When water damage affects you in your home or business, you need to keep in mind that you will be dealing with three phases of restoration and getting your life back to normal.
1. Water Removal
This will typically involve extraction to remove the standing water, and the removal of saturated materials that hold water such as; carpet pad, damaged sheetrock, and insulation. A professional repair and restoration contractor will have the proper vacuum equipment and the manpower to handle the extraction and the removal of the materials retaining water, which will get you quickly on to on to phase 2.
Fast drying through the use of dehumidifiers and air movers is critical for mitigating the effects of water and moisture laden air during remediation. Generating super dry air, through the use of dehumidifiers and directing that air with powerful air movers, draws the moisture out of structural materials hastening their drying. The dehumidifiers also prevent secondary damage to areas that weren’t originally affected. High moisture levels in the air can cause paint to peel, building materials to warp, and mold to grow in areas that were untouched by the water. Drying the wet structural materials and removing excessive moisture from the air is extremely important for limiting the damage during clean up.
Once the structure has been tested by a water damage contractor to ensure that it is completely dry, you can begin repairing the damage to get things back to normal. Typically a water damage remediation company will have removed baseboards or cove base and drilled holes along the bottom of the walls to facilitate the dying of the wall cavities. Pad, and possibly carpet will have been removed. Damaged sheetrock in the ceiling that may have sagged and broken from retaining water will have to be repaired. And any items permanently damaged from water, such as; insulation, items damaged by water coming from the floor above, or wood floors that are beyond repair, will have to be replaced. Most contractors who perform water removal and drying will also offer water damage repair. If you are happy with how they handled the clean up, you may want to consider them for the water damage repair as well.
Just to recap, the three critical steps of water damage clean up are:
Emergency Water Removal – the sooner the better
Fast Drying – with dehumidifiers and air movers
Repairing the Damage – to get your life back to normal
David A. Selter is the President of DRYMORE Company in Houston, Texas, with decades of experience in emergency water damage services in the Gulf Coast area, including water removal and drying structures damaged by tropical storms, broken water pipes, and local flooding rains. We have dried and restored everything from a partially wet room in a home, to entire department stores, hotels and other large commercial properties.