Water Damage Restoration

Having water in your home or business where itís not supposed to be can be a traumatic situation. It is safe to say that noone is enthused about having to meet a professional water restorer at 3 a.m. However, one of the most important issues regarding water damage is to respond rapidly. Below is a checklist of doís and doníts when you have water damage in your home or business.


Remove the source of the water if the source is known and/or call a plumber

Stay calm. If the source of the water is from sewage or septic you may need to arrange to stay somewhere else temporarily - See 'Sewage'

Call DRC at 770-318-3106

Call your property insurance company to notify them of the loss; tell them you have taken prudent steps to preserve and protect your property as most likely is prescribed under the terms of your policy

Turn off circuit breakers to the affected area; unplug small electrical devices such as electronics, televisions and lamps and remove from the affected area

Remove contents and furnishings to avoid possible staining of the flooring; for heavy furniture it may be possible to put plastic or foil under the legs

Pin up draperies and bedding skirts that may come in contact with wet flooring materials to prevent water marks

Check under furnishings, bedding and closets for contents that may become damaged or ruined

Remove and secure items that are breakable, sensitive to moisture or of high value

Plan for the water damage restoration crew to move heavy furnishings to dry areas of the structure

Wash hands thoroughly after handling wet items

Remain calm Ė trained water damage professionals can restore almost anything to its pre-loss condition


Remove any flooring materials since contaminants can be released into the respirable air

Use a vacuum cleaner or shop vac due to electric shock hazards

Put newspaper on floor since ink may transfer to the flooring

Walk on wet floor more than necessary to prevent more damage and because of risk of falling when stepping from carpeted floor to a hard surface

Handle items or turn on any air moving equipment if the water is suspected to be contaminated with SEWAGE- see the section entitled SEWAGE for these procedures

Upon arrival at your dwelling, a structural drying specialist will first identify health and safety issues, then discuss with you procedures that he or she recommends. At this time payment of your insurance deductible may be collected. A rough estimate may be given to you in writing regarding the work necessary. A water damage loss can be broken down into three categories: mitigation, coordination and completion .

[1] The first step is to mitigate, or keep to a minimum, the loss by responding rapidly, removing any standing water and preventing damage to contents. The company needs to have specialized equipment that can remove 95% or more of the water from the structure, making it easier to dry the rest through dehumidification, temperature control and airflow. There are no two losses the same. However, drying principles are the same. In many cases the company can restore the structure without removing the flooring materials, which reduces to cost of the claim and gets you back to normal living faster. The company must use psychrometry to determine the amount of water that must be removed once evaporation begins to take place. Drying is a science. The company must have the expertise to know which equipment is necessary and how many are needed. Some of the equipment may be too loud for normal living. The equipment will only be there until the structure is dry.

[2] The next step is to coordinate with the commissioning agent, or agents, that may include your insurance adjuster, to determine what must be done to restore you to a pre-loss condition. This is where the fun starts. You may ask the company representative if the company has a relationship with your insurance company. Find out if all parties involved are familiar with advanced drying techniques, such as structural drying. The idea here is that you may not want an inexperienced carpet cleaner that has a few fans in the back of his truck to professionally dry your home. Many companies that clean carpet also provide water removal. Water damage restoration requires extensive training and experience to handle a wide array of losses.

Some insurance adjusters still claim that the pad under your carpet must be replaced or mold will grow. On a clean water loss that a company responds to within the first 24 hours and uses the right equipment and procedures, this is simply not the case. The problem is that most companies donít have the proper equipment or technical training to remove the water from the pad. Therefore, they take the pad out, charge for this, move all your furniture around, charge for this, dry the carpet, charge for this, replace the pad, charge for this, and reinstall the carpet, charge for this as well. In many cases when this procedure IS followed, the carpet reinstallation is not done according to proper industry standards, which can be downloaded for free by anyone at www.carpet-rug.org The documents are CRI 104 and CRI 105, which are carpet installation standards.

After extracting the water from the carpet and cushion you can pull up the carpet in one corner, grab the pad with your fist and squeeze Ė you wonít get one drop of water! Once the company removes the excess moisture from your structure it will install drying equipment that will finish the job. A company representative will monitor the drying process daily to determine when the structure is dry. The drying time will depend on several factors, including what got wet, the amount of water left after extraction, the infiltration of moist air from outside, and other factors. If it was just a floor it may be dry in one or two days. If it went through multiple levels total drying may be a week.

There are cases when structural materials have to be replaced and contents are destroyed. A company representative will discuss this with all parties involved and help you receive new materials of like kind and quality in order to restore you to a pre-loss condition. In some cases regarding your contents the insurance company attaches a monetary value to the contents and reimburses you financially. If you have items that have sentimental value such as pictures, they can be restored using specialized equipment in many cases.

[3] Finally, completion of the job is when you are satisfied that the company has done everything it said it would do to your satisfaction. You sign a completion certificate and the company submits the bill. Your only financial obligation to the company is usually the deductible payment before mitigation starts. The company should follow up with a survey. Without your input the company canít find areas where it can improve that it might not have thought about.

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