Water damage is one home disaster that needs to be attended to quickly by a professional. Water damage restoration not only means drying the flooded area, it also includes restoring the property back to its pre-damaged condition. When you allow standing water to remain in your basement, walls, floors or ceilings, there are a lot of things that can go wrong.
According to the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), there are three categories of water that are involved in water damage.
- Category One is potable water from taps. It starts clean and sanitary, but can degrade to category two in a matter of hours.
- Category Two is gray water that comes from dishwashers, washing machines, garden runoff, showers and drains. It is not potable and can cause illness if ingested. These two categories of water can become Category three water if they are given a little time.
- Category Three is seriously unhygienic water. Sewage and any water with a little sewage in it is a category three water also called black water. Toilet overflow, stagnant water that may contain animal feces or have begun to support bacteria growth are all examples of black water.
Once the water is cleaned, and the area dried, the professional water damage restorer needs to see the damage to the structure. There are four main classes of destruction including:
- Class one will go with slow evaporation. There is no wet carpet or upholstery and the materials affected are not very porous such as concrete or plywood.
- Class two includes fast evaporation, but an entire room is affected, including carpeting, upholstery and the water has soaked the walls up to 12 inches.
- Class three damage includes soaked ceilings, walls, carpet, insulation and sub-floors, and the water may have fallen from overhead.
- Class four damage means that even non-porous materials are soaked such as hardwood, stone and brick.
When you discover damp or flooded areas in your home, there are some things you can do immediately to minimize the damage and stay safe. First, call for professional help. Then, turn off the water at the source and turn off the central electricity while you remove any electrical items from the flooded area. You should try not to walk on wet carpet, but you may be able to remove some furniture, breakable or moisture-sensitive items or high-value items.
You can help prepare the area for the professionals by pinning up draperies away from the wet areas and removing anything that may stain the carpet. Do not try to vacuum the water with a home or shop vacuum cleaner. Turning on fans or air conditioning may only succeed in spreading any contamination. Wash your hands after you have touched wet items. By this time, help should have arrived.
Professional water damage technicians are trained to handle a loss, contamination and backflow. They know what to do to proficiently repair disastrous situations. First, they extract the liquid. Then they use calibrated hygrometer to assess the relative humidity and use air movers to remove excess moisture. When a certified technician does the job, their aim is to reduce structural instability, health issues and excessive mold growth.