Once flood waters recede, they often leave behind serious damage. In fact, just a few inches of water are usually more than enough to cause significant destruction.
So, it is important to act quickly, because once water damage begins to set in, it is almost impossible to correct. At that point, water damage cost, which already seemed significant, will almost seem insurmountable. Furthermore, because of the delay, the flood insurance company may balk at paying these added expenses.
Having a plan of action at your fingertips helps immensely, because the stress of the moment is a poor time to outline water restoration plans.
Inspection and Assessment
Before the technicians arrive, they need to know what they are dealing with, so they arrive onsite equipped for the job. Be ready to convey the following information:
Room(s) that need water removal,
- Amount of water present,
- Source of the water,
- Age of your home, and
- General condition of your home, especially the foundation.
Once the professional water extractors arrive, they can accurately assess damage, because much of the damage will probably be behind walls and invisible to the naked eye. This step is crucial to an accurate cost estimate, as well as an accurate estimate as to the amount of time restoration will require.
Water Extraction and Removal
This step usually begins with high-power, truck-mounted vacuum pumps that can pull thousands of gallons of water out of the house in a very short period of time. The speed is essential to prevent further damage.
Next, the technicians usually use smaller instruments to remove any residual water from cracks and crevices, as well as the creases in the baseboards and other areas that the large vacuum pumps may have missed. It’s imperative that the room(s) be completely dry before proceeding to the next phase.
Dehumidification and Drying
Once the water is gone, the drying can begin. Most technicians use professional-strength dehumidifiers to dry out the air in the room(s), along with specialized air movers that gently, but quickly, remove excess moisture from surfaces.
Clean and Sanitize Personal Items
No matter what area of the house is affected, the water probably damaged furniture, appliances, and other personal items. During the assessment process, technicians already identified those items that can be rather quickly restored to their prior condition. These items are thoroughly dried and also thoroughly sanitized, because no matter where the water came from, it probably contained significant amounts of bacteria.
Many times, technicians will ask for the owner’s input in this process as to what items need to be saved, how much effort should go into saving them, and how badly they may be damaged.
Many times, this step involves only minor fixes, such as filling cracks in drywall, addressing floor issues, or replacing a few damaged panels. However, it is not unusual for significant work to remain, such as rebuilding an entire portion of your house or business. Whatever work needs to be done, the technicians will either do it themselves or give the owner a referral to a competent contractor.
Any flood is always devastating, but a good water extraction professional can get your life back to normal as quickly as possible.