After Flooding: Everything You Need to Know About Water Damage Restoration and Mitigation Services

October 19, 2019

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The worst part about flooding and water damage is the interruption in your daily routine. The process of water damage restoration can be long and irritating, and it does not help that flood damage tends to affect everyone living in the home, not just the person taking charge in the restoration process and making all the phone calls!

Life can become especially stressful if you have no choice but to temporarily move out during water damage restoration. The best way to reduce stress and the time it takes to restore your home is to contact a water damage restoration company. Whether the incident caused minimal or catastrophic water damage, long-term and potentially severe problems can arise if you do not take the correct steps toward water damage restoration.

Professionals have extensive knowledge of how to extract water without causing further damage, and they know all of the precautions that should be taken to prevent mold. When you decide to hire a water damage restoration company, familiarize yourself with everything the company provides with its service, how much it costs, if your insurance covers that cost, and how you can help prevent mold from growing as a result of the water damage.

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The Importance of Using a Professional Water Restoration Company

When flooding occurs in your home, professional restoration is important for repairing walls and furniture, and for preventing mold. This is vital, as it only takes 24 to 48 hours for mold to germinate and grow.

According to the CDC, indoor exposure to mold is associated with upper respiratory tract symptoms such as coughing and wheezing, in even the healthiest of people. It also causes shortness of breath and respiratory illness in children and the development of asthma later in life.

Mold formation is easy to prevent if you use a water mitigation company. Water damage restoration contractors dry, clean, and disinfect surfaces, all of which is the most effective way to stop future damage and mold growth in the home.

What Is the Difference Between Water Mitigation and Water Restoration?

Recovering your home and belongings and restoring them to a usable condition involves a process of several crucial steps. You can narrow down these steps into two main procedures: water mitigation and water restoration.

  • Water mitigation always comes first before restoration.
  • During mitigation, damaged furniture, drywall, and flooring are removed, and the water extracted.
  • The water mitigation company will then completely clean and disinfect anything that is salvageable.
  • The purpose of water mitigation is to prevent further damage from mold and to assess the extent of damages caused by indoor flooding.
  • After mitigation, the water restoration step begins with the eradication of any existing mold, and the water damage restoration company replaces areas of drywall and flooring removed during mitigation.

A lot more goes into water mitigation and restoration than you might think, that is why you should consider using a professional company. Professionals will get the job done thoroughly and in much less time than it would take if you were performing the restoration yourself.

Your homeowner’s insurance company will also be thankful and reassured if you use a professional – which poses the question: Does homeowner’s insurance cover emergency restoration services?

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Water Damage Restoration and Your Homeowners Insurance Policy

Whether your insurance policy covers water damage and flood damage restoration depends on the insurance company, the climate in the area where you live, and what types of coverage you pay for regularly. Usually, if you live in a flood-prone area (generally near the coast or a lower elevation area), your insurance agent will automatically offer you a flood insurance policy. Unfortunately, if you do not live in one of those areas, you probably did not think about getting flood insurance, so you will not have as many coverages.

Call your insurance agent right away to get an understanding of what your plan covers and how you should go about finding a water damage restoration company. On a positive note, you should know that standard homeowner’s insurance plans usually cover burst pipes and damage caused by rain. So, if water flooded into your house from the roof, or a water pipe broke, you should be covered. Other instances, such as sewer and drain backup, are not typically covered by most insurance providers.

It is always best to call your insurance agent before a water damage restoration company shows up. It will give you some peace of mind and knowledge on what to expect service-wise. Remember to get a copy of the service invoice from the restoration company; as your insurance provider might request this invoice, and you can save it for your records in case you are still having problems with mold later on.

Choosing a Flood Restoration Service

The best water damage restoration company will have high customer ratings, useful information on their website, and completely open service hours. If you have a water damage restoration company in mind that you want to use, make sure to thoroughly read through their information and the extent of services before you call them.

Of course, it would be in your best interest not to take too long finding a water damage restoration service, especially in the case of severe flooding, as the damage will only become worse over time. However, you should still be thorough in your search; check to see what is involved in their restoration process and if they provide both mitigation and restoration services, or just restoration. In some cases, you may have to hire a second water mitigation company.

24/7 Emergency Water Damage Services

Although you should do your research when it comes to finding the best water damage restoration company, sometimes you need water removal as quickly as possible. You may not be able to get in contact with your insurance agent if your house floods in the middle of the night and, if a pipe bursts, you need someone to come the water from flowing, ASAP.

In these situations, your best choice is to call a water damage restoration company that has emergency water damage services. These companies people who need immediate attention to a water damage problem, no matter when it’s needed.

Typically a homeowner can call a 24/7 emergency water damage company, have them provide their services, and then call your insurance agent the next morning. Tell your agent what happened and send them a copy of the invoice and they will often compensate you for anything you paid to the service provider.

How Does the Water Extraction Process Work?

Now that you have a water damage restoration company on their way, you may be wondering what type of equipment they use to extract the water and how long it will take. For each instance, the water extraction process is unique. If you have a significant level of water pooled on the floor of your home, the restoration company will most likely use a piece of equipment called a submersible utility pump.

Submersible utility pumps are something you can buy to keep at home, but service companies use larger, commercial-sized versions of these pumps for faster and more effective water extraction. After using the submersible pump, they might use industrial wet vacuums to remove any remaining water. At this point, if the flooring is totally damaged, it will be removed.

The servicepersons will also dry the area that flooded. Their goal is to eliminate any moisture left from the water damage incident. In doing so, they prevent mold growth.

Consider Temporarily Moving

If the water damage in your home is severe, a temporary move could be your best chance at maintaining your life during the restoration! Your family will also no doubt appreciate getting away from the moisture smell, and there will be no interference from the water damage restoration company with your day-to-day activities.

If the water caused damage to your kitchen, you would want to have a place to cook rather than spending your extra money on takeout every night. Think ahead to how the presence of the restoration company will affect you, then use that to make your decision on whether you should make a temporary move.

Make Precautions for Next Time

Hopefully you do not have to deal with water damage ever again. However, if that is a serious worry you have, you could always take some precautions that will prevent mold growth and water damage in the future.

  • Hire a plumber to do routine inspections, then make any necessary or recommended repairs as soon as possible.
  • If you live in a place with high humidity, buy a dehumidifier to keep moisture out of your house.
  • Ensure proper ventilation; replace your home air filter often so that the air stays breathable and well-ventilated (less ventilation means more moisture).
  • Keep your gutters clean. If there is a blockage or a hole in the gutters, water can pool on the roof, which will eventually cause mold and damage to the roof and ceiling.
  • Dry the floor after mopping a large area. Either towel-dry the floor or set up a fan after mopping so that the water does not sit for too long, which would become a breeding ground for mold spores. You can also add mold-killing cleaning chemicals to the mop water.

Water Damage Restoration and Mitigation

Unfortunately, water damage occurs in homes often for many different reasons. However, if you follow the steps above, and pay attention to the condition of your home, many water damage instances can be avoided. Other times, however, are not in your control, like severe weather or a city water pipe breaking.

No matter what the cause of the water damage is, water damage restoration companies perform all of the hard work for you, including both mitigation and restoration. Using one of these companies will often end up saving you more money than performing the restoration yourself.

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