5 Things You Must Do After Experiencing Flooding Or Water Damage In Your Home

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With just a small amount of water damage, homeowners may be able to do their own repair and remediation work. However, if you have recently experienced an unwanted influx of water into your home, you may be wondering what to do first and how to tell the difference between manageable and excessive damage. Here are five steps that will guide you through the process:

1. Dry carpets as soon as possible to avoid delamination.

In most cases, wet carpets are the first thing that you need to address. If moisture is allowed to sit on the carpet, it can dissolve the glue holding the carpet to its pad. As a result, the entire carpet begins to fall apart, and you will need to pay to replace it. As soon as possible after the flooding has stopped, vacuum up any sitting water with a wet vac and set up fans to help evaporate any water that was missed by the vacuum. After you have dealt with the carpet, start to look at the other wet areas of your home.

2. Reduce the need for mold remediation by cleaning up all water within 48 hours.

Although your carpet is typically the first priority, you need to deal with other moisture as soon as possible, and according to the EPA, you should try to deal with it within 48 hours of the flooding. Wipe up hard surfaces and porous flooring using towels and water extraction vacuums. If you see wet ceiling tiles, remove them and get rid of them as soon as possible. Unfortunately, once wet, most ceiling tiles cannot be salvaged but should be removed before the water spreads. For upholstery, use the same wet vac that you used on the carpets. If you see, smell or suspect mold while cleaning any of these areas, contact a water damage restoration specialist to look for damage beneath the surface.

3. Contact a water damage restoration professional to look beneath the surface.

Homeowners can easily look at an area and see how much damage there is on the surface. They can see wet carpet or water running along walls. However, they cannot necessarily tell how much water is lurking beneath the surface. For example, they cannot see the pools of water between the ceiling and the floor above it, and they cannot see whether or not their carpet pad is saturated. 

A damage restoration specialist, in contrast, has the tools and experience necessary to see what's happening beneath the surface. As a result, they can easily discern whether the moisture can be mitigated quickly with towels and dehumidifiers or whether it needs extensive work behind the scenes. A specialist can ensure that you have removed all of the moisture and addressed any potential health risks.

4. Be aware of health risks associated with flooding and water damage.

If the damage restoration specialist finds damage or flooding beneath the surface, that professional knows how to deal with it directly. He or she also knows how to address chemical contaminants, sewage spills, electrical hazards and antibacterial threats. Any of these issues could be deadly to individuals who do not have the proper amount of training. 

5. Boost the speed of evaporation.

Whether you decide to call a professional or not, you need to optimize your evaporation strategies. Removing water is a two part job: removing the water and evaporating the leftover drops. To boost evaporation, have a water damage restoration company set up his or her air machines or rent a few. These special machines blow air directly over the surface of the carpet, making them more effective than normal fans. Alternatively, pull free one side of the carpet and wedge the air blower so that it blows air between the carpet and the pad.  

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17 February 2015

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