Cleaning & drying the structure versus total replacement

Posted by Matt Buchanan

As regular blog readers know, many of our information articles discuss common questions or concerns that arise from customers that have suffered water damage. And in this article, we’re going to discuss one question: ‘Can you save my ___________ (insert structural area)?’ As with almost any question we get from a potential client, there is no clear cut answer. So much depends on the type of damage, the extent of the damage, and a number of other factors that have to be included. And only a full inspection of the property can give the professionals a full understanding of the facts surrounding your home water damage loss. So as promised, let’s discuss some of those factors to help you understand what factors go into deciding whether or not to clean and dry the existing structure versus replacing that area completely.

 

1 – What category of water damage occurred?

 

sewage-damage-restorationThis is the most important question to answer because it plays a huge role in determining whether or not we’re even allowed to attempt the cleaning and drying process. Most notably, if your home or contents within your home were damaged by sewer water or any other category 3 water loss, there’s virtually no chance we can safely clean those items in place. If they’re porous, the contaminants will be too deeply seeded into the structure and it will require us to completely remove and replace the areas/items.  That means carpets, wood floors, walls, couches, boxes, cabinets, etc. all must be thrown out and safely disposed of. If you call a sewage cleanup company and they tell you otherwise, they either don’t know what they’re doing or they are intentionally putting the health of your family at risk. Either way, politely thank them, hang up, and call us.

 

2 – What is the cost benefit analysis?

 

Most of the jobs we do are covered by insurers. As you can probably imagine, their biggest concern is how to ensure they pay the least amount of money possible on your claim. What that means for the water damage company you end up hiring is that they have to take whatever measures are the most cost-effective when restoring your loss. So the cost benefit analysis has to be done this way: is it cheaper to clean and dry the area or is it cheaper to replace the area? Assuming you’re filing an insurance claim, the answer to this question is going to go a long way in determining what approach the water mitigation company will take.

 

3 – How long has the area been affected by water damage?

 

water-damage-home-lossWhile most surfaces can be restored if they are treated immediately after the area sustained water damage, very few can be salvaged if the water damage has sat for a considerably amount of time. While there is no hard and fast rule in terms of the amount of time that makes a restoration job nearly impossible, the chances of saving the existing areas increases dramatically if we are able to begin the restoration process within 24 hours of the loss occurring. In some cases, a homeowner will arrive home from a long trip to a flooded basement or other area but they have no idea when the actual flooding occurred. That’s why it’s important to immediately call a certified restoration company to assess the loss. Once on the property, we can give you a better sense for the moisture levels present in the surfaces and provide our feedback in terms of what makes the most sense moving forward.

 

Allow us to provide you with a free onsite assessment!

 

While there are certainly a number of other factors that go into answering the question of can we save your existing structure, these are the 3 biggest factors we’ll consider when making that judgement. Of course, the only way to know for sure is to give us a call and allow one of our certified water damage restoration technicians to fully diagnose your loss and assess the extent of damage. Once we’ve completed our free onsite assessment, we can provide you with a detailed mitigation plan along with a price estimate for the work that will be required!

About Matt Buchanan

I grew up in Irving, TX and left for Nashville, TN for college. After college I lived in Washington, DC and then in Cairo, Egypt. After coming back to the states, I spent a couple of years back in Dallas before moving with my wife to Denver!
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