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Different Water Removal Methods
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
Water damage in your home or business is a serious problem. While we all know that major floods or other water-related damage can cause severe damage to your property, even the smaller spills can leave behind unsightly stains and generate unpleasant odors. In any case, it is always important to remove the excess water as soon as possible and dry everything out in order to prevent more serious problems later on.
What to do for Small Spills or Leaks
If the spill is small, encompassing only a few square feet, successful drying may be accomplished through the use of towels or mops. Once the excess is removed, open windows or utilize fans or blowers to complete the removal of moisture from the surface. Make sure that water hasnít seeped under other surfaces such as rugs or carpets. It doesnít take much moisture at all to trigger potentially dangerous mold growth.
What to do for Larger Spills or Leaks
For more serious spills or leaks, a wet/dry vac or shop vac unit may be employed. Looking not that much different from a vacuum cleaner, shop vacs are operated in much the same manner, removing excess water that may be spread over a wide area. It should be noted that regular vacuum cleaners should never be used to remove water of any kind. It will only destroy the unit and present a very real danger to the person operating it. Shop vacs are designed to work in water and other similar scenarios, and may successfully be used to remove most of the standing water present in a damaged area. Again, fans, blowers, and dehumidifiers should be brought in following the use of the shop vac in order to fully remove all residual moisture from surfaces and the surrounding air.
Handling Severe Water Damage
In really severe water damage cases, such as when you are dealing with a depth of several feet, then submersible pumps are the water removal tool of choice. These units remove water slowly and steadily, since pumping water out too fast may result in unequal pressure which may weaken structural walls and make them prone to collapse. Severe flood conditions need to be pumped out at the rate of about a third of the depth per day in order to avoid potential problems. For obvious reasons, electrical pumps should never be utilized in major water damage situations.
Of course, pumping out the excess is never the final step in the water restoration process. Rather, it is only the beginning. Surfaces, especially porous surfaces such as wood and concrete, have the ability to retain a significant amount of water, water that can only be removed through proper air circulation. All windows and doors should be opened, with high velocity fans, air movers, and dehumidifiers brought in to eliminate excess moisture from the area. The water removal process is never a quick one, and it is important for all steps in the procedure to be performed not only quickly, but effectively.