Water damage is one of the most pervasive and difficult to rectify forms of building damage that you can encounter. Many people think when they’ve had a flood that all they have to do is mop their floors dry and leave the windows open for a day and that’s the problem solved.
It’s a much deeper issue than that, however. If water damage is not professionally handled and repaired, it can cause potentially serious structural problems.
At Reinstate, we have dealt with countless clients whose insurance companies have not informed them of the importance of properly dealing with water damage as a part of their insurance claim. So we’re here to help you better understand what you need to do and how we can help you.
Understanding how water damage works
When your property is flooded, your first priority is, of course, the leaked water itself – so naturally getting every drop possible pumped or otherwise removed from your property is essential.
This is where the problem lies; when this is finished, many people consider the issue resolved, where in reality it’s only the first step in the process required to properly restore your property.
Permeability is something that is so often left unconsidered – namely your property’s propensity to absorb floodwater. The water you see is far from the only water present, there will also be a large amount of water that is absorbed by the material of your flooring and your walls.
Your home may be made up of materials with both high and low permeability – high permeability materials will absorb water quickly, but then release that moisture equally quickly. Low permeability materials will be more resistant to absorption, but they will also take much longer to release the moisture that they do absorb.
Humidity is also another consideration that you and any building contractor whose services you employ need to consider. Humidity, of course, refers to the moisture content in the air, and after a flood, you’ll often find humidity and vapour pressure are considerably increased.
Humidity is a key part of the drying process as it can be a strong indicator of the overall moisture content that is still present in the property, even if the floors and walls “seem” dry.
A complete approach to removing moisture
When it comes to removing flood water, or escaped water resulting from a leak, you need a comprehensive approach to ensure that your property is left as dry as possible. There are many things you should consider – this includes common approaches such as naturally moving airflow by opening doors and windows, using fans and dehumidifiers, as well as shop vacs or even a water pump in the case of excessive flood damage.
You should also take care to remove any soaked objects such as furniture and other equipment, taking them outside to dry off in the fresh air. Any carpeting or flooring should be removed as it will hold water, and the odds of it being restored to the condition it was before are minimal – it’s much more cost, time, and energy-efficient to simply replace it. This will also allow you to better see any damage done to your property’s flooring.
This is where you will need the assistance of a professional, well versed in handling waterlogged properties. They can take things an extra step further by introducing chemicals and desiccants to properly absorb any residual moisture.
This can include calcium oxide, certain clay compounds, and silica gel placed strategically through the property to ensure all moisture is absorbed. This can be a time-intensive process, but it’s essential if you want to make sure your property is rid of as much water as possible.
What are the risks of not properly handling water damage?
Say you don’t follow these steps – what then? If that’s the case, your problems are only just beginning. Water damage can severely compromise the structural integrity of your property – walls can become soft, mould can develop, and wood can begin to rot.
You may find yourself starting to have recurrent issues with damp, and any new flooring or carpeting you put down may become wet and unpleasant smelling as residual moisture gradually releases. Ultimately this means any time and money spent redecorating is going to be wasted, as your new paint, flooring and furniture might end up getting slowly ruined anyway.
This is why it makes sense to contact a professional, like Reinstate, to help you make sure that your property is properly dried. It will be assessed thoroughly to ensure it’s ready for any restoration work or redecorating to be completed.
It’s important you act fast if you suffer a flood or water leak – contact a specialist as soon as possible and get started immediately on removing any standing flood water, getting your furniture out of the property, and opening your doors and windows. The sooner a specialist can arrive, the quicker they can begin the deep removal of embedded moisture and the better the odds of properly protecting your property.
Remember that your insurance company will likely not tell you all of this. It’s important you understand what you need to do in the event of a flood, to make sure you have the best chance of making a successful insurance claim, and to ensure your property remains as minimally affected as possible.
Which professionals should you trust?
If your property suffers water damage and you’re going to need to make an insurance claim, contact the professionals at Reinstate today. We have extensive experience in handling all aspects of insurance repairs and restorations for both our commercial and domestic clients.
Whether it’s your home or place of business, if you have suffered water damage, you can rely on us to help you make sure every drop of moisture is removed from your property. With that done, we can advise you on the next steps you should take on the path to getting your property repaired, and if necessary, we can even handle the repairs for you.
If you suffer a flood or leak, contact Reinstate immediately.