Water damage restoration takes a lot of time and energy to complete, but it is necessary for clean up after a flood. In fact, some types of water damage cannot be fixed until all the water has been removed from the property which means that restoration could take several days or longer depending on the severity of the flooding.
Water damage can begin with a small leak or a large all-out flood. In either case, the property will need to be totally dried out and cleaned before it is habitable again. Mold and bacteria can begin to grow within 24 hours which means that quick action is necessary.
What is water damage restoration?
Water damage restoration is the process of returning a property back to its pre-flood condition by removing all water and contaminants. Most floods can be fixed using several steps including: inspection, pump out, drying, sanitizing/deodorizing, and repairs. Once these steps are completed then it will be time to replace flooring that was destroyed by the flood. It is time to replace the carpeting when all the padding has been dried out completely, which can take several days for complete drying.
Fire damage restoration goes through a similar process, but there are different steps that will need to be taken because fire damage is usually much more severe. Restoration time for fire damage can be several weeks or longer in order to replace appliances and other necessities in the home.
A property that has been flooded will need to be thoroughly sanitized and deodorized. Mold and bacteria thrive in wet conditions so it is vital to kill all germs with germicides and other methods including ultraviolet lights, ozone treatments, and biocide foggers.
Once all these steps have been taken then the drying process can begin which takes several days or longer depending on what materials were used to dry out the property. When water damage restoration is complete then it will be time for repairs and cleanup which can take a long time to do correctly.
Why does water damage happen?
Water damage usually occurs because of a pipe that bursts or a roof that is damaged by heavy rainfall. Water can enter into tight places where it should not be leaking, which means that it will take time to find the source of the leak before the drying process begins.
Most water damage comes from flooding which can happen on a large scale after heavy rains or on a small scale after a small plumbing accident. Water damage restoration time will be much longer after an all-out flood, but floods can also cause severe structural damage to the flooring and walls that will need to be repaired before the drying process begins.
Once flooding has occurred then it is important to dry out the property quickly because mold and mildew can begin to grow within 24 hours. All these steps will need to be completed before repairs can even begin after water damage.
Signs of a potential problem
The best way to avoid water damage restoration is to prevent it from happening in the first place. There are many signs that signal a potential problem including damp or musty odors, water stains on ceilings or walls, sagging floors, warped wood paneling, and discolored ceiling tiles.
If any of these things begin to happen then it is best to call a plumber immediately and prepare for water damage restoration. It will be important to take photographs of the property before the flood happens because insurance companies may need this evidence in order to pay up on damages.
When water damage occurs then it is very important that you contact a professional restoration company as soon as possible. This will expedite the drying process and reduce damage. Most restoration companies will come out immediately if they are not too busy with other jobs so call as soon as there is any sign of water damage.
Most water damage comes from roof leaks or damaged pipes that begin to drip into carpeting or other materials in the home. Flooding can happen after heavy rainfall or other natural disasters, but it can also occur after an unusually heavy amount of water comes out of the shower head at once.
Water damage restoration is usually very easy once all these steps have been taken and drying has begun. Once the property has been dried then it will be time to replace the carpeting and repaint certain areas that were damaged by water.
You’ll need to bring in specialized equipment for removing the excess liquid.
Mold Remediation: How Long Does It Take?
Water damage restoration is no easy task. It involves not only cleaning the property, but also assessing the damage, mitigating the continuing source of moisture, and containing any toxic mold that might be present.
Depending on which part of the country you are in, mold remediation can take anywhere from a few days to over two weeks. Due to the hazardous nature of mold, most insurance carriers stipulate that the work is completed by a licensed professional. The process includes:
- Cleanup – This consists of any manual removal of water and drying with fans or dehumidifiers. There may also be an industrial size air scrubber that runs continuously in the area for several days to absorb spores.
- Containment – After drying has occurred, the containment phase begins. This is where you will see large tarps draped along the walls and taped down with special tape (similar to duck tape) that absorbs moisture. If there are carpets, these must be taken up and disposed of per hazardous materials standards. All furniture will be removed from the area to an area where the contaminated air cannot reach.
- Assessment – A licensed mold specialist will test any remaining stained areas with a microscope, UV light, moisture meter, etc., to determine if there is still visible mold. If you wait too long between remediation and testing for residual spores, they can grow into new colonies that are harder to eliminate.
- Mold Removal – This is actually part of the containment process, but can be done at a separate time depending on insurance company requirements. If mold is present, it will be removed using EPA-approved products and will not leave toxic residue behind.
- Final Testing – After all visible signs of mold are gone (no discoloration, no odor) the final testing phase can begin. This is where all of the equipment used during cleanup is moved back into place and tested for residual spores; if they test negative, you are good to go.