What Does A Water Mitigation Company Do

As homeowners, we occasionally face the headache of water damage in our properties. While the reasons vary, the results are often similar – potential health hazards from mold growth, structural damage, personal property loss, and high restoration costs if not addressed quickly.

When such unfortunate events occur, one of the first calls we make should be to a water mitigation company. But what exactly do these services entail and what makes them different from general water damage restoration contractors? We’ll break down the key differences and outline what you can expect when hiring water mitigation experts.

Understanding Water Mitigation

Water mitigation refers specifically to the initial emergency response, assessment, and stabilization process after water damage occurs. The goal is to quickly address the immediate issues to prevent any further damage or losses. This includes:

  • Water Extraction – Removing any standing water using specialized equipment to extract as much liquid as possible from carpets, floors, walls, furnishings, etc.
  • Drying Out – Using commercial dehumidifiers and drying equipment to fully dry all affected areas and reduce moisture to safe levels. This inhibits mold growth which poses health risks.
  • Evaluating Damage – Assessing the full extent of water impact and next steps for repairs. This provides vital information to restoration contractors later on.
  • Preventing Further Damage – Stabilizing the property by shutting off water sources, covering openings to prevent more water intrusion, clearing debris, and more. Early intervention is key.

The water mitigation process stabilizes the situation, sets the stage for full repairs later, and crucially prevents more issues from developing. Insurance companies often require this fast response as an initial step on any water loss claim.

Water Mitigation vs Restoration

Water damage restoration involves the actual repair work needed to return the property back to its pre-loss condition. This includes replacing water-logged materials, structural repairs, rebuilding, etc.

Water mitigation responds immediately to first address emergencies, while restoration handles the longer-term fixes afterwards so the property can be safely reoccupied. The services complement each other.

Common Water Mitigation Services

Water mitigation companies offer rapid-response services 24/7 to handle any type of sudden water damage event. Common services include:

Emergency Water Removal

Using professional extraction equipment, water mitigation technicians will vacuum up standing water from floors, carpets, walls, and other water-logged areas to instantly reduce moisture exposure.

Drying & Dehumidification

Specialized commercial dehumidifiers and air movers will then fully dry out the property over 2-5 days typically. This drying time depends on factors like water volume and materials affected. Faster drying reduces health risks.

Water Supply Shut-Off

The water mitigation crew will locate main shut-off valves for the plumbing system and water heater. Safely turning off the water prevents leaks from worsening and more water intrusion.

Structure Stabilization

Weakened areas are stabilized and openings sealed so no additional water can enter (such as from rains or faulty plumbing). Tarps, wood, and other materials are used to make the property watertight.

Damage Assessment

Detailed moisture readings aid technicians in pinpointing all affected areas. This data helps determine necessary restoration work later so insurance claims and contractor estimates will be more accurate.

Emergency Board-Up

For more extensive water disasters from floods, storms or major leaks, the team temporarily boards up openings in walls or roofs so the inside remains protected from the elements while full repairs occur.

The Water Mitigation Process

So in practice, what can you expect when going through the water mitigation process after discovering property damage? Here is a general overview:

  1. Immediate Response – Call a water mitigation contractor for urgent assistance (many are 24 hour). Describe damage location and type if known. Faster is key.
  2. Initial Assessment – The mitigation team performs an inspection identifying affected areas and how to begin water removal. Photos aid documentation.
  3. Water Extraction – Technicians use specialized vacuum equipment to extract standing water from all saturated materials like carpeting and drywall.
  4. Shut Off Water Supply – Any leaks are addressed, and main supply valves shut off to stop more water flowing.
  5. Structure Stabilization – Weak areas are reinforced and openings sealed so no more water can enter from the outside.
  6. Drying & Dehumidification – Commercial dehumidifiers and air movers installed to thoroughly dry all affected zones down to safe moisture levels.
  7. Damage Analysis – Pinpointing type and extent of damage aids upcoming restoration work estimates. May require disassembly of walls, pulling up carpeting, etc.
  8. Recheck & Finalize Drying – Affected areas are rechecked with moisture meters until safe dryness levels reached for current stage.
  9. Documentation – All data like moisture readings aids efficient insurance claims and contractor bidding for repair work. Photos show stabilization efforts.

The water mitigation process sets the stage for full restoration later. It removes immediate hazards plus gathers helpful analytics to make upcoming fixes more efficient. This rapid response helps minimize both health risks and potential for further building issues.

When To Call Water Mitigation Services

Since timing is so imperative to reduce damage after any water event, it’s good to understand common mishaps where water mitigation services should be engaged immediately:

  • Burst pipes, appliances leaking, or faulty plumbing flooding inside walls or rooms
  • Basement flooding from heavy rains, sewer backups, or natural disasters
  • Extensive roof leaks after severe storms, winds, or snow buildup
  • Fire sprinkler water damage triggered from a small fire or construction accident
  • Appliance malfunctions like washing machine hose leaks or water heater failures
  • Bathtub or sink overflows from clogged drains or forgotten taps

In all these scenarios, quickly removing the water reduces saturation and drying times for materials like carpeting, drywall, and furnishings. This greatly lowers the likelihood of lingering moisture issues or mold taking hold later on.

Partnering With Water Restoration Contractors

The water mitigation company and eventual restoration contractor(s) handling full repairs typically communicate closely throughout the process. Sharing analysis aids efficiency on insurance claims, accurate contractor bidding, and understanding structural issues needing addressed.

Often, larger water damage restoration firms have their own mitigation teams to jointly handle cases from start to finish. Other times, independent mitigation services are brought in initially during emergencies to reduce damage, then unaffiliated restoration contractors later bid on fixing work.

Either way, these services together can fully remediate water disasters of all sizes to restore safety and property value.

The Takeaway

Dealing with sudden water damage in your home or business can be an incredibly stressful and damaging situation if not handled promptly. Professional water mitigation services are the fast-response solution to first stabilize any property damage emergency.

Through rapid water removal, drying technology, damage analysis and more – these vital services prevent further issues from developing after serious water incidents. They set the stage for full restoration repair work later on while greatly reducing health risks and potential financial impacts in the interim.

Having reputable water mitigation specialists to call 24/7 provides peace of mind that damage can be quickly contained. They buy essential time to then properly evaluate and fix underlying problems over the long-term. With water disasters, a swift emergency response is critical to minimizing headaches down the road.