how long does water damage restoration take

How Long Does Water Damage Restoration Take?

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Water damage is a complicated issue and requires the help of an experienced professional to contain the impact and properly restore the space to its normal state. With a flood or water damage event, it is essential to act quickly, but it can take some time to perform a successful restoration.

So, how long does water damage restoration take? The answer depends on a variety of factors. By understanding the water damage restoration process and all the conditions that can affect it, you can gather a realistic timeline of how long the whole process will take.

Factors That Affect the Duration of Water Damage Restoration

Water damage restoration, unfortunately, isn’t always the most straightforward process, as every property and every incident is different. As a result, the time needed for a successful water restoration can vary, whether it’s a burst pipe, a leak, or a weather-related flood. There are three key factors that affect the duration of a successful water damage restoration.

1. The Extent of the Damage

Not all water damage is the same, and the extent of the damage will determine the length of the repairs. Sometimes, a leak is only enough to cause surface damage to the flooring. Other times a pool of water can soak in and lead to a deeper impact. The extent of the damage often depends on how long the water was able to sit in the affected area.

Standing water in an area can begin to soak into building materials like drywall, flooring, and wood structural components. In cases of major damage, water can even affect the foundation. After only 24 hours, the risk of mold growth also increases.

That said, if water has been left to stand for a long period of time, then the cleanup process will take longer as well. As a result, it is important to act fast to minimize structural damage and the amount of time cleanup will take.

2. The Type of Water

The type of water involved in the situation will also play an important part in determining the length of repairs. A water damage emergency can involve three main types of water, which can all take different lengths of time to clean up:

  • Clean water – Clean water is unused water that comes straight from the pipes. Clean water is the easiest and quickest to clean up as it is the least hazardous.
  • Gray water – Gray water is the water leaving sinks and showers in your home. The contaminants in gray water, like dirt and soap residue, can lead to additional steps during cleanup.
  • Black water – Black water refers to sewage and plumbing. Addressing black water will take special equipment and training, causing it to take longer.

3. The Size of the Affected Area

When considering how long a water damage restoration will take, you must consider the size of the space affected. Of course, the larger the area, the more time it will take to dry everything out. The layout of the space will also play a role. Open areas will generally dry faster than areas with a lot of structural components or additional drywall structures.

Steps Involved in Water Damage Restoration

When water restoration experts arrive at your home or business, their first step will be to inspect the affected area. After performing a detailed inspection, they will develop a plan of action to restore your home back to normal. Every case will have its own necessary steps, but typically, the water damage restoration process follows three key steps.

1. Water Removal

Of course, the first plan of action is to remove all the water from the affected area. In the event of a flood, removing the water is a difficult task, but it is crucial to get it out as quickly as possible. To do so, you need experience and industrial-grade equipment.

The experts at Alpha Environmental use industrial water extraction vacuums and pumps to remove all the standing water from a space. We work to remove the water as quickly as possible to minimize and contain the damage.

2. Drying Process

After removing the water, you need to ensure that the materials are dry. The drying process uses state-of-the-art equipment, like air movers and dehumidifiers, to dry out the area. As an experienced water restoration company, Alpha Environmental is thorough in our process, ensuring that we dry all the water from every material, from the flooring to the walls and anywhere else the water has reached.

Depending on the severity of the water damage, we may take additional steps to ensure everything is dry. Some additional tactics may include:

  • Drilling holes and/or cutting drywall
    • For homes built prior to 2004 we will conduct an asbestos test of drywall materials prior to drilling or cutting
  • Removing the baseboards
  • Lifting the carpets
  • Using mats to absorb water from hard flooring

3. Cleaning and Sanitization

Once professionals dry out the affected area, they will begin cleaning and sanitizing the area to return the space back to normal. The steps involved in the cleaning and sanitization process depend largely on the severity of the damage. Typically, this step includes:

  • Removing debris
  • Disinfecting affected surfaces
  • Eliminating odors
  • Mold remediation
  • Air purification

Realistic Timeline for Water Damage Restoration

Ultimately, once you have a full picture of how the process works, it’s easier to determine the timeline. Using the proper equipment, the water removal and drying process can take anywhere from three to five days, depending on the size of the flood and the length of water exposure. After this three-to-five-day period, the property is usually safe and accessible before the restoration begins.

Generally, for small floods with minimal impact on building materials, the timeline will be closer to three days. However, for larger floods, the timeline will be closer to five, ten, or even 20 days depending on the size of the property and extent of the damage.. Of course, each step in the process will take different amounts of time too.

Once everything is in order, the restoration process can begin. Depending on the extent of the damage, restoration requires additional time past the three-to-five-day drying process. Replacing water-damaged drywall, flooring, and carpet can take an additional 1-2 weeks. Still, the restoration process may take longer in the event of more severe damage.

To gather a more definite timeline, you can contact us at Alpha Environmental. We will arrive to inspect your home and provide a detailed estimate of the time and money necessary to complete your restoration.

Tips for Minimizing the Time and Cost of Restoration

Although water damage restoration is affected by many variables, you do have some level of control over the timeline of your repairs. By making the right decisions in response to water damage, you can ensure a smoother restoration.

To minimize the time and cost of a water damage restoration, you should:

  • Act quickly – Water damage requires a prompt response to avoid spreading and causing further damage. Acting quickly will allow professionals to mitigate the flooding and minimize the damage, reducing the repair time needed.
  • Hire a professional – A professional team will have the tools and experience to address your restoration as efficiently as possible. Always choose a company with a strong reputation for handling restorations quickly and professionally.
  • Have coverage – Many repairs are held up by having to negotiate with the insurance company or find money in your budget for repairs. Make sure you have flood coverage to avoid any delays in repairs.  

Why Hire a Professional for Water Damage Restoration?

After a flooding event, you want the area restored as quickly as possible. Keep in mind that quicker is not always better. Always prioritize finding the right help over timelines. The most important step in a water damage restoration is hiring a professional, as they will ensure both the efficiency and the quality of the job.

Altogether, there are several reasons to hire a professional for water damage restoration.

  1. A professional has the expertise needed to assess the damage and begin a proper restoration. Water damage is not always immediately visible, and it takes a trained professional to know what to look for when inspecting the aftermath of a flooding event. It is very easy for someone without experience in water damage restoration to miss important details.
  1. A professional will know what steps they need to take to restore your space as close to its original condition as possible. As a result, they will ensure your full satisfaction with the final restoration.
  1. Oftentimes, their expertise means they will get it done quicker than someone inexperienced, while still doing an effective job. With their tools and experience, they know how to manage a job as quickly as possible without cutting corners.

When you rely on professionals, you can be more confident in a successful restoration, as they have the experience needed to ensure a job well done. Choosing a team with expertise means the job will be done right the first time, preventing future problems and saving you time down the road.

Get Professional Water Damage Restoration Services from Alpha Environmental

Water damage is a complex issue, and the amount of time needed to restore the area can vary depending on the extent of the damage, the type of water, and the size of the affected area. When you trust an experienced water restoration company, you can enjoy confidence in a successful and efficient water damage restoration.

At Alpha Environmental, we understand the importance of acting quickly in a flooding event. We treat every water damage case with urgency to minimize the damage and preserve the integrity of your home. With our expertise, we even support you in completing the necessary repairs.  

Contact us today for your water damage restoration to receive a thorough inspection and have us start restoring your property back to normal.

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David D.
Lake Oswego, OR
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My wife and I experienced a hot water pipe busting in the crawlspace. It has been a total nightmare. However, Chris and his team provided expert quality care, with timeliness and the greatest degree of professionalism. I would HIGHLY recommend Alpha Enviornmental!
Zhanna S.
Beaverton, OR
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Can’t say enough about Alpha Environmental! Their costumer service is 10/10, they have really good systems in place, responsive, and professional. The gals in the scheduling department are always so kind! As a real estate agent, I use Alpha’s services numerous times a year. Either it’s for Mold bids, oil tank decommissioning, radon etc. They always do a fantastic job! Thank you for all the work you do!