Homeowners in the Dallas, TX area deal with various types of property damage each year, but the biggest cause of property damage is always the same: water. Excess water can get into your home or building in a number of ways including seepage from rain or natural floods, sewage backups, pipe bursts, overflows, and leaks.
Once excess water has gotten into your home, it immediately gets absorbed in the surrounding materials and spreads within them to cause damage over a large area. Many building materials such as wood, drywall, insulation, flooring, and furnishings are porous which makes them vulnerable to water damage and mold or mildew growth.
How to Prevent Water Damage
The best way to protect your home from the effects of water damage is to prevent it in the first place. While taking preventative action can greatly reduce the risk of water damage, no action can fully guarantee that your home won’t experience water damage of some kind. The next best thing you can do to protect your home is recognize the signs of water damage and react before it spreads any further. Calling a water damage restoration professional like ServiceMaster of North Texas immediately when you notice the damage will save you time and money with the restoration.
The following is a complete guide to help you become more informed about water damage in general, frequently asked questions, the restoration process, and what you can do to help prevent water damage. If your home does experience significant water damage in Dallas, TX, do not hesitate to call our professionals at ServiceMaster of North Texas.
Water Damage FAQ
Experiencing water damage in your home can be overwhelming, especially if an entire room or floor of your home is flooded. It is common for homeowners to have questions or concerns about what to do when they are faced with serious water damage.
The following are some of the most commonly asked questions concerning water damage with answers that should help ease your mind:
- What are the main causes of water damage?: The most obvious causes of water damage are wet weather conditions caused by heavy rain and natural flooding. Excessive rainfall and outdoor flooding can get into a home by seeping through cracks in the foundation, entering though poorly sealed doors or windows, or leaking through the roof or siding. There are also many potential causes of water damage inside your home that are not weather related. A sewage backup can cause sewage to come up through your drains; sump pumps, sinks, and bathtubs can overflow; pipes can leak or burst; and plumbing fixtures or appliances can leak.
- What are the best ways to prevent water damage?: To prevent water damage from rain or natural floods, you need to stop the water from entering your home. You can do this by keeping your gutters free of debris so they drain rainwater away from the home, sealing any leaks in the roof or foundation, and sloping the ground near your home away from the foundation to prevent water from pooling. You can help prevent water damage from inside sources by routinely checking your appliances and plumbing system for any leaks or issues that could lead to water damage. Knowing how to shut off the water supply valve in an emergency can prevent further damage.
- Who should I call if I experience water damage?: The first phone call you should make in the event of water damage should be to a water damage restoration professional like ServiceMaster of North Texas. These professionals will immediately begin work to limit the damage and start the recovery. Once you contact a restoration service provider, call your insurance company to begin the claims process. Do not call your insurance company first – it is very important to begin mitigating the damage as quickly as possible. Waiting for an insurance adjuster to inspect the damage before calling a restoration professional will just result in more damage.
- What does the water damage restoration process include?: Water damage restoration consists of several phases. Each phase may differ slightly depending on the nature and scope of the damage. The main phases of water damage restoration include removal of standing water, drying of the affected areas and materials with dehumidifiers, and repair and restoration of the damaged areas. The restoration process may also consist of secondary services including odor removal, mold remediation, carpet cleaning, and repair of drywall and structural elements.
- How long does water damage restoration take? The water damage restoration process can take anywhere from 3-5 days to a couple of weeks to complete. Once again, this depends on the nature and severity of the damage. It generally takes 3-4 days to remove standing water and allow the affected areas to dry. Once the water extraction and drying process is complete, the damaged areas are repaired and restored. This part of process can take a couple weeks depending on the extent of the damage.
- What are the secondary effects of water damage?: Excess water in a home or building can cause damage in many ways. Porous materials affected by water damage such as wood, flooring, and drywall may experience discoloration and warping. If these materials absorb enough water, they can experience structural damage. Mold is another common effect of water damage that can increase the damage to your property and put your health at risk.
- What is the average cost of water damage restoration?: This depends on a couple of factors, including the extent of the damage and how much your insurance will cover. The average cost of water damage restoration services in a home ranges from $2700 to $7500. If your insurance will cover the damage, then you will only be responsible for paying the deductible.
- Will my homeowner’s insurance cover water damage?: It is important for homeowners to know the terms of their policy when it comes to water damage. The cause of the damage usually determines if it will be covered or not. If the damage is caused by an internal factor like a burst pipe or leak, the damage is usually covered if it happened without warning or you can show that you took adequate measures to avoid the damage. Damage from natural flooding is not usually covered by basic homeowner’s insurance. Homeowners are encouraged to purchase separate flood insurance to cover this type of damage.
Water Damage Restoration Process
As soon as you notice water damage in your home, you must immediately contact a water damage restoration professional like ServiceMaster of North Texas to contain the damage and start the restoration.
Below are the main steps of the water damage restoration process:
- Initial inspection of the damage: Our technicians will immediately contain the spread of the water and do a thorough inspection to uncover the extent of the damage. We will then create a restoration plan based on our assessment.
- Removal of standing water: Once the assessment is complete, we will begin with the removal of standing water. We use advanced water extraction equipment to fully remove any amount of water from the building.
- Drying and dehumidification: After the standing water is removed, we bring in drying and dehumidification equipment to extract the moisture from the affected materials. The equipment is strategically set up around the affected area for the most efficient drying. This process may take up to several days to complete.
- Cleaning and sanitization: It is common for water damaged materials to experience mold growth or odors. ServiceMaster of North Texas will clean and sanitize the affected surfaces and objects to remove mold or mildew growth as well as lingering odors.
- Restoration and repair: The final step is to repair the damaged areas to return the property to its original condition. This can include anything from small repairs to drywall and flooring to major reconstruction to repair structural damage.
When indoor flooding occurs, one of the most vulnerable furnishings is the carpet. Carpeting quickly absorbs water which can cause a range of issues from damage to the carpet and padding to mold and mildew growth within the fibers or underneath the padding. If water damaged carpeting is not restored right away, it may become permanently damaged and need to be replaced. Reacting to water damage quickly will help salvage your carpeting and save you the cost and hassle of replacing it.
Can water damaged carpeting be restored?
In most cases water damaged carpeting can be restored, but you must take quick action to increase the odds of saving it. You should ask yourself these questions to determine if your carpet can be salvaged:
- How long has it been exposed to flooding?: Your carpeting will sustain more damage the longer it is exposed to water. Eventually, the water will damage the polyurethane backing that holds the fibers together. If this happens, your carpet will most likely need to be replaced.
- Is the water clean or contaminated?: It is common for indoor flood water to consist of sewage and other harmful contaminants. If the water in your home is contaminated, the cleanup effort should only be done by trained professionals. In most cases, it is better to dispose of carpeting affected by contaminated water than to try and save it.
- Is the carpet worth saving?: If the carpeting was old and worn out before the flooding, it may not be worth the time and effort to save it.
Carpet Restoration Process
If ServiceMaster of North Texas determines that your water-damaged carpet can be salvaged, then we will work to restore it with the following steps:
- Water extraction: We start by extracting the water from the affected areas. It is important to do this quickly because carpeting and carpet padding absorb water at a fast rate. The risk of bacteria or mold growth increases greatly if the water is not extracted within 48 hours.
- Drying and dehumidification: After the water is removed, we set up fans and dehumidifiers to fully dry the carpet and padding. These fans will be placed around and underneath the carpet to dry the fibers and padding as thoroughly as possible. Our dehumidifiers pull moisture from the air to prevent secondary effects such as mold growth.
- Anti-microbial treatments: Excess water and moisture can cause mold and mildew to grow in the carpeting and padding. We apply anti-microbial treatments to prevent these materials from forming.
- Deodorization: Foul odors may occur when water gets absorbed in the carpet fibers and padding. We can eliminate these odors from the carpet using several different methods including hot water extraction and fogging treatments.
Water Damage Prevention
The best defense against water damage is prevention. The following tips are not full proof when it comes to preventing water damage, but they will greatly reduce the risk of water damage in your home:
- Pay attention to your water bill: If there is a sudden, unexplained increase in your water bill, there may be a leak somewhere in your home. Check the pipes, appliances, and plumbing system for any signs of a leak and fix the leak before it leads to extensive damage.
- Clear debris from your gutters: Clogged gutters will cause the rainwater to overflow and run down the side of the house. This can result in water damage to the siding and windows, as well as water pooling in the soil which can seep into the foundation. Make sure the gutters and downspouts are clear of debris and that the downspouts drain a safe distance from the foundation.
- Plant trees and bushes away from underground pipes: Plants that have strong, expansive root systems like trees and bushes must be planted a safe distance from underground pipes. Tree roots have been known to cause damage to these pipes.
- Prevent pipe bursts: Pipe bursts are one of the leading causes of water damage that is not weather related. A pipe may burst when the water inside of it freezes, or if the pipe has become worn out or damaged. Check your pipes routinely for signs of damage so you can have them replaced before they burst. If the temperatures drop below freezing, run the water at a slight trickle to prevent it from freezing within the pipes.
- Don’t pour grease in the kitchen sink: Grease from cooking can solidify in the drain and cause a blockage. Leave the grease out overnight so that it hardens and simply throw it away the next day.
Water and Flood Damage Restoration from ServiceMaster of North Texas
Understanding how water damage happens will help you better protect your home and recognize the early signs so you can react before the damage becomes extensive. Taking preventative action is a great way to reduce the risk of water damage in your home, but there is always still the risk of a burst pipe or flash flood that can cause extensive damage quickly.
If you experience serious water damage or flooding in your home in Dallas, TX, it is important to call ServiceMaster of North Texas for professional flood damage restoration. Our technicians have the equipment and expertise to remove the water and thoroughly dry and restore the affected areas.
You can contact ServiceMaster of North Texas for flood and water damage restoration services in Dallas, TX by calling (972) 840-8888. We are ready to respond to emergencies 24/7.