The next step is to find the path of the water. A restoration
professional knows that water will find the path of
least resistance through the home. It will continue
to flow until it encounters a barrier to stop it. Plumbing
and electrical lines are run between the levels, and
these openings in the floors and wall systems allow
for the flow of water, in addition to seepage through
the flooring materials. When water comes to a horizontal
surface, it will flow on top of the surface until it
finds a way through.
With the appropriate moisture detection tools, a restoration
professional will evaluate all surfaces for moisture
and treat them accordingly. It will sometimes be necessary
to cut open the drywall to allow for proper drying,
especially if there is blown insulation inside the wall.
The water must be found and removed.
Often wallpaper can be a problem. If it is vinyl wall
covering, it will act as a vapor barrier and prevent
moisture from evaporating from the wall and wall cavity.
It may need to be removed or "perforated"
to allow for proper drying. True paper wall coverings
may become permanently stained. When the glue gets wet,
many types of wall coverings may release from walls.
Vinyl flooring may also pose a similar problem and
necessitate removal. If the sub-floor beneath these
floor coverings gets wet, there is no easy way to dry
it necessitating the removal of the flooring. A restoration
professional will utilize both non-penetrating meters
and penetrating meters along with visual examination
to locate the water. Finding where the water is becomes
the most important part of the restoration process.
It is necessary to dry all structural components prior
to starting the rebuilding process.
A restoration professional will also know that the
entire job requires constant monitoring. The structural
materials need to be checked at least daily to ensure
that drying is taking place properly. Equipment may
need to be relocated or repositioned to address specific
problem areas. To avoid further damage and to ensure
proper drying, a restoration professional will visit
the job site daily, at a minimum, armed with moisture
detection devices and will check and recheck the progress
of the drying, making any necessary adjustments to the
drying system in place.
Water damage as a result of upper level sources poses
unique problems. A restoration professional must become
a detective. They must find the water; not just the
obvious locations, but also the hidden water damage
must be found. Water, if left untreated, will cause
further problems. Mold can potentially become an issue.
The structure must be properly dried utilizing professional
meters and equipment to achieve a balanced drying system.
A restoration professional will be able to find the
water, dry it out, and return the property to a pre-loss
condition rapidly and efficiently.