Leaking water and flooding are among the worst situations to hit any modern homeowner. Unfortunately, they are also the most frequent problems to occur in the contemporary home. While the full water damage restoration process incorporates several stages, successful water mitigation should be top of the agenda.
Here’s all you need to know about water mitigation and how you can complete the job before moving on to the other aspects of water damage restoration.
What Is Water Mitigation?
Following a flood, burst water pipe, or other leaks within the home, you will want to contain the damage and stop the situation from getting any worse. Water mitigation is the process of removing water, reducing the damage, and preventing further problems from occurring.
This can be done in several ways, but the most crucial factor is to act fast. Therefore, water mitigation should be viewed as an emergency that requires immediate action – and that’s whether you take the DIY approach or call a pro.
Why Does Water Mitigation Need Immediate Action?
There are many reasons for needing to take instant action. However, merely looking at the problems which may occur if the water damage is left untreated should be enough to kick you into gear. Here’s what to expect if you overlook this process;
In Minutes: Water damage spreads to other parts of the property, causing increased health risks while bumping up the costs and time needed to rectify the problem.
In Hours: Water-damaged wood will swell while other materials may crumble. Meanwhile, the bacteria grow to leave a truly horrendous odor throughout the property.
In Days: Water damage causes more severe damage to the property, including secondary sources, as well as an increased danger to the family’s health.
From a practical perspective, then, failing to attend to the situation right away could cause the following problems;
- The water-damaged items will grow bacteria that can cause severe damage to your health.
- The damage can spread to other parts of the home.
- The restoration work will take more time to complete, at a greater cost.
- The untreated materials, including upholstery and furniture, will need to be thrown away.
- The damage could lead to electrical faults and other related problems.
- The home will feel unsafe and uninhabitable.
- The knowledge that the job hasn’t been completed will play on your mind.
In short: immediate water mitigation is essential.
What Steps Need To Be Taken?
Before attempting anything, you need to build a winning plan of action. Otherwise, it’ll be almost impossible to gain the best outcomes. Here’s what you need to do:
Identifications & Preparations
The first item on your checklist is to identify exactly what caused the damage. There are several sources to consider, but these are the most common by far;
- Plumbing leaks.
- Cracked, burst, or broken pipes and hoses.
- Clogged toilets.
- A leaky roof.
- Foundation cracks.
- Moisture located behind walls and in wall cavities.
- Water from flooding.
It may aid your cause if you are additionally able to spot the type of water damage. Water can be put into one of three categories – clean water, greywater, and contaminated water – and the findings will impact the future water damage restoration process.
Most importantly, though, knowing where the water has come from allows you to keep it localized to one area o the home while avoiding procedures that could potentially increase the damage.
Removing the vast majority of the water from the home will have a hugely positive impact on the situation. The exact methods used will hinge on the materials that have been damaged as well as the severity of the damage. There are four Class levels, but you probably won’t need to worry about those until later in the process.
As for the active removal of water, the following ideas are particularly useful:
- Use a bucket to collect water that has puddled on the floors, especially on sloped floors.
- Take chairs and portable items outside before shaking the water off onto the grass.
- Use a mop to soak up the final bits of moisture from the floors.
- Grab a vacuum or a vacuuming system and use it to pick up water from carpets.
- Use old towels to wipe water from tabletops and dab affected walls.
Essentially, any idea that can remove water from the affected room is a step in the right direction. You may not get rid of it all at this stage, but those impacts will go a long way in preventing further damage. This will put you in the perfect position for taking the crucial next steps.
DIY Or Call A Pro?
There are several steps in the water damage restoration process that are best left to the experts (we’ll get onto those), but the mitigation process is one that you may want to complete yourself. After all, you probably have the necessary items while this is the best way to take immediate action.
If you are going to call a pro, you need to know that they are fully certified to complete this job as well as the next steps. Equally crucial. Though, is their response times. Because if items are left untreated for over 48 hours, it’s likely that they’ll need to be dumped.
After removing the water from the home, you’ll want to think about the next steps of water damage restoration. Even if you plan to call an expert, you should start the drying process by opening the windows and running the air con. Likewise, hanging items to dry will help while you can use an anti-mold spray to stop further bacteria growth.
The restoration itself will include professional water mitigation to get rid of the final moisture, followed by drying and restoration work. This could involve replacing walls or other materials depending on the severity of the damage. The exact method will vary from job to job.
Ultimately, though, when the right water mitigation is followed by the right restoration, it is possible to get your home back to its best.