Water Damage Restoration and Repair 101
Water damage doesn’t just happen when there is a flood or hurricane. On any given day, home water damage emergencies affect 14,000 people in the U.S.*.
The measures taken to fix water damage are collectively referred to as water damage restoration. Water damage restoration can be costly and time consuming, and trying to do it yourself can lead to an even more inflated cost and health risk.
This article breaks down what water damage is, how it can affect your property, and what you can do about it. We'll also provide easy-to-follow tips to help you handle these situations effectively.
Whether you're tackling the problem yourself or seeking professional help, these tips will guide you through the process. Keep reading to learn more about water damage and how to deal with it.
For expert help or in case of emergency, remember that COIT’s water damage restoration services are just a call away.
What is Water Damage?
Water damage refers to the losses of property, systems, and materials from the destruction caused by the intrusion of water into a house or building.
The extent of the damage can be minor or extreme. Water damage can take several forms, including rusting of metal parts, wood rotting, carpet damage, and more.
If not addressed properly, the water damage can also lead to significant problems with mold and mildew.
There are several causes of water damage, including the following:
- Leaking or frozen pipes or water lines. Many homes encounter water damage from refrigerator water lines
- Water heater bursting
- Water overflow from a sink, toilet, bathtub, or dishwasher
- Second floor washing machine leaks
- A leaking roof causing water to intrude when it rains
- Heavy rains causing flooding
- Other natural disasters that cause flooding or water exposure
How to Get Rid of Water Damage
When a water emergency occurs, it is important to take the necessary measures to minimize the impact it will have on your home or building.
If the water is still flowing, the best first action you can take is to immediately shut off the water, then call a professional service like COIT Cleaning and Restoration so we can work to put your home or building back in the shape it was in before the emergency.
Promptly removing standing water and drying the affected areas is crucial to prevent mold growth and structural damage. Our team at COIT uses advanced equipment and techniques to extract water, dry, dehumidify, deodorize, and disinfect the area, ensuring a thorough restoration process.
Importance of Water Damage Restoration
Water damage restoration is a general term referring to all the measures and activities taken to restore property that has suffered water damage. The goal is to restore everything back to its original condition. Water damage restoration also helps avoid further damage to property and systems.
If the damages caused by water are not restored properly, the wooden parts of the property will continue to rot. Metal items will also continue to rust.
Problems with either wood or metal in a structure can cause significant dangers to the foundation. The costs of fixing damaged areas is also significantly higher if it isn't taken care of right away.
Protecting Your Health
Another major reason why water damage restoration is important is that it helps prevent disease and illnesses.
Floods or stagnant water as a result of water entering into property provides ideal breeding grounds for bacteria, mold, and fungus growth. This could cause both people and pets to come down with illnesses that they wouldn't otherwise be exposed to.
The World Health Organization warns that mold and the microbial agents it produces may increase the risk of bronchial and fungal infections. More on how to get mold out of your home can be found here.
What Does Water Damage Restoration Entail?
There are several steps to water damage restoration,although the specifics will depend on the extent of the damage.
In general, the steps involved with water damage restoration include the following:
Stop the Water
The first step always has to be dealing with how the water got in to begin with. If the problem was a broken pipe, the water must be turned off and the pipe needs to be fixed. If the issue is a leaking roof, fixing that must be the priority.
Removing Existing Water
Removing as much of the water as possible should be done right away. This can be done using buckets, drains, wet-vacs, and other devices. The professionals at COIT Cleaning and Restoration will have powerful vacuum systems that can pull out the vast majority of the water from any area, remove flooring if necessary, and set dryers.
Once the bulk of the water has been removed, it will typically be necessary to run dehydrators in the area for a period of days or weeks to pull all remaining moisture out of the area. This is especially important in areas with carpets, wood, and other materials that can absorb the water.
Treating Damaged Materials
Anything that is damaged should be fixed to get it back to the way it should be. In many cases it is possible to simply clean the item to get it back to normal. Other times it will be necessary to perform sanding or other actions to get rid of damaged spots.
Replacing Destroyed Materials
Finally, anything that has been destroyed by the water should be removed from the area and replaced. This is critically important when it is something structural to the building. Even decorative items, however, should be removed and replaced as soon as possible.
Water Damage Restoration Tips
If you're facing water damage in your home or building, it's important to know the right steps to take.
These tips are designed to help you take proactive steps at home, complementing COIT’s professional restoration services:
- Safety First: Before attempting any cleanup or repairs, ensure your safety. This means turning off electricity and gas supplies to affected areas to prevent accidents.
- Identify the Source: Understanding where the water is coming from is crucial. Whether it's a leaky roof, burst pipes, or flooding, identifying the source can help in taking appropriate measures.
- Protect Valuables: Move valuable items, such as electronics, furniture, and important documents, to a dry area to minimize damage.
- Ventilation and Airflow: Enhance ventilation in the affected area. Use fans and open windows to circulate air and assist in drying.
- Document the Damage: Take pictures and document the extent of water damage for insurance purposes. This will be crucial when filing an insurance claim.
- DIY with Caution: For minor water damage, you can start the cleanup process by mopping and blotting the area. However, be cautious as DIY efforts can sometimes make the problem worse.
- Regular Inspections: Regularly inspect your property for early signs of water damage. This includes looking for damp spots, musty odors, or discoloration on walls and ceilings.
- Preventative Maintenance: Regular maintenance of plumbing and roofing can prevent many causes of water damage. This includes cleaning gutters, inspecting pipes, and ensuring good drainage around your property.
Professional Water Damage Restoration Services
Water damage, regardless of severity, needs to be addressed immediately, and water remediation and removal should not be left as a DIY.
While some people attempt to undertake the process by themselves, many realize later that the root of the problem is far more complicated.
Trust the pros at COIT to bring your home or facility back to pre-loss condition. We have the knowledge, expertise and capacity to fix even the most complicated water damage.
With more than 70-years in the cleaning and restoration industry, trust COIT to put your lives back together again.