Do I Really Need to Hire Water Restoration Services? Why Can’t I Just Use a Dehumidifier?
Your lower level flooded, and your carpet is soaked. Or perhaps your tub overflowed or you’ve discovered a massive water leak and you’ve got water dripping from the ceiling. Do you need to hire water restoration services? Or can you just run a fan and a dehumidifier?
Why Not Just Run a Dehumidifier?
Here’s the bottom line: after a water leak or flood, you’ve got 48 hours to completely extract all of the moisture from the room if you want to prevent a mold outbreak and serious warping or destruction of your property. After 48 hours, the chances of truly recovering your property begins to decline very rapidly.
Chances are you do not have the professional grade equipment to achieve that level of moisture removal in that 48-hour window. You will need to invest in a significant amount of equipment to really remove all the moisture.
Water damage restoration professionals use the best equipment to find and eliminate moisture. In addition to other equipment, they use:
- Heavy duty vacuums to extract water quickly and efficiently
- Profession grade fans and dehumidifiers to remove stubborn moisture
- Moisture detectors and infrared cameras to detect the presence of water and bacteria
- Professional air scrubbers clear the air of dust, mold and fumes
- Specialize cleaning materials that will not irritate your lungs but will kill bacteria and mold
It doesn't stop with water removal, though. It's not uncommon for many walls and wood furniture to remain wet on the inside or backside, even with the surface feels dry, and hidden moisture is a serious problem that can quickly develop into a dangerous mold colony if left untreated, and mold is no joke. (Learn why mold is a serious problem.) Drywall, carpet, carpet mats, plywood or flooring materials can all retain a lot of water, and can warp, break down and cause a mold outbreak, especially if the water damage hasn't been cleared within 48 hours. Health risks of mold growth include wheezing, itchy skin, aching and fatigue, not to mention rotting furniture, floors and other exposed surfaces.
Taking Your Chances
If you've got mild-to-severe water damage and decide to skimp on professional help, you're leaving the cleanup process to chance. Simply put, dehumidifiers only prevent swelling and warping; they will never get rid of excess water in harder-to-clean areas. Plus, a dehumidifier takes far slower than professional water extraction, therefore increasing possible damage to your home.
If You Must Do It Yourself
But let's say you've decided to invest in a dehumidifier after the professionals have cleared the excess water. Where to start?
First, remove any furniture and carpeting that may have suffered water damage (if the restoration services haven't already done so). Next, decide on a commercial- or professional-grade humidifier. Commercial dehumidifiers will typically remove 55 grains of water per pound. Professional machines will have more refined, lower grain settings. Other settings will specify optimal square-footing and humidity levels in which the machine can work best.
You will also need to run fans to move air and decrease drying time. Get industrial grade fans and curtain off the area so you don’t blow mold spores all over your home. Direct air out of the windows of the room involved.
Go With a Pro
Chances are you will still feel moisture in your carpet, ceilings or flooring even after you’ve run fans and a dehumidifier for 48 hours. Even though it would have been ideal to get a pro in immediately, it’s still wise to have a professional check over your water damage. Dehumidifiers, moisture meters and air movers can get rid of absorbed water. You may have lasting damage that resulted from not getting a pro involved right away, but you will still prevent mold from developing.
Here's a metaphor. Let's say your neighbors got a rowdy dog who keeps chewing your furniture, ripping your clothing and barking at the neighbors. The owners can read a few books to figure out the best ways to fix its misbehavior, or, the owners can invest in a professional dog trainer who'll get to know the animal and produce more effective, longer-lasting results.
It's the same with water damage. You may think you've got the situation under control with a mop and a dehumidifier, but it's best to have a professional look over it. Whether or not you decide to call a professional depends on the severity of your situation, but water damage of any kind shouldn't be taken lightly.
Need a Charlotte Water Damage Professional?
If you find yourself dealing with a water damage problem that requires restoration, give us a call. Although E.R. Services does not provide these services at this time, we can put you in touch with a reputable company that can help restore your property.
Quick question & answer: How quickly does carpet need to dry after a flood?
The best way to prevent mold after a flood is to hire water restoration services within 48 hours. They have the following professional grade equipment to get rid of large quantities of moisture:
- Heavy duty vacuums
- Professional grade fans
- Moisture detectors
- Professional air scrubbers
- Specialty cleaning materials