How Serious Is Your Water Damage?

water damage

All water damage is not created equal. Among the first tasks confronting water damage recovery professionals is an assessment of the severity of the incident in order to develop a recovery plan that addresses specific circumstances. To know what to expect in the recovery process, here are some of the factors in evaluating water damage to a typical home.

  • Extent of damage. Is the water limited to a single room? If water is pooled on a hard floor and has not yet spread under walls, the recovery process is generally uncomplicated. Conversely, if the water has spread and penetrated deeper into the structure, or if upstairs water damage is also affecting rooms downstairs, remediation will be more extensive.
  • Type of water. Classification of water involved is a major determinant of recovery techniques required. Water damage from a clean source like a broken supply line that occurred less than 48 hours ago—known as Category 1 water—is usually uncontaminated and remediation is straightforward. Category 2 water originating from an overflowing appliance or a roof leak, for example, is considered slightly contaminated. Raw sewage—Category 3 damage—is dangerously toxic and requires specialized techniques for removal followed by intensive decontamination procedures.  
  • Structural issues. Wet drywall is structurally unsound and may collapse. In most cases, portions or all of the saturated drywall panels in walls and ceilings require replacement. Examples of other structural issues include a flooded basement that may be damaged by the weight and volume of water and storm damage to roofing materials.
  • Electrical factors.  If water has entered electrical outlets, contacted the main circuit breaker panel or major electrical appliances, safety is the initial concern. After electricity to affected areas or the entire home has been shut off, recovery can proceed. Because many electrical components such as wiring inevitably corrode after contact with water, inspection is required and potential replacement may be necessary.
  • Mold contamination. If 48 hours have elapsed since water damage affected the house, mold growth is presumptive. Professional mold decontamination techniques must accompany the recovery process.

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