At TN Flood Kings, we know from experience that dealing with water damaged property feels less stressful when you know what’s happening in your home. So, we’d like to provide you with a guide to water damage and restoration.
We hope that by the time you finish reading this, you’ll have a better understanding of the water damage removal process and feel completely confident in choosing TN Flood Kings.
What Is Water Damage Restoration?
The process of water damage restoration, from water extraction to renovation, is designed to remove standing water, prevent mold growth, and repair structural damage so your home is safe and dry. It also includes preventing further damage by fixing the cause.
Our goal at TN Flood Kings is to make it seem like nothing ever happened to your property. We’ll guide you through everything and bill your insurance directly. In short, our restoration services are truly about restoring functionality to your property and removing any traces of water damage from the premises.
What Are the Major Causes of Water Damage?
While there are a variety of causes for water damage, we’d like to share the ones that TN Flood Kings encounters most frequently as a leading restoration contractor in Middle Tennessee.
Plumbing problems: Pipes are under constant pressure and may suddenly rupture. This is particularly common if they have frozen and then thawed. A burst pipe can seriously imperil the building structure and lead to extensive remediation processes. Clogged drains are another plumbing issue leading to standing water, particularly in basements.
Clogged gutters: Cleaning debris out of your gutters is annoying, but it can prevent serious structural damage to your home. As gutters overflow, they begin to leak into the walls of your home and wreak havoc throughout.
Leaking appliances: Washing machines, dishwashers, and even your water heater can fail; this can be due to the water supply lines failing or leaks in the pipes.
Flooding: The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency notes that flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States, and we would agree. Because of its potential for contamination, flood water poses multiple safety hazards and needs to be handled by experts.
A flooded basement is common after a severe weather event, often happening when submersible pumps fail. This is why it’s essential that you choose a sump pump that can handle enough water to keep your basement dry.
Natural disasters: Tornadoes are an unfortunately common event in Tennessee, and they can lead to total destruction in the affected area. Broken pipes, sewage backup, and damaged appliances all contribute to water damage. As a leading restoration company in the area, our Flood Kings have assisted with countless natural disaster cleanups.
What Are Common Signs of Water Damage?
Many assume that obvious surface water is the only clue to water damage, but there are also more subtle signs. You should contact TN Flood Kings to begin the water damage restoration process if you see any of these issues in your home:
- Warped floorboards or swollen planks
- Bubbled paint or peeling wallpaper
- Cracks in the ceiling or walls
- Sagging ceilings or floors
- Soft spots in drywall
- Water stains
- Mold growth
Water Contamination Categories
There are three categories of water contamination according to their potential to cause adverse health effects. Generally, these are determined by water source: clean, treated water or rainwater is pretty safe, while sewage water is incredibly unsafe.
This is clean water, which you can reasonably assume is not very contaminated. These water sources are safe for you to handle without specialized protective equipment beyond what you can buy at a hardware store, and they pose little risk to your health.
Common sources include:
- Ice runoff
Gray water is sewer-bound water that hasn’t yet reached the treatment facility; it’s not clean and does contain some biological contaminants, though it’s not as dangerous as Category Three sources. Because it can contain detergents and diluted wastewater, you shouldn’t touch it and should leave this to TN Flood Kings.
Common sources include:
- Washing machines
- Baths and showers
Also known as black water, this is contaminated water that has now infiltrated your home. It poses a substantial risk to your health and should always be tackled by pros like Flood Kings, as it requires extensive personal protective equipment to forestall any potential health hazard.
Common sources include:
- Sewage backup
- Flood water
- Overflowing toilets
Water Damage Classes
Just as there are categories of water, there are also classes of water damage. They rise in severity, with one being relatively simple to resolve and four often requiring an intensive restoration process.
You’ve probably dealt with many a Class One event, especially if you have small children! This is for small-scale spills or leaks on hard surfaces that have low water absorption, such as tile or laminate. Once you’ve removed the excess water and dried out the affected areas, you’re unlikely to have further problems.
This is for a larger amount of water damage to medium or high-porosity materials that are harder to dry out. A common example would be a leaking pipe behind drywall. You’ll need more extensive water removal and will likely have to remove and replace some building materials. This is the level where you should call TN Flood Kings, as we can address all structural problems.
When you have a lot of water damage and very porous materials, you have a Class Three event. For example, if your roof leaks very badly during a storm and soaks your carpet, the evaporation process will be longer, and water extraction may be more complicated.
Class Four events are when a great deal of water damage affects a confined space with high porosity materials, such as when you get a major leak in your attic, and it drenches all the insulation. In this instance, you will absolutely need professional water damage restoration because the drying process is complicated, and there is a high risk of adverse health effects.
The Water Damage Restoration Process: A Step By Step Guide
Each time our Flood Kings head into a building, we follow a water damage restoration checklist that follows industry standards for water removal, mold removal, and restoration. We’ll walk you through a basic overview of TN Flood Kings’ restoration process so that you have a better idea of what to expect.
Perform a Water Damage Inspection and Assessment
Before we get started, we will likely turn off the electricity and water in the affected areas. We will identify structural damage and take the necessary steps to keep you and our workers safe throughout the water damage restoration process.
In this step, we will also identify what category of water (1, 2, or 3) we’re working with so that we take the necessary precautions for our own health. We always wear protective gear whenever we perform water mitigation, but we’ll add extra equipment if necessary.
We’ll also identify what class of water damage (1, 2, 3, or 4) we have so that we can develop an action plan.
Prepare the Work Space and Contact Other Professionals
During this step, TN Flood Kings will contact your insurance company so that we can begin to build a claim with you.
We will also begin getting permits from the local government so that when we begin our contracting work, everything is legal, and there will be no obstructions to our process.
Remove Standing Water via Extraction
Using water vacuums, water extractors, and other equipment, we’ll pull out all the surface water and tackle any water that has soaked into materials.
Begin the Drying Process
After water removal, we get to work drying everything out. This involves increasing air circulation as much as possible to pull out excess moisture. We’ll use dehumidifiers, air movers, fans, and equipment to hasten evaporation; we may also set up negative air machines at this point if we suspect any mold growth.
Sanitize Every Surface
Once everything is dry, we need to sanitize all surfaces. During their restoration certification, TN Flood Kings technicians learned exactly how to keep themselves safe while providing restoration services. We wear protective gear and safely utilize extra-strength disinfectants suitable for the water class we’re dealing with.
The last part of the restoration process is damage repair. During this part, technicians will remove all the materials that can’t be saved; we’ll get into what some of these materials are in just a bit, but they tend to be porous materials that cannot be fully dried.
Your water damage professionals will replace any building materials that need to be discarded, then replace them with fresh new materials. If necessary, we will work with other professionals to fix plumbing problems, electrical issues, and roof damage.
At this time, we will also take preventative measures to ensure no further damage after we leave, such as waterproofing areas that are more prone to water damage.
As a full-service restoration contractor, TN Flood Kings won’t leave until your home returns to its former glory and you’re fully satisfied with our damage repair!
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does Water Restoration Take?
This depends on a number of factors, such as how extensive the water damage is and how much water removal we must perform. For Category One calls, it may only take three days, while for Category Four, you may be looking at two weeks or more.
Once TN Flood Kings has performed our water damage assessment, we’ll give you a rough timeline of how long you can expect the process to take.
Can I Stay in My House During the Restoration Process?
If we’re only working in a small area, absolutely! For limited water damage calls, such as in one bathroom or bedroom, you can stay in the rest of the house as we work. Flood Kings technicians will respect your property and do their best to minimize disruptions to your life as they work.
For larger calls, such as when you need disaster recovery services, we may ask you to leave for your safety. Your insurance company may be able to compensate you for a hotel room while we complete the water damage restoration.
What Has to Be Thrown Out During the Water Damage Restoration Process?
Our customers often have a few misconceptions about professional water damage restoration, and one of them is that absolutely everything touched by standing water must be thrown away.
Fortunately, this isn’t necessarily true: many items can be salvaged from the affected area and carefully restored. These are generally low evaporation materials, which tend to absorb less water; examples include a concrete masonry unit, plaster ceiling, hardwood floor, or masonry.
However, some materials cannot be fixed and need to be entirely replaced; we’ll go over some examples now.
Perishable food, medications, and cosmetics: Even if something looks like the contaminated water source hasn’t touched it, anything you consume or put on your body that has been near standing water needs to be thrown away. It can harbor microbial growth that poses serious health risks.
Fiber fill insulation: In order to be effective, insulation needs to capture and hold air in it. Saturated fiber fill no longer does its job, and it will need to be replaced. This is true even if it’s just a minor roof leak; any materials that have gotten wet have to be removed.
Forced air ducts: Water intrusion isn’t just about moisture; it also carries sediment and organic materials that can easily make you ill. It’s best to let TN Flood Kings replace your HVAC ductwork after a flood.
Drywall: Also known as gypsum board, this material will grow soft and mushy; completely drying it out is almost impossible. Fortunately, you will not have to tear out everything, just what’s been damaged and a bit around it.
Particleboard and Acoustic Tiles: Just like drywall, this is very hard to dry out; it’s better to get rid of it.
Upholstered furniture: While it is sometimes possible to completely extract water from upholstery, it is often best to throw it out, as mold spores can be lurking inside the fabric.
Mattresses: No matter how much you may love your mattress, it has to be thrown out if it has been saturated, as it can easily grow bacteria and make you very ill.
How Quickly Can Mold Grow from Water Damage?
Mold spores grow incredibly fast: within 24-48 hours of getting wet, your items may already harbor dangerous mildew. This is why our mold remediation services are essential whenever your belongings get wet, especially if it is a Category Two or Three water source.
Will My Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage?
Every insurance policy is different regarding what water damage they will cover; TN Flood Kings can help you decipher your policy as we work directly with your insurance.
Generally, the water damage must be “sudden and accidental” rather than a long-term problem that has gone unnoticed or ignored.
Well-maintained but malfunctioning equipment, such as regularly served water heaters that have suddenly begun spitting water, are usually covered, as are burst pipes or a roof leak from storm damage. Water damage after a fire is generally covered as well.
Why Isn’t Flood Damage Restoration Covered by Insurance?
It’s an unfortunate fact that flooding is a costly but common disaster. Because of this, insurance companies need to find a way to protect their customers without charging a lot for premiums, so they have decided not to cover this particular class of water damage.
However, there’s good news: The Federal Emergency Management Agency has a National Flood Insurance Program that provides affordable insurance premiums for flood restoration services. Check FEMA’s website to find out whether your home is at risk and learn more about their insurance program; it’s a low cost for peace of mind.
Choosing a Water Restoration Professional Near You
It can be tough to figure out who to trust with your property, but there are a few key things to consider when selecting a water damage restoration company. When you’re shopping for quotes, ask yourself these questions:
- Are they IICRC-certified in water damage restoration?
- Do they have the proper qualifications to work in my area?
- Are they bonded and licensed so that everyone is safe if there’s an accident?
- Do they come highly reviewed by previous customers?
- Will they work with my insurance company?
- Do they have a good rating with the Better Business Bureau?
- Is their quote reasonable – neither too low nor too high?
- Do I feel comfortable with their technicians?
- Are they honest and trustworthy?
- Can they explain the water damage restoration process in terms I understand?
Foremost in this decision process, though, is that you feel comfortable and empowered. You should always feel that your technicians have your best interest in mind and that they truly care about solving your water damage. Nothing is more important than your peace of mind and the safety of your family, which is why you should always choose a water damage restoration company that you feel you can trust.
Why Should You Choose TN Flood Kings?
We understand that you have many choices when it comes to water damage restoration, and we would like to show you why we’re the most trusted restoration company in Middle Tennessee.
Years of Experience
Our team has over 15 years of experience in identifying signs of water damage and mitigating its effects in areas all over the greater Nashville region. We’ve truly seen every type of water damage imaginable, from flooding to fire damage, and we can rely upon our deep knowledge of our industry to provide flawless restoration every single time.
The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification sets industry standards for water damage restoration; IICRC-certified companies use equipment and techniques identified as best practices for safety, sanitation, and restoration. All of our technicians have undergone a rigorous training process so that they can provide the best water damage restoration no matter what.
Locally Based Company
We live and work in Middle TN just like you: we’re your neighbors, and we care about our community just as ardently as you do. We treat all our customers with respect and pride ourselves on having a reputation for honest, empathetic service that prioritizes the client’s well-being.
Bills Directly to Insurance
We work with numerous insurance companies, including Allied Insurance, Allstate, State Farm, and Farmers Insurance. With our close connections to local agents, we can ensure the claims process goes as smoothly as possible.
Nothing is more important to us than knowing our customers are satisfied and informed every step of the way. We’ll explain everything to you and keep you aware of any developing problems so you’re never confused.
Whether it’s updating you on the claims process or explaining how air movers help to evaporate moisture, we want you to understand the water damage restoration process. We encourage you to come to us with any questions you may have and never hesitate to offer feedback about how our water damage restoration specialists are doing.
Along with that, we’ll provide you with helpful advice to prevent water damage before it ever happens because we want to keep your home safe and healthy just as much as you do.