Response is Key in water damage related issues
If your property has been affected by water damage, the response time is key. There are the practicalities, such as lost income or a home that is inhabitable, that make removing the water as soon as possible an attractive option. Calling our water damage restoration team and having them on-site within 60 minutes of discovering the leak is critical for the following reasons:
- Structural damage: Water is among the most damaging substances to indoor fixtures and materials.
- Contamination: Depending on the origin of the water, bacteria that can cause serious health issues could be present.
- Mold: Even in areas of low humidity, the presence of standing water provides the perfect breeding ground for mold.
Once on Site
When our water damage restoration team arrives on site, an initial inspection of the premises will be undertaken.
- Visual inspection: This first step provides our water damage professionals with valuable information, including possible sources of the leak or entrance of the water, if unknown.
- Hazardous conditions: Due to water’s damaging effects, the integrity of the building could be in question. In order to help ensure the safety of everyone involved, any signs of a compromised structure are noted and corrected immediately.
- Assessing moisture content: Using sophisticated technology, such as infrared tools, allows technicians to effectively assess the amount of moisture present within a building.
After the initial assessment, our water damage restoration professionals can devise a plan for extracting and removing any standing or excess water. Depending on the extent of the water damage, the premises might need to be vacated during the water removal process. In addition, the contents of the building might need to be removed and put into storage or elevated off the floor at minimum. The following tools and machines are typically used during this process.
- Vacuums: Heavy extraction situations are typically done with a truck-mounted water vacuum. For smaller instances of water damage, or as a final cleanup, a specialized vacuum that is high-powered and designed to extract water from both porous and non-porous surfaces is often used.
- Submersible pumps: When standing water is too great of a volume to be effectively vacuumed, submersible pumps provide a powerful alternative. Flooded basements are often a place where a submersible pump becomes the tool of choice.
- Sub-surface and weighted extraction: These extraction tools use body weight (plus the weight of the tool) to aid in the removal of water from carpet padding.
- Light wand extraction: By relying on compression, light wand extractors enable air to effectively circulate throughout carpet fibers, aiding in the drying process.
Preparing the Area Before Setting up Equipment
Ensuring that the area is suitably prepared before beginning the extraction of water adds to its success of this process. Although our first goal is to restore with minimal secondary damage, some of the following preparations may be needed to effectively dry a flooded structure:
- Removing or detaching baseboards
- Drilling holes in toe kicks or removing them completely
- Removing drywall or perforating the painted (or wallpapered) surface to allow adequate ventilation for proper drying
Placing the Drying Equipment
The proper drying equipment depends on a number of factors including the extent of the damage, its location within the building and the type of materials affected. Some of the basic equipment used to dry a flooded property is as follows:
- LGR dehumidifiers reduce the humidity associated with standing water. They also effectively remove more water than non-LGR units and tend to use less electricity.
- Wall cavity drying systems often use hot air and can also dry hardwood floors.
- Low amp axial and centrifugal air movers are the ideal solution when drying drywall and carpet. In addition to being low amp, they can also be daisy chained together to allow for optimal power distribution.
- Heat drying systems are perfect for drying materials such as hardwood flooring and concrete, and can also accomplish drying a structure more quickly. These units are also handy when drying structures in colder climates as heat is an important element in the drying process.
Monitoring the Progress and Process
Each day, technicians return to the site to:
- Measure moisture content of the affected structural materials
- Take psychrometric readings
- Document changes in air readings, moisture content of affected materials, and location/amount of equipment on site via a daily log and make adjustments as needed
Once ALL the impacted structural materials have returned to the “dry standard” moisture content for that particular material, the drying portion of the project is considered complete.