Water Damage Restoration 101: What to Expect and How the Process Works

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Water damage to hardwood floorsWhen an emergency occurs that causes water damage, restoring your property as soon as possible is essential. Water damage restoration encompasses a series of steps designed to restore your property to its pre-loss condition and ensure it’s once again a safe living environment for occupants. By understanding the restoration process and knowing what to expect, you can make informed decisions and take prompt action when faced with water damage emergencies.



Understanding When You Need Water Damage Restoration

Water damage can occur in various ways, from natural disasters like floods to everyday household incidents such as burst pipes or leaking appliances. Any time there’s water damage on a property, it is going to require some level of cleanup and drying. Because water can spread so quickly and will continue causing damage if it’s not stopped, professional water damage restoration is recommended after most incidents, and when damage is severe or widespread, professional help is the only option. 

Common Causes of Water Damage

  • Flooding: Natural disasters like heavy rainfall, hurricanes, or overflowing rivers can lead to severe flooding, causing extensive water damage to properties.
  • Plumbing Issues: Burst pipes, leaking faucets, and faulty plumbing systems are common culprits of water damage within homes and commercial buildings.
  • Roof Leaks: Damaged or poorly maintained roofs can result in water intrusion during rainfall, leading to water damage in ceilings, walls, and attics.
  • Appliance Malfunctions: Faulty appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines, or water heaters can leak or overflow, causing water damage in surrounding areas.
  • Sewage Backup: When sewage systems become overwhelmed or blocked, raw sewage can back up into homes, posing significant health risks and causing water damage.

Risks and Consequences of Untreated Water Damage

  • Structural Damage: Water can weaken structures, compromising the integrity of walls, ceilings, floors, and foundations. This damage can lead to costly repairs if not addressed promptly.
  • Mold Growth: Excess moisture creates an ideal environment for mold to thrive. Mold growth can occur within 24-48 hours, leading to further property damage and potential health problems.
  • Health Hazards: Standing water and prolonged moisture can promote the growth of bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens, posing health risks to occupants, including respiratory issues and allergic reactions.
  • Electrical Hazards: Water and electricity do not mix well. Water damage is especially dangerous if wiring and electrical components are exposed, increasing the risk of electrical shocks or fires.


The Water Damage Restoration Process

Initial Assessment and Inspection

When faced with water damage, the first step in the property restoration process is conducting a thorough assessment and inspection. After confirming the source of water intrusion has been stopped or eliminated, this crucial step allows professionals to evaluate the extent of the damage, identify affected areas, and assess potential health and safety hazards. This first phase may also include immediate mitigation steps such as raising or removing furniture in the affected area because doing so as soon as possible will help limit further damage from occurring.

Water Extraction and Removal

After conducting a thorough assessment and inspection, water extraction and removal are the next steps in the restoration process. These steps focus on eliminating standing water from the affected areas. The goal is to remove as much water as possible, so multiple rounds of extraction may be necessary in order to decrease drying times and minimize secondary damage. Tools commonly used are submersible pumps, wet vacuums, water extractors, and dehumidifiers. 


Once all standing water and as much excess liquid as possible have been removed via extraction, the affected area and materials need to be dried out the rest of the way. Proper drying involves a scientific process in which humidity, airflow, and temperature are the three most important factors. 

During the stabilization and drying phase, water damage restoration technicians use a variety of measurement tools like a thermo-hygrometer and thermal imaging cameras. They also use industry-specific equipment like LGR dehumidifiers, air movers, and air scrubbers. This will allow the restoration company to  monitor and adjust the humidity, airflow, and temperature levels within the impacted area until all affected materials are completely dry. The more severe and widespread the water damage is, the more critical it is to undergo a proper and thorough drying process, especially within the first twenty-four hours or sooner.


Once the water has been extracted and the affected areas are dried completely, cleaning and sanitizing come next. This step focuses on removing contaminants that have been left behind on impacted surfaces and addressing potential health risks associated with the water damage incident that has occurred. Thorough cleaning is especially important when dealing with category 3 water damage, which is caused by flooding or a sewage backup.

Structural Repairs and Reconstruction 

After the water has been extracted, the affected areas have met their drying goals, and everything has been properly cleaned, the final phase in the process is to complete structural repairs and reconstruction. The steps involved in this phase focus on returning the property to its pre-loss condition by repairing any structural damage and moving furniture and contents back into the space. If carpeting was removed during drying, for example, this is when the carpet and pad would be reinstalled. If 

Monitoring and Preventive Measures

Once the water damage restoration process is complete, it is important to implement monitoring strategies and preventive measures to ensure long-term stability and avert future water damage incidents. Monitoring the drying process, maintaining a dry environment, and implementing preventive measures to safeguard your property from future water damage are essential.

Working with Professionals

If faced with water damage, it is vital to seek the assistance of professional restoration experts ASAP. Working with professionals ensures that the restoration process is carried out efficiently and effectively, mitigating further damage to your property. 

When choosing a professional water damage restoration company, homeowners should consider the exceptional services provided by 1-800 WATER DAMAGE. With our expertise and commitment to customer satisfaction, we stand out as a reliable choice. 

Our highly trained IICRC technicians have extensive knowledge and experience handling various water damage scenarios, ensuring proper restoration. We utilize state-of-the-art equipment and employ advanced techniques to extract water, dry out affected areas, and restore your property to its pre-damaged condition. 

Are you in need of restoration services for water damage? Contact 1-800 WATER DAMAGE today; we’re happy to help! You can also give us a call at (800) 928-3732.

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