing, or important documents, to inspect and gauge whether they can be cleaned. Some porous items, such as plastic kitchen utensils or children’s toys, may need to be replaced.

Will Flood Cuts Be Performed? 

If flood water has affected any drywall in your home or business, your flood remediation technicians may perform flood cuts in one or more rooms. These cuts are made into the wall about a foot above the water line to ensure the interior walls have not taken on water and that wiring and insulation have not been damaged. These cuts may also be made several days after the flood to check for mold growth, which can be common after a major flood. If mold is discovered behind your walls, the insulation and drywall itself will likely have to be replaced.

Does Homeowners’ Insurance Cover Remediation? 

Extensive remediation may be necessary after a flood; however, you may not be certain if any part of your homeowners’ insurance will cover the cost. Your flood damage technicians may be able to advise you about some aspects of coverage, but it is wise to contact your local representative directly. Some policies do not cover outdoor flooding but if the source of the water damage was the result of a worn pipe in your rented apartment or a damaged water line owned by the county, you may not be responsible for covering the cost of remediation.

How Are Odors Removed? 

Even when dirty floodwaters are removed, unpleasant odors may linger for days or even weeks. Your remediation professionals may discuss removal techniques with you, such as the use of ozone machines to clear the air in and around the area and use thermal foggers on furniture and other items you want to salvage. Persistent damp odors could signal the presence of mold, so you may want to have them inspected.

Knowing what to expect from your water damage mitigation and restoration technicians may help you feel less anxious about cleanup efforts, no matter the source of the flood. You can prepare for the process by asking questions so you are not caught unaware by the steps that may be taken to restore your property.

Check out the video below for everything you need to know about Water Damage Restoration & Water Damage Mitigation.

Transcript
Adan: Hey guys, welcome back to another episode of Restoration Talks. In this video, we’re going to be talking about everything you wanted to know about water damage, restoration and mitigation. I have our special guests, Liam. Liam is a master technician with United Water Restoration Group. He’s going to talk to us a little bit about water restoration, what it is, just to inform our viewers exactly about how all this stuff really works. So, Liam, I guess your eyes what exactly is water damage?Liam: It’s when you have an intrusion of water in your home, any size, whether it be small or large, that could affect your building materials and potentially cause secondary damage if you don’t mitigate it correctly.

Adan: Wow. Now I know you’ve been in the field for a long time. Can you tell us a little bit about what are the common causes of water damage that you’ve seen recur over and over again?

Liam: Well, it can be supply lines behind the wall or outside of the wall for any type of sink, toilet, shower, what have you. Your washing machine can overflow. Your toilets can overflow. Or you could have potential roof damage and have outside water coming in. Or obviously, the hurricanes or floods can occur as well.

Adan: Especially for some of you guys who live in the northeast, sometimes you get frozen pipes. Sometimes if, say you leave the home and you forget to leave the heating on and you come back to potentially a flooded home. So that’s obviously very, very dangerous. Now typically when that actually happens, you’re going to see signs, right? There’s going to be warping. There’s going to be things. What are some other common signs of water damage around the components of the home that you’ve seen?

Liam: Well, you can have obvious water staining. If it’s in your carpet and you don’t notice it right away, you can get a musty odor. Or if it’s underneath cabinets where you can’t see certain things, obviously warping in your building materials, caulking lines are starting to crack on your baseboards or your crown molding on the ceiling. There’s a lot of different ways that it can go undetected for a little bit of time.

Adan: I think that’s probably the scariest part about water damage mitigation in the restoration process, it’s the unknown. Because if you have water damage, I mean there’s some danger there especially with mold.

Liam: You have multiple different points of building materials and it’s not what you can see. It’s what you can see. We have insulation in attics. We have them in the walls. All that damage behind there that you can’t see right away that we would like to open that up and be able to make sure that the home is safe and you don’t have anything festering behind your building materials.

Adan: That’s great advice. Now let’s say some of our homeowners watching this, let’s say they actually come across some mold or some water damage. What are some of the precautions they can take immediately prior to calling for help?

Liam: Well definitely don’t put any fans on any discoloration or anything along those lines to try and dry it out yourself because you could actually do more harm than better because you could aerosolize the damaged materials into the air and then compromise your immune system that way.

Adan: That that actually will make the mold spread even faster. Right? Because you’re not pushing the mold spores into the HVA system. Now you have mold inside of that system and it’s almost like a virus. It just tends to spread.

Liam: Absolutely. And it will.

Adan: Now can you tell us a little bit about the process? A lot of the calls that we get, especially here at United, a lot of the homeowners are a little bit confused and not really sure of how this whole process works. Can you walk us a little bit through what a typical restoration job looks like?

Liam: Absolutely. It’s good to get us out on site so we can get an inspection. We’re not magicians or anything. We rely on our equipment to tell us what’s going on. That’ll lead us to exactly where it came from. Our first job is to make sure that the source has been corrected, that the water is not still coming into the home. Then we can figure out a way to dry it, minimally invasive. If it’s a dangerous material like mold or sewage, then we would have to remove the materials out of the property for your safety.

Adan: Wow, that’s great. Great advice. Now I have a question. Does that process differ between residential and commercial properties?

Liam: A lot of times it could be the same thing. It’s all about the source of the water and how quickly we get out there. If we get out there the same day, we can usually save a lot of things if it is a clean water loss. Now if it’s not clean, then we would recommend being removed from the site. But given the size would be more equipment in a commercial and less equipment in a residential. But it’s the same process. We have to dry out the home. We have to get it to a standard level of dryness and a safety level.

Adan: Well listen, that’s been amazing advice. I want to thank you so much for answering some of these questions. If you guys have any kind of water loss, any kind of mold issue, anything to do with the components and damage to your home, definitely give us a, call it United Water Restoration Group.

Adan: We are a 24/7 restoration and mitigation company. Hopefully, you’ll get an expert technician like Liam here to your home. So if you guys have any questions, please leave us a question. Leave us a comment below the video. We’d love to answer it in a future episode of Restoration Talks. Until next time.

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