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Can We Save the Carpet?

A pipe breaks and water is everywhere. The policyholder calls the insurance agent and the restoration process begins. Timing is important. The sooner the policyholder makes the call, the quicker the response will be -- and in most cases the lower the total costs of restoration.

Though many issues can be discussed involving water damage, this article focuses on just one -- the carpet. Of all the dollars spent on property claims, floor covering is by far the most expensive category. If we can save a large percentage of water-damaged floor coverings, the savings would be significant on a national scale.

Cautioning Customers:

  • As with any property damage, health and safety is of primary importance. The customer should be cautioned about slipping and falling on wet flooring, electrical hazards, contaminated water, and falling debris such as drywall or acoustical ceiling tiles. Some customers attempt to extract the water themselves. While this can be of some benefit, a shop vacuum, towels and ceiling fans are no replacement for professional extraction and drying equipment.

Time is of the Essence:

  • Quick response is critical. The longer the unwanted water is allowed to remain, the more likely the carpeting will be permanently damaged. Regardless of the hour, the mitigation process should begin without delay. It is very important to get a professional mitigator involved as soon as possible. The very best opportunity to save carpet (and other items) is to have professionals on site immediately.

Contain and Control:

  • The initial phase of the mitigation process includes addressing safety issues and employing contain-and-control procedures. Carpet is a multi-layered installation with a big sponge (padding) under it. Standing water must be pumped or extracted to prevent migration of water into adjoining areas and sub-surfaces. Professional moisture meters are used to determine the exact location and extent of water damage. The source of the water will determine whether the carpet and padding can be saved. 

Determining Category of Loss:

  • The first step emergency water restoration companies take is determining the category of loss as follows:
  • A Category-1 ("clean" water) loss is from a clean water source and has not come in contact with materials that carry a health concern for occupants. This would include broker water pipes, leaking hot water heaters, tub or sink overflows, etc. With Category-1 type losses, proessionals can extract water from the carpet and pad and dry them both, in place! This dramatically reduces the cost of the claim and helps restoration efforts move faster.
  • A Category-2 ("grey" water) is not a clean water source since it contains contaminates with the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if allowed or contacted. This would typically include overflow from washing machines or dishwashers, toilet overflows with no solid matter, broken aquariums, sump pump failures in Columbus, etc. Because of the additional contamination, this type of loss requires the replacement of the padding, but the carpet itself is usually salvageable. If, however, a Category-2 loss is not treated promptly (generally within 48 hours) it will "degrade" to a Category-3.
  • A Category-3 (black water) is a water that is grossly contaminated -- containing pathogenic or other harmful agents and materials. Examples of this type of loss include sewage; toilet backflows that originate beyond the toilet trap (regardless of color); all forms of flooding from seawater, reivers, or streams; rising ground water; and water entering the structure from hurricanes, storms, or other weather-related events. 

Proper training is the key. Every water damage restoration situation in Columbus, Ohio is different. there are varying circumstances that determine whether the carpet can or should be saved. Its age, condition, the type of installation and quality of material are all factors that need to be considered. The goal of an emergency restoration company in Columbus is to save and "restore." Restoration saves money because higher replacment costs are avoided. Home owners also return to their normal lives more quickly with successful restoration. 

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