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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

What to Expect From the Water Damage Cleanup Process

7/10/2020 (Permalink)

Flooded Houses Water damaged houses in flooded neighborhood

It's a homeowner's worst nightmare. You've gone on vacation and when you return, there are  2 inches of water flooding the house.

That 2 inches of water dcan cost you up to $27,000 in repairs.

Water damage cleanup isn't a task to take lightly. If not done properly, the damage to your home will get worse. Not to mention it can expose your family to harmful bacteria and mold.

To ensure your family and home are protected, you need to act right away. Call in a professional water damage restoration crew as soon as possible.

Why do you need a restoration crew? Here is a look at the process to clean up after a flood.

Step One: Assessing the Water Damage

Before any work begins, the restoration team needs to know the type of flooding. There are two key factors that determine how they will approach the cleanup job.

The first factor is the type of water flooding your home or business. There are three categories:

  • Clean water flooding - Caused by rainwater or freshwater pipes
  • Graywater flooding - Water from a toilet or appliance with chemicals
  • Blackwater flooding - Water contaminated by sewage and toxins

Failure to identify the type of floodwater can lead to serious health issues. These issues include tetanus, skin rash, and gastrointestinal illness.

The second factor the restoration crew must consider is how much water is involved. The four categories are:

  • Class 1 - Minor flooding on nonporous surfaces like sealed concrete and tile
  • Class 2 - Minor flooding in contact with surfaces like wood floors and drywall
  • Class 3 - Major flooding in contact with the carpet, furniture, etc. 
  • Class 4 - Major flooding involving contaminated water on porous surfaces

The more water involved, the more effort it will take to clean up. This is why consulting a professional is important. An average homeowner won't be able to tell the full extent of the flooding.

Step Two: Removing All Standing Water

It is important to remove all standing floodwater as soon as possible. The longer it is allowed to sit, the more water absorbs into your flooring and walls.

Do not enter a flooded building to remove the water yourself. Floodwater can hide live electric lines, broken glass, and dangerous bacteria. 

The restoration team will begin by pumping out any deep standing water. The submersible pump uses a long hose to move the water into your yard.

Any remaining water is removed by mopping, using a floor squeegee, or running a wet vac. 

Step Three: The Drying Process

Drying out the building is the most important part of water damage cleanup. If you try to rush this process, it will lead to a mold infestation. Mold causes rashes and breathing problems for everyone, not just asthmatics. 

The first step in the drying process is to open up the windows and doors. 

Next, the restoration team will use specialized equipment to circulate air in the affected rooms. These machines include:

  • Air scrubbers - Designed to filter odors and mold spores from the air after a flood
  • Air movers - Blow air through the affected rooms to speed drying time for porous surfaces
  • Dehumidifiers - Remove water particles from the air

How the restoration team uses these machines depends on the type of flooding involved.

For instance, using a dehumidifier in a warehouse flooded by blackwater isn't advisable. There is too much airspace for the dehumidifier to work as intended.

Step Four: Time for Water Damage Cleanup

Once your home is dry, the hard part begins.

You need to document the damage to your personal belongings. Make sure the pictures are clear and well lit. This way your insurance company has an accurate record of what happened.

While you're taking pictures, make a list of items that you think can be cleaned. 

Keep in mind, if your home is flooded by blackwater, almost everything will have to go. Bacteria from raw sewage soaks into porous materials. It is virtually impossible to clean them fully.

The water restoration team will know for sure what items can be salvaged. Always take their expertise into account when deciding what items to keep.

Major flooding soaks into everything. The restoration crew may need to remove flooring, drywall, and other construction materials. This is necessary to prevent mold and bacteria from infesting your home.

Any items the team doesn't remove are cleaned and sanitized. Before they leave, they will make sure there are also no lingering odors from the flood.

Step Five: Restoring Your Home After Water Damage

There is one more step to water damage restoration before you return to normal life. It's time to bring in a team to repair and replace any materials removed during the cleanup.

If it is possible, look for a water damage restoration company that covers repairs as well. Going to an all-in-one company cuts back on your overall costs and speeds up the recovery process.

During the restoration process, the company may need to:

  • Replace carpet or wood flooring
  • Repair tile or marble flooring
  • Install new drywall
  • Fix the plumbing problem that caused the flood
  • Repair a leaky roof
  • Restore water-damaged furniture and appliances
  • Apply fresh paint to the walls

Before you sign a contract, make sure the restoration company has a contractor license. Do not hire a company that won't show a license or proof of insurance. If they make a mistake, you will be forced to pay even more to fix it.

Don't Wait to Start Water Damage Restoration in Your Home

Time is of the essence when it comes to water damage cleanup. Even if the water is gone, the damage lingers. Your family isn't safe until a restoration team gets rid of possible mold sources. 

SERVPRO of West Hartford, CT has 50 years of experience in this field. Let our local experts tackle your restoration needs. In no time at all, it'll look like it never happened.

To make recovery after a flood easier, SERVPRO deals directly with your insurance company. Our goal is to get you back to your normal life as soon as possible.

SERVPRO offers 24-hour emergency services. Contact us any time, day or night.

SERVPRO of West Hartford
100 Peters Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002
IICRC Certified
Ralph DiCristofaro 
Certified SERVPRO technicians
Call 860.206.6141
24-hour emergency service

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