Somehow it happened – your home has water damage and now you’re not sure what to do next. It might have been from a burst pipe, a refrigerator line leak you just noticed, sewage backing up, or countless other means that water finds its way into our homes. The good news is this is usually a once in a lifetime occurrence so once this is over, you can go back to living your normal life – hopefully for the rest of your life! The other good news is that while this might be a once-in-a-lifetime event for you, this is our every day and we know what has to be done and what to expect. Let’s get started.

What is the First Step for Water Remediation?

You want to go back to living your life the way it was before all this happened. That’s why the first and most important step is getting someone in your home for a free evaluation right away – every moment that water is not cleaned up is an opportunity for that water to spread causing more damage. Make sure the crew will be there as soon as possible. If a company is not willing to come that same day, find someone else. (That is why we offer 24/7 care and usually respond within the hour.) Once specialists arrive at your home, they will be able to assess the damage and provide an estimation for how much work needs to be done. The remediation company will work with your insurance to provide the estimate and all the details of the incident including the rooms affected and the scope of the cleanup. Once the assessment is made, that is when the crews will come out with the equipment needed to begin removing damaged material and drying the area.

Team members from Cleveland Water and Fire

How Long is Water Remediation Going to Take?

There is no way to know exactly how long it will take for your home to dry completely – there are too many variables and conditions that could impact dry time. Atmospheric conditions, material density, temperature, and much more play vital roles in affecting dry time. If a restoration company or insurance provider gives you a set timeline for how long your home will take to dry, do not take that number seriously. We have often seen insurances or other remediation companies tell customers that a water mitigation should take 3 days to dry out a home, however, this is not the case. You need knowledgable and honest experts in your home measuring moisture content with calibrated tools in order to know when your home is fully dry.

What to Expect if My Home is Not Dried Out Correctly the First Time?

We have seen this too many times where a customer filed a claim with their insurance company. Their insurance company sent out a what is called a “program company”, a restoration business who basically works directly for the insurance company. But they often stick to that three day timeline that the insurance company wants and as soon as that time is up, they pull the equipment, whether it’s dry or not. We’ve had customers call us in because they have concerns that, like, “this equipment came out after three days and now I’m down in my basement and it smells musty. It seems damp down there.” We will come back for a second opinion and when we put our meters on the wall, it just lights up and it’s beeping. Their worst fears are confirmed that what they thought was going to be dry is still wet and now they have to get a whole other company involved. Sometimes it’s been so long mold started to form and complete mold and moisture remediation was required. The problem? You can never rely solely on a timeline for proper water remediation – even if everything appear to be dry, it does not mean that sub-flooring, drywall, insulation, and carpet pads are completely free of moisture. That is why accurate and calibrated measuring equipment is so important and the only true means of knowing all the moisture is out of your home.

Water Remediation Cleveland

It’s Dry When It’s Dry – A Watery Christmas Story

We had a customer come to us in December just before Christmas. Her home had a pipe burst on the third floor and the entire house was flooded. She said “I am supposed to be hosting a bunch of people for Christmas and they’re going to be here in three days.” She had looked online and found that insurance companies were posting that drying out a home should only take three days… “You’re going to be able to have this dried in three days before my guests arrive, right?”

This is where you need to make sure you are working with a company that doesn’t just tell you what you want to hear, but they tell you the truth – even when it’s hard. I replied, “Okay, let’s talk here. I’m going to have to give you some very hard realities. That three-day timeframe you’re talking about is something no one can predict. The insurance industry has pushed for a long time to try and make this a standard, but it’s impossible. Your house will dry when it’s dry. We’re going to do everything we can to make sure it dries out properly and completely.”

I knew I was giving her the worst news. She called everyone she knew for second opinions, trying to confirm her hope that it could be done in three days due to similar experiences they had. There’s a lot to overcome with confirmation bias.

In the end, I told her, “It seems like you’re really upset because you feel like you’re going to let your family down.” She replied, “I’m the big sister. I’m the one who has it all together. I need to make this happen.” I was sorry to tell her, “You’re going to have to make other arrangements for your family.” In reality, we did get things dried out there, and though I can’t remember exactly how long it took, but it wasn’t three days. Everything worked out in the end, and it actually turned into a good story. She said, “You didn’t tell me what I wanted to hear, and you stuck to it. I threw so much at you and pushed so hard to make this happen. Every time you came back with a consistent answer. I just had to give in and start picking other plans and it worked out. Honestly, if you had told me it would be done in three days and I hadn’t made these plans, it would have been a bigger mess. I would have had a bunch of people having to make last-minute hotel plans around Christmas, paying crazy amounts of money.”

water damage cleanup of hardwood floors 2

What Sets An Expert Remediation Company Apart from its Peers?

What sets a good remediation company apart? The two biggest things that come to mind are having good quality meters just like a doctor and having trained experts on the field who can know the full scope of the project. Knowing the scope, the types of materials affected, and how severely they’re affected allows you to make a smart plan from the beginning and tap into your experience. Our technicians are IICRC trained and follow specific instructions straight out of the manual for best practices.

For issues like hardwood floors, we use specialty equipment like the Injectidry system, which uses large plastic mats that lay on the floor and create a vacuum pressure, pulling moisture out of the pores of the hardwood floor, drying it out faster and more consistently.

Again, we diagnose upfront, using industry-proven technology and processes with our applications and training to know the best way to deal with it and start right away, leading to lower dry times, more materials being able to stay in place and be dried in place, and less demolition. Therefore, there’s less cost on the back end and less impact on the customer’s life.

What Do I Do Now?

The first step is to call a qualified remediation specialist to get a free consultation in the greater Cleveland area. Give us a call at 440-659-2188 and we will send someone to your home within to hour for a free estimate.