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What is emergency mitigation?
Emergency mitigation involves the implementation of specialty pieces of equipment designed to dry moisture-impacted areas by providing any or all of the following: airflow, heating and evaporation. A few examples of equipment used to dry a structure are air movers, heating elements and dehumidifiers.
Why is mitigating a structure important?
A structure, whether a condo, single family home or commercial building, is designed in such a way that it provides separation between indoor and outdoor environments. When built properly, they are also successful at keeping out moisture from rain and humidity. Repelling moisture from the indoor environment is no easy task, and requires the use of building materials with a lower permanence rating. In other words, these materials do not absorb moisture easily.
When it comes to the indoor environment of a structure, this is a much different situation. Building materials are much more permeable and are therefore subject to absorbing and retaining moisture. Without the implementation of drying equipment when water events occur, these materials will continue to soak up moisture and run a much higher risk for the development of mold. In addition to the structural components, it’s also just as important to promptly dry personal belongings that are impacted by excess moisture.
Tips for recovering from water damage.
Identify and correct the source of moisture.
The first and likely the most obvious step is to understand what is causing the introduction of moisture within your environment. If the water damage stems from a leaking pipe, an immediate short term fix is to turn off your water main. From there, contracting a licensed plumber for a permanent repair is recommended.
Relocate personal belongings away from impacted areas.
When possible, carefully move personal belongings and manageable furniture away from areas where standing water is present - even in areas where the flow of water is moving toward. Remember to only handle what you can, limiting your risk of personal injury. Emergency crews will handle the bulk of content manipulation.
If filing an insurance claim, contact your carrier and report the incident.
While not every water damage requires filing an insurance claim, many instances in which heavy damage is already present or anticipated do. It’s typically good practice to place your insurance carrier on notice that you may be filing a claim, even if you decide not to at a later time. Contacting your insurance carrier is also beneficial in determining if they require the use of an approved restoration contractor for the cleanup and drying process. Within the State of Florida, some insurance carriers have policy language that provides them with the “right to repair”. Be sure to ask your carrier whether you are required (different than recommended) to use an approved vendor.
Contact an emergency services restoration contractor!
Assuming that your insurance carrier does not require the use of an approved restoration contractor, contact a professional that specializes in water cleanup and drying services (such as Discreet Restoration). Be sure to ask your insurance carrier if they require the use of an approved contractor or merely recommend this, as the difference will allow you to hire a contractor of your choice. Not filing an insurance claim..? You have your pick of emergency service professionals!
Document everything and keep all receipts!
Whether you’re displaced due to the impact of water damage to your property or having to discard damaged items, be sure to document damages with photographs and save receipts for costs incurred along the way. This documentation is often vital when seeking reimbursement from your carrier when an insurance claim is filed.