What Is Water Restoration? A Complete Guide [2022]

Home and business owners don’t schedule seasonal maintenance with a water restoration company.

It’s a not a service you need very often, but when the time comes, it’s an invaluable resource.

More often than not, you contact restoration pros because of an emergency water damage situation

As you make the call, you might wonder, “What is water restoration? What should I do next? Exactly what can I expect?

Here at ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba in Chicago, we understand your concerns.

This complete guide to water restoration answers those questions and more.

Let’s take a closer look at the process that addresses water emergencies in homes and businesses.

What Does Water Restoration Mean?

basement flood water restoration

Water damage restoration, by definition, is a course of action that deals with the aftermath of a water emergency.

It covers initial mitigation and remediation. Water extraction, structural drying, cleanup and sanitizing are critical steps.  Final repairs and restoration return your property to its pre-loss condition.

Water restoration can be applied to all types of water emergencies

If a burst pipe under the sink floods your kitchen, restoration professionals repair and clean floors, walls and cabinets.

If a storm floods the basement, they follow expanded protocols that address the hazards posed by contaminated floodwaters.

When Do I Need a Water Restoration Service?

Many homeowners know how to fix a leaky pipe and take care of cleanup. However, most homeowners don’t have the equipment necessary for pumping water out of a flooded basement.

These are a few of the situations that should always be handled by a professional water restoration service.

  • More than 1 inch of standing water in any area of the property
  • Water damage that may have compromised electrical wiring
  • Damage from Category 3 black water, including floodwater
  • Water damage that occurred more than 24 hours earlier
  • Buckled ceilings, crumbling drywall and warped flooring
  • Water-damaged personal belongings or business equipment

If you have any doubts about DIY water damage cleanup, don’t take chances. Call a restoration pro immediately. If you are in the Chicago area, give ServiceMaster by Zaba a call: (773) 647-1985

There are steps you can take before our teams arrive, but always put personal safety first.

What Does a Water Restoration Company Do?

water restoration company in chicago, il

A water restoration company takes care of a project with highly specialized equipment handled by industry-certified technicians.

The teams work from an established water damage restoration checklist, but they also customize an action plan to fit the job at hand.

For example, here at ServiceMaster by Zaba, we develop scalable restoration strategies.

We factor in the extent of water damage and back up our procedures with contingency planning.

Our goal is to completely restore your home or business to its pre-loss condition and restore your peace of mind.

Water Restoration vs Mitigation vs Remediation

What are the differences between water restoration and the water damage mitigation process?

How does water damage remediation work? At what point does a restoration service clean up and repair a water-damaged property?

While the terms sound interchangeable, each one describes an important stage in addressing water damage.

  • Mitigation – This containment phase prevents damage from spreading. Water damage mitigation is an emergency response focused on water extraction and water damage repairs to ensure a safe working environment.
  • Remediation – The remediation stage removes residual water. Technicians tear out and dispose of materials that can’t be salvaged. They set up drying equipment and complete repairs. Water damage remediation covers final cleaning, sanitizing, mold removal and air purification.
  • Restoration – During this final phase, water damage technicians make sure moisture levels in affected areas are normal. They replace torn-out drywall, repair buckled floors and fix water-damaged ceilings. Salvageable contents are cleaned and restored. The finished process returns your property to its pre-loss condition.

What Are the Steps Involved in Water Damage Restoration?

moisture reader to detect water damage

Now that we’ve outlined the three phases of water damage restoration, let’s zero in on the details of each water restoration step.

The following procedures cover residential and commercial properties.

1. On-Site Inspection

IICRC-certified water damage technicians survey all affected areas. They locate and address the water source and confirm the site’s structural integrity. They also document the scope of damages.

2. Water Damage Mitigation

Teams working with truck-mounted water extraction equipment remove standing water. Emergency structural repairs are taken care of, and debris is hauled off for proper disposal.

3. Water Damage Remediation

Special vacuum equipment is used to remove residual water. Technicians set up heavy-duty drying equipment, tear out materials that can’t be salvaged and clean and sanitize all affected surfaces.

4. Water Damage Restoration

This last stage includes replacing water-damaged walls, floors and ceilings.

It usually involves mold removal and remediation as well as cleaning salvageable belongings and content.

Final detailed inspections ensure the property is completely restored to its pre-loss condition.

Water Damage Restoration Timeline

An initial water damage assessment should give you an overview of the work involved.

For example, when we draw up an action plan based on our inspection, we include a schedule for job completion.

These are just a few of the factors that can affect a proposed timeline for restoring your home or business.

  • The amount of water and extent of damages
  • Length of time your property has been affected
  • Time required to locate and address the water source
  • Time needed to dry water damaged materials
  • The type of water and potential contamination


Our timeline estimates are based on the details of each job. However, drying time for one room averages 72 hours, and reconstruction work can run from one to two weeks.

What Tools Do You Need for Water Restoration?

water restoration equipment

Professional-grade water restoration equipment is essential to timely project completion. It maximizes efficiency and ensures on-the-job safety.

When our teams restore water-damaged property, we use the latest equipment, including:

  • Moisture detectors and electromagnetic sensors that measure surface moisture and locate hidden water damage
  • Truck-mounted water extraction systems and advanced water vacuuming equipment
  • Axial air blowers, centrifugal air movers and hardwood floor drying systems to expedite structural drying
  • Industrial-grade, high-volume dehumidifiers that speed up drying in a broad range of temperatures
  • Air purifiers that reduce airborne contaminants during hazardous Category 3 water cleanup
  • Self-propelled container equipment for removing large volumes of water-damaged materials

Do You Need a Water Damage Restoration Service in the Chicago Area? We’re Here to Help!

Recovering from a water damage emergency isn’t easy. Whether it’s at home or your business, you want industry professionals on the job as soon as possible.

ServiceMaster by Zaba responds with over 90 years of combined experience, an arsenal of advanced equipment and the best water damage teams in Chicago.

We take care of Chicagoland with water damage restoration services for Logan Square, Magnificent Mile and the suburbs too, including Evanston, Glenview, Northbrook, Skokie and more.

When you need Chicago’s go-to source for expert water damage restoration, we’re ready for your call: 773-647-1985