If you’re a homeowner who has never had your property threatened by water damage, consider yourself lucky.
Last year in Canada, nearly half of all home insurance claims were due to damages caused by water and flood.
Leaky pipes, failed washer hoses, overflowing sinks and fast-melting snow are all examples of water accidents waiting to happen.
48% of property insurance claims in Canada are due to water damage (According to Insurance Bureau of Canada)
Insurance companies across the country consider water damage to be the number one threat to Canadian homes.
If water damage isn't properly mitigated, persisting moisture can lead to mould growth that causes serious damage to both your property and health.
The process of removing hazardous mould growth is both expensive and extensive, and the costs may not be fully covered by the insurance company unless you can prove that you did everything you could to prevent the damages.
Almost every insurance policy comes with a condition that you as a homeowner must mitigate your loss to prevent further damages when accidents happen.
The Benefits of Learning About Water Mitigation
Knowing the basics of water mitigation will stop further damages and help return your home to its original condition sooner, which can potentially save you thousands of dollars on reconstruction and insurance down the road.
By mitigating a water leak you can:
- Save your home from further destruction
- Stop mould and mildew from festering
- Save money on insurance rates and fees
- Avoid costly and extensive repairs
- Start the restoration and reconstruction phase sooner
- Return your home to its original condition faster
What Is Water Mitigation?
Water mitigation is the part of the water damage restoration process that aims to contain water leaks and stop water from causing further harm to the structure and contents of a property.
The first thing to learn about water damage is that it happens very quickly. A broken dishwasher hose can soak and damage your drywall within just a matter of minutes.
Professional help may take hours or even days to arrive - meanwhile, water and moisture keep spreading throughout your home.
How Fast Will a Water Leak Damage Your Home?
>>> Within 1 hour >>>
Walls and floors start to absorb moisture. Furniture start to bleed. Permanent stains on floors and carpets appear. Paper swell and warp.
>>> Within 24 hours >>>
A musty and sour odor is becoming noticeable. Drywalls and furniture bread down. Metal tarnishes. Dyes and ink seep, spread and stain.
>>> Within 1 week >>>
Mould and mildew start to grow. Metal rusts. Paint blisters, wall papers release. Windows and door swell and warp. Wood flooring buckle.
>>> After 1 week >>>
The mould growth and biohazardous contaminants in your flooded home are now a serious threat to your health and safety. The structure of your home has been absorbing water for the past week and may now come crumbling down. Evacuation has to be considered.
Why Not Just Shut Off the Leak and Mop?
Even if you're quick to shut off the water source and mop up any visible water, it is still possible for moisture to seep through floors and walls and finding its way to sub-surfaces and crawl spaces.
In those hidden, damp, dark places of your home, mould will flourish and start eating away at the structure.
But with XPOWER drying tools on hand, you can restore a completely dry environment where mould and mildew won't fester.
Is DIY Water Mitigation Safe?
If you come home to find your home's flooded, always be very careful. Some water leaks should only be handled by professionals!
Hidden structural damage, mould and contaminants can cause bodily harm or illness - always assess the safety risks before rushing into a potentially dangerous situation.
For situations where water is leaking from a clean (sanitary) source, like a faucet or toilet tank (referred to as Category 1 or Clean Water), you can safely complete the mitigation phase yourself using XPOWER drying tools.
Examples of Clean Water include:
- Overflowing bathtub or sink
- Leaking water hose (for ice maker, dishwasher, washing machine)
- Melting ice or snow
- Falling rainwater
- Leaking toilet tanks
- Toilet bowls that do not contain contaminants or additive
- Keep in mind that when clean water leaves its source, it may not remain clean if it comes into contact with other surfaces or materials
Learn more: Water Damage Categories and Classes Explained
If you suspect the water contains contaminants of any kind you should call for professional help.
The 3 Steps of Water Mitigation
Once the floor is cleared of pooled water, it's time to plug in XPOWER drying tools and let them run until the area is dry again.
Step 1: Dehumidify – Remove water vapour from the air with an LGR dehumidifier
Low Grain Refrigerant (LGR) dehumidifiers from XPOWER bring humidity levels down to 25% by extracting moisture from the air. This makes the environment too dry for mould to flourish and grow.
Step 2: Evaporate – Turn liquid moisture into water vapour with an air mover
Air movers kick up moisture from surfaces and turn it into water vapour. The vapour will mix and move with the air, which makes it possible for the dehumidifier to extract moisture with more efficiency.
Step 3: Purify - Capture airborne particulates with an air scrubber
When water rises, it brings up particulates from sub-surfaces. The particulates can irritate your respiratory system or cause further structural damage to your property.
By utilizing an XPOWER commercial-grade air scrubber equipped with a HEPA filter you can capture and remove 99.97% of the particulates. Air scrubbers improve indoor air quality and decrease bad odors.
How To Position Equipment for Optimal Drying Results
Place the dehumidifier and air scrubber in the middle of the room. Place the air movers in each corner of the room.
The air movers will create a vortex of air in the room that will help the dehumidifier expedite the extraction of moisture and help the air scrubber capture every bad particulate.
For drying under the sink or in other narrow areas, there are mini air movers available, that will fit right into those tight spots.
What Happens After The Mitigation Process?
After running the system for 2-3 days, depending on the size of the affected area, the water mitigation process should be complete. Your home is ready for a water damage restoration specialist to start the reconstruction phase.
You've managed to stop water in its tracks and you've saved your home from further destruction and mould growth.
With XPOWER drying tools in your home, you're ready to respond to water accidents 24/7/365.