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Water Damage Restoration – DIY or Professional?
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
It goes without saying that water damage is one of the worst scenarios that can befall any home or business. The level of damage left behind by a burst pipe or a flood event has to be seen to be believed and can be quite overwhelming and traumatizing for any homeowner. The cleanup process is also a daunting one, requiring a number of steps to be taken in a predetermined order, and leaving very little room for any mistakes along the way.
That being said, any property owner has to ask themselves, 'is this a project that I am qualified to undertake efficiently? Is this a job that I can do? Can I be successful when it comes to returning my home to its pre-loss condition?'
What is Involved?
You should look at the steps involved in the process. First, all of the excess water will need to be removed from the damaged structure. In some cases, this may be performed through use of a wet-dry vac unit, but in cases of considerable depth, such as several feet of water, more heavy duty equipment, such as gas-powered submersible pumps, will be required.
All of the water will need to be pumped out of the structure and then all remaining residual moisture will have to be taken care of. Fans, blowers, and dehumidifiers will need to be brought in to remove all water from the property and bring humidity levels back down to within acceptable parameters, typically under 50%.
Carpets will need to be taken up, dried out, cleaned, and disinfected; often more than once. All flooring, walls, and ceilings will need to be similarly treated in order to avoid staining, swelling, cracking, or warping and to prevent mold. Water can get inside your walls as well, which means extra steps taken to get inside those areas and dry them out. Damaged drywall may need to be cut out and replaced. Ceilings may sag and collapse under the weight of water. Appliances will need specialized treatment before any further use, lest you run the risk of serious injury. The same goes for your home electrical and HVAC systems.
Furniture and other loose items will need to be removed, dried out, and cleaned elsewhere. Valuable documents, books, or photographs will require careful treatment in order to avoid causing any further damage to them. Lastly, the structure itself may require some reconstruction and repair in order to return it to its pre-loss condition.
Should You Hire a Pro?
Water damage restoration is a science, one predicated on taking the right steps, in the right order, and doing each step right the first time. It is a process that may take days or weeks to complete and requires specialized gear.
If the spill is small, and can be taken care of with a few towels or a mop, then a do-it-yourself approach is probably acceptable. In more severe cases, however, professional water damage restoration in advised. The pros have the background, the training, and the experience needed to handle even the largest of cases. They are also properly bonded and insured and all of their work is guaranteed, which means you can rest assured that the job is done right.