Experiencing a flood in your home is one of the worst things you can go through as a homeowner, but following these simple steps will help minimize the damage.
The first step in water damage cleanup is stopping or cutting off the water source. If the water is coming in through a leak in your roof, do your best to plug up the hole for the time being. If it is due to a burst pipe, cut off the water supply to your home. Before you can start doing anything else to take care of the damage, you want to make sure more water won’t find its way in while you’re working. It will make the cleanup process go much more smoothly.
This step is extremely important for your safety and the safety of all helping out, as it’s obvious water and electricity don’t mix. No cleanup work should begin until the power is safely off.
It’s best to call your insurance company as soon as possible to get the most out of your claim. Call them before moving anything so they can see the complete damage. If you must move anything right away, make sure to take plenty of pictures to show them later. Your insurance company should send a water remediation specialist, who will assess the damage and begin moving damaged items and start drying things out.
Minor water damage can usually be taken care of on your own without a problem. If you have a large amount of water damage or the water is from the sewer or contaminated in any other way, however, it’s best to leave it to professionals who are trained to deal with such matters.
All wet areas need to be 100% dried out to prevent the growth of mold. Professional-grade fans and expertise are sometimes the only way to make sure the water is completely gone.
If you already notice mold and attempt to deal with it on your own, you could risk spreading it around your home and causing health problems for you and your family. The same goes for contaminated water. It’s best to leave it alone and leave the cleanup to a professional to ensure your family’s safety.
It might be extremely hard to part with some items, but you will need to sort through the damage and determine what is past the point of restoration and just needs to be thrown away. If any carpet or furniture becomes completely saturated with water, it’s best to throw it all away and start over. Get all the way down to the wood underneath your carpet—anything affected by the water can become a source of mold growth later.
It is also best to get rid of wet baseboards, sheetrock, and insulation. Cabinets can possibly be saved if only a small amount of water gets beneath them, but they may need to be removed.
For all other flooring, it’s important to make sure it’s completely dry before moving on. Although tile or hardwood may seem dry, it doesn’t mean water didn’t get below the surface. However, there are machines that can remove this water.