Homes are affected by water damage by many various sources. Hurricanes, tornados and floods are becoming all too common inflicting millions of dollars worth the water damage to homes each year. On top of natural disasters water damage can happen from various extenuating circumstances within the home. Pipes leak or worse yet burst, washers overflow, sump pumps stop working all of these unexpected sources can lead to extensive water damage in homes today. Homes affected by water damage should be handled with extreme care. Professionals should be called to access the damage and help home owners properly care for the areas affected.
There are many do’s and don’ts when it comes to properly cleaning up any disaster within your home. Water is no exception. Unlike fire damage, water damage leaves the pieces of your life intact but damaged. It is hard for many victims of flooding to understand that the best option for cleanup is to call a professional. Many people assume that they can remove the water and that will be that. However this does not take into consideration contaminates and bacteria within the standing water. This also leaves room for error which could allow mold to be produced. The best option in any home disaster is to contact a professional and have them assist you in the cleaning process.
Here is a list of the major dos and don’ts involved in the process of restoring your home when water wreaks havoc.
1) Start by finding out where the water is coming from. Of course if your home is inflicted with a natural disaster the source will be obvious. However, more subtle leaks in your pipes or appliances can leave home owners searching for the source of the water issue. Turning the water off will alleviate any further damage.
2) Call an insured reputable restoration company in your area. Many times your insurance carrier will have approved companies to go through so check with them first.
3) The main concept is to remove as much of the water and humidity in your home as possible. If you have damage during the cooler months you may need to run the heat in your home more frequently to help with drying where as in the summer you would want the air conditioning to run. Both processes remove the humidity and help with drying. Fans are also useful to help keep the air circulating. Of course make sure it is safe to run these appliances before using them. Water often causes major damage within your electrical systems.
4) Remove as much water as possible. Sponge mops are helpful during this process. You may also want to employ a siphon technique to detour the water into a proper drain.
5) Furniture should be handled with great care. Remove cushions and pillows. Prop them up so that even and thorough drying happens.
6) Rugs, floor coverings and curtains should be removed. They need to be properly treated to make sure bacteria are dealt with and mold is not allowed to grow.
7) All personal items such as paintings, photos, books, fabrics, luggage and items to a dry location with even heat. This will prevent further damage.
8) Don’t let pets or children come into contact with the affected areas. Make sure that protective gear is worn at all times when dealing with the contaminated areas. The last thing needed is to be exposed to bacteria that could harm your health.
9) Don’t turn the heat up. Keep all areas at a consistent 70 degrees. Turning the heat any higher than this will promote the growth of mildew and bacteria.
10) Household vacuums and shop-vacs should not be used. They do not provide thorough water extraction. You will need to have a professional restoration company out to do a thorough job in this area.
11) Do not enter rooms where electricity is still on and standing water is still present.
12) Carpet that is tacked down should be left for professionals to deal with. If lifted incorrectly the carpet could become damaged not allowing it to be salvaged.
My top tip to anyone suffering with any amount of flood damage is to call restoration professionals within twenty four hours of the damage occurring. This will help prevent further damage including but not limited to mold, mildew, bacteria growth or a myriad of other tragedies.