How Does Water Mitigation Work?
Whether due to an extreme weather event, a burst pipe, a malfunctioning appliance, or any number of other causes, water damage can cause serious harm to your commercial or residential property. It is critical that you take action as soon as possible, since damage from water will actually increase as time goes on, even after you address the source of the water damage. Fortunately, the right water mitigation measures can alleviate or repair the damage to your building. Here's what goes into the process of water damage mitigation.
Inspection and Assessment
With water damage, it might seem like you should just go in and start cleaning up, but it is important to first make a careful inspection of the damage. One important thing people often overlook is that water creates a heightened risk of shock or electrocution, because water is a very good conductor of electricity. You can’t turn on the lights and start plugging in extractors and dryers until you know it is safe to do so.
In severe cases, water damage may also impact a building's structural integrity. If water damage makes the structure dangerous to occupy, no one can enter it to begin any kind of work at all. Consequently, the first step in any mediation job is to inspect and assess the damaged areas to find out whether and how you can proceed.
If water damage has left your building vulnerable in terms of its structural integrity or exposure to weather, the next step is to reinforce the structure so that you can work safely, and to protect it from further damage in other ways, such as covering the roof with tarps, boarding up windows or doors to protect the area from the elements, to prevent people from accessing those areas, so that the problem does not grow and work is contained.
If an area is not just wet but flooded, the first thing to do is to get the water out of there using submersible pumps and wet/dry vacuums. When it is unsafe to use local power, you can use truck-mounted extraction devices. Once noticeable water has been removed, it is time to get rid of the additional water by using dryers and dehumidifiers. This is critical, since bacteria, mold, and other microbes like wet environments. The sooner you get the area dried out, the more likely you have stemmed additional damage. You will also want to test moisture levels in the walls using moisture detectors, hygrometers, or infrared cameras, which can detect water inside walls or the ceiling.
Removing the Damage
The next step in remedying the water damage is removing all of the materials that have been affected. This does not just mean furniture and carpets, but flooring that has been damaged or flooring under which water has seeped to the subfloor, underlayment, or joists. It can mean removing drywall in walls and ceilings, as well as cabinetry and fixtures.
Clean-up and Disinfecting
Once the area has been cleared of any water-damaged materials, you can begin cleaning. But this means a thorough deep clean of the area. Standing water, wet surfaces, or even damp warm air creates the perfect environment for germs, bacteria, mold, and other microbes to thrive when left unchecked. A thorough cleaning and disinfecting process will keep germs at bay, and get you to square one in beginning the rebuilding process.
Don’t Trust Anyone But a Professional for Water Mitigation
If you have experienced serious water damage, whether from a storm, rain, or from an overflowing sink, dishwasher or washer, we can help. Our team is trained to handle all kinds of water damage and we have the tools and expertise necessary to take care of any of your residential or commercial restoration water mitigation needs. Contact SERVPRO today for an appointment, and let us inspect the damage to see how we can help you get back on track.