water mitigationFlash floods. Burst pipes. Tropical Storms. Leaking dishwasher. Sooner or later you may experience water damage and need both water mitigation and water damage restoration services. But what is the difference between the two?

While both services share some similarities, water damage mitigation is typically the priority after a water loss as it safeguards the home against further damage. Water restoration, on the other hand, happens after water mitigation services and rebuilds the home or business back to its pre-loss state.

What is Water Damage Mitigation?

When a water emergency hits – whether it’s a burst pipe, a storm flood, or a leaking water heater – it’s important to prevent the water from causing further damage. This is water damage mitigation. The goal of this process is to stop the water source, remove standing water, and dry out the affected area.

During an emergency, homeowners and business owners can start this process before help arrives. If you experience a water loss at your property, you can start the water damage mitigation process by:

  • Stopping the water leak: If possible, try to stop the water source to prevent additional flooding and complications. For burst pipes, turn off the water valve, and for flooding, try to dam up the area where water is entering the property.
  • Removing wet and soaked items: One of the main concerns with water damage is eventual mold growth. Mold thrives in cool, damp spaces and can grow on almost any surface. Remove wet items from the affected area including furniture, rugs, decor, clothing, cardboard boxes, among other items.
  • Drying out the affected area: After removing the wet items, start drying out the affected space. Open windows and use fans in the space to circulate the air.

For small water losses, such as a slowly leaking faucet, you may be able to handle water damage mitigation on your own. For large losses, however, emergency restoration professionals have specialized tools and equipment to take on the job.

Professional water damage mitigation services include:

  • Remove large items like drywall and flooring: Drywall and flooring, especially wood flooring, are prime materials for mold growth. In large water losses, removing these items and other building materials will prevent further damage.
  • Extract water with commercial-grade equipment: With large water losses, commercial-grade equipment will help remove water more efficiently than other methods. Extraction units, portable flood pumps, and high-volume water vacuums are used by commercial and residential water restoration companies to remove water quickly and efficiently. This is especially important if you are dealing with black water issues.
  • Clean and disinfect materials: After water damage, some materials can be salvaged using specialized content cleaning methods and equipment.
  • Board up the home: In extreme cases, a water loss may have been caused by high winds, a tropical storm, or a hurricane. In these cases, a professional restoration company will board up windows, apply tarps to damaged areas, and take other steps to protect the property.

Water damage mitigation isn’t designed to repair or replace any damaged items – the process simply prevents further damages from occurring. Water damage restoration, however, happens after the water has dried out and focuses on restoring a property to its pre-loss condition.

What is Water Damage Restoration?

While water mitigation focuses on stopping additional water damage after an emergency, water damage restoration repairs and rebuilds a damaged property to its original state. In general, work during the water damage restoration process doesn’t begin until the initial spread of water is under control.

The water damage restoration process typically involves:

  • Replacing or repairing damaged flooring including hardwood floors, laminate, and carpeting
  • Replacing or repairing damaged drywall
  • Cleaning and disinfecting the affected area
  • Content cleaning of water-soaked items
  • Mold prevention and mitigation

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When to Hire a Water Damage Professional

For large water losses, a professional restoration company is trained in water mitigation and damage restoration processes. Using specific processes and equipment, a professional company can save you thousands of dollars in long-term damages, and get your home or business restored quickly and efficiently.

Although every loss is different, the main reasons to hire a professional company are:

  • Safety concerns: Some water loss emergencies can make a building unsafe, especially if there is flood damage. Emergency restoration companies have the equipment to safely get the job done.
  • Reduce risk: While it may be tempting to attempt water mitigation and water damage restoration on your own, if the job isn’t performed correctly you risk further damage down the road. For example, drywall that isn’t properly dried can be a catalyst for mold growth, causing an even bigger headache within weeks.
  • Quick action: After a water loss, your home may not be in the best condition and you may even be displaced until the water issue is addressed. Companies like Reynolds Restoration Services have teams of emergency response technicians that can get on the job quickly and get your home ready for your return.
  • Severe damages: In the case of a water loss that is more than a few gallons, it makes sense to hire a professional. Standing water can infiltrate flooring, carpeting, and drywall and can lead to bacterial growth or mold. Mold issues can become dangerous for home occupants, so a quick mitigation process is key. Professionals also have commercial-grade equipment specifically designed to handle severe damages.
  • Insurance experts: The insurance claims process can be overwhelming. Restoration contractors have years of experience with insurance claims and know the ins and outs of how the process works.

If you’ve suffered a water loss at your home or business, consider working with an emergency response team like Reynolds Restoration Services. We understand it may be tempting to do the work on your own, but our team can quickly, affordably, and efficiently get the job done.

Water Damage Mitigation and Restoration Services

Reynolds Restoration Services is the premier commercial and residential water mitigation services and water damage restoration company in the mid-Atlantic region. With offices in Harrisburg, Pa., Philadelphia, Pa., and Baltimore, Md., our team of emergency response professionals can be on-site quickly to help you with emergency services.

We know how stressful water damage can be and work with insurance companies to restore properties to their pre-loss condition quickly. While we hope you don’t need our services, know that we are here to help 24/7. Let us take care of water mitigation and water damage restoration so you have peace of mind the project is done professionally to prevent further damage down the road.