The task of mitigating water damage requires strict attention to completely mitigating the water and the effects, not just to "band-aid" the situation so it looks ok. With that said, as a restoration company, we must first assess and assign a class to the water damage in question.
Water coming from a bath overflow, leaking pipe or perhaps a large scale pipe burst, is all bad news to the owner, but some of them can be solved with relative ease. Drying out the area and then demoing-replacing any water damaged is what we do, and have been doing for years.
Look at the classes below:
Class 1 – Slow rate of evaporation
Small size water loss.
Water losses that affect only part of a room or area.
Losses with low-permeance/porosity materials (e.g. plywood, particleboard, structural wood, VCT, concrete).
Little or no wet carpet and/or cushion is present.
Minimum moisture is absorbed by materials, which release that moisture slowly.
On hot dry days this class is an ideal candidate for open system dehumidification.
Class 2 – Fast rate of evaporation
Medium size water loss.
Water losses that affect the entire room of carpet and cushion.
Water has wicked up walls less than 24 inches.
There is moisture remaining in the structural materials (e.g. plywood, particleboard, structural wood, VCT, concrete).
Class 3 – Fastest rate of evaporation
Large size water loss.
Carpet and pad with water from coming from above or water wicking more than 24” up walls.
Ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet, cushion and subfloor in virtually the entire area are saturated.
Class 4 – Specialty drying situations, focus on bound water
Involves wet materials that are very low permeance/porosity (e.g. hardwoods, subfloors, plaster, brick, concrete, stone, crawlspaces).
Typically there are deep pockets of saturation that normally require very low specific humidity.
In laymen's terms a class four water loss involves drying hardwood flooring, concrete or some such material
You should hpopefully never have to deal with these, but if you do - you can rest assured that ALL of the damage will be taken care of when you hire the right restoration contractor.