Water damage restoration can be a costly, but essential investment, ranging a few thousand dollars on average to do properly. However, for homes that are damaged by water, heavy rain, or prolonged leaks, there’s truly no way to go other than using these services as an option. However, what does bear mentioning is what leads into a water damage restoration project. That price estimate can vary wildly based on the type of water, breadth of the damage, as well as the work/repairs that need to be done to get rid of said damage. Here’s a closer look at these aspects, and how they impact a water damage restoration project.
Where You Can Find Water Damage
To start the conversation, let’s briefly go over some of the most likely sources of water damage in your home.
Flooding: Technically, any place can flood, even in landlocked areas, assuming that rain is heavy enough and there aren’t adequate places for the water to drain off to. However, homes and properties in flood zones are especially at risk due to their proximity to major bodies of water. Coastal areas, like southern Florida and Miami, have additional flood risk due to rising sea levels.
Plumbing problems: Being the primary system that transports water in a property, issues with your plumbing can lead to water damage. However, this covers a wide span of situations. For example, a small leak from your sink is probably the easiest type of water damage to deal with. The water is generally still drinkable, which lowers the risk, and the water is often confined to one area. However, a burst pipe can be a more serious issue.
Appliance/HVAC problems: Just like any other machine, your HVAC systems and household appliances need maintenance over time. Without them, systems like refrigerators and air conditioners can build up excess moisture, which can cause water damage to the areas around them.
Leaks: Leaks in the roof, foundation, basement, or areas like crawlspaces all offer prime opportunities for water to seep into your home. Because different leaks start for different reasons, there’s no set way to lower the potential risk. The best thing you can do is have a regimen to check your property for potential leaks.
Note that these aren’t the only sources of water damage, just the most common. When you are checking for water damage, some signs are easily visible, like moisture spots or mold. However, you also need to look out for more subtle indicators. For example, even if you can’t see mold because it is hidden behind a wall or other area, you may be able to detect it by its recognizable, musty smell. Other things to look out for are discoloration on different surfaces, or warping and buckling. This is especially useful for flooring, where the surface water may have dried out or been wiped away, but it is still causing issues below the surface.
What Happens Without Water Damage Restoration
For obvious cases, like a flood, not getting water damage restoration done poses a major health risk to anyone who enters your home or property. But what happens if the cause isn’t as dire? Is it possible to simply “wait it out” rather than pay for water damage restoration? Not likely, and here’s why. For one thing, flood water isn’t the only type of water that is hazardous for you. There are three main types of water that cause water damage, and the level of risk is as follows:
Black water: This water, generally from outside flooding, is extremely hazardous due to contaminants, and only people with protective gear should be on the property, let alone performing restoration.
Grey water: Grey water tends to come from appliances like your dishwashing machine or washing machine. This water can be slightly contaminated. Some say that you can clean this yourself with basic safety gear, but it’s generally best to err on the side of caution.
Clean water: Coming for rain or leaky pipes, this type of water is generally safe to drink, and doesn’t pose any additional health hazard.
That’s ⅔ types of water that could potentially cause a health risk to you due to present bacteria. The longer that you go without water damage restoration, the greater the risk of you getting sick. However, it also bears mentioning that this isn’t the only hazard with leaving water damage unattended. For example, extended water damage poses a serious threat to the structural integrity of your home. Wood, including the wooden support that strengthens your walls and floors, deteriorates and warps with prolonged exposure to water.
There are several examples similar to this, where prolonged water exposure can end up weakening parts of your home, potentially turning a smaller issue into a major one. For example, a plumbing pipe with a small leak will begin to rust and corrode. In time, this could lead to the pipe breaking down and bursting, leading to more water damage. A similar example occurs with cinder blocks and bricks, especially in colder climates. If water seeps in, it can cause the surfaces to crack and erode over time.
As a final note, even if the water itself isn’t harmful for your health, it can lead to health issues by proxy. For example, many different people have allergies/respiratory sensitivities to mold. This can lead to issues as simple as coughing or as concerning as depression and lethargy. In addition, bugs and other fungus are naturally drawn to standing water. For insects like mosquitos, this can lead to potential diseases spreading, not to mention the general discomfort of having these unwanted guests around. Letting water damage go unnoticed opens your home up for a variety of issues, and these will likely only increase over time.
The Water Damage Restoration Process
With this said, the next step after determining you need water damage restoration is finding a proper professional to do it. During your search, here are some of the key elements you want to keep in mind. The last thing you want to do is risk paying for subpar work and dealing with some of the above hazards and issues even longer while you wait for a replacement job/contractor.
If you’re looking to try and narrow down the amount of contractors out there, one of your best options is to look out for referrals from your inner circle, like friends, families, or coworkers. This is preferable to an online review because you’re not only getting an impression from someone you trust, but also someone who knows the situation you are in and what you prefer from contractors. With this said, it’s not necessarily a bad idea for you to try and use business directories online, like like Yelp or Angie’s List, to look out for water damage restoration providers in your area. These are extremely useful for getting basic contact information or details about their services. When it comes to the reviews, though, you should look out for greater trends rather than a single review’s content.
After you’ve narrowed the field a bit based on location and services, what you want to do is take a closer look at the provider’s website in order to make sure they are a safe choice to work on your home. What safe means, in this case, is that the company has the proper accreditations and certifications for their job. For example, does the company have a certification from a major body like the IICRC? What about liability insurance to make sure that you are covered in case one of the contractors falls ill while working on black water? All of these details should be easily found on the contractor’s website.
The final step before making your decision is actually reaching out to the company to try and talk to them about more specific details. For example, you may want to know what the communication plan is between the contractors and you while you work, or what additional services you can get along with your water damage restoration.
After you’ve made your selection in terms of water damage restoration providers, the next stage is the initial consultation. Some restoration providers offer this for free, and it’s a basic service where the provider looks over your home to try and find the root cause of your water damage and the extent of the damage. Both of these points are extremely important as they factor into exactly how much you can expect in terms of cost. For example, cleaning some water stains on the floor is far less expensive than needing to go behind drywall, or if you need additional mold removal on top of your water damage restoration.
Water damage restoration professionals, especially those with the proper credentials we mentioned, are skilled at what they do. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t areas to improve. Every water damage scenario is different. Some of the biggest trends that we are likely to see for the future of restoration is using technology to try and make things more efficient, passing the savings of time down to the clients. For example, rather than using current drying machines, imagine a larger, industrial version that can dry out multiple rooms in a fraction of the time. In addition, while this is further away, there’s potential for modern technology to make it easier to restore areas like under carpets and behind drywall, without the expensive and time-consuming deconstruction/repairs needed to get to these areas currently.
These may make water damage restoration an easier issue to deal with in the future, but for now, your best option is to try and minimize the chances of water damage happening, period. So, after you have a restoration done, what is your next step? The first one will most likely be simply listening to your restoration professional. Many companies include a post-restoration consultation as part of their services, which includes instructions on how to minimize water damage risk in the future, as well as future signs to look out for.
There are some smaller things you can do as well to try and lower the chance of having to deal with water damage. For example, people with homes in flood-prone areas should look to make sure that there aren’t any hills sloping downwards and towards their home. In addition, regularly inspecting the gutters and attic are good ways to cut off any potential leaks before they can lead to serious water damage.
Another thing worth doing to soften the blow is increasing your insurance coverage. Insurance companies won’t provide a payout if you don’t have separate flood insurance, or if the issue that led to your leak or burst pipe was due to a lack of maintenance rather than a freak issue. However, expanding the scope of your policy can change that. Water damage restoration providers are always willing to work with your insurance company to make sure their work is covered, but you need to have the right policy first.
Using TCR for Water Damage Restoration
Water damage can come from a variety of sources, and all of them have the ability to lead to a long-lasting and harmful impact. For those in South Florida and similar coastal areas, the risk is even more pronounced due to the high chance of flooding, as well as the greater likelihood of future floods. While there are steps people can take to minimize water damage risk and impact, none of them are guaranteed, making having a water damage restoration solution prepared that much more important.
For all of your water damage restoration needs, contact professionals like Total Care Restoration. Not only do we believe in doing the most for our customers in the Miami area, but we’re also:
- 5-star-rated on Yelp
- BBB A+-rated
This combination of expertise and experience means that we know how to target the various areas that are most likely to take on water damage, approach the root issue, remove the water damage, and give guidance on how you can avoid the damage from reoccurring. Reach out to us today for a free inspection.