What is Flood Damage and Restoration?

When you mention flood damage, people instinctively think of swollen rivers and properties swept away by water or submerged under water. But the majority of flood damages never become headline news because they are too small to be reported. Most of the floods in homes are caused by backed up sewers, blocked toilets, bathtubs, dishwashers and washing machines that overflow.

This doesn’t mean they cause any less damage. It is estimated that such damages cost hundreds of millions of dollars annually in the US alone, which makes them more costly than damages caused by flooded rivers that receive national and international media attention. This is why you need to call the experts for flood restoration in Washington.

Types of Flood Damages:

Damages caused by floods can be divided into the following categories:iStock_000009743420XSmall

  • Total destruction: Homes, vehicles, furniture and properties are swept away or destroyed. Such destruction is caused by big floods.
  • Tear and breakage: Furniture, vehicles and other properties are knocked about by large quantities of water and torn or broken into pieces.
  • Rotting: Clothes, books and other items are submerged or soaked in floodwater and rot away after some time.
  • Rusting: Things made of iron rot away after being exposed to water for some time.
  • De-lamination: Things made of plastic and rubber become delaminated after being soaked in water for a few hours.
  • Discoloration: Books, clothes and other things become discolored after being exposed to water.

Extent of Flood Damages:

Floods damage all materials equally. The extent of damages depends on the type of material, size of flood, duration of exposure, and type of water.

  • Type of material: Materials like paper, cardboard and clothes can become damaged very quickly. They also rot within a days of being soaked in water.
  • Duration of exposure: The longer the duration of a flood the more damage it causes.
  • Size of flood: The bigger the flood the more power it has to cause destruction.
  • Type of water: Water is divided into three categories: clean water (category 1), grey water (category 2) and black water (category 3). Black water is the dirtiest type of water and it causes more damage than the other two categories of water. If a carpet is soaked in black water for a few hours, it becomes irreversibly damaged.

Flood restoration:

As long as the damages are not severe, most of the restoration can be done by cleaning, disinfecting and drying. However, restoration of severely damaged properties should be left to certified flood restoration experts who are trained and equipped to do the job. The standard procedure for flood restoration involves the following steps:

  • Inspection of affected area: The affected area is inspected using water-sensing equipment to assess the types and extent of damages.
  • Drying, Sanitizing and decontamination: The affected area and properties are dried, sanitized and decontaminated using various methods and materials.
  • Reevaluation of restoration: The restored properties are reevaluated to ensure that the restoration work was effectively carried out.

Although there are no laws that dictate flood the restoration procedure in the US, make sure the contractors you hire for flood restoration in Washington have either ICRC or RIA certifications.