Our Water Damage Repair Process
The protocols a restoration firm follows, should be the most important thing to consider when choosing a company to dry your home!
The most important thing to know about our process – is that we take a minimally invasive approach. We do not tear down walls – we dry them! We do not tear carpet and pad out – we dry them! We do not toss your couches, entertainment centers, and coffee tables into a dumpster – you guessed it – we dry them!
Unscrupulous restorers tear out materials in effort to create a larger repair bill after the drying is completed (or they just don’t know what they are doing). We do not believe in taking this approach. The definition of restoration is to restore, to dry, and to restore, not to tear everything that is wet out just because it is wet!
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Our Applied Structural Drying Process
Assessment Possibly the most crucial step is proper assessment. We perform a detailed scope of water intrusion to find all wet materials using ultrasound, thermal camera's, and penetrating moisture detectors. Mold can come from missing just a few square feet of wet materials in an assessment and not addressing them through the drying process. This is the most crucial step of assessment. We then calculate lineal feet of wall, the volume of the areas requiring drying, consider the humidity, materials moisture content, relative humidity, and the grains of water per pound of air, and determine exactly how many air movers and dehumidifiers need to be placed, and their placement locations. By the end of the assessment, we will know exactly from start to finish, what must be done to dry as fast as possible, salvage everything that can be salvaged, and minimize microbial advancement risks.
Extraction The next step is the mechanical removal of as much water as possible - or water extraction. Most companies use standard carpet cleaning wands to complete their extraction step. Only a handful in our area own and use weight assisted subsurface extraction tools called Hydro-X Xtreme Xtractors. A wand will remove 90% of the water from the carpet, but only about 50% from the padding underneath. This usually leads to pad that does not dry fast enough, and will require removal due to severe odors. Our Extreme Xtractors remove 90-95% of the water out of BOTH the carpet and the padding underneath. It is how we are able to save almost every single customers (>99%) carpet and carpet padding. We additionally make sure there are no wall cavities holding water that can wick out and re-flood portions of the flooring, if we find any, that water is released and extracted prior to it causing need for a second extraction the following day.
Equipment Equipment is placed based on measured needs. We know what to place, how many need placed, where to place, even what speed to set them at. All of this is derived from the assessment. We use the most current and accepted placement strategies where the fans are set to create vortex's in each room - which facilitates the most efficient model for drying to date. We ensure all power runs to the equipment are secure and safe. We allow our equipment to cycle twice to ensure no circuit breakers in your panel will be tripped due to excess power demand.
Monitoring We monitor progress daily. All psychometrics are measured, rH (humidity), porous materials water content, GPP (grains of H2O per pound of air), temperature, and dew point, are all considered related to equipment settings. All needed adjustments to remain in safe tolerances are made. During these visits, we additionally meter our drying equipment to ensure functionality to standards. These visits typically only require 15-25 minutes each day.
Final Inspection Prior to equipment removal, an extremely thorough search for moisture is set into motion. We ensure everything is dry prior to removing the equipment. We additionally inspect all contents in the affected areas to make sure they too are dry to safe standards. At this time, if there are any repairs required, we will begin gathering the data required for a detailed repairs estimation.
Repairs In virtually all cases - the extent of the repairs our customers require, is merely a final cleaning and deodorization of the carpeting. There are some cases were trim had to be removed to dry wall cavities as well and that needs reset. If there are any additional repairs, we allow our customers the opportunity to CHOOSE us to complete them. We don't obligate them with fine print in the restoration contracts.
How to find a reputable restoration company
One of the most commonly asked questions by consumers regarding our industry is how to identify a good restoration company from a bad one. That can be challenging - since the demise of the housing industry, every contractor with a tape measure and hammer has been seeking water damage, fire damage, and even mold damage work, and so with very little to no training or working knowledge of providing these services to standards.
One way to identify a company you may want to avoid is getting a firm to the penny price up front. An honest and reputable restorer will tell you from the onset - that there are finite line items, and there are variables, variables such as how long will the drying take, 1 day, 2 days, 3 days....... each day equipment rental costs accrue - so any restorer that gives you an exact price must be able to see into the future right? No, typically it's what they say to get their work authorization signed. It's also a big red flag as to potential problems.
When seeking a restoration company, our qualifications set the bar:
- Certified technicians
- Xactimate standard billing
- Weight assisted extraction tools
- Own and do not rent their drying equipment