Chances are that you will deal with water damage at some point — it’s five times more likely than theft and occurs seven times more often than fire. Water damage in Utah has already been experienced by residents firsthand, through flash floods and rainstorm events.
Water damage might creep in over time or happen in an instant. The extent of damage also has a wide range. Your property in Utah can be restored, but it’s important to begin remediation immediately, following an established protocol.
Water damage in Salt Lake City occurs from a variety of sources, both dramatic and seemingly innocuous. A severe storm could flood the home, or a leaky pipe or appliance could be causing moisture to accumulate over time. Water damage might be confined to one house, or extend to several houses at once.
Plumbing failures are top of the
Weather events leading to water damage in Utah happen more quickly, sometimes in an instant. Heavy rains can place stress on the roof, causing it to leak or even collapse. Flash floods can occur without warning. With the ground unable to absorb the volume of water falling on it, excess water then enters the house through openings and cracks.
Water undermines and even destroys structural materials in the house, causing wood to rot, de-lamination of plywood, rusting of metal, and damage to electrical and plumbing systems.
Water damage in Utah also presents a significant health hazard, creating the conditions for the growth of mold and other organisms that can increase asthma and allergy symptoms and pose potential health risks for children and people with compromised immune systems. There is also an enhanced risk of respiratory diseases and other medical problems.
The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) classifies water that causes damage into one of three categories to help determine the type of treatment required.
This is water from a source that doesn’t present significant health concerns to humans; it’s also referred to as “clean water”. Clean water often originates in the home, through overflowing sinks, broken pipes, or melting snow and ice. It can deteriorate in cleanliness if it mixes with soil and other contaminants, has contact with structural materials, or persists over time.
Also known as “gray water”, this is water with a significant degree of chemical, biological and/or physical contamination that has the potential to cause illness or physical discomfort, when people are exposed to it or consume it. It carries microorganisms and nutrients for microorganisms.
Common sources for Category 2 water include sump pump failure, broken pipes, discharge from dishwashers and washing machines, and seepage through the foundation of the house.
Gray water contains numerous chemicals and biocontaminants and other forms of contaminants. The level can increase with time and temperature; if left untreated for more than 48 hours, gray water can turn into Category 3 — black water.
This water is grossly unsanitary, with pathogenic agents that are likely to cause discomfort or sickness when people are exposed to it, or consume it. Sewage and other contaminated sources are often the cause of black water. That includes all forms of flooding, such as sewage mixed with rainwater, and rising waters that carry silt and organic matter into the house.
The restoration process begins with drying out the environment, followed by assessing the damage and implementing a repair strategy.
This can be as simple as mopping up, but it’s most likely to require the use of commercial wet vaccuum equipment and gas-powered pumps.
Evaporation (the process of water changing from liquid to a vapor) of the remaining water in structural materials and contents is encouraged with specialized air-moving equipment.
Moisture in the air needs to be removed or exhausted from the house; otherwise, it can cause secondary structural damage and presents a health hazard.
It’s essential to control the temperature through the drying process, since the growth of microorganisms is temperature-related.
Following the drying process, which usually takes about three days to complete, the structure and its contents are evaluated, and those that can be salvaged are cleaned, disinfected and repaired.
This involves repair, replacement or reconstruction of the house and its contents,including drywall, floor coverings, and ceilings, to restore your home to its previous condition.
It’s important to review your insurance coverage to make sure you’re fully protected. Coverage for water damage often depends on the source; plumbing failures are generally recovered, while overland flooding requires a separate policy and isn’t available from all insurers.
Record-keeping will give you a significant advantage when filing an insurance claim due to water damage. Document the damage and the contents of your house, and include photos, proof of purchase, and warranties if they’re available.
A written assessment from a professional restorer is beneficial, as it will outline the steps and expense required for remediation. A professional water damage restoration company has the specialized equipment and technical expertise required to return your house to a healthy condition.
Look for a company, like AAA Restoration that is IICRC-certified for water damage. That assures you that the company has required licensing and liability insurance, employs trained technicians, and adheres to a code of ethics.