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So, you have water damage!
Water damage is normally the fourth most common reason behind homeowners filing insurance claims. This happens for many reasons such as flooding and leaks. So, first of all, you must determine the cause, shut down the source of the water if applicable, and turn off electricity as necessary to prevent shorting and shock. Then what? Next, it’s time to assess the damage, clean up the excess water, and repair the damage as quickly as possible. Excess water needs to be removed quickly, and drying needs to be performed because wet materials will start developing serious problems within a very short period of time, sometimes within just a few hours. This can result in falling ceilings, mold, or other issues. You may well need emergency services in order to properly clean up the mess and mitigate the damage! A water damage mitigation and restoration company will perform whatever it takes to undo the damages and restore a home or business to its original condition, or better.
There are different types of water!
In fact, there are three types of water, and each must be attended to differently. 1) There is “clean” water, which can come from rain, condensation, or leaky fresh-water pipes. In most small cases, you can clean up this type water yourself. However, drying wet drywall, plaster, carpet/padding, wood floors, cabinets, and such, may require you to obtain outside services and specialized equipment in order to mitigate damages. 2) The second type of water is “gray” water. This is dirty water coming from dishwashers, washing machines, sinks, and such. This water may well contain contaminants, but you may be able to clean it up yourself if you have the equipment and proper safety gear to protect yourself with. If in doubt, it’s best to call experts in. Beyond the damages this can cause to your home or business, are the health risks that can come with gray water flooding. 3) The third and last type of water is, “black” water. This water contains sewage, other waste, bacteria, and other more serious contaminants. Black water is dangerous to your health, and you should not try to clean it up by yourself. Professionals will have the equipment and protective gear needed to safely clean up black water and will know what must be done with contaminated furniture and materials.
Once the excess water is gone!
Now, it’s time to perform a more thorough inspection of the damage and determine what drying efforts must be undertaken. If there is already existing mold and mildew, it must be removed immediately to prevent spread. Depending on how much moisture materials such as drywall have absorbed, and how open the moist or molded areas are to air circulation, such materials may need to be removed and replaced. You will need to be very careful with existing mold and mildew. Mold can be toxic and very damaging to the materials it infests. Professional mold remediators have the experience and safety equipment needed to safely remove the mold. Should you hire professionals to handle the mold and/or mildew, be sure they use the proven text-book methods of mold removal. Just spraying mold with chemicals will not kill the mold. It must be treated and removed with appropriate cleaners. If you find mold, try to eliminate air flow to the area, get out of the area, and call for help!
If no mold or mildew is found, or as mold or mildew is being removed, then the next action will normally be drying of the wet areas. This is normally done using specialized equipment that cleans the air and blows air at the same time. It is important to get the drying operations going as quickly as possible, in order to avoid the additional potentials for mold and mildew, as well as prevent further damage to materials due to water absorption. For small leaks, you may be able to do this yourself using fans, hair dryers, and such. For larger areas, you may even be able to rent large-capacity dehumidifiers to dry our surrounding wood, carpet, and other materials. However, you may wish to call professionals anyway to ensure proper drying as they have tools for measuring moisture, and you don’t want any moisture left after the drying process is completed. And, if in doubt, it is normally best to call for professional drying services. Especially, for large areas of water damage. Professionals may be able to save furniture and fixtures that you might otherwise have to replace.
Remove and toss damaged porous materials!
Porous materials such as carpeting, padding, insulation, fabrics, and such may need to be removed and disposed of. Water may permanently damage most porous materials by shrinking or warping them, and mold will damage them even worse. Again, if in doubt, call a professional to see what can be done about saving the material or furniture.
Disinfect the remaining materials as necessary!
Once all the damaged material needed to be removed has been removed, all mold and mildew is removed, and drying has been completed, you should disinfect the entire area before restoration is begun. While this may not be necessary in the event of a small clean water damage event, it is critical for gray and black water flooding events. In any case, when in question, disinfection should be done to help make sure there are no mold spores lingering behind. Most commonly, a bleach/water solution is used to do this by lighting spraying it all over the contaminated area and quickly wiping it off, one small area at a time so that the disinfectant doesn’t soak in or dry before it is wiped off. There are many available disinfectants that can be used. If in doubt, call professionals for this. Professionals will use commercial cleaning products designed specifically for mold and mildew removal.
So now it’s time to repair the damage!
Where do you start? Ceilings! Ceilings exposed to water damage are more at risk due to gravity causing them to sag or collapse. So, start there when applicable. Remove any affected ceiling panels or boards first. And as we said in the beginning, make sure you understand what caused the water damage in the first place, such as a leaky pipe or damaged roof, and ensure that problem has been solved and cannot cause further damage. We assume that has already been done long before we got this far.
Take time to make sure that the water didn’t cause any structural damage to beams or rafters. If in doubt, call professionals.
Replace all damaged wood!
All severely warped wood, rotted wood, and wood with mold/mildew problems, must be replaced. You will need to pry apart damaged boards and thoroughly clean beneath them before replacing them. And if the wood is a structural component of your house, you must be very careful when replacing it so that the structure is not compromised.
Install new floors as necessary!
From wet carpets to swollen floorboards, it’s often evident when water has damaged your floor. But if you aren’t sure, it’s important to check immediately in case moisture has become trapped underneath. Note that underlayment and padding are particularly susceptible to water damage and must usually be removed. However, this also presents an opportunity to install new, waterproof flooring in the area. Ceramic tile, high-end vinyl and certain engineered wood materials can all help protect floors against future water damage repair. If in doubt, ask a professional.
Replace damaged drywall.
Things are calming down now, and you’re nearly out of the woods. You will need to replace damaged drywall which should have already been removed in the damage mitigation phase. How much drywall to remove and replace is a question you will have to answer. Generally speaking, if drywall has swelled or sagged 3/8” or more from the baseline, then you will need to replace the entire sheet. Otherwise you can cut out and replace water-stained portions. And, don’t forget to check the condition of any insulation existing behind damaged drywall. Also, and again, if in doubt, call a professional!
For significant damage, check your insurance.
If you have significant water damage, check your homeowner’s insurance to see what type of water damage is covered. Water damage repair can be very expensive, and even with insurance, you will most likely have to pay a deductible amount that can be substantial.
So, you decide to call a professional for help. Who do you call?
Whether or not insurance is involved, you may need the help of a professional to mitigate and/or repair water damage. You can Google the question, and you will find there are commonly several things that professionals will tell you is important to you in selecting them. There are also non-affiliated organizations that will advise you of the same factors. Below is a list of the common factors used to determine who your contractor should be.
- How quickly will they respond?
As we told you above, time is critical in mitigation of water damage. Water damage compounds and gets more complicated the longer it fails to be addressed. You want a company that provides emergency services, 24 hours a day, with rapid response. It’s actually best if you find a company that will provide you with emergency planning services in advance preparation for any emergency that might erupt, before you have any emergency.
- Can the company provide mitigation, remediation, and reconstruction?
You probably would prefer a company that can do the whole job, rather than having to find two or three reputable companies to perform separate parts of the job. A company that performs as a team to resolve all your issues, is much easier to work with, especially when you are given a primary contact that oversees the entire project. This simplifies communications and reduces the potential for problems.
- Check their references!
With the internet and Google, as well as the Better Business Bureau, you can obtain local references very quickly on just about any company. And if you can’t, then you probably don’t want to use them.
After storms and other weather-related disasters, homeowners often find themselves besieged by unreliable repair services. To avoid that problem, look for reliable water damage mitigation and restoration companies with great references from local customers such as your friends and neighbors. Consider where the company is located, because locally owned and operated companies are more likely to rely on the word-of-mouth created by offering trustworthy, thorough repairs.
Your home deserves the best care, and so do you! A water disaster can be very stressful and frustrating, and a trustworthy, compassionate restoration team can help alleviate your worries and make the process of getting life back to normal, painless and stress-free. This can include everything from offering secure storage of your personal property on site while restoration is going on, to caring assistance with every question you may have.
- Do they employ licensed, insured, and well-trained teams?
As you research water damage mitigation and restoration companies, it’s important to note whether they are properly licensed and insured. What is their expertise? How long have they been in business? What level of training and experience do the team members have? Are they certified through a reputable certification program? Do they undergo ongoing training?
The above are questions you can and should ask. You want your home or business back-to-normal, or better. And you want to make sure the company you hire can make it happen!
- Do they work with you and your insurance effectively?
One of the most frustrating issues related to water damage is filing a successful insurance claim. A major difference between good and bad mitigation and restoration companies is that the good ones are skilled at working out the details of a given claim with a property owner’s insurance company. That way, you get all the coverage you can get for the damage and minimize the out-of-pocket expense. The company should contact your insurance agent and seek to work with them to ensure you are taken care of. Look for a company that is experienced and responsive in helping you document damage and file properly documented, honest, and timely claims.
- Do they offer a detailed plan for damage repairs?
Any reputable company will provide you a detailed plan in the form of an estimate or “scope-of-work.” You will need to sign off on that plan before work can begin on the repairs. The goal should be to put your home back into proper, safe condition, rivaling or bettering the condition that existed prior to the damage that occurred.
- Do they use the right equipment and techniques?
After water damage occurs, your home or business will need to undergo water extraction, drying, and dehumidification so that you don’t have mold problems. By using the correct equipment and techniques, a remediation and restoration company can speed up the restoration process, help prevent future mold growth, and help ensure your personal property such as documents, artwork, photographs, and other important items are properly cared for.
- Do they handle mold remediation and restoration services?
Molds pose a serious danger to one’s health and property. Wet and damp spots can be a breeding ground for molds, which is why water damage is closely interrelated with mold damage. This is why a reputable water damage mitigation company will also offer mold remediation services. Additionally, a company that is a general contractor as well can provide the necessary reconstruction services to complete the job.
- How many years of experience does the company have?
Years of experience in the business will provide an edge that is not present over newer companies. When a company has experience, they are pretty much equipped to handle almost anything since they have undergone these experiences before. There is no school that can teach the things that you learn from experience.
Moreover, years in the business means that you have built up the trust of the people you work with like the clients and the suppliers. No one will last long in the business of water damage mitigation and restoration if they are not good at what they do.
- What kind of results can you expect?
When it comes to water damage restoration, the real mark of a good company is in the outcome. An unreliable water damage restoration company can just leave your property once the initial work is done. There are companies that just wrap up the work once they have cleaned the surface. However, this step can just be done by the property owners themselves.
A reliable water damage restoration company gets to the root of the issue and solves it. Apart from the problem that can be seen on the surface, they will also tackle any potential issues that the property may be facing such as the potential growth of molds.
It is important that the water damage company is able to restore the property to the pre-damaged state. The restoration of the home will display the competence of the professionals who worked on the remediation. With the best water damage remediation company, the proof is in the outcome of the process.
A good water damage remediation company will be able to ensure that the clients will be satisfied after they leave the property. When a water damage remediation company offers complete customer satisfaction from beginning to end, it can be guaranteed that they offer the whole package to their clients. With these types of water damage remediation service, the clients can be able to put their mind at ease.
To get your property and life back to normal after a water related disaster strikes, you may want professional help. If you do, you want a company you can trust to get the job done quickly and correctly. Selecting the right water damage restoration contractor should not be taken lightly. Your peace-of-mind is what matters. In the Sebastian, FL area, one of the most trusted names in water damage mitigation and restoration for homes and businesses is ORC Services!
Your #1 Water Damage Company for Brevard County, Indian River County, and St Lucie County
No one should have to suffer after experiencing flood damage. Our water damage company will step in and offer an experienced, friendly solution that can lift the gloom from any room. Having created an expert service that is all about making people feel better about their properties, we can be the peace of mind that you need for all water damage repairs!
Let us know what you are looking for or what problems have occurred, and we will be there to help. We provide residential and commercial water damage cleanup throughout Sebastian. Call us today if you are experiencing an emergency water damage situation. Call Us today at 772-589-8026.
We provide service throughout Brevard County, Indian River County, and St Lucie County