Next to burglary and fire, water damage is every homeowner's worst nightmare. The last thing you need is for water to move into your basement and form a small pond, saturate your belongings and make your life that much more difficult. Water damage chews up your time, effort, money and patience. Making matters worse if the fact that water damage is not always covered by homeowners' insurance. Sadly, it is possible for water damage to cost upwards of $10,000 to repair. The question is whether it is better to perform the cleanup on your own or lean on the professional water damage & restoration services to do the work on your behalf.
Here's a quick guide detailing how to proceed after the water has infiltrated your home.
1. Disconnect the Power Supply
The first thing you should do is turn off the power and gas supply to your home from the main source. This is especially necessary if your home has been affected by floodwater. Make sure you don’t touch any electrical appliances unless you’re adequately insulated. If you must wade through the water to turn off the mains electricity supply, consult an electrician.
2. Shut off the Water Valve
There is a chance the water damage is the result of a faulty plumbing system as opposed to a weather-related event. The first step to mitigating the damage is to turn off the water flow. Find the water shutoff valve, turn it off and the flow of water will cease. If the leak is the result of a non-functional sump pump, make sure it is plugged in and the electrical breaker has not tripped. Furthermore, it is prudent to see if the drain is clogged rather than simply assuming the sump pump is not working right.
Once the water to your home is shut off, it is time to safeguard your home. Place buckets in rooms where there is an active leak, move your valuables away from the water and push the furniture to a safe area. If necessary, put a tarp down in the affected area. Contact your insurance provider to file a claim. Reach out to our water damage experts to stop mold growth and subsequent damage.
3. Consider the Amount of Water
If the amount of water in your basement or another part of your home is insignificant, you might be able to clean it up on your own. However, even a small amount of water damage has the potential to cause the formation of harmful mold that makes your living space unsafe for you as well as your furry friends. The bottom line is that it is better to be safe than sorry. Even if there is just a small amount of water, it might be in your best interest to rely on the proven water damage & restoration services to handle the cleanup and mold removal on your behalf. However, if you merely spot a small amount of water, it might be possible to simply mop it up on your own and move on with life.
4. Consider the Source
The cause of the water damage is particularly important. Determine where the water is coming from. Clean water typically comes from a leaky pipe and/or rain. This water is not an issue as it does not have dangerous bacteria. However, grey water emanating from the washing machine or dishwasher might be contaminated. Though you can clean up grey water on your own when donning the appropriate safety equipment, it is best to lean on providers of water damage & restoration services to ensure the water is removed in a safe manner and your home is not put at further risk.
Finally, if your home is compromised by black water, you should immediately reach out to the professional water damage experts for assistance. Black water stems from sewers and/or flooding from nearby water bodies. Such water typically has infectious organisms and harmful bacteria that should be addressed by the water damage gurus rather than in a DIY manner.
5. Determine the Scope of the Damage
It is a mistake to assume the water you see from the leaky pipe or weather-related event is the full extent of the water's infiltration in your living or working space. The sad truth is you are likely seeing only a small amount of the true damage to your property. The bulk of the moisture is typically concealed within walls. Therefore, it is imperative you pinpoint all compromised areas and dry them so mold does not form. The methods for handling damage to your walls hinges on the material type as well as what is behind the material. It is possible for a moistened drywall to be salvaged.
A moisture meter can be added to determine if the home's structural integrity is intact. If integrity is affirmed, the approach to drying will hinge on the contents of the wall. An insulated wall will require the use of flood cuts. If insulation is not present, it might be better to form weep holes. Staggered cuts will prove optimal for a firewall. Furthermore, it might be prudent to pull and analyze the base molding as well as the floor materials. If the floors have carpet, there is a chance the water damage crew will be able to pull back the wet part and dry it.
6. Provide Proper Airflow
The water-laden area will not dry properly unless there is proper airflow. Resist the temptation to open the windows to facilitate drying. Opening the windows has the potential to cause excessive humidity, heat or cool temperatures that sabotage the drying process. This is especially true for buildings that have mechanically ventilated systems. Once the wet materials are taken away, it might be prudent to make strategic cuts or holes in the wall as necessary.
In general, an air moving device will likely be necessary for every 20 square feet of floor space. However, if the moisture is particularly excessive, more air moving devices might be necessary. Furthermore, there is a better chance mold will form if each layer and material is not fully dried before space is re-organized.
Rescue Your Most Valuable Belongings First
If possible, find and retrieve your most important items, such as money, IDs, jewelry, heirlooms, and so on, from the flooded areas. Refrain from spending too much time on removing and cleaning individual items as the water will continue to damage your home.
Contact Erica’s Plumbing for Quality Restoration Services
When it comes to water damage restoration and plumbing repairs, we take great pride in being the best in town. You can contact our plumbing crew by dialing (561) 245-7435. Our team is here for you 24/7. If you would like to contact us online, simply fill out our online contact form.