Water damage is one of the worst nightmares for homeowners since it is very common and often caused by unforeseen circumstances. Leaking pipes, bursting sewer lines, excessive rainfall, and floods all contribute towards causing devastation by water.
Consequently, it can cause a lot of stress and duress for you, as it can wreak havoc on every part of your home. Water can cause serious destruction to your home’s foundation, trigger mold and microbial growth, and short circuit your electrical system. It can also warp and disintegrate wood, corrodes steel, destroy your textile, and permanently ruin your furnishings. It further leads to germ infestation, bad smell, and a lot of heartaches.
To prevent your house from suffering severe water damage, you need to have the basic knowledge to contain the situation until you hire professionals. Swift action can protect your home against irreparable impairment and save you a lot of money required for extensive refurbishment.
Assess the situation
Before you can implement measures, inspect the situation to decide whether you can clean up the mess yourself or need to hire a company for water damage restoration near you. You can typically manage a small amount of water damage with the proper tools. However, significant destruction such as compromised structural integrity caused by floods or upper-level seepage that appears on the lower level’s ceiling requires immediate evacuation and professional intervention.
Therefore, first, discover the water source to determine whether it is clean water from rain or leaky pipes, gray water leaking from appliances, or blackwater coming from sewers. While you can handle the issues caused by clean and gray water with proper precautions, you need to contact professionals for blackwater since it is often a health hazard.
Next, wear protective gear, such as gloves, a ventilated mask, and proper footwear, so you are thoroughly protected from dangerous foreign objects, harmful bacteria, and slipping.
Water damage restoration tips
Proceed with the following vital steps if you can manage the water damage yourself:
Disconnect the electronics
It is common knowledge that water is an excellent conductor of electricity. Therefore, your first course of action towards water damage restoration is to immediately unplug all the electrical devices. You may not be aware of how long and how severely the water has affected your home, so handle all the gas lines and electronic appliances extremely cautiously.
Not doing that can cause you to suffer from a dangerous electric shock that can be fatal. Moreover, it can lead to short circuits and even explosions, causing massive destruction to your property.
Dry out the water
Next, you must remove all the water and dry out the affected areas to stop further deterioration and mitigate mold growth. If there is a lot of standing water, you need to call professionals.
Otherwise, you can dry the water yourself using the right equipment. Open all the windows and doors if it is not raining or snowing outside. Use large fans to circulate the air and dry the wood, furniture, textiles, and carpets. If the outside temperature exceeds 60 degrees, use dehumidifiers to assist the process.
Do not use the household vacuum to remove water unless you own a wet-dry vacuum, which can suck up the water spill along with the dry dust. Wipe all the surfaces with towels to contain the damage and speed up the drying.
How long it takes to dry out your property depends on several factors, including the amount of water, the severity of the damage, and the duration of infestation. In general, it can take up to three to five days for your home to dry out completely.
Inspect and alleviate mold
Mold growth is the most prevalent issue associated with water damage since it is stimulated by moisture. Several strains of mold are toxic and hazardous to human health, posing serious threats such as respiratory and skin diseases. Moreover, mold infestation spreads rapidly, so you need to inspect and remove the mold at the earliest possible time.
Firstly, examine the affected area thoroughly for fungus. If the spread is limited to a small patch, you can cut it off and dispose of it safely in a bag. However, you need to shut down any airflow to contain the contamination process for a mold infestation that has penetrated the foundation or appeared inside the floors and wall. Next, call a mold removal company as these organizations can do a meticulous cleaning to make your home mold-free.
Remove damaged and unsalvageable items
Assess your property to determine which items are damaged beyond repair. Porous materials, like the insulation behind your walls and carpets, soaked in water, are better off being disposed of immediately since they are hotspots for mildew growth. Similarly, wooden flooring and furniture can deteriorate due to the constant water flow, so you should remove them to inhibit mold growth.
The presence of damaged things increases the chances of mold spores transferring to other parts of your home that are not devastated by water damage.
Check the floors, ceilings, and behind any cavities to ensure no hidden pockets of water exist, as even a small amount can cause major destruction. In addition, examine and replace the construction material such as drywall, unsealed cement, and wood to maintain the structural integrity of your house.
Disinfect the area
Water seepage can lead to the growth of germs and fungus regardless of the source. While sewage water is teaming with hazardous particles and toxic bacteria, even clean water leakage can lead to mold and mildew growth. All these pathogens pose a serious health hazard.
Therefore, it is imperative to disinfect the water-damaged areas immediately after drying them and removing the damaged material. Spray all the surfaces with bleach and wipe them thoroughly before you patch up your home and put on a fresh coat of paint. Use protective gear while handling bleach.
Water damage can be very stressful for you, and it can take a while to bring your home back to its initial condition. However, it is entirely possible to restore your house completely with the right steps. It is also good to hire a water damage restoration company in case of widespread damage since they have the experience, equipment, and experts to handle the situation proficiently.