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Understanding Water Mitigation

water mitigation processWater mitigation is any steps or processes taken to reduce or prevent water damage in response to a flood or penetrating leak. It is based on taking fast and proper actions to both protect the property and minimize further damage as well as to restore possessions after the loss.

Although water mitigation is something that can be undertaken on your own, many home and business owners call in specialists to do so. This is because water mitigation companies have access to techniques, experience, equipment, and manpower that allows them to perform more effective water damage restorations than clients can alone.

Step One: Contact

As you might imagine, it is difficult to get professional help without contacting the professionals first. When faced with a water-damage situation it is important to contact a mitigation company as soon as possible in order to get a quick-response team dispatched to your location.

Although the situation can be stressful, it is important to remain calm so that you can give the dispatcher the information they need. This includes the basics such as name, address, and any information about the nature or cause of the water damage as well as any safety hazards. Dirty flood water or an electricity risk are examples of the sort of information you should be relaying. Though a team will be dispatched regardless, having more information before arriving speeds up their ability to take action.

Step Two: Survey and Stoppage

When the mitigation team arrives, their first task will be to assess the scope of damage and determine the origin of the leak. For obvious reasons, it is hard to begin water removal and drying without finding and stopping the source of the flooding.

Once this is accomplished, the extent of the damage, the number and location of affected areas, and the type of water will be assessed. Dirty or contaminated water warrants different clean-up approaches compared to clean water, and the scope of the damage as well as what structural elements are involved will further adjust how the mitigation process unfolds.

Step Three: Water Removal and Drying

How the water is removed will depend on the location and severity of the flooding. Portable and truck-mounted water extractors, pumps, wet/dry vacuums, heaters, dehumidifiers, and air movers are just some of the tools used to ensure any lingering water is properly removed and dried out. Moisture detectors and other sensory equipment will be used to check the walls for damp patches and other forms of unseen infiltration.

Step Four: Restoration, Sanitization, and Assessment

When possible, water mitigation experts will salvage as much of your property as possible. This involves cleaning and drying furniture or building materials, investigating and eliminating mould and, when necessary, applying antibacterial treatments to disinfect and prevent microbial growth. In the event that something cannot be salvaged, it will be left up to you to decide what to do with it.

This stage is also when insurance assessments are normally performed. Mitigation companies are trained in making estimates to the extent of remaining damage and can use this information to help you deal with your insurance claim.

Every water mitigation company performs its duties slightly differently, but these four stages will give you a good idea of the main services you can expect from any qualified water damage restoration company.

Managing an effective flood clean-up is a challenging task that shouldn’t be done alone. Flood Services Canada stands ready to provide quick-response clean-up services across the GTA and will use the best techniques, personnel, and technology to ensure your home is clean, safe, and dry as soon as possible. Contact us at (416) 302-2107 to learn more about how to protect your property, or use our emergency hotline at (416) 999-3930 to get our rapid-response teams deployed to your area.

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Chad Vanvari

Chad Vanvari has over 20 years of experience as a cleaning & restoration professional. He started out in Montreal, establishing a commercial carpet cleaning company in the early 1990’s. By 2001, Chad had relocated to Toronto and now had extensive knowledge and experience in responding to fire/water related emergencies. He has been instrumental in the cleanup of several catastrophic floods. Currently, Chad is the president and owner of Flood Services Canada, a 24/7 emergency service restoration company.