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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How to Start the Water Damage Restoration Process Before Professionals Arrive

1/17/2022 (Permalink)

A photo of Water Water can sometimes do more damage than fire in older homes/buildings.

If you have water damage in your home, it’s important that you hire professionals that are certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) to handle the cleanup job. These technicians have been trained to handle the cleanup and restoration process so that the damage caused is kept to a minimum. However, before the professionals arrive, there are some things that you can do to begin the process.

No matter how minimal the damage seems to your home following water damage, it’s important to bring in certified professionals to get rid of any serious health or structural threats. Storm surges and floods can bring in contaminated water that can carry pathogens and become a breeding ground for mold. If the existence of these contaminated waters or mold in the home are not quickly addressed, the mold spores can spread throughout the building and could become even more difficult to remove. If the microbial in the building is too great, governmental agencies have the option to condemn the structure.

Why Homes Are Sensitive to Water Damage

When the water that’s collected in your home recedes, the moisture from the damage is difficult to detect. This is the main reason why homes are sensitive to water damage. Microbial growth can begin within 24 hours of the damage due to standing water and can saturate different types of textiles and can seep through your drywall. The moisture has the ability to collect behind walls and create troublesome mold and bacteria out of the sight of occupants. If you react quickly, you may be able to save items such as clothes and furniture. But make sure to be very careful when entering a building that has recently been flooded. Any exposure to wildlife and contaminated water that may have accompanied the flooding could result in serious injury.

Shut Off Electrical Power

When entering your home after water damage, it’s important that all electrical power has been shut off. Any exposed wires or electrical devices that remain plugged in have the potential to electrocute people and could result in major injury or death. When re-entering the home for the first time, it’s best to do so slowly as snakes, reptiles, and rodents may be hiding under any debris and could jump out and bite an unexpecting occupant. To protect yourself against any hidden wildlife and any airborne contaminants, you should wear protective clothing from head to foot. Some of the necessary clothing when re-entering the home includes vapor respirator, rubber gloves, and eye protection. Also make sure to wear thick boots that can withstand potential puncturing and animal bites.

Identifying Which Items Are Compromised By Water Damage

Certified professionals have the training to be able to quickly identify which items have been compromised by the water damage. Typically, anything porous materials might need to be discarded if the materials have come into contact with contaminated water. Some of these items include mattresses, box springs, pillows, and particle boards. These items trap more moisture than other items and foster the growth of microbes. To get the process started before the technicians arrive, you can get rid of these items. When discarding of items, make sure to record and itemize the items for insurance purposes.

Identifying and Removing Excess Moisture

When the professionally certified technicians arrive, they’ll be able to track down and remove any excess moisture. They’ll locate the moisture pockets using equipment that measures the amount of moisture in hidden pockets as well as behind tile or any other materials that may not seem wet from the outside. Once the pockets of moisture are found, the technicians expose them to air by removing any drywall or other materials that might be in the way.

With the location of the moisture discovered, the professionals will then begin the cleanup process which could include pressure washing with powerful detergents. They also have the ability to speed up the drying process preventing any further mold growth or other harmful bacteria. If they locate mold or bacteria colonies, they have the training to be able to remove the threat using chemical or mechanical methods.

If you have water damage in your home, it’s important that you hire the IICRC certified professionals at SERVPRO to handle the cleanup and restoration. Doing so will help you avoid further damage and potential health effects.

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