Water damage is one of those home emergencies that everyone dreads, because of home complicated the cleanup and restoration process can be. If your home has recently been flooded as the result of a burst water pipe or of a natural disaster, then you are most probably wondering what happens next.
The first step of the cleanup effort is to stop the leak causing more damage, which means if you have a burst water pipe you need to get your water turned off or if there is water coming in from outside, you need to try and find a way to prevent it from doing so. If you need to turn off your home’s water supply but don’t know how to, call a professional plumber to deal with the situation for you.
Once the water has been turned off or the leak stopped, it’s vital that you call a professional water damage expert to come and deal with the situation. By calling in a water restoration damage expert, you can ensure that the cleanup process is done as quickly and safely as possible, without causing further damage to your home.
The process of restoring a home after water damage
It’s important to remember that every water restoration job is unique and that the amount of time and work for each will vary depending on a number of different factors. These factors include things like the amount of water damage that there is and how long the damage has been present, for instance. Once a water damage expert visited your home, they should be able to put together a restoration timeline that gives you a good idea of how long the water restoration process will take.
An inspection is performed: The first step in the water restoration process is an inspection of the water damage that has impacted your home. This assessment is designed to allow water damage experts to determine what steps need to be taken to reverse the damage that has been done to your home.
Prevention of further damage: To prevent further damage, the water needs to be cleared up quickly and the area dried out. However, how long this takes depends on the rating of the water damage. As part of the inspection process, the water damage in your home is also ranked and classified. If it is found that the water damage won’t dry on its own, then dryers and dehumidifiers may be required to help dry the area more quickly, preventing further problems from occurring. These classifications are linked to how contaminated the water within your home is, and they go like this:
- Category 1 Water Damage: This is when the water comes from a sanitary water source that is safe for human consumption. This type of water does not pose a threat to human health – sources include sprinkler systems, broken water supply lines, and natural sources such as rainwater.
- Category 2 Water Damage: This level of water damage is where the water has been significantly contaminated and has the potential to cause illness if people come into contact with it. This type of water damage contains matter such as urine, detergents, and other dangerous substances.
- Category 3 Water Damage: This is when the water is ‘grossly contaminated’ and contains both harmful pathological and toxigenic agents. This is called ‘black water’ and raw sewage is the common cause of this type of contamination.
These categories are then further categorized into classes, which determines how intrusive the water has been to the area that has been exposed to it.
- Class 1: Where a small amount of water has covered materials that are low in porosity. After the water is removed, this type of water damage requires minimal levels of evaporation. An example would be a burst water pipe onto a sealed concrete floor, for instance.
- Class 2: This is where a larger amount of water has been discharged and the exposed materials have a high porosity. This means that there is a greater absorption of water into the houses’ materials and water damage process becomes longer as not only does the water need to be removed but there is a lengthened drying time.
- Class 3: This is where a large amount of water is absorbed by a highly porous material, resulting in the need for the highest rate of evaporation necessary to ensure that the water restoration process is successful.
- Class 4: This is when water penetrates and is trapped by building materials, which makes the restoration process extremely difficult, expensive and time-consuming.
Removal of standing water: One of the most vital steps in the water damage restoration process is the actual removal of the water from the damaged area. The longer the water sits untreated, the more damage it will do, which is why acting swiftly in this situation is so crucial.
Drying: Once the water removal process is complete, the next step is to bring in drying equipment to help increase the speed at which space dries. This equipment usually consists of large fans that are used to circulate air flow within the affected area. In some instances, holes need to be drilled into the flooring and baseboards of your home, to ensure that the water has drained properly.
Monitoring: As part of the water restoration process, the affected area of your home will be carefully monitored. The monitoring process is performed to ensure that the affected area is drying as it should be and that the water damage is not spreading in an unprecedented way and causing any further damage, such as the onset of damp. You may find that the home restoration crew dealing with your home’s water damage will move fans and heating equipment around to target different areas of your home at various times – this is to ensure that every area is properly dried out.
Completion: Once your water restoration team has returned your home to its original, pre-flood state, the home restoration process is considered as complete and safe to use again.