Annually, $13 billion is spent on water damage and removal in the United States. 14,000 Americans will face a water damage emergency each day.
Water damage is an even scarier concept for those with basements as 98% of basements will experience water damage in their lifetime.
Chances are, a water damage emergency will happen when you least expect it. Instead of frantically searching online for a ‘water damage company near me,’ when an emergency happens, find a trusted company now.
Our guide covers everything from finding a water damage company to what you can expect from the restoration process. Read on to find out more.
How to Find a ‘Water Damage Company Near Me’
The longer you wait to find a ‘water damage company near me’, the more damage your property will encounter. With these suggestions on how to choose a water damage company, you can find what you need quickly.
Find a 24/7 Service
Water damage can occur at any hour of the day or night. Because of this, you’ll want to find a business that will be there for you 24/7.
A 24/7 service can get to you fast enough to stop any water damage before it ruins more of your property. This will provide you with peace of mind if a disaster ever occurs.
Check for License and Insurance
During your research of water damage companies, focus only on the ones in your area that have a proper license and are insured. You may need to check the laws in your state regarding these businesses to ensure they have the right certifications.
Knowing how to find the best water damage company is more than just checking for reviews. To protect yourself and your property during the remediation process, you’ll need an insured business.
Ask for References
Chances are, there are people you know that needed water restoration services at one point. Asking for references from the people you know is the best place to start.
Although looking through online reviews is beneficial during your search, you’ll get more trustworthy advice from those you have a relationship with.
Your friends, family, neighbors, etc., in the area can tell you what reputable companies are out there and maybe even companies that you should not hire. Don’t take their advice with a grain of salt.
Local companies tend to rely on word of mouth to bring in more customers.
If you’ve come across a few companies that you believe may be worth the hire, you can ask them personally for their references. A company that offers you them without hesitation is usually proud of their work.
Understand the Plan
Knowing how to fix water damage is not easy. You’ll want the company you are thinking about hiring to have a clear plan that they can share with you.
To get your home back in shape, a professional will walk you through the details and give you advice on how you can prevent problems in the future. For example, mold growth is a huge problem after water damage occurs.
Before repairs, a reliable expert can offer you a cost estimate. From here, you can decide how you want to proceed.
If the water damage is not an emergency that needs immediate repair, it may be a good idea to get estimates from various companies. However, it is not always a good idea to choose the cheapest because it can lead to more expensive repairs down the road.
Know the Insurance Claims Process
If you have never had water damage before, it can be confusing to file an insurance claim. Whether you are a pro at claims or just beginning to learn, you can benefit from a water damage company that can help you through the process.
A restoration company that can help you document damages and file a claim properly is just an added plus!
Learn About the Restoration Technology
During the restoration process, your home must undergo water extraction, drying, and dehumidification. This will help prevent mold problems down the line.
Learn about the restoration technology a water company uses to ensure you are ridding your property of water and further issues. The best technology can speed up the restoration process entirely.
Certain technological tools can restore personal property like artwork, photographs, documents, etc. If you need this, hire a company that can offer this service for you.
The most common equipment used by water restoration services is detection equipment, air moving equipment, deodorization tools, and generators.
Detection equipment can help a technician understand how wet the area is. Without this knowledge, a water restoration company won’t know the depth of the situation and may not remediate it properly.
Detection equipment includes sensors and meters that will show the moisture in ceilings, walls, floors, and other materials. From there, a professional can decide whether to dry or tear them out.
Air Moving Equipment
Air moving equipment is exactly what it sounds like. These are the tools used to remove moisture from affected materials and the air.
Fans are blown on the surface causing the water to evaporate. A dehumidifier can draw water out of the air and drain it. This means the water is unable to settle back into the materials and damage a room further.
There are a lot of different types of deodorization equipment.
One piece of this equipment is the air scrubber that removes particles, chemicals, and gasses from the air. It takes air in and pushes it through filters to remove any contaminants causing an odor.
Foggers can turn the chemicals in the air into fog to eliminate odors from the room. After water damage, foggers can also be used to prevent mold growth by killing bacteria.
Thermal foggers are more effective methods of deodorizing because it acts as a powerful cleaning solution. This fog clings to odor molecules, absorbs them, and then gets rid of the smell.
Generators come in handy for water damage that causes a power outage. Technicians will need a power supply to repair the damage. If you don’t have a generator for your property, hire a company that brings its own to remediation.
Consider Customer Service
During an emergency, many overlook customer service. When a business has great customer service, they are more likely to treat you and your home with respect.
If a business is annoyed by you asking questions or doesn’t offer a plan of action, drop them. The quality of work is often reflected in customer service.
What to Do During a Water Damage Emergency
If you followed our first tip of finding a 24/7 water restoration service, you shouldn’t have much of a waiting period until the professionals arrive. However, there are things you can do on your own in that short amount of time.
During a severe water damage emergency, you must act fast to prevent permanent damage. After getting a water damage company on the phone, follow these tips:
Turn off Water and Power
If you can, the first thing you should do is turn the water off in your home. This will minimize flooding and prevent additional damage.
During an emergency, you need to locate the main water supply valve. Generally, you can find it in a basement or outside on a wall in the utility area of the home. Many homes have this valve next to the water heater.
When you locate the valve, turn it clockwise to cut the water supply to the entire house.
The most popular shutoff valve designs are the gate valve and the ball valve. If a gate valve has not been turned for years, it can be difficult to do so.
A ball valve is present in homes with plastic or copper main water pipes. The best thing you can do during a leak or other water damage emergency is turn off the main water supply.
It is important to note that you should never go into standing water where electrical appliances are plugged in. Wait for the professionals and call the fire department for assistance.
To avoid electrical hazards in standing water, turn the power off to your house.
Document the Damages
Before cleaning up the damages, you should document the evidence for insurance purposes. You can include the evidence when you file an insurance claim.
Typically, you’ll hear back within a day or two after filing your claim. Keep your receipts when hiring a water damage restoration company to add to the claim.
If you need mold remediation services as well as water damage restoration, document the mold growth too.
If water damage is only affected one area of your property, start moving your belongings to a dry area. If there is not a dry indoor area, move your belongings outside.
If clothing, blankets, linens, and other textiles were exposed to water, clean these as soon as possible. If you don’t wash these materials quickly, mold and bacteria will begin to grow on them.
Begin Removing Water
If you completed the above steps before the water restoration company arrives, begin removing water on your own. It is essential to get all of the water out because mold growth can start within 24 to 48 hours.
If you have a sump pump or dehumidifier, now is the time to employ it if not already in use. Don’t plug in fans to help with the drying process unless it is safe to do so.
While removing all of the water that you can, remove any wet carpeting like rugs or pads.
Water damage caused by floods may bring pests and debris into your property. Snakes and rodents may seek refuge in homes, so be on the lookout for them if you are cleaning up water.
Debris like wood splinters, glass, and nails can be in standing water. Never walk around barefoot when restoring your damaged home.
Categories of Water Damage
There are three different categories of water damage. Category 1 refers to clean water damage that happens because of a leak.
Clean water damage means there are no contaminants, debris, or pathogens in the water. Although the least worrisome of water damage, it still requires immediate cleanup. If ignored, it can lead to bigger issues.
Category 2 is grey water with substances in it that can cause illnesses or discomfort if ingested. The source of this water can be from toilets with urine and feces, washing machines, or any place with used water.
The last category, category 3, is unsanitary black water filled with dangerous and unsanitary contaminants. This water can lead to more serious health conditions or death if ingested.
This water will come from overflowed streams or rivers, a sewer backup, or stagnant water with bacteria growing in it.
Classes of Water Damage
While categories of water damage refer to danger levels, classes of water damage are determined by how much water there is. There are four classes of water damage.
Class 1 is the least amount of water that only impacts part of an area or room. A larger space can have class 1 damage if the materials in that area have absorbed little or no moisture.
Class 2 is a large amount of water where an entire room or more gets infected. Any carpet is likely wet as the water is up by 24 inches or less.
Class 3 is a greater amount of water where an entire room is damaged. The damage affects the carpet, ceilings, walls, and insulation. The most likely case that caused this damage is that water came from above.
Last, we have class 4 that requires special drying methods that take a longer period of time to complete. The affected materials are usually stone, hardwood, concrete, or brick.
Water Damage Restoration Timeline
After searching up ‘water damage company near me,’ we are sure you are wondering how long the restoration process takes. After hiring a company, here is what you can expect:
A professional company will complete an inspection to figure out what all has been damaged and what needs restoring. This is when the detection equipment will come in handy.
During the inspection, they can figure out if the electricity is in jeopardy. If you haven’t already, they may turn off the power sources depending on the amount of damage.
Once the inspection is complete, you should have a clear idea of what needs to get done to correct the damage. Always ask beforehand which technicians will be doing the job.
Removal of Water
The next step of the process is to remove standing water within the property. The rest of the process cannot begin until water is removed.
This is when the technicians will find the source of the issue if they hadn’t already found it during the inspection. That’s the issue that will need attention first.
The most common issues that cause water damage are broken pipes, backed-up toilets or drains, leaky roofs, sewer backups, storm-related damages, and floods.
Ignoring water damage can lead to health concerns and often cause mold growth. To prevent more damage from occurring, the water restoration team will discover and stop leaks.
During this time, technicians may have to remove walls, flooring, and ceilings. Removal of these materials occurs when they are too far gone. If a material cannot get properly dried, water can remain trapped.
Water damage can be detrimental to your property’s structure. If anything collapses, it can cause serious problems. Flooding of any kind on a property is a hazard.
Once standing water has been removed along with materials that pose structural threats, the drying process begins.
This is when fans and dehumidifiers will come into play. Some companies will put up plastic sheets to help the water evaporate.
If walls were heavily impacted by the damage, the baseboards may need to get removed. Sometimes technicians will need to drill holes to ensure everything gets dried.
Some carpeting may need to get lifted to dry properly as well. If these processes are not completed when necessary, there is a greater chance that mold growth will happen.
The technicians should stay on the property to monitor how the drying is going. They can continue to use their meters to test the moisture content in the affected areas.
The process could take multiple days depending on the extent of the damage. You may have to vacate the premise entirely while the restoration process is going on.
Once the meters indicate that the moisture levels are back to normal, the water damage company will remove their equipment. This marks the end of the remediation process.
If ceilings, walls, floorings, etc., were torn out for proper drying, the company will then begin to restore the property. It is important to note that not every remediation company also restores materials.
A restoration company can either do these repairs themselves or subcontract the work to other qualified professionals. Property owners can use their own contractors if they choose.
The Cleanup Process
The cleanup process is often different depending on the level of damage and type of water. For example, if the damage happened due to clean water, drying and putting things back is usually sufficient.
In contrast, if there was a lot of water or if it was black or grey, more steps are necessary.
Sanitation and Cleaning
After everything is dry, the water damage company will complete its final cleaning by sanitizing. This removes bacterial growth and deodorizes the air to get rid of any odors.
When an area is properly dried and cleaned, there is less of a chance that mold growth will occur.
Every type of water damage leads to the possibility of mold growth. Without the help of a professional restoration company, you may not remove all of the water leading to mold and structural damages.
Once the cleanup is all said and done, you will want to make sure the water restoration company you chose works well with your insurance.
Some water damage companies opt to send invoices directly to your insurance. Depending on your insurance, the company may pay the water restoration business directly, leaving you without worries.
The lines of communication should be open during the restoration process between your insurance and the water damage company. In fact, it is common for an insurance company to check in on the process.
Covering Water Damage
It is uncommon for all causes of water damage to get covered by your insurance. Storm-related damages and plumbing issues are often covered with homeowners insurance.
If floods are common in your area, you may have a separate flood insurance policy. If not, water damage caused by floods won’t get covered.
Roof leaks may also not get covered with a homeowners insurance policy. This is especially true if your roof needs a replacement.
Normal roof wear and tear does not get covered because, as a property owner, you are responsible for regular maintenance. This includes getting a new roof installed when necessary.
If the roof leaks were storm-related, the damages are generally covered under an insurance policy.
Don’t Ignore Water Damage: Call a Water Damage Cleanup Service Today
Just a small amount of water can lead to extensive damage to your property over time. If you aren’t well-versed in removing moisture, you could be dealing with mold growth and structural damages later on.
Our guide has covered the importance of handling water damage immediately and how you can choose the best company for your needs.
At CTR, we strive to complete water damage restoration and the reconstruction process to satisfy property owners. As a 24/7 service, we are available to our Treasure Valley and Magic Valley customers whenever an emergency occurs.
No need to continue the ‘water damage company near me’ search. Contact us now for residential and commercial water damage needs.