Water Damage Restoration
Suggestions for cleaning up water damage after a flood, busted pipe, sewer backup, etc.
Water in undesirable areas can cause a lot of damage to your home as well as your prized possessions. If you are in a position to act quickly, you should take appropriate steps to minimize the damage and hopefully save at least some of your possessions. Depending on how long the water has been standing, you may be able salvage some furniture and maybe even some carpet. Any electronics that were powered up will probably be ruined although it doesn’t hurt to shake them out, or blow them out with an air compressor, let them sit until they are completely dry, and then see if they work. Some people recommend rice to dry out electronics – cover your phone (for example) in a bowl of rice for a day if it gets wet and the rice will suck the moisture out of the phone.
Flooding in the home or business must be taken seriously and recovery goes well beyond just water extraction. Even though your basement may only have an inch of water in it or is even just damp, it’s the perfect breeding ground for mold. Mold development not only ruins walls, furnishings, carpets, flooring, and so on but it could also result in poor indoor air quality causing respiratory difficulties which includes asthma, and may result in extreme illness. Mold remediation or removal is crucial to ensuring your home’s air is clean and healthy. Although a call to your insurance company is probably required, below are a couple of suggestions to cope with your flooded basement and decrease the water damage.
- Hopefully you have access to the main breaker panel. If so, flip the main breaker to ensure all electrical power is disconnected. Once you’re sure there isn’t any juice running through the outlets, unplug electronics and get them somewhere so they can dry out. The quicker you get products out of water, the more likely you will be to save them.
- More than likely you’ll need to pull up any carpet and padding. You may be able to have the carpet (or rugs) cleaned by a professional carpet cleaning company but they also may need to go into the dumpster. Remember to keep track of them for insurance purposes.
- Get rid of the water. If it’s very deep you may want to rent/buy a sump pump and let it work overnight. If there’s not a lot of damage, towels and mops can be used as appropriate. Between the towel/mop and the sump pump methods would be a wet/dry vac which can work very well. Just be very careful about plugging it in. If you have shut off the main power you may need to have a generator on hand to power up the water removal devices, whatever they are. If the water damage was not caused by sewer backup, then it should be acceptable to dump the extracted water into the drains. The key here is to get as much water up and out as possible and then to either set up fans, humidifiers, heaters or other devices to keep the air circulating and to further dry everything out. This is your best defense against the onset of mold.
- At some point in the very near future you’ll want to have a very close look at any drywall that may have come in contact with the water as that will be the first place you should expect to see mold. Some houses are built with mold resistant drywall (Yay!!) so this may not apply but it’s something to keep in mind. Aside from the drywall, moisture that remains in the nooks and crannies of the framing of the house can also lead to mold. Unless you are 110% confident that all moisture and threat of mold has been removed, you should strongly consider calling in a specialist. You can purchase mold test kits at most home improvement stores and these are a good method of determining the level of mold in the house and whether you should bring in an expert to perform a mold inspection and/or make recommendations for mold remediation.
- When the area has dried out, you’ll want to get it disinfected. Either call somebody or do it yourself. If you’re doing it yourself, it’s important to get all of the affected areas as well as areas that were not directly affected, but are adjacent to the affected areas. Use your best judgement but if there was any food or perishables in the area, they may need to be thrown out as well.
~whew~ that’s a lot of work! It is a lot of work but it’s critical to get it done completely and to not take any shortcuts. Shortcuts WILL come back to haunt you here in the form of mold which, as mentioned before, can lead to unclean air, breathing problems, etc, so take Water Damage Cleanup very seriously. Failure to do so will cost you more in the long run.
If you’re not up to the task of getting this done yourself, there are a few companies on this site that would be more than happy to help – give them a call. Be sure to come back here and let us know how they did.