Climate change is upon us and as our generation gets older, the effects of climate change are only going to get worse. Abnormalities in weather patterns and a global average increase in temperature is resulting in freak storms and catastrophic natural disasters.
For any developing or developed country, it is necessary that the city’s infrastructure be built to withstand weather abnormalities. A lot to do with a city or country’s infrastructure stems from thinking about future growth and development. Infrastructure development is largely the responsibility of the government but measures at an individual level are also extremely vital to protect against unforeseen water damage. Civilians need to be educated on the effects and impact of global climate change and what measures can be taken on an individual level to try and reduce damage caused by water in residential areas.
We live in a world where technology has developed to a degree where it has allowed us to predict and anticipate weather abnormalities. This has given humans an opportunity to better plan and prepare for such weather outbreaks. However, not all water damage results from freak storms or natural disasters. Often, water damage can result from trivial leaks in the piping system of your house and if left unchecked it has the capability of inflicting serious damage to the property. Water is one of the most destructive natural forces on our planet whether it be in an indoor or outdoor environment. The erosion properties of water can gradually level mountains let alone a house.
Burst pipes, overflowing gutters, flood-inducing rains and water seepage often cause water damage in residential homes. If left unchecked, this can lead to massive structural damage, loss of possessions and contamination in the form of mold. Sever backup and pipe burst can happen in areas of the house that are not visible to the naked eye. These are perhaps the worst kind of leaks as it not only damages the foundations of the house but also leads to contamination, which can often be a much more serious problem than the water damage itself.
According to World Health Organization estimates, more than 1 billion people worldwide do not have access to clean drinking water and more than 4,900 people die due to waterborne illness. Our part in ensuring our continued future depends on what measures we take today to conserve water and protect against water damage.
If appropriate measures are taken immediately water damage can be curtailed to a degree where full restoration is possible. Living in a home one must be aware of all plumbing related issues whether it be in the kitchen, washroom or living rooms. Checking for leakages periodically can help save a lot of money in the long run. They are certain signs that are giveaways for potential leakages in plumbing and sewage. These are as follows:
- Pooling of water in areas on the wall, ceiling and floors
- A hissing sound of water running even when the plumbing is not in use.
- Irregular water pressure in certain areas of the house
- A bulge in the ceiling
- A higher than normal water bill
- Continued smell of sewage even when plumbing is not on
If any of these signs are a frequent occurrence in your home it is important to contact a professional team of water damage restoration experts immediately to prevent expensive repair and replacement further down the line. Water damage can be caused by many different factors some are apparent while others can remain hidden until it is too late. Common causes of water damage are as follows:
- Burst plumbing
- Flooding from freak storms
- Roof damage
- Depression in flooring
- Sump Pump Failure
- Dishwasher Flood
- Washing Machine Flood
- Leaking Appliances
- Sewer Backups
- Overflowing bathtubs and toilets
All of these problems can cause catastrophic property damage if left unchecked. Water damage clean up and repair is not a DIY ordeal as it requires professionals and appropriate tools to fix the problem at its source. Scientific methods and equipment are used to determine threat levels in order to deduce whether parts of the property have to be restored or replaced. An evaluation of water damage is based on the following criteria:
- The degree of property damage caused
- The extent of contamination
- Replacement cost vs restoration cost
Water damage restorations isn’t cheap so it is always a good idea to get the best in the business to take care of these issues so that they do not escalate to a degree that causes major business interruption, financial burdens and irreversible contamination. Once water is contaminated, it facilitates the growth of mold that can seriously increase the cost of remediation. The existence of mold can lead to serious health risks and even diseases.
Once water damage is detected, it is critical to have it remediated as quickly as possible. Severity of water damage can also depend on the type of water itself. Water is divided into three categories when it comes to contamination.
Clean water is generally not harmful as it comes from a clean water source such as a faucet or direct water line. A leakage of clean water should still be treated immediately as if left alone the water can be easily contaminated and escalate to a more dangerous category.
This type of water generally leaks from dishwashers, washing machines, and toilets and can contain possible contaminations of bacteria and viruses. It is much more dangerous than clean water as if left unchecked it can lead to catastrophic physical damage as well as health risks.
This is the most dangerous category of contaminated water as it can cause serious illness and in certain cases even death if mistakenly or intentionally ingested. This category of water is normally contaminated with untreated sewage, chemicals, feces and harmful bacteria and viruses. This water is the life source for mold growth in homes and should be immediately fixed or replaced. Leakages caused by sewage damage or sewer backup are considered black water along with septic back flow, toilet overflow and flooding.
Gray and black water contain pathogens and parasites that can lead to serious infections and diseases. Even if you have a suspicion that their maybe sewage damage in your home or workplace, stay well away from that area and call in a professional immediately. The longer black water festers the greater the restoration and replacement cost as this contamination will spread quickly to other areas of the property.
Water damage remediation and water extraction services require a team of professionals along with heavy equipment that includes dehumidifiers, extractors, air movers and driers. It is not enough to simply remove visible water from the impacted area as moisture is still left behind that can facilitate the growth of mold. Water damage remediation services offer a water damage assessment taking into account all factors. Once an assessment is complete the first step is to extract all the water from the affected area. Using heavy duty driers the walls, carpet, padding and furniture are all dried off until zero moisture remains. Then next step is the cleaning and restoration process for clothes, linen, books and documents. If they is any signs of mold and mildew damage this too is immediately remediated. The source of the leakage is identified and repaired at the source to prevent any further seepage. Following this procedure makes a full restoration from water damage possible but only if action is taken immediately.
The amount of water damage that has been inflicted on a residential or commercial property is often classified into four different categories.
- Class 1: minimal water damage due to absorption of moisture in a room
- Class 2: Absorption of moisture in an entire room that has seeped into the furniture and walls
- Class 3: The worst kind of damage possible where water has saturated most of the property including ceiling, flooring and walls.
- Class 4: Requires special equipment to dry out materials such as hardwood, stone and concrete
Perhaps the greatest challenge of water damage remediation is the restoration process of valuables damaged by water. The restoration process involves replacing or repairing entire sections of the property back to its original state by replacing materials such as drywall and insulation while repairing and restoring furniture, tapestry and other valuables. Water damage from flooding can sometimes lead to serious cases of water damage where entire sections of the property have to be replaced which can be an expensive and arduous process.
All water damage restoration jobs are unique as the amount of work required for each depends on a variety of factors such as the amount of area in the home that’s been damaged and how long the water has been present. Other factors can also include the type of water that is causing damage and the geology and topography of the landscape.
Water Damage Insurance Claim
Insurance company’s offer protection against water damage from flooding, burst pipes, and sewage backup. However, it is important that certain measures are undertaken to ensure that claim is accepted and a fair settlement is made. In the event of a flooding or burst pipe situation it is important to stay calm and to simply call in the professionals immediately. Trying to fix the situation by saving valuables and using DIY techniques to stem the flow of water is only going to complicate your claim procedure. There may be a good chance that your claim may be denied and you do not get compensated for your loss. This can put a huge financial burden on a person as water restoration is an expensive and time consuming process. In case of any water related emergency it is best to call in the experts so that they can help in accessing the situation and gathering evidence for filing an insurance claim. Even though doing nothing is counter intuitive to our natural instincts of saving what we can in the case of an emergency, it actually helps in making the restoration process much faster, easier and lighter on your budget. Water damage restoration experts will also often assist with the insurance claim process and provide you with all the necessary information that you would need to file a just and problem-free claim.
Important Things to Remember
The damage that water can cause to a property should never be underestimated. Water is a natural life giving substance that is also one of the most destructive forces of our natural world. It is both essential for life and can also claim lives if left unchecked. At the slightest signs of water leakage one should immediately contact a professional as even delaying slightly can have catastrophic long-term consequences.
Need a professional water damage specialist to come to your home or business quickly? Contact ServiceMaster QRS, day or night, for speedy emergency service. We work with your insurance company. Call (773) 388-9200 today!