Water damage to a home or business can occur in many different ways, and all instances require immediate remediation. From flooding to roof leaks to water main bursts and drain pipe ruptures, even the most simple leak is capable of creating havoc. The longer the water sits, the more likely your property will suffer permanent damage or start to mold. Starting the water damage restoration process now will help you keep losses to a minimum and reduce the overall cost of cleanup.
Inspections start the water damage restoration process
When a home is impacted by flood water, rain or a plumbing emergency, the first step in recovery is to have a property inspection. Different rankings are used for various levels of damage and to describe the type of water that caused damage, such as fresh water, gray, or black water. The restoration process varies based on the extent of damage and the type of water. For example, black water can contain raw sewage and other contaminants that demand specialized cleanup.
Tearing out, drying out and cleaning
For most properties with water damage, restoration requires removing all damaged items from the home. A flooded structure with standing water trapped indoors for a period of time is typically stripped to the studs up to the highest level water reached. The home is then dried through the use of specialized fans and dehumidifiers, then cleaned with antimicrobial cleaners to fight and prevent mold growth. Porous building materials, such as drywall, paneling, and cabinets should be disposed of due to environmental concerns. Wood is also porous, so many items such as studs or support beams may need to be replaced if their exposure to water was prolonged.
Restoring water-damaged documents
Protecting the physical structure of a home or business from the long-term effects of water damage is important. However, it is equally necessary to consider smaller items of importance, such as family photos, important documents, and any other paper-based mementos. Across the United States, a variety of individuals focus on salvaging water-damaged documents.
If you want to save your possessions yourself, the National Archives recommends starting the photo and document drying process immediately. Use two screens, such as window screens, to spread pictures or papers on and operate a fan to direct a breeze near, but not at, the photos. Dry photos face up and avoid letting the print side come in contact with a second surface.