During the last year, we have been subjected to several storms that have caused severe water damage as well as destruction throughout the United States and overseas. These storms have damaged or destroyed millions of dollars’ worth of property, and have caused homeowners to investigate how to effectively repair the damage.
For a discussion on the basic elements of water damage that homeowners should be aware of, review the article within this website entitled / Water Damage/ The Basics
What are some of the basics that homeowners need to be aware of for prior to either hiring a professional contractor or attempting to repair the damage themselves?
a.) All the wet material should be removed. There are some instances where a wet material can be adequately dried out, however, the removal of all material that was wet is recommended. If the material was saturated for any length of time, its removal is a necessity.
b.) Do not become penny wise and pound foolish when it comes to the demolition of wet and saturated materials or systems. If the sheetrock is wet, then the insulation behind the sheetrock will also be compromised. Remove the entire system of materials.
c.) If electrical elements have become wet or saturated, I would strongly suggest an inspection of the situation by a professional electrician. There are several different electrical elements, that when saturated or damaged by water, need to be replaced. There are elements that can be dried out. A professional must advise you on this.
d.) If erosion has occurred around your foundation or interior structural columns, the hiring of a professional structural engineer is highly recommended. The extent of structural damage and its evaluation is beyond the ability of the average homeowner. A professional is needed in this situation. In most situations, the replacement of eroded soil around columns or structural elements should be closely monitored for compaction and structural integrity.
e.) Once all the wet elements have been removed from the home, a total drying of the environment is recommended. What is meant by this is the installation of fans and dehumidifiers to eliminate any of the ambient moisture in the air and the total drying of anything that has not been removed.
f.) If staining has occurred, the use of a stain resistant primer or stain fighting produce is required prior to repainting. Failure to use the correct product will result in the water stain showing through the newly painted surfaces.
g.) It is highly recommended that if the material has been saturated in the past, then the issue may occur once again. With this in mind it is strongly suggested that water resistant material be used when replacing the damaged materials. There are currently new and much more water and mold resistant sheathing products as well as insulating products that have been developed to reduce the amount of damage that water will cause on the new material.
Water damage repair is for all intents and purposes, a demolition project. In most cases all of the water damaged elements should be removed from the home, and replaced with better more mold and water-resistant products. The basic elements of water damage repair are removal, drying out and replacement. Do not hesitate to remove more than less, and do not hesitate to add dry time to the procedure, prior to replacing the damaged elements.
Unfortunately the repair and restoration of water damaged elements within the home is a difficult and disappointing process. All material that was damp or wet should be removed. You are always taking a chance when trying to simply dry out the material. However, it can be done; unfortunately it will take time and patience.
Good luck, water is a very destructive element and the real solution, is basically keeping it out of the living area of your home!