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How to Assess Water Damage in Your Home

Water damage is a common problem that many homeowners face. Whether it’s from a burst pipe, a leaky roof, or a natural disaster, water damage can cause significant damage to your home and belongings. It’s important to assess the extent of the damage as soon as possible to prevent further issues and begin the restoration process.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to assess water damage in your home and the steps you can take to restore your property.

Understanding Water Damage

Before we dive into the assessment process, it’s important to understand the different types of water damage. There are three categories of water damage, each with its level of contamination and potential health risks.

Category 1: Clean Water

Category 1 water damage is caused by clean water from sources such as broken pipes, overflowing sinks, or rainwater. This type of water damage is not considered hazardous and can be cleaned up with minimal risk.


Category 2: Grey Water

Category 2 water damage is caused by water that contains some level of contamination. This can come from sources such as washing machines, dishwashers, or toilet overflows. Grey water can cause illness if ingested and should be handled with caution.

Grey Water

Category 3: Black Water

Category 3 water damage is the most severe and hazardous type of water damage. It is caused by water from sewage backups, flooding, or natural disasters. This water is highly contaminated and can contain bacteria, viruses, and other harmful substances. It’s crucial to seek professional help for category 3 water damage.

Assessing Water Damage

Now that you understand the different types of water damage, let’s discuss how to assess the damage in your home.

Safety First

Before entering your home, make sure it is safe to do so. If there is standing water, turn off the electricity to prevent electrocution. Wear protective gear such as gloves, boots, and a mask to avoid contact with contaminated water.

Identify the Source

The first step in assessing water damage is to identify the source of the water. This will help determine the type of water damage and the necessary steps for restoration. If the source is a burst pipe or a leaky roof, you can stop the water flow by turning off the main water supply or covering the damaged area.

Identify the Source

Measure the Extent of the Damage

Once you’ve identified the source, it’s time to assess the extent of the damage. Start by measuring the affected area and taking note of any visible damage. This will help you determine the amount of water extraction and restoration needed.

Check for Structural Damage

Water damage can weaken the structure of your home, so it’s essential to check for any signs of structural damage. Look for cracks, warping, or sagging in the walls, floors, and ceilings. If you notice any structural damage, it’s best to seek professional help.

Inspect Belongings

Water damage can also affect your belongings, so it’s crucial to inspect them for any damage. Look for signs of water damage, such as discoloration, warping, or mold growth. If the damage is severe, you may need to discard the item.

Check for Mold Growth

Mold can start growing within 24-48 hours of water damage, so it’s essential to check for any signs of mold growth. Look for visible mold or a musty odor. If you notice any mold, it’s best to seek professional help for proper removal.

Document the Damage

To ensure a smooth insurance claim process, it’s crucial to document the damage. Take photos and videos of the affected areas and belongings. This will serve as evidence for your insurance claim and help with the restoration process.

Restoring Your Home

Once you’ve done your water damage assessment, it’s time to begin the restoration process. Here are the steps you can take to restore your home after water damage.

Water Extraction

The first step in the restoration process is to remove any standing water. This can be done with a wet/dry vacuum or a pump. If the water is contaminated, it’s best to seek professional help for safe and thorough water extraction.

Drying Out the Area

After removing the standing water, it’s essential to dry out the affected area. Use fans, dehumidifiers, and open windows to increase air circulation and speed up the drying process. It’s crucial to dry out the area within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.

Cleaning and Disinfecting

Once the area is dry, it’s time to clean and disinfect. Use a mild detergent and water to clean any non-porous surfaces. For porous surfaces, such as carpets and upholstery, it’s best to seek professional help for proper cleaning and disinfection.

Cleaning and Disinfecting

Repairing Structural Damage

If there is any structural damage, it’s crucial to repair it before moving on to the next step. Seek professional help for any structural repairs to ensure the safety and stability of your home.

Check for Structural Damage

Preventing Future Damage

To prevent future water damage, it’s essential to address the source of the damage. Fix any leaks, repair damaged pipes, and make sure your roof is in good condition. It’s also a good idea to invest in flood insurance if you live in an area prone to natural disasters.

When to Seek Professional Help

While you can handle minor water damage on your own, it’s best to seek professional help for severe damage. Here are some signs that you should call a professional for water damage restoration.

  • Category 2 or 3 water damage
  • Structural damage
  • Mold growth
  • Large affected area
  • Limited access to equipment and resources

Call us here at BesTex Roofing and Construction for all of your water restoration needs


Water damage can be a stressful and overwhelming experience for homeowners. However, by understanding the different types of water damage and following the steps outlined in this article, you can assess the damage and begin the restoration process.

Remember to prioritize safety and seek professional help when needed. With proper assessment and restoration, you can restore your home and prevent future water damage.

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