water damage restoration: diy vs professional restoration

Water Damage Restoration: DIY vs. Professional Services

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

  • A successful water damage restoration must completely dry out an area to prevent mold growth and address any related repairs.
  • A DIY approach to water damage restoration can be difficult without the right tools and experience.
  • A professional service offers several benefits, providing peace of mind while also addressing the many necessary concerns associated with water damage, like mold testing and structural repairs.
  • Choose the right professional service by ensuring they have adequate experience, certifications, and positive customer reviews.

For some people, any need for a repair is a reason to embrace their handy side and create a DIY project. In many cases, a DIY project sounds like a great opportunity to save time and money instead of paying for a professional service. However, in a situation like water damage restoration, skipping a professional service may be more trouble than it’s worth.

Due to the nature of water damage, a restoration is often not the best project for a DIY approach, as professionals have the tools and experience necessary to address the issue properly and prevent further issues. Still, there are pros and cons to each.

What Does Water Damage Restoration Involve?

The water damage restoration process is a detailed one, as allowing water to stand in your home or business for too long can create additional issues like mold growth and structural damage. Whether you experienced a flood, a pipe burst, or an appliance leak, water damage restoration must involve several steps to prevent further damage.

Some of the processes involved in a successful restoration include:

  • Removing any excess water from the space
  • Drying out floors, walls, furniture, and other materials
  • Measuring the moisture content of walls, floors, and materials in the space
  • Inspecting for and addressing additional damage
  • Inspecting for mold 
  • Performing mold remediation and removal if necessary

These steps are crucial for restoring your property back to normal. Whether you attempt it yourself or turn to a professional service, it’s important that a water damage restoration addresses each of the above areas.

Can I Do Water Damage Restoration on My Own?

In theory, you can do water damage restoration on your own. Of course, the only concern is whether it will be effective enough to protect your property against further damage. There are some situations where a DIY water damage restoration may be appropriate.

The Pros of DIY Water Restoration

If you’re used to tackling DIY projects in your home, you may find that handling water damage on your own is an achievable feat. Some of the pros of DIY water restoration include:

  • Cost-savings – Handling the project on your own means that you do not have to pay for a professional service. However, this is only referring to the upfront water damage restoration costs and not the costs that can be incurred down the line if the restoration is not performed properly.
  • Immediate action – Depending on the services available to you, you may be able to act faster with a DIY water restoration. However, if you find a professional service that can respond quickly, this may not be an issue, so always explore your options before you begin any work.
  • Sense of accomplishment – Successful DIY projects can provide a sense of accomplishment when you see the completed result, especially if done properly.

It’s important to balance whether the benefits of a DIY water restoration are worth it compared to the potential drawbacks.  

The Cons of DIY Water Restoration

Although there are a few benefits to DIY water restoration, it can also come with a few drawbacks. There are several potential downsides you must consider before you attempt to tackle the issue yourself:

  • Limited equipment and expertise – Those who take a DIY approach often do not have the tools or experience needed for a full restoration, which can slow down the process and prevent you from completing all the necessary repairs.
  • Risk of not addressing the full scope of the issue – Water damage can be sneaky, and it’s easy to miss structural damage or mold risks if you don’t have the right equipment.
  • Long-term costs of lingering damage – Any water damage that is not addressed properly can cause long-term damage, especially if it leads to structural damage or mold growth, which are less realistic as DIY projects.
  • Personal safety risks – Exposure to water damage and mold can lead to personal safety and health concerns, especially if you don’t have effective protective equipment.

Situations Where DIY Restoration is Appropriate

With the potential cost and time savings, there may be some situations where a DIY water damage restoration makes sense. A small, isolated incident is often a reasonable situation for a DIY restoration, as they’re often much more manageable and pose fewer risks for mold growth.

If you know how the water entered your property and can easily identify the full extent of the damage, you can likely tackle it on your own. However, if the damage seems extensive and challenging to address with minimal expertise and equipment, it makes sense to contact the professionals.

Choose Professional Water Damage Restoration

Water damage restoration is a complex process, and it requires an expert company to handle it. Alpha Environmental provides peace of mind through our advanced expertise.

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Choosing Professional Services for Water Damage Restoration

Hiring a professional service also comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, but in many cases, the advantages far outweigh any potential drawbacks.

Pros of Professional Water Damage Restoration

The pros to a professional water damage restoration come down to four key areas.


Expertise is the number one benefit of a professional restoration—it cannot be overstated. An expert team knows what steps must be taken to address the issue entirely and properly. They have also experienced many different situations in the past, so they know what specific issues to look for and how to handle them. With their knowledge and experience, they can ensure a thorough restoration while following an appropriate timeline.

Because they know what they’re doing, they’ll address the water damage and any related concerns with minimal hiccups. It’s often better to trust the professionals than complete a DIY restoration for this reason alone. 

Where a DIY project can drag out the process and risk addressing the full problem, expert services will take the necessary steps to manage the issue thoroughly.

Professional Equipment

Having access to the right equipment can make all the difference in properly addressing water damage. Because professionals have designated water damage mitigation equipment and know how to use it, they can ensure a successful restoration.

Professionals have access to the following equipment:

  • Moisture detection equipment – Professionals use advanced equipment like moisture meters and thermal imaging to reliably identify the full extent of the water damage.
  • Industrial air movers – Once they determine the full scope of the issue, professionals have industrial air movers and dehumidifying equipment to dry out the area thoroughly.
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) – PPE is essential for protecting you from hazards like mold spores and dust. Professionals have the equipment to protect themselves from risk.

The amount of equipment at their disposal ensures that they’re able to perform the best job possible and effectively extract the water from your property.

Mold Prevention and Remediation

Water damage often goes hand-in-hand with mold, so a restoration project must be prepared to address both. Mold is a tricky problem to deal with, as it is difficult to remove and poses risks to your health. Professionals have the equipment and experience necessary to handle mold remediation and prevention.

A professional service will support the water damage restoration process with a thorough inspection and mold testing. If they find any mold, they’ll take the necessary containment measures to remove mold and prevent it from spreading throughout your property, ensuring they protect your health and belongings in the process.

All-Around Support

Professional services not only perform water damage cleanup to dry out the space affected, but they also handle additional services to restore your property to its initial condition. For example, if your drywall or flooring is damaged from the water, a professional service will be able to handle these repairs for you as well.

The experts will ensure that all aspects of the issue are addressed, including any additional cosmetic or structural damage. Some services even work with your insurance company to ensure that the repairs are covered. By choosing a professional service, you get a wide net of support so that you can enjoy peace of mind in more ways than one.

The Cons of Professional Water Damage Restoration

Despite the many benefits of a professional restoration, there are some reasons people may be hesitant. The two potential drawbacks of choosing a professional service are:

  • Cost – This is one of the biggest reasons people attempt to tackle water damage restoration on their own. Hiring a professional service comes with an upfront cost. However, it will likely save you considerable money down the line, making it a worthwhile investment.
  • Scheduling and Availability – Depending on the service you choose, you may have to wait a few hours or a day for them to respond to the damage. In these cases, it may be faster to address the issue yourself.

How To Choose the Right Professional Restoration Service

Ultimately, it is well worth it to trust the professionals with water damage restoration. That said, not all professional services are the same. You should carefully research and vet the different services before making a call to ensure you choose the best restoration company for the job.

As you research your options, consider the following factors:

  • Experience – Companies with more years of experience offer greater confidence in their ability to handle a range of potential issues and do so successfully.
  • Licensing, certifications, and insurance – To protect yourself and your property, ensure that any service you choose has the proper licensing and certification to handle the proper job. You can check a service’s website or ask them directly to learn which certifications they have.
  • Customer reviews and referrals – Customer reviews are a valuable metric for teaching you about what you can expect from a professional service.

Alpha Environmental checks all of the boxes. With 21 years of experience serving Portland with professional water damage restoration, we have the expertise and equipment to ensure a positive result. We have received hundreds of five-star reviews for our work, as Portland residents know they can trust us.

Rely on the Professionals for Water Damage Restoration

DIY water damage restoration is possible, but it comes with considerable risks. To ensure an effective water restoration that doesn’t cause the risk of long-term damage, it’s best to leave the work to the professionals.

At Alpha Environmental, we provide water damage restoration services that address the full issue. From water damage cleanup to mold inspections to addressing structural damage, we have you covered. We’re available around the clock to respond to a water damage emergency immediately and protect your home, offering you complete confidence in a successful restoration.

Contact us today to receive a free estimate and learn more about the benefits of professional water damage restoration.

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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!