Broken pipes. Backed up sewers. Natural disasters.

These are just a few things that can cause water damage, one of the most serious issues you may have to deal with as a homeowner. Not only can water harm your prized possessions, it can also lead to mold and mildew growth – a serious health hazard.

We’ve teamed up with our sister brand STOP Restoration to share some information on what you can expect if water damage happens in your home.

What does a water restoration company do?

A restoration company will restore your home to its clean and dry state, first by assessing the extent of the damage and coming up with an action plan. There are three main categories of water damage, according to The Institute of International Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC):

  • Category 1 water damage means the water came from a sanitary source and does not pose a substantial risk if ingested or inhaled.
  • Category 2 water damage means the water is contaminated, and you may get sick if you drink or come into contact with it. This is also known as gray water.
  • Category 3 water damage means the water is extremely contaminated and toxic.
    This is known as black water.

The IICRC also categorizes the extent of water intrusion onto your property, and that all depends on how much water there is and the porosity of the surface:

  • Class 1 water damage is the least serious, involving a small amount of water onto surfaces that have low porosity. There won’t be much moisture left over after technicians remove the water (an example would be when your toilet overflows onto your bathroom’s tile floor.)
  • Class 2 water damage is when you have a lot of water that’s absorbed by surfaces with medium to high porosity.
  • Class 3 water damage is when highly porous materials are saturated with a large amount of water.
  • Class 4 water damage is when the water gets into a tightly confined space, requiring extensive treatment strategies.

After determining what kind of water damage you have, technicians will extract excess water, using equipment such as submersible pumps and professional grade extraction equipment. After that, technicians will inspect carpets and carpet pads to figure out how damaged they are, and whether they should be replaced.

Then, technicians will use professional-grade fans, air movers, and dehumidifiers to dry out your property.

READ MORE: First Steps to Recovering from Water Damage

What is the typical cost for water damage restoration?

This can vary depending on the damage, but according to Home Advisor, the average homeowner will spend just over $3,000 on water damage restoration.

How long does water damage restoration take?

Just like cost, this will depend on the extent of the damage. It can take about a week to get rid of any mold and mildew. And, if your floors are damaged, replacing them could take up to a week and a half. Replacing other kinds of structural elements, such as wooden beams, could also take a few days.

How can I prevent water damage?

One important thing you should do is keep your eye out for any potential plumbing leaks. Some clues include discolored spots on your walls and ceilings or water bills that are suddenly higher than usual. And in the wintertime, keep an eye out for frozen pipes, which can burst and lead to flooding in your home. It’s also important to be mindful of your water pressure, which can put extra stress on your pipes and cause leaks.

READ MORE: Water Damage from Plumbing Leaks is a Common Homeowners Insurance Claim

If you suspect you have a plumbing leak in your house, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing can help. Contact us online or call 1-877-BEN-1776. For help restoring your home after water damage, contact your local STOP Restoration at 844-500-4775.