Consumer Information About Water Damage Restoration
Water damage mitigation is something that must be dealt with as soon as possible. Most insurance policies cover the cost of water damage mitigation, but they also require the policyholder to take the necessary steps to prevent secondary damages.
You need a restoration expert that works for you to protect your interest. Under The law, it is your right to choose what company will perform work in your home or business.Preventing the presence of mold is one of many concerns for those who have suffered from a water damage event, but it should not be the only concern. In fact, most people have so many misconceptions about water damage and the potential for mold growth, that we decided to offer this consumer education message, so when you need to select a water damage mitigation company, you can make an informed intelligent decision.
Here are some important steps to take immediately following a water damage event to help minimize secondary damages as well as precautions that should be taken during water damage mitigation to protect your health and safety. There are also some questions you should ask a water damage restoration company before you invite them into your home.
To begin with, water damage mitigation is a specialized field that requires special protective measures, specialized equipment and testing capabilities as well as certain engineering controls to protect you and your property. Most restoration contractors know how to perform simple drying and site cleanup. Experienced companies know how to provide restoration services that protect not only the structure, but also your health.
Water damage can be the starting point for many serious problems that can affect a building, damage personal property and present serious health risks to occupants. To restore property and protect health, a professional restoration contractor must carefully manage the project. He has to be knowledgeable in several disciplines… stopping bacteria from spreading, preventing mold growth, preventing secondary damage and saving the structure and its many contents. Additionally, he must be able to communicate to the water damage victims and insurance company representatives with confidence and authority. Water damaged structures can be the perfect breeding place for mold. Poor indoor ventilation can also cause molds to thrive. Wet building materials and humid indoor air are mold’s best friends.
Often, a less-experienced restoration company will compound problems during water damage by not understanding the proper steps and precautions that must be taken and how critical the “Time Factor” is. The EPA says, “Stop the water leak quickly and begin restoration during the first 24 hours. It is important to dry water damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth”.
While mold requires high humidity and/or wet surfaces in order to grow, it also requires a food source. Indoors, many molds grow on leather, paper and some building materials. Molds can also grow and thrive on bio-film such as cooking grease.
The most effective way to prevent mold growth on water damage losses is to begin the drying process quickly. Restoration companies who are aware of possible mold growth problems usually know how to dry structural materials with heat, air movement and by lowering the indoor relative humidity. This is an effective way to dry a building because material removal is minimized and mold growth is retarded.
Knowing how to determine exactly what is wet during a water loss is a critical part of the job. If areas of moisture are overlooked, molds and bacteria can grow. To protect your property and health, all of the moisture must be found and dealt with. A Professional Water Damage Restoration Company uses moisture sensors, as well as infrared technology, that are capable of “reading” wallboard, masonry and wood to find hidden moisture and water damage that is often impossible to detect any other way.
Sometimes water flows down the inside of wall cavities; other times standing water will wick up a wall. Unless water stains appear this moisture could go undetected until molds and odor problems occur. Today’s restoration is more than drying wet carpets. This is one of the reasons a professional is equipped with the proper instruments to detect and locate wet areas before the drying process begins.