Water Mitigation vs. Water Damage Restoration

  • Written by: Killingsworth Environmental
  • January 28, 2020

The Difference Between Mitigation and Restoration

Whether it comes from within your home or from the outside, there comes a time in every homeowner’s life when they have to deal with a flooding issue. Maybe it’s been raining for three days straight and you live downhill, or maybe you forgot to turn the tub’s faucet off. Plenty of things can cause excess water inside, so it’s important to know what to do when you’re affected by it. 

If you’re having a water damage issue, there are two processes you’ll need to explore to fix the problem. The first process is water mitigation, the last is water restoration. While some use the terms interchangeably, we think it’s worth knowing the difference. After all, you want the most thorough remediation for your home, right? Our homes are supposed to be our safest, most comfortable place, so we want to make sure they’re given the best care possible! 

Before you get to mitigating and restoring, let’s learn about the types and classes of water damage so you can implement a plan most fitted to your situation.

Types of Water Damage

Understanding your problem is the first step to solving it. It’s crucial that you take your safety seriously when flooding occurs, so learn what you’re dealing with!

There are three main categories of water damage:

Category 1

This refers to fresh water sources that have infiltrated your home, or water that has not been contaminated. This can come from a pipe bursting or rainwater runoff. 

Category 2

This category is slightly more serious. Also known as “gray” water, this is contaminated water from natural or chemical waste that could cause illness or harm if you come in contact with it. 

Category 3

If your home floods with black water, it’s in Category 3. This refers to water that has been severely contaminated and should absolutely not be approached without proper protection. Black water can contain sewage, pesticides, and more and can make you very sick.

Classes of Water Damage

Class 1 

This is a very minimal amount of water that can usually be solved at home without professional help. An example of class 1 would be a toilet or sink overflowing in your bathroom.

Class 2

A more significant amount of water is involved, usually caused by things like a pipe bursting in your basement. Water will need to be removed somehow and you’ll need to allow for a longer drying time. 

Class 3

Lots of water has been absorbed by porous materials in your home. Regardless of the cause of the water flow, it’s not going to evaporate fully and will create a very damp, humid environment.

Class 4 

Water has puddled in your house, or worse. You may be wading through the water built up. This will need to be handled professionally so that excess water and evaporation don’t start to affect the infrastructure. 

Water Mitigation After Flooding

When you’re affected by excess water in the home, first and foremost you need to make sure you are secure. If there’s severe flooding, ensure your own safety before worrying about the house!

Once you’ve made sure that you’re safe, it’s time to assess the damage to your home. The key to water mitigation is acting fast. Water will rot wood, erode surfaces, ruin laminate floors, invite the growth of mold, and so much more if not dealt with as soon as possible. When enlisting professional help, the main focus will be to salvage as much as possible and protect against any further damage. Here’s a few steps to follow when it floods:

1. Remove Everything

After flooding, remove any and all objects from the affected areas including furniture, toys, and clothes. For the best mitigation results, you need to be as thorough as possible. 

2. Clean anything salvageable 

Unfortunately, it’s a very real possibility that you could lose things. If your stuff is able to be saved, clean and disinfect it as soon as possible. This will prevent mold and any further damage.

3. Ensure the infrastructure is intact

Before you can do any water mitigation, make absolutely sure that the affected area is secured. Water can damage the stability of just about anything, so the home may no longer be structurally sound. 

4. Remove water and begin drying

At Killingsworth Environmental, we use truck mounts that have the power to drain an entire swimming pool in 2 hours! Extensive drying services will also ensure that mold doesn’t start to grow in the damp conditions – which would be a whole new beast to conquer. 

Common drying machines include:

  • Air movers 
  • Air scrubbers
  • Dehumidifiers  

5. Look into preventative measures

Once your home has gone through the water mitigation process, you may want to consider preventative measures so that you’re protected for next time. One way to help keep your crawl space safe from flooding is through crawl space encapsulation

Water Restoration

Now that you’ve removed the water from your home through water mitigation, you can begin the restoration process. Restoration is all about restoring everything so that you can get back to a sense of normalcy after a flooding incident. Your home has probably sustained damage, but the degree of seriousness will vary from case to case. 

1. Replace Drywall and Insulation

These are going to be the first to go after significant flood damage. They’re not as sturdy as other materials and will most likely need to be replaced. 

2. Remove Mold

Mold only takes about 48 hours to be seen in wet or damp areas, so it’s also pretty likely that the spores have infiltrated your home and will start growing. Check out our blog on battling common household molds for more information. 

3. Check the Roof for Leaks

One of the most common ways water enters your home is through holes in your roof. Seal any effected areas to ensure there are no more leaks. 

4. Moisture Testing

Lastly, moisture testing done by professionals will determine if your home is dry enough to keep moving forward. 

Water Mitigation and Water Damage Restoration Solutions

If you’re in need of mitigation and restoration services, Killingsworth Environmental is here to help! Tackling flooding can be a big job, and we want to make your house feel like home again. To learn more about how we deal with mold, check out our free guide, Insiders Only: A Behind The Scenes Look at Our Mold Removal Process

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