Flood Damage Restoration Process

Flood Damage Restoration Process

Flooding can rear its ugly head in many ways, from water pipes bursting, septic and sewer back-ups, and catastrophic weather-related events. Whatever the cause, a water damage restoration process can help you bring your home back to its previous state.

Know this.

A sump pump, lots of towels, and a few open windows work wonders for minor flood damage, but we advise you to seek professional help from a water restoration service in the worst cases.

Key Takeaways

  • Immediate action to begin the cleanup process is imperative, and what a home or business owner can do.
  • Determination of category and class is essential for safe removal and restoration.
  • Know when to call a professional to ensure someone has fully taken care of the issue and any possible further damage has been mitigated.

What To Do ASAP Before Help Arrives

At some point, you will have to decide the amount of water you can handle or if professional help is needed. Making that call at the very beginning will make a massive difference in how much damage can occur.

Here’s your first step.

First, determine where the water is coming from. No, not where most of the water is pooling up, but where it originates.

Be it a ruptured waterline, a weather event, or a backed-up line issue. The next section of this article will cover types of water and potential risks, but let’s discuss what you can do before help arrives.

In the case of a supply line leak, you should locate the valve leading into the house and shut it off. Once this is done then, removing the standing water is the next step. The object here is to begin the drying-out process and prevent further damage to furniture and other materials and potential damage to drywall and insulation.

Save what can be salvaged.

Removing standing water, opening windows, setting up fans, and wiping down furniture are the actions that can be taken before help arrives in a class one / category one water damage scenario (see below).

Step 1: Inspection & Assessment

Inspection and assessment are the first steps in the water damage restoration process. Determining the type of water, the source of the water, and the possibility of contaminants and toxins within the water will give you an idea of what direction to go.

Some steps can be taken initially, but to make your needs known to insurance companies and contractors, the types of water damage have been broken down into three categories to describe the type of water, the source of the water, and the possible contaminants and potential safety hazards within the water itself.

Three Categories of Water Damage

  • Category 1 – Category 1 water damage comes from a clean source of water, possibly a broken potable supply line. Another source of Category 1 is rainwater or an overflowing bathtub or sink that contains no significant and immediate health hazards.
  • Category 2 – Category 2 water damage comes from a non-potable source, such as grey water, that may contain bacteria from organic and inorganic materials and potentially toxic pathogens. An example would be a fish tank, a clogged toilet, or a washing machine.
  • Category 3 – Category 3 water damage contains dangerous solid and liquid material from a black water source. This category is dangerous and comes from septic tank backup, sewage, flood water, and other contaminated ground surface waters.

Four Classes of Water Damage

While the category of water damage refers to toxicity levels, the classes of water damage refer to the extent of the damage to your property. Four classes of water damage assessment cover the area and the number of materials damaged.

  • Class 1 – Class 1 water damage is minimal and covers only a small area with minimal material damage.
  • Class 2 – Class 2 water damage covers a more significant area, possibly an entire carpet, pad, and subflooring room, and may include concrete.
  • Class 3 – Class 3 water damage is more significant in material damage resulting from an overhead water source. This includes walls and ceilings, and insulation.
  • Class 4 – Class 4 water damage is the most significant damage, including water-resistant materials like brick and concrete, where a more specialized drying procedure is recommended

Step 2: Water Removal

Depending on what category and class of water damage you are dealing with, removing the water as soon as possible mitigates the chances of further damage. The longer the water sits, the higher the possibility of the damage worsening.

Here is a list of tools that can be used in this stage for immediate water removal.

  • Towels
  • Bucket and mop
  • Wet/dry shop vac

Towels can be used for small areas where a quick mopping up will be sufficient. A mop and bucket are the next steps when more water is present. Finally, utilizing a shop vacuum that has wet and dry capabilities is a good idea to remove as much water as possible. Getting the water up, out, and away is the first step.

Step 3: Drying and Dehumidifying

The next step after the water is removed is to get the area dried out and as much of the humidity in the air removed to prevent mold and mildew from settling in and creating a new set of issues.

Large fans can be rented as well as large dehumidifiers, depending on the area, multiple blowers may be needed, and running the dehumidifier constantly for some time is also recommended until a certain level of dryness is reached.

Water extraction from floors and carpets may require specialized equipment to draw out the maximum amount of water from the surfaces.

Tools needed:

  • Blower fans
  • Large dehumidifiers
  • Humidity/ moisture detection devices
  • Water extractors

Step 4: Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Deodorization

After the water has been removed, the area completely dried and all the moisture removed from walls, floors, and other materials, it’s time to clean everything up, sanitize, and deodorize it.

Unfortunately, along with water damage comes the probability of dirt, odor, and bacteria. Depending on the water source, each of these levels can be significant.

The floors, walls and furniture will need to be cleaned, sanitized, and deodorized. This will take spray and wiping, dry cleaning, and possibly wet cleaning.

Tools needed:

  • Antimicrobial cleaners
  • Carpet and hard floor water extractors
  • Sanitizing Agents
  • Deodorizers
  • PPE Personal Protective Equipment

Step 5: Complete Restoration & Repair

In the restoration process, bringing everything back to its original form is the main focus. Repairing any portions of the floor, replacing the carpet and padding, and repairing or replacing walls or ceilings.

Repairs and restoration include fixing or completely replacing anything damaged, including cabinets, plumbing, and lighting fixtures.

Returning your home or business to its pre-flood form means taking all the damage into consideration and remedying any issue back to its original state.

Tools needed for repair and remodeling, detection devices, and haul-away capabilities.

Is Water Damage Covered By My Insurance Company?

Homeowners’ insurance policies generally don’t cover water damage due to flooding from outside the home, for example, weather-related water sources. But the damage caused by water from inside the home may be covered. What may be covered are appliance malfunctions or other covered items. A separate flood policy is generally needed.

Another way the insurance policy may be worded is” spontaneous flooding compared to gradual flooding.” If a leak has caused damage slowly over time, then that would be considered owner negligence and not covered by the homeowner’s insurance due to the “gradual flooding” clause. It would be a good idea to check with your policy agent and know exactly what conditions are covered and, more importantly, what is not.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find a reputable water damage restoration company?

You can google “best water damage services in my area” and look for licensed, experienced professionals. Look for services that can help with your insurance, and look for services that maintain current procedures, equipment, and techniques. A company that works with the insurance company through the entire water and flood damage restoration process is an asset.

What should I do immediately after water damage?

Take photos and videos, and call your insurance company. Begin water removal immediately. If the job is too big to DIY, don’t wait to call a professional service.

How long does it take for water damage to go away?

It depends, but on average, it will take around 5 days. Smaller area water damage will take less, and larger area damage can take up to a couple of weeks.

How can you tell if water damage is permanent?

Mold and mildew are one of the first signs of permanent water damage. Warped flooring and cracks in the foundation, ceiling, or walls may indicate substantial damage to the building’s foundation.

How much does a water damage cleanup cost?

You need to factor in the amount of damage, the type of flooring, carpet, and drywall damage, equipment running, labor costs, etc. Water restoration isn’t cheap, it can range anywhere from $1200 – $5000. But on average, the cost is around $3200.

Finding A Water Damage Restoration Company

Wanting to take matters into your own hands and remedy the water damage is no easy feat. Not one that should be taken lightly. The effects of long-standing or contaminated water may not be apparent, and if you are not trained to look for certain things, they can be overlooked.

Taking care of a smaller area that comes from a clean water source may be doable as a DIY, but it would be in your best interest to have a water damage service look at any damage above something caused by a small leak ASAP.

A company like Spaulding Decon can be on-site usually within 2 hours to assess the water damage and start immediately on the clean-up process. This is crucial in stopping any further damage. The benefits of having a highly-qualified service that knows what they are looking for and how to correct it, on the scene and working to get your home back to normal can save you headaches and money.

Spaulding Decon works with your insurance company throughout the restoration process from water and flood damage and gets the job done right.

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