The single biggest purchase you’ll probably ever make is your home. And if your home is damaged by fire or water, you may be overwhelmed at the scope of the damage. While there are some similarities between the two, fire damage is usually even more extensive than water damage alone. Fire damage is often accompanied by water damage due to the efforts to put out the fire. So there are some overlaps, with different tools and procedures for each form of damage.
Water damage can come from three possible sources, each creating a different set of challenges for the cleaning professional. Category 1 is clean water, like from broken water lines. Category 2 is water from a source which may be contaminated. And category 3 is “black” water-water which may contain sewage, as from a sewer backup.
Fire damage may also be classified in three categories. The first is minor damage, small in size, with no structural involvement. Second is a larger fire, and may cause structural damage to a small area of the home. Finally category three represents significant structural damage, and will most likely require professional repair.
No matter which type of damage your home has suffered, the damage doesn’t just stop after the incident. Mold and mildew can grow on damp surfaces, even behind walls where it can’t be seen. This can represent a significant health hazard, especially if a family member has a history of respiratory problems.
Untreated mold or mildew can make a home uninhabitable, destroying its value.
So when your home has been damaged by fire, water, or both, time is an important factor. The quicker repairs are done, the less chance there is for growth of mildew or mold, or further aftereffects of structural weakness.
While some people elect to do their own repairs, using tactics like opening the doors and the windows and running air conditioners at full blast, water damage restoration professionals have special equipment to hasten the drying process. You may research the process of repairing water damage to learn more about do-it-yourself options. But if boots, rubber gloves and disinfectants aren’t your thing or if damage is more than minor, you’ll probably ve best calling a professional.
Many carpet cleaning companies advertise water damage restoration services. While very good at cleaning carpets, these companies lack the equipment and expertise to deal with the other aspects of fire and water damage: damage to personal property, furniture damage, and especially structural damage.
Still other companies advertise restoration services, but use unaccountable undertrained subcontractors with little or no equipment or training to perform the work. If the contractor doesn’t show, or does a substandard job, you might not have a local contact if the company is based on the Internet hundreds of miles away.
Choosing a qualified local professional for water damage restoration may be your best bet for getting your home back to normal and protecting the value of your assets that are even more valuable than your home-your family.