Water restoration is the process of restoring what has been damaged by water infiltration. Water damage refers to different possible losses experienced by a structure caused by water penetrating the structure in places where it is not allowed access by destructive processes like rotting of wood, fungi growth, corrosion of metal, growth of molds, rusting of wrought iron, swelling of materials like plywood, et al. The entire process should be treated as a form of restoration that involves purification of water and removal of contaminants that have been harbored or introduced into the building. Some of these contaminants can be removed, for instance, when a structure is subjected to a desalination process.
Water damage restoration, whether initiated by the owner or done by a contractor specializing in water damage restoration, can be a complex operation that usually starts with assessing the scope of damage. Water intrusion may be extensive and damage difficult to pinpoint on an individual basis. In this case, a team of professionals specializing in waterborne hazards may be needed to conduct a comprehensive investigation and to estimate the extent of the damage. Water mitigation may be necessary in cases when the damage is already extensive or in cases when the source of the water leakage or deposition is unclear.
When the scope of water damage restoration is relatively simple, the first step in the water mitigation process involves drying out the affected areas. This requires using low temperatures to quickly reduce the growth of mildew or mold, to prevent the development of mud pools or mud cracks, and to facilitate drying of the carpet and interior wood of the affected spaces. Water extraction and waterproofing are also done at this stage, particularly the restoration of any baseboards, walls, windows, insulation, floors, and roofing systems. Drying out the area also helps in removing moisture from the air, which can cause further problems during restoration.
Once the water damage restoration contractor has determined that the job is complicated, he or she will discuss ways to contain the damage before beginning the actual mitigation process. One of these methods includes sealing off the affected spaces to prevent further spread of the problem. Water mitigation companies also use drying techniques such as dehumidification or heat-treating to prevent the formation of mold and mildew. Some companies even employ the use of asbestos materials to limit the risk of developing asbestos related diseases such as lung cancer and asbestosis.
Other strategies adopted during the water mitigation process include repairing damaged plumbing and electrical systems. As soon as these systems are restored to their functional capacity, they are tested for leaks and cracks to ensure that they do not pose a potential health risk. In cases where pipes and electrical systems have developed leaks or cracks that pose a threat to people, water damage restoration contractors make use of desalination to restore supply of fresh drinking water. In most instances, a dehumidifier is used to absorb excess moisture in the surrounding environment to prevent pipes from drying out completely.
Water Damage Restoration contractors also employ techniques to minimize the impact on the surrounding environment after the water damage restoration process is complete. Water mitigation services make use of drying techniques that use fans, dehumidifiers, heaters, and other appliances to dry out the affected area. This technique reduces the amount of water that seeps into the soil and the surrounding vegetation and plants. To prevent the affected area from being saturated with standing water, dehumidifiers are used to take away excess moisture from the soil while other drying methods are adopted such as using fans to move the dry and stagnant air around the area to disperse it evenly. If the soil can not retain enough moisture, it is covered and secured with natural grass to prevent the growth of weeds and grasses that can feed mosquitoes.