Dealing with water damage involves three stages: mitigation, remediation, and restoration. While most people understand what restoration means, many are confused about the term remediation. Remediation is simply all the remedies you can use to clean up and repair the damage done by a water incident or flood in your home. It’s all the steps you take before restoration when affected areas and materials are returned to their original condition.
Water remediation is central to ensuring a dry, sanitary environment exists for restoring your property to its pre-loss condition. It helps to think of this critical phase as a bridge connecting initial mitigation and final restoration.
How Water Remediation Works
When your home floods and the conditions to do so are safe, you should immediately shut down the water source and electricity. You can then start to assess any damage the water has done and take steps to make repairs. Since most wet materials can develop mold within 24 hours of a water incident, there isn’t a whole lot of time to waste before getting started on remediation.
As some of the damage, including mold, may be hiding in places you can’t see, the quicker you act, the more you can minimize the damage. While some remediation steps are similar to mitigation, remediation applies a broader range of techniques. Every water damage project, though, includes five remediation steps.
- Complete water removal – Residual water is removed from floors, carpets, ceilings, and drywall. The specialized equipment water damage repair professionals use can speed up the process and help save many of your furnishings and personal belongings.
- Precise moisture monitoring – This ensures hidden moisture pockets are identified and addressed, heading off long-term problems such as mold growth and wood rot.
- Cleaning and sanitizing – All water-affected surfaces and materials are cleaned with tools and products designed to avoid further damage. The application of OSHA-approved sanitizing products typically follows the cleaning.
- Final drying process – Structural drying can often take several days or longer to complete. Industrial equipment is run until your water remediation technicians can confirm the final drying process is complete.
- Pre-restoration repairs – In this last step in the remediation process, any repairs to items like floors, ceilings, and drywall are completed before restoration begins. There are often times materials that need to be torn out, as they can’t be salvaged.
Why You Need to Perform Water Remediation
Whether your home’s water damage is the result of a small plumbing leak or rainwater flooding all or part of the house, a swift and focused response is necessary if you want to avoid more widespread damage.
Some of the remediation tips we cover below you can perform yourself. Doing one or two of them right after a water incident can actually be helpful. But keep in mind that water damage professionals have a whole arsenal of advanced tools and specialized products to get the work done more quickly and efficiently. Here are just a few of the profession-grade equipment the pros use during water remediation.
- Desiccant (drying) dehumidifying equipment
- Heavy-duty centrifugal air movers and axial fans
- Industry-proven cleaning tools and products
- Moisture meters and thermo-hygrometers
- Specialized sanitizing and disinfecting products
- Water extraction vacuuming equipment
- Wood floor and subfloor drying systems
Ten Water Remediation Tips to Get Your Home Back to Normal
1. Know the Type of Water You’re Dealing With
Believe it or not, even something as simple as water has different categories. “Clean water” is rain, condensation, and the water that comes from leaking pipes. It’s relatively harmless and can be cleaned up without worrying about contamination. “Gray water” is slightly dirty—think dishwasher, washing machine, and clean toilet water. It might have some contamination but isn’t usually dangerous. You can clean a lot of gray water up yourself as long as you do it carefully and with proper safety gear to protect yourself.
“Black water” includes sewage and floodwaters from nearby rivers, lakes, and ponds. It typically contains waste, bacteria, and other serious contaminants that, if not handled correctly, can cause severe health problems. Never try to clean black water up yourself. Professionals are specially trained to deal with severely contaminated water, and attempting it on your own can threaten you and your family’s health.
2. Inspect for Serious Issues like Mold
While a mold damage professional is often better equipped to locate mold in your home, you can do a visual mold and mildew inspection. What often happens after a water incident is that previous long-term mold problems are discovered. For instance, mold that started growing long ago is found in attics and under floors. As some mold is toxic to humans, you should be careful before touching it or removing items affected by it. If you discover serious mold issues, leave the area, shut down any airflow to avoid spreading spores, and call in the professionals.
3. Dry Out the Affected Area
The faster you get rid of moisture, the better. For minor leaks, this may be easier, but you still need to be thorough. Use fans to circulate air in the affected area. For more extensive areas, a large-capacity dehumidifier can be used to dry out wood, carpet, and other materials. Since you don’t want any moisture left after your water damage repair, it’s usually best to call in professionals who have special dehumidifying equipment and drying systems.
4. Remove and Toss Damaged Porous Materials
Carpeting, rugs, fabrics, and insulation are all porous materials that, if soaked in water, may need to be thrown away. Water can permanently damage most porous materials, and cause warping and shrinking. Mold and mildew can add to the damage. If you have a beloved piece of furniture or family heirloom you want to save, it’s possible to isolate and dry it out, but the damage may already be done. Other porous materials that can be severely damaged by water include unsealed cement, drywall, and wood.
5. Disinfect Remaining Materials
Once you’ve removed any damaged items, the area needs to be disinfected before you can start with repairs and restoration. A bleach solution is the most common choice, but there are other homemade options you can try. Whichever product you use, lightly spray and wipe down the area to ensure no mold spores linger. A professional water remediation company has specialized sanitizing and disinfecting products that guarantee the area is safe to work in.
6. Focus on Ceilings Water Damage Repair First
Why ceilings? Because they’re more at risk of collapsing due to gravity. To avoid having them sag or collapse, you should remove any affected ceiling panels or boards. If a ceiling leak is due to a roof issue, it’s important to find the true source of the leak. Beams and rafters should also be checked for structural damage.
7. Replace Damaged Wood
Any warped wood (particularly flooring), rotting wood, or wood with mold or mildew problems will likely need to be replaced. Once removed, the area beneath should be thoroughly clean before replacing the wood. Damaged structural components like beams require great care when replacing them so that they adequately support your home.
8. Replace Floors and Drywall
From swollen floorboards to soaked carpeting, you won’t have any problem identifying water damage to your floors. But the damage often extends much farther than you can see. Keep in mind that padding and underlays are particularly susceptible to water damage and usually need to be removed. If there’s such a thing as a bright side to older water-damaged floors, it’s that you now have the opportunity to install new, waterproof flooring like ceramic tile, vinyl, and engineered wood in the area.
If drywall has swelled or sagged 3/8 of an inch or more from the baseline, you’ll probably need to replace the entire sheet. Other times, it’s possible to cut out the water-damaged section only. The insulation behind the drywall should also be checked before replacing it.
9. Inspect and Replace External Siding
Water from roof problems can damage siding and decorative exterior materials like faux stone, too. If water seeps in behind your Central Florida home’s siding, it can cause permanent damage to more vulnerable underlying materials. In that case, you’ll need to quickly remove or replace the siding before rots sets in.
10. Caulk and Paint
Once you remove and replace any exterior materials, be sure to seal, caulk, and paint them to help minimize any future water problems.
Bonus Tip: If your home or furnishings suffer significant water damage, don’t forget to check your insurance policy or call your insurance agent or company. Some remediation, repair, and restoration work may be covered. Catastrophic events like a burst pipe are more likely to be covered over a slow leak, but it’s always worth making a claim if you think you might be entitled to compensation. Central Florida Restoration Solutions can help you deal with insurance claims.
How Much Does Water Remediation Cost?
What professional water remediation will cost depends on factors like the square footage of the damaged area, the water category, and contamination level. The best way to find out what your remediation services will cost is to contact a local water restoration company and have them inspect your home. An on-site assessment is usually always needed to provide you with an accurate quote. A reputable contractor will never promise something sight unseen. If you have a water damage emergency, CFRS will quickly respond to your call, conduct a property-wide inspection, and give you a detailed cost breakdown.
How Professional Water Remediation Helps
It’s not easy knowing what to expect with a big water remediation job. At CFRS, we try to make the process as easy as possible.
- Once we inspect your home, we explain exactly how the work will proceed.
- We work out a timetable with you that allows you to plan your schedule.
- Our professional services cover a full range of mitigation, remediation, and restoration.
- Our friendly and knowledgeable in-house staff helps you with filing your water damage insurance claim.
Once your project’s finished, you’re free to enjoy your home in its pre-loss condition. You also have a partner you can depend on for any type of future water damage to your home!
Water Remediation Services Around the Clock
No matter what time of the day or night, when there’s water in your house where it shouldn’t be, it’s time to call in the professionals before it can do more damage. CFRS provides 24/7 emergency water remediation and other residential services, including for:
We hope it never happens, but when water damage threatens your home, you can count on Central Florida Restoration Solutions! We’re proud of our over 25 years of experience, 18 industry certification, and nearly 1,000 customers served. We are experts in delivering fast and thoughtful water remediation services, and always treat your home as if it were our own.
Do you need water remediation services for your Central Florida home? We’re standing by to help get your Volusia County area home back to normal as soon as possible. For more information on all our home restoration services, contact Central Florida Restoration Solutions today.