These days, it seems as though D.I.Y., or do-it-yourself, projects are all the rage.
From online how-tos to television shows, it’s as though everyone wants to know how to take on their own repair and restoration work in an attempt to skip having to pay the hefty price of hiring a professional.
While it may seem like a good option in the beginning, the truth is that doing your own repair or remediation work, especially when it comes to water damage, isn’t such a great idea. In fact, there are many instances when doing your own remediation work could cost you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars down the road, if you aren’t careful.
Common Reasons for Attempting D.I.Y. Water Restorations
What initially attracts people to D.I.Y. projects can vary, but by and large, the answer is usually tied to finances.
While most people know that a skilled technician could get their restoration or repair work done more efficiently than they ever could on their own, the idea of saving cash in the short term is often enough to have many consider taking on remediation tasks, themselves.
Another reason people tend to flock towards D.I.Y. projects, particularly in the realm of water remediation, is the illusion of ease. Some projects are, indeed, easier than others, but many ambitious and well-meaning clients will independently take on even the most challenging of remediation tasks, even if it means putting themselves, and others, at risk.
The Consequences of D.I.Y. Restoration
Needless to say, there are consequences to attempting to restore a water-impacted building or structure, yourself. Though your remediation efforts may seem to work well for the moment, the truth is that there are components to the drying and restoration process that cannot be readily observed with the naked eye.
For many remediation tasks, it will take a trained professional, with the proper equipment and measuring instruments, to successfully dry a water-impacted structure, especially if the water event in question is classified as a Category 3 or Class 4 event.
The following are just a few of the ramifications that might ensue when an attempt is made to take on remediation jobs independent of professional help:
First and foremost, there are countless physical hazards associated with taking on the task of addressing water remediation projects on your own.
One major concern is the potential for coming into contact with water that is potentially contaminated. Contaminated or unsanitary water can lead to the transference and the spread of various illnesses, viruses and disease-causing bacteria.
In addition to coming into contact with unsanitary water, comes the risk of electroshock. If the water event in question reaches the point that it makes contact with electrical outlets, appliances and the like, you, and any other occupants throughout the structure, may be at risk for electrocution.
Moreover, those considering D.I.Y. remediation should consider the fact that they are subjecting themselves to the rugged and physical labor that is often involved in a restoration process. By attempting to rip out and replace flooring materials and other structural components on your own, you could be putting yourself and others at extreme risk for injury.
Inner Health Hazards
As can be expected, there are serious and perilous health risks associated with doing your own remediation repairs. In fact, this could be the most dangerous of all of the risks associated with do-it-yourself restoration, as this problem is difficult to treat, or even to identify, without proper equipment and training.
For example, depending on how long your water-affected structure has been damaged, there is an increased chance of the growth of microorganisms and bacteria with each passing hour. These microorganisms aren’t able to be seen with the naked eye, and will assuredly multiply in moist conditions.
Of additional concern is that while many affected surfaces or materials may seem dry on the outside, the truth is that they may still harbor moisture in areas that are unseen. Many heavily soaked surfaces and materials will require specialized equipment and moisture meters to monitor and effectively dry wet spots.
Remember, it is your remediation specialist alone who has the antimicrobial treatments and biocide products needed to rid affected buildings and structures of harmful contaminants, fungi and microorganisms. These chemicals, in and of themselves, can be harmful to humans and pets if inhaled, and you will often be asked to leave the premises when your technician wishes to utilize them.
With this in mind, you should never attempt to apply your own antimicrobial treatments to water-affected surfaces. Not only will it not be as effective as professional-grade treatments, but it also has the potential to put yourself and others at risk.
Consider the following additional health risks linked to leaving water-affected establishments untouched by a professional restorer:
- Agitation of already existing respiratory illnesses
- Sudden cough
- Itchy eyes
- Runny nose
- Potential disruption of cognitive function
- Sudden illness
- Impairment of lung function
The overarching goal of a water remediation team is to restore a water-affected environment back to a healthy, stable and safe atmosphere. This isn’t accomplished by chance. Rather, it is accomplished by the use of highly effective devices and equipment that work in unison at the discretion of a trained remediation specialist to get the job done right.
As such, attempting your own remediation repairs will likely only yield unsafe and aesthetically unattractive results.
The condition of the structural components of your home or business are crucial to their proper function. Unsuccessful D.I.Y. attempts at replacing flooring or failure to address issues involving both the seen, and unseen, structural components of your home could lead to serious complications.
One such complication is the caving in of structures. When structural framing that has been affected by water is left unchecked, the chances of those structures failing to support the building or establishment the way it should are significantly increased.
Furthermore, there are times when elements of your home or business that have been affected by water and cannot be seen. These components, such as insulation, must be spotted quickly and dried using proper techniques before further damages ensue.
Last, but not least, are the copious financial hazards related to attempting your own water restoration in a home or building.
While you may think that tackling your own restoration needs will save you money, in reality, your costs could triple, or even quadruple, if not handled effectively. From improperly laid flooring to mold overgrowth, you’ll likely wish you had involved the help of a professional after experiencing the ramifications of doing the work, yourself.
Is D.I.Y. Water Restoration Ever Okay?
In all honesty, there are times when independently cleaning up a mess involving water is perfectly okay. Many minor spills can easily be cleaned with little to no issues.
But take caution.
Though many surfaces may appear dry, they may not be, especially if the water event involved several gallons worth of water or over. When in doubt, always seek a professional to avoid unsavory consequences involved in letting water damage go on for too long.
Professional Water Remediation Is Always the Safest Route
When considering whether or not to hire a professional water restoration team, always bear in mind the consequences associated with tackling remediation work yourself.
Remember, projects that are attempted independently are not often covered by insurance companies. As such, any failed attempts to fix a situation that should have been handled by a professional must be mitigated at your own expense.
Before attempting any D.I.Y. task, always consider the risks. It may be better to simply contact a local remediation expert to assist you with your water event to avoid irrevocable health and safety hazards and unnecessary expense.