Leaking pipes, overflowing or leaking household appliances, and leaking roofs are common problems that lead to water intruding into places where it does not belong. Unfortunately, even leaks that are slow and unnoticeable at first can cause significant water damage to the surrounding area.
A leaky toilet on the second floor of a home will quickly cause the ceiling to sag and sheetrock to crumble. Natural disasters, such as flash flooding and hurricanes, cause more rapid and extensive water damage. No matter the source, catastrophic losses can occur without proper treatment.
Damp spots and sagging ceilings are not pretty. But water damage is not just visually unappealing. Even if the leak is small or has been repaired, liquid can seep into other areas and cause further deterioration. When the metal components of a building have not properly dried, they can begin to rust, and microbes-such as mold, algae, and fungi-will begin to grow. These microbes pose significant health threats and can cause further damage to the building and its contents.
When you are confronted with an accumulation of liquid, you should take the following steps to reduce the potential for water damage. First, locate the source of the leak and interrupt it. Repair or replace damaged roofing, broken appliances, and leaking pipes. If the intrusion cannot be stopped immediately, place buckets under accessible leaks and repair them as soon as possible. Next, ventilate the area as much as possible. Then, call a restoration professional. A restoration professional will assess the damage and formulate a plan to restore the area.
When water comes from a clean source, such as an indoor supply line, restoration is generally less substantial, although it must be done with care. While the source is not contaminated, wet items must still be thoroughly dried to prevent the growth of harmful microbes. Liquid is extracted with wet-vacuum equipment, and drying and dehumidifying machinery is employed. Additionally, specialized instruments that monitor moisture levels are used to ensure that enough moisture is removed to restore damp rooms to their normal levels. In clean-source restoration, additional sanitizing chemicals are usually not needed.
Contaminated-source restoration is a more involved process. Contaminated H2O contains silt, organic matter, chemicals, and microbes that are potentially dangerous to humans. Contaminated liquids come from a variety of sources, including discharge from a broken toilet or dishwasher, sewage, or river flooding. Thoroughly restoring damage resulting from a contaminated source requires a comprehensive sanitization and drying process. First, any solid residue must be removed. Then, items in the building that cannot be salvaged are removed. Next, a restoration professional applies disinfectants and biocides to deter the growth of organisms that can cause materials to deteriorate. Then, the drying process begins. Any remaining liquid is extracted, the area is ventilated, and specialized high-capacity dryers are brought in to dehumidify and circulate the air. The restorer carefully monitors the humidity of the air and the moisture levels of the structural components of the building and its contents to ensure that they return to normal levels. Once the area has been disinfected and dried, reconstruction can begin.
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