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 remediation 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 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 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 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.