DON’T DO IT YOURSELF
Why Using a Restoration Company Saves You Time & Money!
A few years back, early one Sunday morning in February, I stepped out of bed into 3 inches of water. The water flow to the ice maker in my freezer had failed to shut off after filling the ice tray, and during the night, water had flooded half of my 2200 square foot single-story home. 1000 square foot of hardwood floor in the kitchen, dining, and living room was under water and warping; water had crept under the kitchen cabinets, spilled over into the laundry room lifting the vinyl floor, and flooded the carpet in the master bedroom. It was a disaster of major proportions, at least for me, a single woman, living alone. After turning off the source of the water flow, and throwing down every towel I owned, I called Disaster Response, an Idaho based disaster cleanup company.
The main causes of home damage are water, fire, natural disasters, and storm events. Two out of three home-disaster events have water as a common denominator. Pipes break, appliances leak, bathtubs overflow, shower tile gets old so water creeps beneath it, windows or doors are left open in a storm, and roofs deteriorate over time allowing rain or snow to crawl in. Unlike fire, which manifests itself rather quickly, a water problem can go unnoticed for days or weeks, possibly far longer, and the resulting damage is more extensive than what a basket of dry towels and a plumber can fix.
Not every water event is so sudden as mine was, nor does it seem initially to involve so many rooms. Often the inclination of a handy homeowner is to take care of the problem—let it dry for a few days, fix the leaky pipe or replace the appliance, and call it good. What fails to present to the eye of the casual do-it-yourselfer is the full extent of the damage. Water easily gets absorbed into building materials such as insulation, wood, and drywall, and if it is not fully removed from these materials, the damage worsens, and allows mold and mildew to bloom. Experienced water damage restoration professionals know how and where to look for hidden water damage, how to mitigate those problems, how to find and eliminate the source of excess water or moisture, and prevent further damage to the home.
The number one crucial factor in mitigating water damage is time. A professional disaster restoration company is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week year-round. They are geared to respond to a call within two to four hours. It is critical to respond to water damage quickly. Damage compounds the longer water or moisture remains in an area of the house. Walls, insulation, subfloors, furniture and personal belongings, and even the occupants’ health, can be damaged if water is not removed as quickly as possible. Water damage restoration technicians arrive in teams that can work on several different parts of the restoration simultaneously. This teamwork speeds up the restoration process, and shortens the drying time, which effectively minimizes or lessens the overall, final extent of water damage and health hazards.
While the do-it-yourselfer is still gathering up the wet towels, emptying the wet & dry vacuum for the 400th time, and mentally calculating what further parts and tools will be needed to do the job on their own, the disaster response team has arrived with state-of-the-art equipment and begun the work of drying out the home. This advanced drying equipment consists of shop vacs, air movers, and powerful dehumidifiers. Air movers speed up the drying process through evaporation and reduce the humidity levels to prevent further damage and mold growth. Powerful dehumidifiers remove water completely from the home’s air, building materials, structural elements, and furnishings. Depending on the extent of the water’s reach, disaster teams will even remove the furnishings and homeowners’ personal belongings from the home, into containers on the homeowner’s property, or into storage warehouses provided by the company where the possessions remain safe from damage during the drying out process and home repair period. In my case, a storage pod was set onto the lawn, and all the furnishings were removed from the home until the repairs were complete.
A serious hazard of water damage is the growth of mold and mildew. Mold needs moisture to grow and once it forms, it damages the surfaces it grows on and increases health risks such as allergies and infection. Disater response professionals use equipment and cleaning products to provide mold remediation. Mold remediation is best handled by a professional because of health risks from the mold, and hazards from the potent cleaning products and chemicals used to remove mold. Restoration teams are trained in mold mitigation and certified to use the mold-neutralizing products.
It might seem to the do-it-yourselfer that repairing the home themselves is a money-saving move, but time in this case is money. The speed of the disaster response team prevents compounding damage to the home from moisture and mold. In my case, the company owner himself was on the job within two hours, setting up the fans and dehumidifiers, removing the cabinets before they had time to absorb water, cutting the drywall so the water didn’t wick any further up the walls. He used a special meter, handheld and expensive, to see exactly where the moisture was so it could be stopped from traveling further. And he negotiated with my homeowner’s insurance company, met with the claims adjuster, all of which guaranteed that the claim was filed, approved, and paid for quickly. Homeowner’s insurance covers this sort of disaster event and the resulting damage to a home—why not use the pros to fix it quickly, and correctly?
It was close to a month before I was back in my home, all fixed, and even more beautiful then it was before the disaster. The hardwood floors I had laid myself when I built the home, were refinished and gleaming like satin; they had been saved by the quick response, and personal care from Disaster Response. This would not have been the case had the water stayed on the floor much longer. Disaster Response’s team saved my house and my sanity; using a restoration professional is the only choice I would ever make if some unfortunate event occurs again. – Marri Champie