Water damage is a common problem every homeowner experiences. According to research, around 40% of homeowners in the United States have experienced water damage at some point in their lives.
Whether a flood or a leak caused it, water damage can wreak havoc on a home and cause many problems for homeowners. Therefore, homeowners need to understand and educate themselves on the subject of water mitigation.
What is Water Mitigation?
According to FEMA, mitigation is the process of reducing damage to, and loss of, property due to the impact of a disaster. Simply put, water mitigation is the process of cleaning up after a natural disaster resulting in excess water. For example, flooding into the basement or other parts of the home can be considered a natural disaster resulting in excess water. When it comes to disaster management, water mitigation comes after preventing loss of life and focuses on preventing additional damage.
The process of water mitigation ranges from cleaning the property to repairing significant damage. A simple clean-up or constructing appropriate drainage to prevent water from seeping into a home after a hurricane can be considered water mitigation steps. Depending on the severity of the situation, each water mitigation process is different. If your home has been flooded by rainwater, the mitigation process might differ from those whose homes have been hit by a hurricane.
The Stages of Water Mitigation
As mentioned earlier, every water mitigation process differs depending on the severity of the situation and the nature of the damage left behind. However, for every situation, certain stages or steps are universally applicable. In this article, we’re going to explain four steps you should follow if your home has been damaged by a flood or an unfortunate event resulting in excess water.
1. Assess the situation
The first thing you should do right away is assess the situation and damage left behind. Take a look and try to get an idea of how severe the damage is. This way, you can also observe the structure of your home and whether or not you need professional help from experts. For example, if your electrical panel has been compromised, you might have to get help from experts since it can be dangerous for you to take matters into your own hands. However, if it turns out that it is safe for you to walk around the area, you can make a thorough assessment and take a closer look at the damage. This will allow you to make a detailed assessment and figure out the costs and steps needed to repair the damage.
2. Remove the source of moisture
Once you have an idea of what to repair and what the damage is like, it’s time to remove the water source. The reality is, you can’t start repairing unless the source of moisture has been removed. Standing water can get in the way of the mitigation process and cause other problems in the long run. Once you have the water removed, you can start using dehumidifiers to help dry any damp spots and help prevent mold from growing. This will prevent further damage and help make the reparation process easier.
3. Sanitize thoroughly
Floods often come from natural bodies of water like rivers. Although they might seem harmless, these waters can be classified as a biohazard since they can contain things like sewage. So, you must sanitize every surface that has come into contact with these waters. Most likely, you would need to hire a professional to give you a hand in cleaning up floods and sanitizing every surface thoroughly.
4. Restore structure
Once you have figured out the damages, removed the sources of moisture, and sanitized every surface, it’s time to start restoring any damaged structures. The most important parts of the property, such as walls, ceilings, and floors, should always be restored first. Once you have restored the framework of the property, you can move on to cleaning or replacing fixtures and fittings such as carpets, appliances, and furniture.
Water damage can be a stressful thing to go through. Leaving it untreated can cause long-term damage and might even cause health problems. If you have just experienced a flood in your home, don’t fret just yet. According to studies, around 93% of water damage can be prevented thanks to successful water mitigation. This shows how vital water mitigation is when it comes to preventing water damage and protecting your home from the long-term impacts of natural disasters. For more information on this topic, check out this comprehensive water mitigation guide here.