Water damage is "any water that causes the usefulness, or future use or value of any property to become impaired by water." For example, if a gallon of water is spilled over a hundred square feet of carpet, it will do little damage. If an aquarium breaks on the same carpet, it will certainly cause damage. If the water is contaminated, the water damage will be even more serious.
The old days of cleaning up water damage with a wet vacuum and opening the windows to allow for natural drying of structures and contents can bring unwanted secondary damage, potential mold growth and a host of other potential health and liability concerns. The old days are gone and thank goodness. The restoration industry has continued to evolve and restoration firms today must be well trained in microbiology, biocide chemistry, inspection techniques, psychrometry, thermodynamics, building science, and evaporation and dehumidification theory.
Some restoration firms make the error of saying that they do water damage. At ServiceMaster Anytime, we don't "do water damage," we offer water damage restoration. The key word is restoration. According to the dictionary, restore means to "bring back to a former or normal state." Restoration is "the act of restoring." So the first and most important aspect of water damage restoration is to remove abnormal moisture from affected materials and return them to their former "normal" state. The restoration job is not complete until all affected materials are completely dried and restored to their former condition. Only then can you even begin to assume that you are "doing restoration." However there are some cases where the fire or water damage is very severe and some items cannot be restored. Others could cost more to restore than their actual value. We work with you and your insurance claim representative and explain the limits of what we as professional restorers can do in the case of severe damage.