Are you scratching your head asking yourself “isn’t water mitigation the same as water damage restoration?” You’re not far off! For many people, the difference between water mitigation and water damage restoration isn’t obvious. They notice a leak or, in the worst case, have a flooded home and call a water damage company to fix it. Overall, water mitigation is part of the water damage restoration process. With this blog, we’re hoping to help you gain a better understanding of what water mitigation is, what the water cleanup process is, how it differs from water restoration (including common misconceptions), and when the time has come to call a water mitigation contractor.
What Is Water Mitigation?
When you first notice water damage in your home, it’s critical that you act fast, as water and mold go hand-in-hand. You don’t want to delay the water cleanup because the longer you wait, the bigger the damage will be as water tends to have destructive qualities to anything that absorbs it.
In an instance of a broken toilet, a flood or a burst pipe, water mitigation is considered an emergency service that cleans up and prevents any further damage and even worse consequences from happening to your property. However, unlike water restoration companies that perform water mitigation and water restoration services, water mitigation contractors solely focus on the water cleanup and typically don’t repair or replace any damaged items.
With heavy-duty equipment that is often unavailable to the general public, water mitigation companies attempt to minimize the amount of loss as much as possible. Through removing damaged goods (including flooring or drywall), cleaning and disinfecting remaining materials, assessing your home’s structural stability and extracting the water from surfaces and materials while drying your home, water mitigation companies typically provide temporary restoration solutions. Depending on the severity of the water damage, you’ll probably have to have certain repairs done to protect the integrity of your home and prevent mold.
Water Mitigation Vs. Water Restoration: What’s The Difference?
At Mammoth Restoration, water mitigation and water restoration are services that go hand-in-hand. The terms are often confused as the process can be perceived as one even though both services can be performed separately. Water mitigation is always the first step of restoring a home after water damage which is then followed by water damage restoration if required. That makes sense since we all know that you first have to resolve an issue before you start on the repairs, right?!
After the water removal, disinfecting and drying, water mitigation contractors provide safety precautions by boarding up broken windows or stabilizing floors through the tarp. That’s where their duties come to an end and water damage repair companies come in to help return the home to its original condition.
Common water remediation services include mold removal, replacing damaged walls and flooring, repairing roof damage and, at last, test for humidity and moisture to make sure all problems are resolved. As you can imagine, the services required heavily depend on the severity of water damage that occurred.
There are three main misconceptions that we think are important to address. Firstly, many people think it may be more cost-effective to replace damaged items rather than to restore them. If you hire a licensed restoration contractor or company that clean and salvage materials, it’s typically cheaper than replacing everything. We here at Mammoth Restoration can identify which materials need replacing and which are salvageable.
The second misbelief is that carpets and walls dry on their own. That may be true over time; however, the invisible consequences should be feared. The primary issue with letting your carpet and/or walls dry on their own is the moisture that sinks into the foundation. Mold is a serious health hazard and not a matter to take lightly. While you may want to save some bucks initially by not hiring a water damage restoration company, mold removal can be very costly. Consider your options wisely! Nothing is more important than you and your family’s health.
Lastly, many homeowners think it’s more cost-effective to perform the water mitigation and restoration process themselves. Depending on the severity of your water damage that may be true. If it’s only a small leak that you caught early and have identified the source, you may be able to cleanup water and fix the problem yourself. However, if you have to deal with flood water damage, or you don’t know where the water damage is coming from, how long it has been leaking, and what materials have been affected, we strongly advise against attempting to fix it yourself. Even the Center for Disease Control and Prevention is concerned that it may be dangerous to clean up after a flood by yourself. Water mitigation and restoration professionals know what to look for, such as the type of water (clean vs, hazardous water), and also know how to handle submerged wires. Don’t put your life on the line and let us help you restore your home in a safe manner.
What Does Water Mitigation Entail?
As mentioned earlier, water mitigation is the first step to getting the water damage under control. The process follows three main steps and potentially even a fourth one depending on the severity of the water damage: water cleanup, drying and disinfecting affected areas, dehumidifying, and setting up security precautions, if necessary.
For the water cleanup, professional water mitigation companies come in with commercial-grade equipment, especially if the house was flooded, to remove any standing body of water. After the water is removed, unsalvageable items that were submerged or damaged by the water will be cleaned up by the water mitigation contractor as well. That could include furniture, drywall, carpets, flooring and more. Our team at Mammoth Restoration does everything in their power to save and restore as many belongings as possible throughout this process.
Following the cleanup, water mitigation contractors extract the moisture from walls, floors, and furniture using air scrubbers and air movers. The drying process must be executed thoroughly to avoid any dangerous ramifications later such as mold development. Nevertheless, it’s understandable that homeowners want this step done as soon as possible to start any necessary repairs and get back to business as usual. Whether the water mitigation company decides to disinfect the home depends on the type of water damage. If you’re dealing with rainwater or water from a busted pipe, the water is considered clean and doesn’t necessarily require disinfecting. However, if your house is flooded from a natural disaster or because of a sewer backup, disinfecting is required! That’s because gray or black water contain bacteria amongst other potentially hazardous chemicals. Trust us, you don’t want that in your house!
The third step of water cleanup is dehumidification which should be started at the drying stage already. Professionals bring in industrial fans and multiple dehumidifiers to keep the humidity level in the air low throughout the drying process. Similar to the importance of thoroughly drying affected areas, dehumidifying is crucial to combat mold growth. If done right, there is nothing you need to worry about. If done wrong, you’re not only damaging your property but also risking your own and your family’s health. Mold only gets worse with time. Water mitigation contractors use diagnostic tools to help measure the moisture level of your home and dehumidify any areas of concern.
When To Hire A Water Mitigation Company?
The decision on whether to call a water mitigation company is very much dependent on the type of water damage you’re dealing with. If you’ve detected a small leak and know the source it’s coming from, chances are you can fix and clean up the problem yourself. However, if a pipe in your wall is leaking or your entire floors are flooded and the source of the water leak is not easily accessible, please call a water damage repair service!
We know that the initial cost of water remediation services may be off-putting to many homeowners. Nevertheless, the damage that can occur from ignoring the problem or trying to fix it yourself can be way worse and costlier in the long-run.
There are several reasons why hiring a water mitigation company is a good idea. Firstly, professionally trained contractors have a better eye for what can be salvaged from the water damage and what needs to be replaced. This alone can save you hundreds of dollars. Furthermore, to the untrained eye, affected areas may appear to be fully dried even though they most likely still have some moisture in the lower levels. That’s because most people underestimate the power of water and how far it can seep into the underlying materials. Assuming that the water damaged areas are dry isn’t good because the moisture will just remain in the lower levels of the material leaving room for mold and mildew to grow freely.
Another solid reason for having professionals help you with water mitigation is the potential danger of submerged electric cables. Water mitigation experts know how to handle those safely, do you? Save yourself stress, time, and money and let a water mitigation contractor fix your water damage once and for all. Another convenience factor is that most water mitigation companies can also help you with your insurance claim. They often use similar estimation tools and know the protocols of getting your home or business back to pre-water damage conditions.
To conclude, water damage is no joke and requires your immediate attention. The quicker you can resolve the water damage, the less it’s going to cost you in the long-run. Water mitigation and water restoration go hand-in-hand depending on the severity of the water damage. Water mitigation is always the first step to fixing the problem. Nothing can be repaired before the area isn’t fully dried, so the water restoration follows water mitigation. It’s crucial to make sure that all of the moisture is sucked out of the materials to avoid the growth of mold. Because water mitigation is considered an emergency service, we’re standing by 24/7 to help you get your home back to normal as soon as possible. We’re just one call away!