Water damage should be considered a very serious matter for property owners – it has the ability to destroy ceilings, floor and walls, and if not immediately treated, may lead to structural damage and mold growth. In homes and businesses, the most common causes of water damage are:
When a water loss occurs, the amount of potential damage is determined by the amount of time the structure remains wet; the best course of action in restoration is to react as quickly as possible. Water damage restoration is best left to professionals, as proper mitigation requires experience and specialty equipment that can find and remove hidden moisture and water. If the restoration process is done incorrectly, more harm can come to the structure and air quality, and overall cost for repairs will increase. DAI Restore’s IICRC certified staff of technicians have been educated and trained in all aspects of water damage restoration, and our emergency response staff is available 24/7 for all of your restoration needs.
The Water Restoration Process
Inspection: The water restoration process begins with a thorough inspection to assess the extent of damage to the property. This inspection will identify and eliminate safety hazards, plus determine a category of water damage and class of water intrusion.
Assessments: Inspections and monitoring are completed using a multitude of specialty tools and instruments that detect moisture, inspect confined spaces and interior cavities, or measure temperature and humidity. These tools include moisture sensors, thermal imaging cameras, infrared thermometers, invasive or non-invasive moisture meters, and thermo-hygrometers.
For a restorer to employ the appropriate means of restoration, a category of water needs to be assigned. After investigation, a categorial assessment is made based on the source of the water, the length of time the water has been allowed to dwell in the structure, the temperature, and any pre-existing conditions.
- Category 1 is water from a clean source and has no substantial risk of causing illness or discomfort.
- Category 2 water has a significant degree of chemical, biological, and/or physical contamination. This is also known as “gray” water.
- Category 3 water comes from a grossly unsanitary source or carries pathogenic (disease causing) agents. This can also be called “black” water. Multiple forms of PPE are to be used when handling a Category 3 water loss including rubber gloves, full body coverings, eye and respiratory protections, etc.
Water Removal/Extraction: The most effective way to hasten the drying process is removing as much water as possible while it is in liquid state. During the extraction process, liquid water is vacuumed, mopped, squeegeed, and/or otherwise “forcefully” removed from the structure using any multitude of available extraction tools (e.g. truck mounts and submersible pumps). These, and other specialty tools, will continue to be used in order to remove water hidden by the structure and within carpeting and other materials until all standing water has been removed to begin the drying and dehumidification process. Any damaged and/or contaminated contents and materials are removed from the affected areas and disposed of if they are unable to be properly restored, during (or immediately after) the extraction period.
Drying: A drying method will be selected after the decision as to which materials are to be dried is made. There are many methods, and each apply a different combination of humidity control, temperature, airflow, and physical manipulation of materials.
- Disruptive drying methods are used when removal or manipulation of the affected materials is required. These methods involve removing wet items, injecting air to speed drying, or perforating surfaces to allow evaporation.
- Aggressive drying methods are used when contamination and damage are not concerns, and when it is more cost-effective to dry than to replace.
- Air movement promote fast drying of surfaces and provides air circulation of an entire indoor space.
- Dehumidification reduces the amount of moisture content in the air. The drying system is balanced through dehumidification by the dehumidifier removing the moisture that air movers have blown away from wet materials. Types of dehumidifiers that may be used are Conventional Refrigerant dehumidifiers, Low Grain Refrigerant (LGR) dehumidifiers, and Desiccant dehumidifiers.
Inspections and monitoring occur throughout the drying process to determine if progress is being made. Equipment and methods are adjusted according to whether the material is drying, has dried, is not drying – this will determine whether the current approach should continue, if the focused area for equipment should be adjusted, or if the approach has to be modified to produce better drying results. Other decisions will be made as to whether contamination or secondary damage could occur, and if adjusting the process or remediating is necessary. Using this approach of inspection and constant re-evaluation ensures that the structure is properly and thoroughly dried – this will maximize the restoration and reduce the amount of time necessary for repairs and reconstruction.
Cleaning: Whenever soils and debris must be removed to expedite the drying process, cleaning procedures are put in place. Contaminated materials, surfaces, and content that can be restored require cleaning. An EPA registered biocide will be used when the conditions of the affected areas have a high risk of exposure to organisms.
Restoration/Reconstruction: Demoed or removed and discarded materials are replaced or rebuilt, such as drywall, flooring, and insulation. Detailed cleaning completes the reconstruction process.
DAI Restores staff of certified professionals in water mitigation are here to help get you through any water loss. Contact our team as soon as possible after a water damage occurs—our emergency response team will be there to immediately start inspections, necessary extraction and begin the restoration process. We are here to help with insurance issues or questions, a detailed estimate and scope of work to be completed, through all steps of restoration, including reconstruction and detailed cleaning. No water mitigation job is considered complete until all of the affected areas and materials are clean, dry, and are in equal or better appearance and function than they were before the water loss occurred.