Water damage can occur at any time to any property. Because water can affect your commercial building’s structural integrity and lead to possible mold growth, you must take the situation seriously. Instead of attempting to restore the building yourself, it’s highly recommended that you partner with a water damage restoration company to ensure a job well done. Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about the water damage restoration process, reasons to hire a professional, and tips to find a reputable company for the job.
How Does a Water Damage Restoration Company Help After a Flood?
Before reaching out to a professional, you may be curious to learn how a restoration company can get your commercial building back to normal. Here are the six steps of the water damage restoration process.
1. Assess the Water Damage
When a water restoration team arrives at your location, the first step is to conduct a property-wide inspection. The technicians develop a plan of action based on the extent of the damage and present this information to you in thorough detail.
2. Pack Out Your Belongings
Just a few inches of water can cause tremendous harm to the floors, walls, furniture, and other items. To prevent moisture and mold from spreading further, the team removes damaged and undamaged contents from the affected area as quickly as possible. This may involve temporarily placing items on the lawn or moving potentially salvageable contents to a secure holding area until they can be addressed.
3. Evaluate the Cause
Once the scene is cleared and stabilized, the technicians determine the source of the water or mold damage. In the case of a plumbing leak or sewer backup, the team takes steps to fix the hazard so it no longer poses a threat.
4. Mitigate Mold Growth
Any lingering moisture or high humidity can promote mold growth, so it’s critical to perform structural drying and dehumidification promptly after water damage occurs.
5. Clean and Remediate
Mold damage after a flood or plumbing leak is common, no matter how quickly you remove the water. If mold damage is the primary reason for calling a restoration company, remediation is even more crucial. Rest assured that professionals use advanced mold remediation techniques to remove existing microbes and reduce the risk of future mold growth.
6. Restore & Rebuild
The final step is to return the property to its original condition. This includes tearing out and replacing unsalvageable building materials, such as carpeting, drywall, and acoustical ceiling tiles. When the work is complete, no one will be able to tell your building sustained water damage.
Why You Should Hire a Professional for Water & Mold Damage Restoration
While a DIY approach to water and mold cleanup may be feasible if the damage is minor, severe or widespread problems are best left to a professional. Here are four benefits of calling an experienced water and mold damage restoration company the next time you experience flood damage or a burst pipe.
1. Quick Response Time
Water is incredibly destructive and may lead to mold growth within 24 to 48 hours. If you don’t act quickly, you may have to contend with underlying structural damage and poor indoor air quality. Restoration companies understand these concerns, so the best ones are on call 24 hours a day.
2. Thorough Restoration Work
Buildings are multilayered systems, meaning water and mold damage can occur under the finished floor, above the ceiling, or behind the drywall. This is why a thorough, professional inspection is so important. An experienced crew uses hygrometers and other equipment to measure the moisture level and detect hidden problem areas. Combined with expert restoration techniques, you can expect your property to be fully restored to its pre-incident condition.
3. Safe Practices
Water damage restoration requires special knowledge and careful execution. Mold removal is particularly hazardous because of the health risks involved. Avoid putting yourself in harm’s way by trusting the job to professionals. When you do, you can rest assured that the technicians will follow OSHA standards for on-the-job mold safety and code compliance.
4. Assistance Filing an Insurance Claim
Dealing with your insurance provider is one of the most stressful parts of recovering from a water damage incident. Fortunately, a knowledgeable water and mold damage restoration company can file a claim on your behalf, expediting the process and ensuring you get the coverage you deserve.
How to Choose a Water & Mold Damage Restoration Company
With an understanding of how water damage restoration works and why you should hire a professional, the final step is to find the right company to repair your damaged commercial building. Here are 11 tips to help you make your decision.
1. Ask Your Insurance Company for Recommendations
Not sure where to begin your search? Start by asking your insurance provider if they recommend anyone in particular. Partnerships often exist between insurers and disaster restoration companies to simplify the cleanup process for policyholders. You’re not required to follow your insurer’s advice, but it’s nice to have a starting point.
2. Search Locally
Restoration companies come in all sizes, from large national chains to small local teams. As you explore providers along this spectrum, consider keeping your search local. After all, while national companies can certainly restore water and mold damage, a local provider knows how to deal with specific regional issues. Plus, with a restoration company based nearby, you’re more likely to get a speedy response when you reach out for help.
3. Read Reviews
Thanks to online reviews, it’s easy to vet possible companies very quickly. Look for detailed responses that cover things like how long the restoration took, what it cost, and anything else you’re curious about.
4. Find Out How Much Experience the Company Has
You probably want to avoid hiring a company in its first year of business because it has yet to prove itself. On the other hand, a firm with years of restoration experience has shown the ability to satisfy customers’ needs, making it a good candidate for the job.
5. Ask About the Company’s Availability
When a natural disaster causes water damage on a large scale, many restoration companies in the area may get booked rather quickly. The restoration process must begin as soon as possible, so make sure technicians are available before asking any more questions.
6. Ask About Licensing, Insurance & Training
Cleaning up water damage is far more complex than simply mopping up a wet area, especially if contaminated water and mold growth are at play. This is why hiring licensed and trained technicians is so vital. Look for a provider certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). Then, for additional peace of mind, make sure the company is bonded and insured. This prevents you from being held liable if an accident or injury occurs while the team is restoring your commercial building.
7. Learn What Equipment the Company Uses for Water Damage Cleanup
Professionals have more tools at their disposal than the general public. Ask about these tools as you research water and mold damage restoration companies. Look for a provider that uses specialized structural drying equipment, industrial dehumidifiers, and high-powered air movers to remove water as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Then, make sure they use advanced antimicrobial treatments and disinfectants to safely remediate mold.
8. Ask About Past Restoration Work
Before-and-after photos can reveal a lot about a restoration company’s capabilities. Ask to see examples of previous work from any contractors you’re considering, and look for situations that resemble your own.
9. Explore Warranty Coverage
Since improperly treated water damage could lead to mold growth later on, it’s important to have some assurance that the results will last. A workmanship warranty provides the peace of mind you need to move forward.
10. Compare Estimates
Insurance may or may not cover water and mold cleanup costs, depending on what caused the damage and the details of your specific policy. Seeking multiple quotes is the best way to avoid overpaying. Just remember, quality service is the most important thing, so compare estimates with these other factors in mind.
11. Find Out What Additional Restoration Services are Available
Comprehensive disaster restoration companies tackle more than just water and mold. They may also offer related services like fire damage restoration or storm damage cleanup. By choosing a well-rounded company to help with your current situation, you’ll know exactly who to call if you require additional disaster restoration services in the future.
Contact BYLT for Commercial Water & Mold Restoration in Maryland and Washington, DC
No matter the reason behind your building’s water and mold damage, BYLT can set things right. Our team boasts fast response times and respectful, compassionate customer care. We have over 100 years of combined experience and offer a five-year workmanship warranty for your peace of mind. In the end, our job is to make your recovery go as smoothly as possible. Call us at (410) 770-2900 or contact us online to request water and mold restoration in Maryland and Washington, DC.