A Look at the Water Damage Restoration Process

April 24, 2024

When a mop and a few towels aren’t enough to get the water out of your home, it’s probably time to call the professionals. Water damage restoration technicians are qualified to tackle small and large projects.

From getting rid of the excess water to drying out and making repairs, a restoration service can get your property back to its pre-flooding condition. However, have you ever wondered what the process involves? Here’s what you should expect from a water damage restoration Aurora, CO company.

What to Expect During the Water Damage Restoration Process

After calling a water damage restoration service, you may be wondering what to expect. Questions like how are the technicians going to remove the water and dry the walls and flooring are common. Dealing with mold and mildew may also come to mind. While every restoration company is different, most follow the same basic steps.

Conduct an Inspection

Before removing any water, the first thing to expect is a thorough inspection. The inspection is more than a look at the damage, the technician is also working to identify the water source. Why does the water source matter? The source helps identify the type of water, also known as its classification.

The classification refers to the water contamination category and this can affect the restoration process. So, water is typically classified in one of three categories:

  1. Category 1 is white water: This type of water has a very low or zero level of contamination. Sources of white water include indoor pipes, sinks, bathtubs, and water heaters.
  2. Category 2 is gray water: Here, contaminants are present. Appliances like washing machines and dishwashers are common sources of gray water.
  3. Category 3 is black water: This type is considered hazardous. Sewage lines, septic systems, toilets, and flooding are sources of black water.

Identifying the water source is necessary to know what type of decontamination method is needed later on in the restoration process. If black water is present, it can also affect the type of safety gear the technician wears.

The inspection also helps to identify the class of water damage. Your water damage can range anywhere from class 1 to class 4. During this stage of the inspection, the technician looks at the type of surfaces damaged in the flood.

For example, are the surfaces porous like carpet and gypsum board or a low evaporation material like wood, concrete, and plaster? Identifying the damaged surfaces gives the technician a better idea of which drying method will work best.

Starting the Water Extraction Process

Yes, you may see technicians using mops, brooms, and even towels to remove all of the excess water. However, this is usually the final step in the water extraction process. Get ready to hear a lot of noise. Industrial vacuums are noisy, but the machines are also effective at removing large amounts of water. If your basement is flooded, a submersible pump may also be used.

After removing most of the standing water, a wet/dry vacuum is typically the next part of the extraction process. Once all visible water is removed, the technician will use an infrared camera or moisture meter to check for moisture underneath the flooring and behind walls.

Hopefully, there aren’t any hidden pockets of water. This means the restoration service may not need to remove your flooring or knock a hole in the drywall. Don’t panic if your flooring is removed or a hole appears in your drywall. Part of the restoration process involves repairing any damage.

Drying Out the Damaged Areas

Chances are, your water damage is a little too extensive to air-dry the affected area. In other words, it’s going to take more than opening the doors and windows, but this doesn’t mean the technician isn’t going to take advantage of a warm, breezy day. Fresh air can help speed up the drying process.

The technician will also bring in industrial fans, which are loud but also necessary, and a commercial-grade dehumidifier will also be brought in. The dehumidifier does more than help remove moisture, it also works to prevent mold and mildew from forming.

How long the drying-out process takes depends on the extent of the flooding. Most restoration processes allow around five days for drying, but once again every project is different.

Sanitizing All Affected Surfaces

Even after everything is thoroughly dry, sanitizing all affected surfaces is still necessary. This is also a step you don’t want to skip, even if you’re only dealing with white water. Regardless of the water’s classification, be prepared to see the technicians wearing personal protective equipment (PPE). This generally includes gloves, rubber boots, goggles, protective overalls, and an N-95 mask.

The sanitation process for Category 1 and 2 water typically involves using a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) vacuum, along with an air scrubber. When the water is a category 3, an antimicrobial solution is also applied to all affected surfaces.

The Repair and Reconstruction Process

Finally, all surfaces are dried and sanitized. Now, it’s time to start repairing any water damage. This can also include damage caused by the technicians during the extraction process.

Remember the hole in your drywall? This is when the technicians get to work making any necessary repairs. If parts of the structure need to be completely reconstructed, like new flooring installed, the restoration service will also take care of this project.

Anything that can’t be salvaged, like sopping wet carpeting, goes into the trash. Whether or not you replace the carpeting is up to you. If you’ve always wanted tile floors, this is a great time to contact a specialist. Some water damage restoration services can handle all parts of the reconstruction process and others may need to bring in outside help.

You Can Recover From Water Damage

Whether your flooding is caused by a nearby stream overflowing its banks or a broken water pipe, a restoration specialist can help return your property to its original state. Sometimes, your property may look even better than it did before flooding.

Knowing what to expect during the water damage restoration process can help minimize your stress and prevent any unpleasant surprises.

 

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