Whether you’ve experienced a rainier than usual month or a winter that brought in more snow than normal–you may need to call a water removal service. Water can penetrate through floorboards and foundations, take out furniture, electronics, and appliances without much effort.
To stay abreast of this issue, we’ve included some information about causes and side effects of damage, as well as a little more about water removal and restoration.
What Typically Causes Water Damage?
Water damage may be caused by a whole host of things. Think—leaking dishwashers, broken pipes, leaks, overflowing toilets and washing machines.
The list goes on. And then, there’s the weather. In the event of heavy rain or snow, and of course, flooding, damage and water removal is one issue homeowners must contend with in the aftermath.
That influx of water can just sit in the basement of homes and businesses, or it can seep into the foundation, or it can lead to the destruction of homes and businesses.
Once a structure has sustained water damage the water removal process must begin as soon as possible. The sooner you start this process, the greater the chance of saving furniture and electronics, carpets, rugs, and more.
Next, we’ll discuss the water removal process, as well as what happens if you wait too long.
Categories of Water Damage
Assessing the scope of the damage is especially important when figuring out what you’ll need for water removal and the subsequent repair. There are a few different categories of water damage.
Category 1 refers to clean water. Clean water doesn’t pose any health risks to humans and typically comes from sinks or washing machine overflow. Category 1 is the least damaging, and the water removal process goes relatively smoothly.
Category 2 is known as gray water. This slightly dirty type of water is may contain some contaminants, but homeowners are unlikely to get sick from exposure. Gray water comes from things like a broken toilet or sump pumps.
Category 3: Category 3 water is also known as black water. This type of water comes from flooding from nearby rivers—it contains bacteria and other organisms that may be dangerous for humans. This type of water contains waste, sewage, and more, and may cause illness or death if consumed.
Classes of Water Damage
Categories and classes of water damage—not the same thing. Classes are a way to discern moderate damage from the more severe—while categories refer to the type of water causing the damage.
A quick breakdown:
1: Class 1 refers to very mild damage—one part of a room that has absorbed minimal moisture.
2: Slightly more severe, class 2 damage means an entire room has been affected and that the water has seeped into the flooring and the walls.
3: With class 3, water has seeped through the floors and walls, as well as the ceiling. This is considered the worst type of damage.
4: Class 4 refers to a type of damage that require some special methods for water removal, drying, and restoration. It’s more about the materials then the extent of the damage—think hardwood floors, stone, polished concrete, as opposed to carpet.
What Does the Removal Process Look Like?
The water removal process serves to, well, get that water out of your house. Using equipment and acting quickly helps prevent mold and further damage. Here’s a look at what happens after a major influx of water:
Pack Up and Move Your Belongings
The extent of this step depends primarily on whether you’re dealing with a basement that flooded due to a faulty washing machine or if you’re dealing with house-wide flooding. In any case, you’ll need to clear the area. If you hire a water extraction service, they’ll help you get your rugs, furniture, and whatever else out right away.
The Actual Water Removal
The onsite technicians will start the water removal process as soon as the area is clear. Any standing water will be addressed immediately—and techs may use equipment like wet/dry vacuums and submersible pumps to get water out of the area as quickly as possible.
The use of this equipment allows for a faster dry time, reducing the risk of mold or further damage.
Clean Up the Debris and Disinfect
The cleanup process involves throwing away all pieces of damaged flooring and furniture. This includes waterlogged wood, damaged tile, and carpet beyond repair.
Once you’ve cleaned up,
Inspect for Mold
The next step in the water removal and restoration process is to inspect for mold. Mold can develop quickly—within 24 hours in some cases.
If you’re addressing a problem like a long-term leak, a perpetually moist attic or basement, there may be long-term mold or mildew.
For small mold issues, you can cut out the area, bag it up and remove the problem. Cordon off any areas with widespread mold. These spots might require more invasive construction. In many cases, you’ll need to open up the wall to address the problem.
Mold can cause a range of long-term health risks such as allergies, disease, and viruses.
After you’ve removed the debris and the area is dry, then restoration can begin. This consists of building new flooring, replacing drywall, and painting. You’ll also need to be sure to clean your gutters and seal near windows and sources of water.
Additionally, a hike in your water bill may signal there’s a leaking pipe.
If you’re experiencing issues with water damage, you’re already in the right place. Suncoast’s expert, licensed contractors help with water removal, restoration, and mold cleanup.