Proper water extraction techniques to prevent future mold growth

Posted by Matt Buchanan

Quick remediation is the key to preventing additional water damage in a flooding situation. Experts say there are three things to do when flooding threatens your residence or business:

First, try to control the water supply. In the case of a burst pipe, faulty water supply line or malfunctioning appliance, turn off your main water supply.

Next, minimize safety hazards that arise from the flooding. Turn off the electrical power to the affected areas of your home or business. Be very careful not to slip and fall on wet, slippery surfaces.

Water ExtractionFinally, call a water extraction company as soon as possible. Flood remediation is not a Do It Yourself project. Secondary damage extends far beyond the area where you can see or feel moisture intrusion. Areas that are improperly dried and dehumidified become breeding grounds for molds and bacteria that present serious health hazards. Hidden moisture also causes wood and other building materials to rot and decompose.

Walls and ceilings may look dry to you after flooding, but in most cases water is lurking behind the walls. Within 36 to 72 hours, spores hatch into toxic molds. Wet insulation is a particularly good medium for the growth of molds and bacteria.

The Water Damage Restoration Process

The water damage restoration process is a four-part procedure:

• Protecting Your Personal Property

Before they begin evacuating water from your premises, your water damage restoration team will carefully remove all personal property from flooded areas. This property will be photographed, removed from the premises and taken to a climate-controlled warehouse where every step will be taken to clean and restore these items.

Your computers, electronics, furniture and other possessions may look dry on the outside, but often they contain moisture intrusion that can cause permanent damage if it’s not dealt with quickly.

• Water Extraction

Water extraction is key to every flood restoration process. A variety of different types of equipment can be used for water extraction including vacuum-powered systems and drying mat suction systems.

Wood floors can be challenging because small amounts of water can become trapped beneath and between planks. This is a particular problem with floors that have been installed using several different types of wood.

• Drying and Dehumidification

After all standing water is extracted, the drying and dehumidification processes can begin. Your professional flood restoration team will use speed dryers, air movers and other equipment to remove moisture from surfaces into the air where it can be effectively dealt with by commercial dehumidifiers.

• Testing for and Treating Moisture Intrusion

Professional flood damage remediation teams do not merely depend upon the evidence of their own eyes to make sure your premises are dry. They have an arsenal of sophisticated tests available to them, including moisture tests, spectroscopy and infrared photography.

Do It Yourself water damage remediation may seem like the less expensive option in the short run, but in the long run mold, bacteria and structural damage due to improper drying techniques will cost the homeowner dearly.


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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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