water damage cleanup

The Homeowner’s Guide to Understanding Water Damage

No homeowner ever wants to deal with water damage. Whether a pipe bursts, the washing machine overflows, a storm blows in, or a disaster hits, the effect is the same: a big mess. Unfortunately, this type of problem also requires an immediate cleanup operation to prevent an even bigger mess.

In this guide to understanding water damage in Louisiana, APEX Disaster Specialists explains how professionals evaluate a situation and start the water damage cleanup process. It also covers why prompt attention to water damage and flooding is so important for your home.

The Water Damage Nitty Gritty: Classes and Categories

If you want the best possible outcomes from an unforeseen water damage event, a proper cleanup process starts with determining the risks. Professionals determine the best way to remove water from the affected area according to the category and class of damage at hand.

Category 1, 2 and 3

The category of water damage refers to the type of water present: clean water, gray water, or black water.

Category 1 (clean water) doesn’t contain hazardous materials. It is the easiest to clean up, and usually comes from rainfall, a leaking water line, broken appliances, or roof damage. 

Category 2 (gray water) contains some contaminants, like detergent or food particles. It is hazardous to ingest but safe to clean up.

Category 3 (black water) is dangerous. It requires professional cleanup and sanitizing, usually because of sewage backups, toilets, or flooding from the ocean, rivers or storm drain overflows. Black water is highly contaminated with chemicals, bacteria, fecal matter, and other biohazards that can easily cause toxic mold growth and further damage to your home, so a prompt professional cleanup is absolutely essential.

Class 1, 2, 3 and 4

Water damage cleanup professionals classify the damage according to how much water there is, how difficult water extracting will be, and what the water contains.

  • Class 1: Minor damage from small leaks or flooding in spaces with few porous surfaces, like a bathroom or kitchen.
  • Class 2: Leaks that saturate the floor or carpet and the surrounding walls, up to two feet.
  • Class 3: Soaked construction materials, drywall, flooring, ceiling, subfloors, and other surfaces that absorb a significant amount of water. 
  • Class 4: Water infiltration into difficult-to-reach areas and deep into walls and floors, which is why it is the most difficult damage cleanup. It requires special equipment.

As per above, the category and class of water damage determine how much water damage repair will involve. Class 1 damage will be simple to clean up and may only need to dry out after a crew removes the standing water. However, Class 4 damage from black water may even require some demolition and reconstruction efforts after water extraction, sanitizing, drying, and dehumidifying.

Signs of Water Damage To Watch For and How To Respond

Standing water in the basement or puddles on the floor may seem like a small problem, but swift action could prevent water damage. Still, sometimes water-related problems are more subtle and take time to appear. If you notice any of the following problems in your home, you need water damage cleanup and repairs immediately:

  • Musty odors
  • A sewage smell 
  • Visible mold on surfaces 
  • Warped walls  
  • Damaged wall coverings
  • Peeling or bubbling wallpaper
  • Crumbling drywall
  • Peeling paint 
  • Sagging or drooping ceilings 
  • Flooring damage (warping, splitting, staining, sagging, and cracking)

The first step to addressing the damage is finding the source of the leak and stopping further damage. Before entering the affected area, the professionals will carefully evaluate the safety risks, such as whether to cut power to a flooded basement. It’s also essential to take photos to document the damage if there will be an insurance claim at some point.

If there’s the potential for hazardous material exposure, it’s also important not to clean up anything without the proper personal protective equipment and other precautions. Instead, call a dependable water damage restoration company like APEX Disaster Specialists to take care of the following:

  1. Assess the damage
  2. Begin the cleanup process
  3. Use specialized equipment and techniques
  4. Remove standing water and damaged items
  5. Ventilate and dry the area
  6. Sanitize surfaces to stop mold growth and eliminate bacteria

Call APEX Disaster Specialists To Handle Water Damage 

Have you discovered flooding or water damage? Stay calm. Staying safe may require leaving your home temporarily during cleanup, but our team provides 24/7 water damage cleanup services and will help you get back on your feet as soon as possible. 

Don’t risk your home or your health trying to handle water damage on your own—call APEX Disaster Specialists at (337) 548-4571 or fill out the contact form on our website for emergency services.  

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Apex Disaster Specialists Louisiana is the most comprehensive provider for damage restoration and recovery in Sulphur.
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