What is Water Mitigation? A Complete Guide
Updated: May 5
Once your building has been damaged by water, you may find that there are an overwhelming amount of resources out there to help you fix it.
Water mitigation companies are often the first solution people think of, but there are many similar-sounding services available. It can be a daunting task to weed through the terminology, which is why we've put together this post!
Read on to learn more about water mitigation and how you can avoid needing this service in the first place!
What is Water Mitigation?
Water mitigation is the process of minimizing or preventing water damage to your property. This can be done through various methods, such as water extraction, drying and dehumidification, and disinfection.
In some cases, water mitigation may also involve the repair or replacement of damaged property. If your home or office has been flooded, it is important to call a professional water mitigation company right away! They will be able to help you get your property back to normal as quickly as possible.
What steps are taken in water mitigation?
Water mitigation is a vital service that can help you get your property back to normal after a flood or water leak. There are many steps in the process, but the end result is that your building becomes safe to re-enter and is ready for more cosmetic fixes.
Here are the key steps taken in the water mitigation process:
Stop the flow of water
Assess the type of water damage
Dry and Disinfect
Address secondary water damage
Clean up the site
In the following sections, we will provide more information on these important steps in the water mitigation process!
Stop the flow of water
The first step in water mitigation is to stop the flow of water. This process can vary quite a bit depending on the source of the problem. For example, plumbing leaks may require repairing pipes while roof leaks may necessitate putting tarps in place before repairs can be made.
Once the source of the problem has been identified and the flow of water stopped, attention turns toward removing any standing water. This can be done with a wet/dry vacuum, a submersible pump, or other specialized equipment.
This is an important first step as removing standing water can prevent further damage from occurring. Once all of the water has been removed, the area will need to be dried.
Assess the type of water damage
Assessing the type and extent of damage is the next step in the process. There are three broad categories of water damage. Category 1 is known as clean water. This can come from things like an overflowing bathtub or broken water pipe. Category 2 is gray water, which may contain chemicals or debris. Category 3 is referred to as black water, which can contain sewage, waste, or biohazards.
The type of damage affects the cleaning process. Clean water is the easiest as it does not require disinfecting. However, it is still imperative to clean within 24 hours to prevent mold growth.
Gray water is unsanitary so cleaning requires protecting your skin, eyes, and mouth and can involve tools like antimicrobial sprays. The wet carpet will also need to be removed. Black water is the worst-case scenario, requiring extensive cleaning or replacement of anything the water has touched including carpet and drywall.
The next step in the process is extraction. There are a number of things that are done during this time.
First, any contaminated items are removed from the home. These will either be cleaned or disinfected. For situations involving gray water or black water, having a professional water restoration company assist with removal is important to prevent exposure to potential health issues.
During this stage, water is also removed from affected areas. The process here varies based on what was affected. Furniture can require washing, whereas carpet may need to be removed. This is particularly true in cases where there may be damage to the subfloor. The drywall will also need to be torn out and replaced as it is particularly susceptible to mold growth.
Drying and Disinfect
The drying and disinfection process is critical. The amount of time and effort that drying takes can vary based on the extent of the water leak. More amounts of water and larger areas affected typically take longer to dry. Fans and dehumidifiers are the major tools used for this process.
Once the area and air are dry, disinfection is done using products such as antimicrobial sprays. These are specialized sprays that are designed to kill and stop the spread of bacteria, mold, and other biotoxins that can develop during and after leaks.
Address Secondary Water damage
Responding to secondary water damage is the next step in this process. This step may not be necessary depending on the situation as some water leaks are contained before secondary damage occurs. However, given how quickly secondary damage can develop, most water restoration jobs do have some needs.
The most common type of secondary water damage is mold which must be professionally remediated. If the water touched electrical outlets or wiring, this will need to be inspected by an electrician.
Inspection is also needed for areas where wood was exposed to water as wood rot can create structural problems. Other secondary damage that may need to be addressed includes buckling floors and corroded pipes.
Clean up the site
The final step of the process is cleaning up the site. This is where the restoration process finishes returning a property to the state it was in prior to the water damage. As with other steps, the specifics of this process will vary a bit based on the type of water damage and its extent.
Common things done here include fairly simple repairs such as replacing drywall or having the carpet professionally cleaned. However, for extensive leaks, you may need portions of your home to be reconstructed.
How much does water mitigation cost?
According to Home Advisor, the average cost of water mitigation is $3,292 with project prices typically falling between $1,303 and $5,490.
However, the cost will vary based on a number of factors. The most significant factors include the size of the affected area, the type of water damage, and the amount of secondary damage that must be addressed.
How can you avoid needing water mitigation services?
One of the best ways you can avoid needing water mitigation services is by installing a water leak sensor. Leak sensors will notify you as soon as they detect a leak, so you can take care of it right away. Modern sensors can even send you messages via text, call, and email!
This will help to prevent any further damage and will save you money in the long run! At Perceptive Things®, we have a variety of different sensors that can help you to protect your home.
Watch this video to learn about how our leak sensors, the Droplet Duo™ and Droplet Pro™, are able to monitor your building! You can also learn more about these leak sensors on our products page.
What is the difference between Water Mitigation vs. Water Restoration?
Often times water mitigation and water restoration services go hand in hand. You can think of water mitigation as the first step to solving your problem as it involves steps such as removing the water, disinfecting and drying the area, as well as implementing basic safety precautions.
The next phase is often water restoration, which is the act of restoring the building to how it was before the damage occurred. This may involve more extensive repairs such as replacing drywall or flooring.
If your home or office has been flooded, it is important to call professional water mitigation or restoration company right away! They will be able to help you get your property back to normal as quickly as possible.
Final Thoughts on Water Mitigation
We hope this post has helped to clear up some of the confusion surrounding water mitigation!
There are so many easy ways to avoid dealing with this issue and we hope that you are able to implement a sensor system soon to keep your property safe. If you are interested in any of our solutions, please feel free to reach out to our team at email@example.com!
What is your experience with water mitigation? Let us know in the comments below!