Water damage refers to different possible losses resulting from water penetrating an object or structure in such a way that it allows attack of organisms or toxic processes like rot of wood, fungi growth, corrosion of metal, growth of bacteria, etc. The most common forms of such damage include visible damage caused by algae growth (e.g., basement sump pump failure), visible condensation due to standing water (e.g., pool maintenance), mildew growth (e.g., bathroom showers), and so on. Moreover, damage can also be a result of loss of moisture (e.g., kitchen water damage, sink damage, etc.). It may also be caused due to lack of maintenance of such structures.
For any given situation, there are certain steps that may be taken to minimize the impact of water damage restoration. In situations involving large sums of water, for instance, flood damage restoration may be required. Floods may be caused by falling water levels, by melting ice and snow, by overflowing lakes or dams, or by other means (e.g., breaking of underground pipes). Regardless of the cause, it is necessary to take immediate action and protect the objects that are in the way of water flow. The most common steps for flood damage restoration are cleaning and drying, repairing damaged roof structure and so on.
Flood damage cleanup usually involves clearing away accumulated debris in order to prevent further contamination. However, it is also crucial to find out whether the leakage or other damage is covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy. If it is, you may be entitled to financial assistance from your insurance company to pay for the clean-up efforts. In case your homeowner’s insurance company declines to offer coverage, you may have to undertake these clean-up steps on your own.
Cleaning, drying, and repairing are essential steps towards water damage restoration. Drying can take several days, while repairing can take many weeks. Once all damaged areas have been adequately cleaned, dried, and repaired, then it is time to restore relative humidity and restore moisture content to an affected area. Humidity control involves reducing relative humidity (RH) in the affected area to a more appropriate level. For dry areas, this process is often accomplished by using fans or dehumidifiers.
In cases of flooding, special drying methods may need to be used. For example, in some cases, because the affected area is too saturated with water to safely dry without creating a water-borne mold problem, it may be necessary to remove all furniture in the affected area and begin drying indoors using low-powered fan units and space heaters. Special pumps are also available for use in water damage restoration that are designed to quickly dry out the affected area without causing moisture to build up. To prevent mold buildup after the cleanup is complete, it is important to wipe down affected surfaces and walls where possible to remove any remaining moisture.
In cases of flooding, gray water can sometimes be safer to clean than pure water. Gray water, also called bathtub water, has a slightly different composition than fresh water from the tap. Bathtubs are typically larger than kitchen sinks, and they contain larger pieces of bathroom equipment like faucets and toilets. When cleaning black or gray water, it is important not to use unsanitary practices like excessive rinsing, as these practices can carry bacteria from the toilet to the black or gray water supply more easily. Instead, use plain water and make sure that the water is free of harmful contaminants before using it to fill up sinks, tubs, showers, and appliances like toilets.