The Water Restoration ProcessLearn about The Water Restoration Process
The Water Restoration Process
Restoring a home after water damage can be fairly simple — or it can be an in-depth process that requires rebuilding sections of the home. To restore your home to a safe and livable condition, the water must be removed before materials are decontaminated and fully dried. This water restoration process should begin as soon as possible because standing water and wet materials create the perfect environment for bacteria and mold, which can start growing in as little as 24 hours. Here’s an overview of the water restoration process after a flood, burst pipe, or any other type of water damage.
Before work can begin, an expert will need to assess the extent of the damage in your home. This inspection is important because it is used to determine the best course of action for restoring your home and avoiding hazards. The inspection will also determine the category and class of water damage.
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There are 3 categories of water damage:
- Category 1 involves water from a clean source like a burst water supply line or toilet tank.
- Category 2 involves “grey water” which may be contaminated. This includes water from a washing machine, toilet with urine, or dishwasher.
- Category 3 involves “black water” which comes from a very unsanitary source. Water damage from sewage, rivers, or water that has been standing too long can be a serious health risk.
There are also 4 classes of water damage that outline how the property will need to be restored:
- Class 1 affects part of a room with little moisture
- Class 2 affects an entire room with water in the walls and carpet
- Class 3 affects the entire walls and may have come through the ceiling. Most of the area will be saturated. This is the worst type of water damage.
- Class 4 will require specialty drying because damage has affected materials like concrete, stone, or hardwood.
#2. Water Extraction
The first stage of the clean-up is extracting the water. Commercial-grade pumps and wet-dry vacuums are usually used to remove water, but the type of equipment will depend on the amount of water. It’s essential that this step be completed within 24-48 hours to prevent mold from taking hold in your home.
Once standing water is removed and absorbent surfaces have been thoroughly vacuumed, it’s time to dry and dehumidify the space. This step will remove remaining moisture so clean-up and restoration can begin. Drying the home can take several weeks and involves a variety of equipment such as large fans, dehumidifiers, and special floor heaters.
After the space is fully dry, it’s time to clean and sanitize all belongings and materials that were damaged but salvageable. This step prevents bacterial growth and mold. Window treatments, clothing, upholstery, and carpet (when it can be saved) are treated with an antimicrobial product. Air scrubbers can also be used to remove harmful particles from the air. Products will be applied to wood and other building materials to inhibit and kill remaining bacteria and mold.
#5. Home Restoration
The actual restoration is the most time-consuming part of the process. This may involve installing new drywall, replacing flooring, upgrading plumbing, and more. Additional structural repairs may also be needed at this stage.