What is the difference between mitigation and restoration?

Water stains on ceiling

Mitigation vs Restoration

Water damage is not something any homeowner wants to deal with, ever. Whether it is water damage from a bathtub overflowing or pipes bursting after a hard freeze, or water damage from a fire being put out. Water damage isn’t fun, and it is expensive to recover and recoup from. Fortunately, there are professional companies that offer water mitigation and recovery. 

The clean-up process of water damage is different for every case. Every property is unique, and the situation caused by water damage is unique. An individualized plan for water mitigation action is required for every property affected. So, what is water restoration? 

Let’s talk about what both of those are for a moment because, while water mitigation and restoration are seen as the same, they are different.  So, exactly what is water mitigation service? Water mitigation is the practice of lessening the loss of property from a disaster. Water mitigation entails thoroughly cleaning, drying, repairing, restoring, and sanitizing  property back to its original stature pre-damage. 

Water restoration on the other hand, is just as important as water mitigation for a family that has experienced a natural disaster or accidental flooding. Water restoration removes water from a home so that it is restored to a livable condition as it was pre-damage. Restoration is the emergency action that is needed after the water damage so that moisture and standing water can’t develop bacteria and create mold growth.

After a company has come in and performed water restoration, securing the excessive water is out. Water restoration removes the water and then water mitigation prevents any further damage to the property and belongings. 

Water restoration is the use of shop vacs and large fans while water mitigation uses specialized equipment and techniques that minimize the loss by removing damaged drywall, flooring, furniture, and other materials. Water mitigation and structural drying are done simultaneously to get the home safe from being damaged any further. 

What does water mitigation include?

There is a wide array of activities involved in the water mitigation process, and no two water damaged properties are the same because the loss of the property involved is different. Water mitigation involves anything that refers to the water damage, involving such things as: 

  • Cleaning the property
  • Sanitizing the property
  • Removal of materials that are potentially hazardous
  • Drying the water damaged space to prevent further damage or mold
  • Repairing any property with water damage
  • Restoring the property to pre-water damaged condition
  • Replacing irreparable water damaged items
  • Provide water mitigation estimate to insurance company to cover losses
  • Organize the contractors assigned to do repairs 

Additionally, water mitigation includes efforts to prevent more water damage like establishing adequate drainage, install a flood wall, etc. A water mitigation plan  for each property will be in responsive to the damage specific to that property and the type of water damage received. 

Is water mitigation necessary?

Yes, and most homeowner’s insurance policies state the homeowner must follow the recommended water mitigation steps to keep any further damage and loss from happening. In other words, forgoing and not doing what the water mitigation professionals recommend could cause the insurance company not to pay for any damages or loss. If water mitigation isn’t done immediately and thoroughly, the property is vulnerable to more damage. 

water pouring down walls

Does insurance cover water mitigation?

As with all things related to insurance of any type, it depends. Your homeowners’ insurance coverage needs to be active before the water damage happens. This includes any water damaged discovered after you purchased the home, water mitigation is not going to be covered. 

Then it depends on what caused the water damage. A sudden, unexpected accident or occurrence, like the washing machine plumbing busted, will be covered. However, the water damage is from what the insurance adjuster deems as owner neglect, like old plumbing connections, then your water mitigation won’t be paid for by your homeowner’s insurance policy. 

What about flooding and water mitigation? You need to verify you have flood insurance, because most homeowner insurance policies do not cover flood and any water mitigation that follows. If your policy doesn’t have flood coverage, consider purchasing an additional policy before it’s needed. 

Ask your agent about water mitigation backup policy as well.  Water mitigation backup coverage is an endorsement that will provide protection against damage to your home and personal property because of water  backup from drains, sewers, and sump pump overflow or failure. 

What should you not do after water damage? Your first priority is to stop any water leak that is causing the water damage, like shutting off the plumbing or covering the roof with a tarp. Within the first 24 hours, mold starts growing and becoming a health hazard. 

Next, contact a water restoration and water mitigation company so they can get started on handling proper restoration steps to repair the water damage, restore your home, and prevent additional damage from happening. Then take the following steps: 

1. Call the Insurance Company

2. Stay Safe: 

  • Turn the gas and power off 
  • Dress in Protective Gear
  • Protect  the Valuables

Take pictures and/or videos and make notes while waiting on the water mitigation and restoration crew. This information will prove to be invaluable when the insurance adjuster arrives. Call (303) 647-3883 today for your water mitigation needs in Erie and Denver, CO.