Water Damage Restoration – What You Need to Know

Water Damage Restoration Oklahoma City can be a costly affair, but prompt remediation will save you money in the long run. Leaving the problem unattended can lead to structural damage, rotting and mold infestation.

Water Damage Restoration

It is also essential to hire IICRC-certified professionals who follow industry best practices and are familiar with local codes. These professionals will help you get the maximum value from your insurance claim.

The first step in the water damage restoration process is assessing the extent of the damage. This is an important part of the job because it allows the professionals to plan the work accordingly and provide accurate estimates for the repair costs.

The assessment should include a thorough look at all of the affected areas. This should include examining the interior walls, floors and ceilings for any signs of moisture or dampness. It should also be determined if the area has any mold growth or structural damage that requires attention. In some cases, this may require the use of special equipment like moisture meters and thermal imaging cameras.

Once the inspection is complete, it should be documented and a written report prepared. This should be sent to the client and insurance company as soon as possible. The report should include details such as the date and time of the incident, the type of water intrusion (clean, gray or black), a description of the water source, the water damage classification, and any other pertinent information.

It’s also important to determine whether the building materials are salvageable. For example, if there is extensive moisture in wall cavities or under carpeting, it may be necessary to remove and replace them. This can save money in the long run and reduce the chances of further damage or health issues.

Another consideration is determining the amount of damage to structural elements such as drywall and wood. Moisture infiltrating these materials can lead to rot and other serious problems that can put the structure at risk of collapse. It’s important to address the issue promptly to prevent it from getting worse.

Water damage isn’t just expensive to fix; it can also be dangerous for people and pets. It provides ideal breeding grounds for bacteria, fungus and other harmful organisms. This can cause a variety of illnesses and is especially hazardous to infants and the elderly. Water damage can also be a major source of heat loss, leading to higher energy bills. Fortunately, it’s easy to prevent water damage and protect your home by taking a few simple steps.

Identifying the Source of the Leak

Discovering water where it shouldn’t be can be a scary and stressful experience, especially when you suspect a major problem like a faulty plumbing system. It’s important to stay calm and take the necessary steps to ensure your safety, protect your belongings, and limit damage to the structure of your home or building.

This includes turning off the electricity and gas supplies to the affected area, which can help prevent any accidents from occurring while you’re trying to identify and remedy the problem. It’s also a good idea to move any valuables to a safe, dry place to avoid loss or damage. Additionally, it’s a good idea to open all windows and doors in the affected area to enhance ventilation and promote airflow to assist in drying out the space.

The next step is to perform a visual inspection of the affected areas, looking for any visible signs of water damage or leakage. This can include things like stains, discoloration, or damp spots on walls and ceilings. In addition, you should look for warped or buckling wood and paint. You may also notice mold or mildew growth, which could indicate a prolonged exposure to moisture.

If you’re unsure where the source of the leak is coming from, it’s a good idea to check your water meter. If you notice a significant increase in usage, there may be a leak somewhere in your home. Additionally, you can always call a plumber to conduct an inspection and perform any needed repairs.

Another way to pinpoint the source of the leak is to listen for any unusual sounds. Leaking pipes can often make a dripping noise or even a whooshing sound when they’re under pressure. If you hear any strange noises, it’s a good idea to examine the surrounding areas for signs of a leak. In particular, be sure to check the areas around any faucets and other plumbing fixtures. These are common locations for leaks to occur. As a general rule, water-logged areas tend to feel cooler to the touch than their dry counterparts.

Removing the Water

Water restoration professionals use special equipment to pump out or vacuum up the standing water. This helps reduce the risk of bacteria and mold growth, which can cause additional damage to property. Depending on the size of the flood, this step can take hours or days to complete.

Once all of the water has been removed, the cleaning and drying process can begin. This will require the removal of unsalvageable contents, drywall down to the studs (if necessary), carpeting, flooring and other materials that aren’t conducive to dry environments. It may also involve the removal of personal belongings, including furniture, if it is not safe to leave them in the damaged area.

It’s important to remove these items quickly because they can increase the risk of additional problems like rot, mildew and structural damage. This is especially true if the items are made from wood or other porous materials that can be further affected by prolonged exposure to water.

Additionally, if these materials are left in place for too long, it can create the perfect environment for microscopic organisms to thrive. Mold and mildew spores love damp, dark spaces and can quickly spread throughout the home, posing a serious health risk for the occupants.

If these microorganisms are not treated promptly, they can also cause serious structural damage to the home or commercial building and lead to expensive repairs. For example, if a wooden floor has been submerged in water for an extended period of time, the wood can rot and eventually collapse. The same is true for metal items like pipes, which can rust and weaken over time.

Finally, a major concern of water damage restoration is the potential for contamination and odors caused by bacteria. These odors can be difficult or even impossible to get rid of once they are established, so it’s important to deal with the issue as quickly as possible.

Drying Out

Water damage restoration is not just about removing the visible signs of water damage, it’s also about removing the moisture and getting things as dry as possible. This is where large fans and dehumidifiers come in handy. Using these tools will speed up the drying process and help prevent the formation of mold and mildew. This is because moist materials are the perfect breeding ground for these substances.

Once the standing water has been removed, a more detailed inspection is conducted to see what can and cannot be salvaged and the cleaning, sanitizing and drying process begins. It’s important to move quickly at this stage as wet materials start developing serious problems within 24 hours.

It’s common for water restoration companies to use air movers and dehumidifiers to remove the moisture from walls, floors, ceilings and other surfaces. In many cases, this will get the space completely dried within a few days. If there are any areas that are especially difficult to dry, it may be necessary to employ the use of antimicrobials to kill any fungal growth and prevent future issues with mildew and mold.

Aside from running large fans, it’s often helpful to open windows and doors in order to get the air circulating in the room. This will help to dry out any materials that are not being directly affected by the water and will also help to remove the odors caused by the rotting and decomposing of these materials.

Depending on the severity of the water damage, it may be necessary to remove and replace any damaged or rotting wood that has been exposed to the elements. This can be a tricky job as it is important that the replacement material is structurally sound and compatible with the rest of the home or building. This is why it’s best to leave this type of work to the professionals.