Of all the problems that can affect a home, those involving the elements are often the least expected and most damaging. While many people think of fire as the most dangerous of those elements, water can be equally disastrous. In fact, storm-related flooding and plumbing accidents are common events that can make any home virtually unlivable if not properly dealt with in a timely manner. When such incidents occur, homeowners in Portland, Oregon need the experience and expertise that only a professional water damage restoration company can provide.

Most people know others who have experienced this type of destruction in their homes. Sadly, many of those homeowners have been forced to stomach the loss of hundreds and even thousands of dollars worth of appliances, furniture, carpeting, and other items due to flooding. And that doesn't even take into account the loss of irreplaceable personal items of sentimental value. What is most tragic in many cases, however, is the fact that much of the most serious destruction could almost certainly have been avoided with the right approach to the cleanup and restoration process.

For those who try to mitigate this destruction on their own, the task can be daunting. Not only are most people lacking the basic drying and deodorizing equipment needed to handle this sort of chore, but most also lack a clear understanding of just how complex the project can be. To be sure, the potential for saving money with a do-it-yourself cleanup effort can be tempting. Chances are, however, that a poorly conducted cleanup will actually end up costing you more in the long run than it would have cost to hire a competent and qualified group of professional restorers.

There are a variety of reasons for that, of course. One important concern is the issue of insurance for any lost items or damage. Even homeowners with adequate flood insurance often experience difficulty recovering the cost of lost or damaged items in the home. Most people are simply inadequately prepared to properly document what they have lost, and assess those losses properly. Professional restoration companies use the latest industry practices for documenting every bit of water damage so that your report to the insurers is as comprehensive as can be.

When it comes to the actual process of cleaning up the mess and restoring the home to livable conditions, that professional expertise is even more invaluable. The company that is hired to do the job will conduct a full inspection of the areas of the home that have been affected. To do that, they generally use sensor equipment that is designed to locate the source of the destruction, so that any additional damages can be prevented. They then evaluate the type of damages incurred, to ensure that the cleanup process covers every need.

That last part is critically important, since those damages can vary in severity. While water from a clean source might seem simple enough for most homeowners to manage without help, the problem is that the presence of contaminants is not always easy to determine with the naked eye. Even a slight amount of contamination can result in illness, while more severe contamination can cause serious ailments and death. Most homeowners are unable to properly assess the safety of any water present.

Because of these factors, it just makes sense to hire professional cleaners who can prevent additional destruction, protect the family's safety, and restore floors, furniture, and other items. That is, quite simply, the only way to be sure that these types of complex jobs are performed properly.

When flooding occurs, there are a variety of immediate steps that any homeowner should take. The first is to contact a reputable restoration firm so that you can have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that real help is on the way. Once that is done, several basic things need to be done to prevent additional devastation and rescue certain vulnerable items. These steps also help to prepare the home for the more serious cleanup process.

First, if the water main is the source of the problem, make sure that it is turned off. In addition, turn off any breakers powering the affected area, and remove mobile electrical appliances so that they are not in the vicinity of the water. Paper supplies, clothing articles, footwear, plants, and other items should also be transported to a dry location if they can be reached without spreading the water to other areas and creating additional problems.

Never place newspapers or magazines down on the floor in an attempt to soak up excess fluid. While that seems like a good idea, the fact is that the ink from newspapers and some periodicals can easily end up in the fibers of your carpet and rugs. It's also critical that you not try to suck up the liquid with a vacuum cleaner, since it is both impractical and potentially dangerous to do so.

Once the cleaning company arrives, you should be prepared for them to engage in an orderly process designed to remove excess water as well as any damaged items that cannot be restored. At that point, they will begin the drying process, which typically involves the placement of drying equipment in the home. This process can last for several days, and requires periodic monitoring by the company to ensure that everything is going according to schedule.

In addition to drying, top firms also help to deodorize the area to remove lingering odors, and can assist in moving room contents as well. For a job to be considered complete, the room or rooms should not only be dry, but should have returned to their appropriate temperature and enjoy a reduction in overall humidity. Lingering humidity levels can create additional damage if not properly addressed.

When flooding strikes, few homeowners are prepared to deal with the devastation alone. Their damaged homes require a professional touch to ensure that the structure, interior, and contents are safeguarded and restored to their original state. Fortunately, residents in the Portland, Oregon area can rest easy, secure in the knowledge that the help they need is only a phone call away.