Water extraction is an important part of flood or water damage recovery. Flooded areas or standing water inside a house may do much worse than simple structural damage. Standing water as well as moisture is a nasty breeding ground for spores of toxic mold that may even go airborne, affecting people in your whole neighborhood. Insects and bacteria also love standing water, since for them it represents a great place to lay eggs and reproduce.
Water extraction takes care of this problem. Thorough and careful water extraction is therefore both the first and the most important part of the water damage restoration process.
What Can You Do?
You as the homeowner are responsible for the first step – finding and stopping the source of water that caused the flooding. If the flooding was due to a storm, it may not be possible to stop water coming in while the storm is still raging. It is still worth it to make every effort you can to stop the water from accumulating. After all, as bad as momentary water damage is, the damage from standing water may end up being much worse.
Once you have the situation under control, it’s time to find a good water extraction company… fast. Like with heart attacks, flooding is time critical. The longer the water sits around, the more serious the trouble. If you wait for your insurance adjuster or a contractor to tell you that you need professional water extraction, you may end up suffering much more serious damage to your house. Every passing minute increases the odds that potentially deadly mold or bacteria will start growing in your flooded area.
Readying the Area for Water Extraction
If the flooding in your house is severe, you can do a few things to make the work go faster and reduce your costs.
- Start by shutting off utilities like gas or electricity.
- Dispose of any debris that might be floating around in the water.
- Likewise, dispose of anything you can’t salvage.
Some water extraction companies are capable of salvaging or drying out drywall and insulation in place, without the need for demolition work. It’s a good idea to check with yours if they are. Otherwise, you may find it necessary to remove any wet insulation or drywall from your walls.
Always be careful as you work. It’s important to wear the right protective equipment as you work in the flooded area. Besides waterproof boots or waders, you’ll want a respirator and a good pair of goggles. After all, you have no idea what chemicals might be in the water, and what effect they might have if they splash onto your eyes.
Additionally, you don’t necessarily know how much force removing an object will take. Be careful not to hurt yourself in the process! There may also be hidden sharp objects, outdoor trash, and hazardous materials swimming around — particularly if the water is storm runoff.
When the Water Extraction Company Gets There
Once the firm you hired arrives, they’ll haul out a small arsenal of equipment and disinfectants. They’ll use industrial chemicals to sanitize and disinfect your house, stopping mold and bacteria from growing, and they’ll pull out an array of vacuums to suck up all the water.
Once the main body of water is gone, the water extraction company will add dehumidifiers and moisture monitoring devices. Within a few days, your house will be as dry as it was before the flood.