It is estimated that one-third of all homeowners have experienced water damage in their homes at least once. Water damage can come from a variety of sources, including broken water supply lines or pipes, faulty dishwashers, overflowing washing machines, leaky roofs, sink overflows, and bathtub overflow.
If water damage is left untreated, it can cause structural damage to your home and personal property. In addition, an accumulation of moisture in the air can lead to mold growth which poses serious health threats to you and your family.
Although water damage restoration services may not be something that you want to think about when taking a proactive approach to maintaining your home, it is important to be educated about water damage so that you know what to do if a problem arises. The best approach is to prevent water damage from occurring in the first place.
The water damage restoration process is heavily regulated to ensure that properties damaged by floods or sewer events can be effectively restored and workers are kept safe during the cleanup process.
In Canada, you can be assured that water damage repair technicians are properly trained professionals who are certified in water mitigation, drying techniques, and structural drying.
If you have water damage on your property, make sure you call for water damage mitigation & restoration right away.
WHY WE MADE THIS GUIDE TO WATER DAMAGE
We've put together this ultimate guide to understanding water damage restoration and prevention to help defend yourself against the harsh reality of unexpected emergencies.
The best defense is knowledge, so read this ultimate guide about how exactly we can understand better ways for preventing or restoring our property from damages due to water.
WHAT IS WATER DAMAGE RESTORATION?
Water damage restoration is the process of cleaning up after water intrusion causes damage to the home's property.
The restoration includes air and surface drying, as well as removing moisture from items in order to prevent mold and other secondary issues.
Most water damage happens gradually over time- not immediately. As such, it may go unnoticed until it has become severe.
Water damage restoration in Winnipeg begins with an inspection to determine the severity of water damage as well as what caused it and where it originated from.
If water damage is a result of water infiltration, a water mitigation company will take steps to stop further water from entering the property by using special equipment or opening walls.
The more water that accumulates, the more damage is done and the longer it takes to dry everything out. Mold growth can occur in as little as 24 hours if left untreated.
WATER DAMAGE RESTORATION VS WATER MITIGATION
The restoration process is how your property gets back to its pre-loss condition.
Water mitigation, on the other hand, is the steps taken to minimize damage and to reduce the risk of water damage in the future.
It consists of three steps: 1) stop water from entering until further notice; 2) remove excess water and dry everything out as quickly as possible, and 3) assess any damage that has occurred so it can be repaired.
When water mitigation is done properly, less extensive restoration services will need to be employed once the water has been removed from your home or business
WHAT CAN CAUSE WATER DAMAGE IN A HOME OR BUSINESS?
Water damage is typically the result of an external water source, like a broken pipe or faulty appliance in your home.
However, it can also be caused by excessive internal moisture that comes about as a result of humid weather conditions or poor air circulation.
Water damage restoration is often necessary following natural disasters like floods and storms. And water damage restoration is also essential for restoring homes that have been exposed to sewer water as a result of a backup.
Other causes of water damage in the home may include:
- Burst water pipes
- Overflow from household appliances such as the washing machine, dishwasher, and bathroom sink
- Flooding from external sources like rivers and streams, or internal sources like broken water supply lines or an overflowing toilet
- Basement flooding due to poor drainage of outside water runoffs into the sewer system. Since the sewer system is designed to handle only wastewater and toilet flushing water, flooding due to excessive rain or snowmelt can cause the sewage system to back up and overflow into the basement.
- A malfunctioning sump pump that allows groundwater to enter through a basement window well. If this occurs, it may be necessary for a restoration professional to extract all of the water.
CATEGORIES OF WATER DAMAGE
Three different types of water damage can come from a variety of sources. Water may be contaminated with bacteria, sewage, or seawater causing blackwater (sewage), gray water (grey/used water), and potable runoff water (potable) respectively.
Depending on the type of contamination as well as how much has infiltrated your property will determine what category it belongs to.
Category 1 Water Damage
This generally refers to water damage that is relatively clean and has infiltrated your property in small amounts. The primary concerns associated with category 1 water damage are the safety of you and your family as well as environmental safety.
For example, if a washing machine hose ruptures and floods a portion of your home, this would fall under category one water damage.
Water in Category 1 is completely uncontaminated, and fit for human consumption. If you were to inhale it or drink it there would be no negative side effects. This means that water from fresh sources such as rainwater and sprinkler systems are also included under this category. This is known as “fresh” water.
The only risks on a job like this are the dangerous surroundings. Electric sources such as power lines or electrical outlets can be close by.
Category 2 Water Damage
This category involves water damage that has a higher level of contamination and is considered to cause more severe health and structural issues. This type of water damage usually comes from broken supply lines or toilets, as well as flooding from natural disasters such as hurricanes.
Category 2 water has a higher bacteria level and can cause diseases such as hepatitis, cholera, and dysentery. Its color is also normally darker than category 1 water since it contains rust or silt.
Water damage repairs are more involved because of the need for special equipment to deal with contaminated waste. The
When onsite, water specialists should wear protective equipment such as coveralls and boots. Water poses a risk unlike Category 1 where field experts with little to no protection can work safely without any incidents.
Give us a call at Mold Removal Winnipeg if you think it might be category two water damage.
Category 3 Water Damage
This involves water that is highly contaminated or contains harmful contaminants such as sewage, dirt, mud, and chemicals.
There are many different sources of black water, but the most common is sewage. Raw sewage can be deadly to people and destructive to property if not completely remediated. Sources of raw sewerage include sanitary sewers backups, brackish waters from rivers and streams flooding seawater, or all forms of ingress as a result of natural events where contaminants like pesticides or heavy metals carried into buildings may come in contact with humans
This is where the water contains harmful pathogenic agents such as bacteria that cause illness (pathogens) which results in sickness/disease (toxigenic). The main source offenders for “black” water includes human waste contaminated material resulting from untreated wastewater being discharged directly into waterways without treatment because it cannot flow through
Given the severity of this type of water damage, you should call a professional immediately to remove the affected area from the property and protect yourself from health risks.
WATER DAMAGE CLASSES
The IICRC separates water infiltration into four classifications:
Class 1 Water Damage
Where a minimal amount of water has flowed onto materials that are predominately low porosity, such as concrete. This class of damage requires limited mitigation and is completed when the majority of water is removed with little moisture left after evaporation finishes drying up any excess liquid.
Examples would be burst hot-water tanks on sealed floors or an overflowing toilet in tiles without drowning inside the container itself.
Class 2 Water Damage
Where there is a significant amount of water and the exposed materials are medium to high porosity. The water damage process will be lengthened by both the volume of water that needs to be removed and a longer drying time.
An example would include a flood that leaves the whole room waterlogged. Another example would be a burst water main flooding the concrete into the rooms below.
Class 3 Water Damage
Where the source of water is a large volume, such as flooding from breaching in the building structure or sanitary sewer backup where there is possible exposure to black or greywater. The more porous material absorbs and retains some of the contaminated liquid creating the potential for secondary damage over time.
This class includes a high percentage of moisture to be removed and the use of dehumidifiers and air movers, as well as large commercial fans for drying the affected area. This is normally required over an extended period of time, usually several days to weeks.
Class 4 Water Damage
Where the source of water is a catastrophic loss such as hurricanes, floods, tsunamis, or severe storm damage where all the walls and flooring is soaked through and can take months to dry out completely.
A complete renovation may be required if there has been a significant amount of rot in wood structures that need replacing before repairing. All porous and absorbent areas, such as drywall, insulation, and even carpet may have to be replaced.
Some of the damage that can result from category four water contamination includes:
- Mold & Mildew growth
- Garment staining
- Machine malfunction
- Structural failure
- Rot fungus
Like black water, you should call for professionals to prevent secondary damage that may result, like mold or mildew that could spread through the whole property.
THE WATER DAMAGE RESTORATION PROCESS
Once you have determined that water damage has occurred, either from a leaking appliance or any other reason, it is vital to act quickly. The faster you stabilize the water and begin removing it, the better chance you will have of preventing secondary damage.
- Turn off the main water supply to stop the flow of water. If this means shutting off a valve on your street, make sure to contact the city for approval before turning it back on.
- If there are any electrical devices that have come in contact with water (such as hair dryers or hair straighteners), shut off the power at your main breaker or fuse box.
- If you have a flooded basement, make sure that there is no chance of water getting into your electrical system to avoid electric shock.
- Once the water source has been stopped and the electricity has been turned off, you can start cleaning up the water by removing as much as possible with buckets, mops and towels.
- The next step is to use fans and dehumidifiers to begin drying the area. It's important to air out the room and use fans to circulate the air, but be careful not to aim them at electrical devices or outlets.
- It is important to test any porous material that you have removed from the affected area for mold and mildew before throwing it away.
- You can also use a moisture meter to check your building materials for wetness, if you are worried about them becoming moldy or waterlogged.
- Once you are sure the area has dried enough, you can begin restoration by containing the damage with a tarp and plastic sheeting to prevent it from spreading and repairing any flooring or fixtures that have been damaged.
- From this point, you can then work with a water damage restoration service company to dry out any areas that are still wet and restore the property to good condition. It's important to check your insurance policy before calling for help, as some companies will not reimburse you if you have used an unlicensed contractor or if the water damage was caused by a known appliance or fixture malfunction.
WATER DAMAGE RESTORATION EQUIPMENT
Professional flood mitigation experts use a variety of commercial-grade equipment to access and evaluate the damage, extract water, and dry out affected areas.
There are many tools and products that are used to help restore your property to pre-flood condition. Here is a list of some of the items often found in a water damage restoration company's van:
Air movers can be added to an air vent to help create powerful airflow through a room. This is often used in conjunction with dehumidifiers and other water mitigation equipment, as well as fans.
Designed to extract moisture from the air, dehumidifiers are used to reduce humidity and restore a room to its original condition.
An air scrubber is often used in conjunction with an air mover. A filter system traps and cleans water particles as they pass through the unit.
Water Extraction Equipment:
Such as a vacuum pump, water extraction equipment draws water from porous materials such as carpeting and floors. This is often paired with air movers to promote faster drying of the area.
Large dehumidifiers can be used for massive areas that are hard to dry. In addition, an industrial-strength heater can be used to speed up the drying process.
HEALTH & SAFETY WITH PROFESSIONAL WATER DAMAGE RESTORATION
Water damage restoration companies are well equipped to work with water mitigation and drying equipment. They are trained and licensed to do restoration work.
They are also trained on proper handling and disposal of water-damaged materials as well as the use of safety equipment such as respirators and hazmat suits to ensure your health and safety.
Most water damage restoration companies will provide an accurate estimate for their services, including the cost of the equipment they'll need to complete the job.
If you are concerned about the cost of hiring a water damage restoration company, consider the money and time you could lose if mold or rot is left untreated in your property.
A water damage restoration expert can help with water mitigation, repairs, clean-up, and restoration to minimize damage to your home or business and protect your investment.
PREVENTING WATER DAMAGE
While professional water and flood mitigation experts can help get rid of the water and restore your belongings, prevention is always cheaper than the cure.
Direct water damage to your home or commercial property can be significantly reduced by following these simple tips.
- If you think you have a water leak somewhere, whether it is from the roof or pipes, the first and most important thing to check is your main water supply. You don't want to waste time looking for a leak that may not exist.
- Fix leaky faucets and appliances as soon as possible, before they cause any significant problems.
- Inspect appliances and water heaters for any signs of leaks or damage.
- Make sure that your sump pump is working properly to prevent basement flooding.
- Be aware of the warning signs of a clogged sewer line, including a foul smell from the drain, slow draining sinks, and toilets or lack of water pressure in the shower.
- Keep gutters free of debris so they can do their job properly, and check your roof for any signs of wear or damage.
- Prevent leaves, twigs and other debris from entering roof gutters and downspouts. Clear them regularly so that the rainwater flows freely away from windows and doors.
- Make sure all weatherproofing sealants are in good condition
LEAVE WATER DAMAGE RESTORATION TO THE PROFESSIONALS
If you have ever experienced a major flood in your home, you know how stressful it can be. Trying to remove water from your property can be dangerous and lead to further damage.
If you have a water problem, call Mold Removal Winnipeg, Winnipeg's trusted water damage restoration company immediately to assess the situation and get started on the necessary repairs as soon as possible.