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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

What Goes Into a Water Damage Assessment

10/5/2016 (Permalink)

Water damage is one of the most devastating events that can happen to a homeowner. Not only does it have the ability to immediately cause substantial damage to your property and possessions, but the situation can get worse over time if the water damage is not properly treated. The first step to planning the appropriate restoration is to complete a full assessment of the water damage. This water damage assessment will let those working on restoring the property know exactly what needs to be done to restore the building as well as allow them to determine what can be saved and what must go.

If water damage occurs in your home, it’s important that only professionals handle the cleanup. Cleaning up water damage can be a complex task and attempting to clean up the damage yourself may only make matters worse. Plus, the longer you wait to get professionals involved, the worse the damage will be. While you should get out of the way and allow the professionals to clean up, this is the assessment they will perform upon arriving.

Structural Assessment

The main type of water damage assessment that the crews from SERVPRO will accomplish is a structural assessment. Assessing the structural issues of the home that have been caused by water damage will allow them to decide on the necessary course of action. These are the aspects of the structure that will be assessed during this process.


The roof acts as a building’s main line of defense against the elements of nature. Issues with the roof that allow water to seep in and collect in the attic and crawl down the wall can create additional problems such as mold. During the structural assessment process, inspectors will look for any areas of the roof that may be vulnerable to collapse, any missing or damaged shingles, any bent or damaged gutters, any crack or damaged chimneys, and any stains or cracks on exterior surfaces.

Exterior Walls and Windows

Water has the ability to move into places and cause damage that you probably wouldn’t expect. Based on how the damage occurred, there can be several types of damage to walls, windows, and the exterior walls of your home. When water collects behind walls and other areas around the house, they can put the stability of the structure into question without the occupants noticing. When the inspection is being completed following water damage, the inspectors will look for any collapsed walls, broken or cracked windows, wet bricks or exterior walls, and any signs of water coming through windows.

Front and Back Yard

While the inspection of water damage will be primarily focused on the building, there are other parts of your property that may be of interest. As you might expect, a large accumulation of water can collect in your yard and in garden-type areas. Flooding in your yard not only will ruin your landscaping, but can also cause damage to the foundation of your home. As you would probably guess, flooding in garden areas of your home can kill your plants and flowers.


Damage that might occur to your roof such as missing or damaged shingles or holes can allow water to make its way down into your attic. While water damage in your attic is bad enough considering many attics are used as home storage units, the water can seep into your walls from creating unseen damage that could result in health risks such as mold. When your home is being inspected, your attic will be examined to see if there has been any damage that needs to be treated. Signs of water damage in the attic include a wet or cracked ceiling, walls, or floors, wet insulations, and wet or damaged vents and ducts.


One of the first places that will be examined when your home is inspected for water damage are the rooms themselves. The inspection will include looking for any wet spots in the ceilings, walls, or floors, sunk electric and phone jacks, warped or damaged wood, and cracked or broken windows and doors.


Given how much water goes through your bathroom, this room is often a cause of water damage. Even though these rooms are built with consideration of how much water will go through it, issues with your plumbing can cause significant water damage if not addressed immediately. Signs that your bathroom may have water damage include damaged bathtub, stains on sinks or countertops, and leaky or slumping ground around your toilet tank.

If you have water damage in your home, every minute counts. As more time goes by with the proper treatment, the damage worsens and becomes more permanent. When the professionals at SERVPRO respond to your call, they will start with a water damage assessment to get a better understanding of the extent of the damage and see what can be salvaged and what must be discarded.

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