Tips for Cleaning up Water Damage After the Storm
You walk down to your basement after the latest storm and you notice that your family hang out space, now more closely resembles a swimming pool. You’re going to have to act fast. Here are some tips to help you quickly repair the water damage in your home.
DISCONNECT THE POWER AND MOVE AS MANY ITEMS AS YOU CAN
The first thing you’ll want to do is disconnect the power to the area. Any electronics or other items that are plugged in present a significant safety hazard in the area where the water is standing. Remove any personal belongings as quickly as possible increasing the chances that they can be saved. If there are any electronics that were damaged, those are unlikely to be salvageable.
GET RID OF THE WATER
Before starting the process of removing the water, it is important to understand the type of water you are dealing with. There are three types of water:
- Clean water
- Gray water
- Black water
Clean water is usually caused by a leaky faucet or broken pipe, rainwater, or condensation. This is for the most part considered to be relatively harmless and something that you can clean up on your own.
Gray water is considered to be slightly dirty. This type of water typically stems from clean toilet water, dishwashers, washing machines, and other similar sources. This water may contain some chemicals and other precautions. You can also, with the right safety gear, clean this water on your own.
Black water is created from flooding as a result of sewage or flooding from nearby water sources (lakes, rivers, etc.). This type of water can cause serious health problems resulting from bacteria, waste, and other contaminants. You should never try to clear this type of water on your own. You should contact a service professional as soon as possible.
Depending on the amount of water, you may be able to get rid of it through the use of old towels or a map and a bucket. If there is more water than these manual methods can handle, a wet/dry vacuum may be just what you need.
If there is a substantial amount of water, consider renting a sump pump to help get rid of the excess water. The important thing is to act as quickly as possible to avoid giving mold a chance to grow.
DRY OUT THE AFFECTED AREA
If possible, open windows to help dry out the area. If you have them, fans and a dehumidifier are also handy tools to help the area dry more quickly. If the area where the damage occurred was finished, you will likely need to cut away the drywall and remove any baseboards. These areas provide great targets where mold can take hold.
If you are in an area of your home that has water damage to the ceiling, it is a good idea to start here first. These areas pose a higher risk as a result of the possibility that portions of the ceiling panels can sag or collapse.
After the area has dried out, you want to disinfect the places touched by the water damage, including any furniture, walls, and wood that got wet.
TAKE ACTION TO PREVENT MOLD GROWTH
Consider applying a mold control solution to the affected area to avoid it becoming contaminated with mold. This may be a situation where you will want to call in the experts to help guide you through the process.
PROPERLY DISPOSE OF WATER DAMAGED ITEMS
Even if the items that are damaged are of no use to you, consider organizing them rather than throwing it all in the dumpster. Some of the items may be eligible to go to local recycling centers.
For items such as damaged electronics, pain, or other toxic liquids and materials, contact your local waste management company or the town’s waste management office to determine what steps you should take to get rid of the items.
Flooding in your home can be a stressful and trying event. Follow these tips to help you to get rid of the water and your house back to the place that you love to come home to.
If you would like to learn more about ways to clean up water damage or would like to schedule an appointment to learn more about services, please feel free to contact us for more information.