Anyone who has experienced water damage knows how it can be inconvenient. Sometimes it is quite expensive to have the restoration done. When it gets to a point you need restoration after water damage, always deal with professionals in the sector.
We look at water damage in detail below so that you understand what causes it, the types of water damage, and how you can keep it from easily happening in the future.
Possible Water Damage Causes
Water damage can be a result of many things. The most common would be leaky roofs, broken pipes, storms, flood water, and much more. By understanding the possible water damage causes, you can sometimes intervene and prevent them from happening.
- A leaky roof
This happens when the roof is not installed correctly, or it is an aging roof. It is not uncommon to find people forgetting about their roof maintenance. If you have an old or damaged roof, repair it as soon as possible.
- Broken pipes
When a pipe is broken, it might not always lead to large water leaks, but they can eventually lead to serious water damage. So, when you notice small water leaks, have them inspected as soon as possible.
Invest in a plumber who understands how well to do repairs.
When your air conditioning unit leaks or malfunctions, it can easily lead to this problem. The worst part is that it may go on for months unnoticeable. As such, you need to have the AC units serviced at the recommended interval so as to avoid such water damage.
3 Common Water Damage Types
There can be many possible scenarios that can lead to water damage. However, these three will be the most experienced types.
- Broken water pipes
Most broken water pipes are due to negligence, aging pipes, or a combination of both. You might need to hire a plumber to do regular checks to ensure that the water pipes are in good condition. If there is a need for changing some of the pipes, then ensure they are done as soon as possible.
- Damage to your home structure
Your home will only remain standing if its structural integrity is not tempered with. However, water being in the wrong places can sometimes lead to structural damage. This is when you have water seepage inside the walls, framing, and other structures of your house.
The worst can be when your drywall or ceiling is water damaged. Replacing such parts of the house would be costly.
- Sewage spills
No one wishes for sewage spills at any time. Such spills would make your home smell bad, and cleaning will be quite messy too. Also, sewage spills would contain messy human, biological, or animal waste. When it cannot be cleaned fast, such could lead to an outbreak of diseases.
Sewage cleanup should only be done by a trained professional to ensure everything is contained.
Water Damage Classifications
A restoration company can decide on which methods to use for repairs after understanding the extent of the damage. The damage will be categorized into four classes as outlined by the IICRC. The classes are;
- Class 1
Class one is when minimal water damage occurs. In this case, the porous material in the affected space is 5% or less.
You will also find that the water is uncontaminated and easily portable. So, an area with such damage can easily be cleaned and dried with minimal effort.
- Class 2
You will have highly porous materials in the affected area for this damage summing up to 40%, unlike where it was less than 5% in the class 1 category.
Such water damage is mostly due to a broken or burst pipe in the floors or walls. The amount of time needed for such a repair will be higher.
- Class 3
When the porous materials in the affected area are more than 40%, then this gets to class 3 damage. As such, you get to find a high amount of water absorption. It is expected that such water damage will be time-consuming to handle.
Class 3 water damage can happen when water leaks from storm damage, flood water, or the main water pipe for the house breaks.
- Class 4
This water damage type is when even the non-porous materials such as wood, concrete, and plaster absorb water. You should expect such to happen after flooding.
This category will be the toughest and time-consuming to handle. Sometimes it might need specialized machines to resolve. The drying process is also expected to be longer.
Risks of Water Damage
Water damage can easily pose many risks to homeowners. Some might not be what you expect. Here is a quick list of the potential risks involved with water damage.
- You risk serious property damage. You may lose important documents, possessions, and so much more at times due to water damage. Some might be impossible to recover.
- Water damage may easily lead to water contamination. Such will be devastating to your health. The worst is the development of mold and algae in your house. These conditions would still attract pests to your home.
- Air quality in your house will quickly degrade. Anyone who has mold in their house knows about the smell. When it gets to this point, you are putting yourself at risk of contracting lung health problems. Do not also forget about the possible bacteria in the house due to water damage.
- We cannot forget about the financial risks involved. With increased water damage, it means you spend more to repair the house. It is advisable to make the repairs as soon as you notice water leaks to avoid financial strain.
How to Respond to Water Damage and Leaks
How you respond to water damage can determine the cost of the restoration process. People tend to procrastinate on repairs. What you might have seen as a small leak can easily lead to a pipe burst, thus leading to more damage. It is why you should have the repairs done as you notice the water leaks.
However, before a professional can get onsite and start making the repairs, here are a few things you can do in the meantime.
- Ensure electricity in the affected area is turned off for safety
- Turn off the water source of the leak if possible
- Document the extent of the damage and use it as a reference for possible future water damage or an insurance claim
- In case you have valuables in the affected area, remove them
- Contact the insurance company if your policy features a possible water damage
- Drain any of the standing water whenever possible
These are some simple things you can do to minimize the damage until a professional from the restoration company arrives.
How Water Damage Restoration Process Works
Once professionals from the restoration company are onsite, they will do a few things as part of repairing the damage. The damage will not always be the same, but the procedure can remain relatively similar.
Here is a quick overview of what happens as part of the restoration process.
- Removal of the standing water
This is a vital process to see what kind of water damage has to be repaired.
The water damage restoration technicians use industrial vacuums and additional specialized machines to remove the standing water in your house.
- Drying out the flooring
Drying the flooring is also quite important as some of the homes might have carpets that might end up with mold if not dried. Sometimes the carpets and flooring might be removed to see additional damage underneath.
The drying process involves using industrial dehumidifiers or air movers so that it is possible to cover a large area effectively.
If the water damage was not caught early, then the flooring might be ripped out entirely and a new one installed.
- Salvaging appliances, electronics, and furniture
Water damage does not mean everything has to be thrown out. Furniture, electronics, and appliances can be salvaged sometimes.
Take note that submerged electronics might not always work. Here you need a specialist to ascertain if the appliance and electronics are still good for use.
This step also involves salvaging other valuables that might still be in good condition.
- Disinfecting and restoring the damaged site
With everything out of the way, the restoration company will focus on thoroughly disinfecting the damaged site before the restoration can go on. An area that is damaged due to sewage spills would need more care. This is to minimize any potential health impacts.
The restoration technicians will continue the restoration process until your home looks as good as new. There can be additional preventative measures used to avoid a repeat of the same water damage.
Once your house is fully restored, it should be safe for you and your family to return and enjoy it as it used to be.