If you’ve undergone a water reduction event or “water damage”, there are a couple of things that you know or ought to know. First, you must stop the circulation of water, if possible. If the leak is from a water heater or a busted pipe shut off the water to your house. In case you have an electric water heater, be sure to turn it off at the breaker box to prevent any damage.
DO NOT TOUCH THE BREAKER BOX IF THERE IS A CHANCE IT MAY BE WET!
Next, you need to contact your plumber or roofer (depending on the origin of the flow), explain what has occurred, and schedule a time to allow them to come out – the earlier the better. Then you have to contact a water restoration company, making sure they are insured, certified and local. It’s tough to chase a contractor 3 states away if there aren’t any issues. A lot of people ask for an estimate, the one issue with getting a quote is the longer the water stays the further it spreads, increasing prices, and the chance of mold growth. Most water restoration businesses use a national pricing guide such as Bluebook or even Xactimate; therefore the question should be “How quickly can you get here?” not “How much?” Additionally, this is the time to call the insurance broker. I would call my agent before any “800” numbers. If it is a small claim, you may want to take care of it yourself, to avoid a claim against your own insurer. Insurance brokers usually have a list of water restoration firms they work with, however, the decision is yours. It is your right to choose who works in your house, and if you aren’t comfortable with somebody, you can eliminate them from the occupation.
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When the water damage restoration company arrives they ought to have some forms for you to complete. Usually known as a “work authorization form”, each state varies on the specific details, but basically, it is an agreement between you and the builder that he will dry the structure and you or your insurance company will cover them. They will usually ask for a deposit or the insurance deductible to get started. They should also ask some questions such as “Where did the water come from?” “Has it been repaired?” “Does anybody have any respiratory problems (i.e. asthma or emphysema)?” This is vital since antimicrobials can irritate a breathing illness. Sometimes, water damage can warrant a succinct hotel stay, which many times is covered under your homeowners’ insurance.
There are several methods to drying your home or business; each of them has been shown to work. Different situations may also involve different methods. A restoration business will decide the best way to achieve getting your construction back to the “dry condition”. The “dry state” of your home/ business is generally determined by finding an unaffected area and taking a moisture reading; this helps to determine the moisture content before the water loss. This number is critical because the restoration contractor should find the affected region to this number or below.
The water damage restoration contractor should now begin extracting water. There are several machines out there to do so. Water restorers used to pull on the water from the top, roll up the carpeting, tear the pad and dispose of it, lay the carpet back down, then blow air under it “float the carpet.” They’d also eliminate affected molding, drywall, and pretty much anything wet. Then, they’d set up air movers and dehumidifiers anyplace for 3-5 days. Technology has come a very long way in healing drying; while dehumidifiers and air movers continue to be used, there are many different techniques. Thermal energy systems such as this, Dragon Air, or Dri-Heat are machines that use guided hot air to wash a construction similar to a clothes dryer. The benefit of Thermal energy systems is that everything can be dried “in position”. The molding, drywall, carpeting, and mat can all be dried in place, which gets you back to normal in the shortest period possible. Above all, this will help save you money on reconstruction prices because nothing was removed! Another bonus of the Thermal energy systems is the fact that it utilizes directed hot air, therefore it reduces the possibility of mold to grow.
For much more about the science of how this works take a look at The Evaporation Calculation by Jeremy Reets; he’s the inventor of the evaluation renewable energy system. Sometimes we still need to rely on dehumidifiers. Dehumidifiers take from the ambient air and remove the moisture by a refrigerant or a desiccant then warmed the dry air back into the room. This method still needs air fans and movers and antimicrobials. Normally, carpet, mat, and gutters will be removed depending on the severity. You’ll need to find a contractor, as many recovery businesses have a building division, but you should always get three estimates and proceed with whom you are most comfortable. Regardless of how your water damage restoration company dries your property, make sure it’s dry.
When it is dry, the procedure isn’t over. If they have not provided, you should ask to find that the last moisture readings and confirm them by walking around with the technician and his moisture meter, testing a few spots, simply to be sure. This is important as you could come face to face with a mold problem when excess moisture is not present. They should finally have you ever sign a work completion form to show they have completed the job, and it’s to your satisfaction. Many companies will wait a reasonable quantity of time to get the balance due from the insurance provider. Sometimes the insurance company pays you directly and you pay the builders. If an insurance provider is slow to cover or denies the claim, you’re ultimately responsible for the balance due. It’s important to keep receipts and business cards from all involved for future references.
Depending on the methods used for drying or the harshness of the reduction some reconstruction might be carried out. It is always recommended to get at least three estimates from reputable contractors/handymen. After the handyman or contractor has left your home you still have one more visit from the carpet cleaner to perform the “closing clean”. They’ll clean and spray down with an antimicrobial.