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A Guide to Dealing with Water Damage

Water damage to a home from a burst pipe or even a slow, unnoticed drip is just bad luck. But knowing a few things about water damage restoration can help you get things back in working order. Here’s a helpful guide to dealing with a water restoration company to clean up flooded areas in your home or business. Water cleanup is a serious business, best left to the professionals to ensure it is done right with no long-term, undesirable consequences.

Step #1 – Get the water shut off right away. Your first order of business when water is leaking is to shut it off to prevent more water from spilling through the house. In a house, you have multiple places where you can shut off the water. For example, if your toilet is overflowing, you’ll see a knob just above the floor on the water supply line. Turn this knob all the way to the right. This will shut off the water to the toilet. You also have water supply lines under sinks. Turning off the water supply lines is the quickest way to stop water in those areas and still leave water flowing to the rest of the house. Every house also has a main water shut off valve. This will shut off the water to the entire house. In older homes, this is a knob. In newer homes, this is a lever. 

Step #2 – It is not necessary to turn off the power, but if there are any light fixtures full of water, do not switch them on, and if any breakers of GFCI outlets have tripped, do not reset them.

Step #3 – Call water damage experts. With the water off, call one of the best water damage restoration companies in Columbus and get their advice on your situation. Every flooded house is unique. The company will give you step-by-step instructions of things you should do to help stem the tide as you wait for the company to arrive with their team and proper equipment.

Step #4 – Document the damage. Take photos and videos of all the damage from room to room. Video allows you to record your comments and describe the scene. You’ll need this information if you file an insurance claim. Having good documentation will help you avoid any disputes with the insurance company.

Step #5 – Protect yourself!  Before you attempt step 6, you must know the water source.  If you are not sure where the water came from, do not handle it, you must assume it is waste water.  If you are confident it is from a clean source and has not sat for an extended period of time, be sure to wear shoes at all times.  If you have waterproof boots, all the better.  Remember that wet surfaces are slippery and if the water is very deep, there may be hidden objects, or objects may have shifted from their normal position.

Step #6 – While you wait for the water restoration company to arrive, if they advise you to do so, begin the water removal process. If the flooded areas are close to doorways and you have water covering hard surfaces, use a push broom to push the water out of the house. If you have a wet/dry vac, you can remove water this way as well. The sooner you get as much water as possible out of the house, the better. Ask neighbors for help as time is of the essence as you want to prevent water from saturating into flooring, walls, and other building materials. The removal of bulk water is the first principal of water damage restoration.

Step #7 – Drying out the home or business. The water restoration company will come in and remove as much of the bulk water as possible using powerful extraction equipment.  Any non-salvageable materials will be removed and then they will set up a drying system of dehumidifiers, air filtering devices, and, when appropriate, air movers. It is imperative to remove excess moisture from the property in order to prevent mold growth. Projects will call for the use of an EPA registered anti-microbial to control bacterial amplification. Every project is different, but most take 3 to 7 days to dry.

To learn more about dealing with water damage, call Integrity Restoration & Remodeling Contractors LLC at 770-966-9987 or visit our site today.

Integrity Restoration & Remodeling, LLC, Fire & Smoke & Water Clean Up, Acworth, GA