Home Restoration After Water Damage 101 – Water Damage Restoration Tips

No one likes to wake up and find water damage and wet floors. But, if you discover water damage in your basement or elsewhere in your home, you’ll want to know how to deal with water damage. When water damage occurs, it’s not just a pain in the neck to handle – it can contain a lot of health hazards that can cause health problems. These health problems can either happen immediately or over time if you don’t carry out the damage restoration process correctly.

That’s why it’s always the best option to call a professional restoration company and let the experts handle it. If you have flood insurance and the flooding is due to unforeseeable events like natural disasters or a roof leak, it’s very likely that your insurance company will cover the cost of water damage restoration. If your insurance company doesn’t cover it or you decide to handle the damage restoration of the flood water yourself, you should definitely read this article.

We’ll try to answer the most important questions on everyone’s mind when the damage occurs and give simple tips you can follow to handle the situation yourself.

Is Water Damage Restoration Necessary?

A lot of people, especially those facing a lesser amount of standing water on floor coverings might wonder if the whole process is actually necessary. The thing is – flood waters pose a threat of structural damage to your property, especially if there’s any amount of excess water left in the affected areas. Not to mention how important it is to prevent mold growth in remaining mold spores.

Mold and mildew are significant health hazards and they can be breeding grounds for bacteria just like many other chemicals and toxins that can be found in standing water, especially if caused by sewage backup. So, yes, it’s necessary and extremely important to act quickly and spring into water damage restoration as soon as possible.

What Can Water Damage Do to a House?

Besides creating a huge mess, water can really do a number on your home or commercial property.

Even if you get all the standing water out of the way, water can infiltrate into porous materials or unsealed cement and compromise the structural integrity of the floors or walls. Not to mention mold and mildew developing where you can’t see them and causing property damage and health issues in the years to come.

Any solid wood furniture, wood materials, or other materials and wet items left in the water for over 24 hours are unsalvagable and should be thrown away as they can also develop mold spores. Other than mold growth, you should worry about electrical wiring that can come into contact with the remaining water and cause electrical shocks.

What Do You Do if Your House Has Water Damage?

The best thing you could do is go over your homeowners’ insurance and see if it covers water damage repair. Make sure to take photos of the flooded areas and the damaged property so you can attach them when you file your insurance claim. If are covered by insurance, the best next step would be to call a water damage restoration specialist or company to handle it. It’s the easiest and safest way out of a flooded basement or any other kind of water damage.

What Does Water Damage Restoration Include?

Whether you’ve got smaller wet areas due to overflowing appliances like washing machines or significant damage due to leaking pipes, roof leak, or a huge water intrusion due to storm damage or other natural disasters – the process is similar. The water damage restoration process involves the following 5 steps:

  • Inspection (and determination of the cause and course of action)
  • Removal of the water from the wet areas
  • The drying process to remove humidity
  • Cleaning and sanitizing
  • Water damage repair

The course of action will vary depending on the source of the water damage and the state the damaged materials are in, but these steps will remain the same.

How Do You Fix Water Damage in a House?

The most important thing do you when you find yourself in this kind of situation is to inspect and determine the cause and the severity of the damage.

So put on your rubber gloves and boots and cover your air and nose with a mask to get ready. You will also want to turn off the electrical supply to the main circuit breaker in case there’s some electrical wiring or electrical appliances cords under the water.

If the cause of the intrusion is an HVAC leak, leaky pipes from a water supply system, or a burst pipe from the washing machine or water heater, it would also be good to turn off the water to avoid making things worse. And now you’re ready to inspect and tackle the issue!

What Are the Best Water Damage Restoration Tips?

The best restoration tips you can find are those easy to understand and simple to execute, without needing many hard-to-get or expensive equipment most of us don’t have at home. Here are the most important steps to take when dealing with water damage.

Protect Yourself and Your Household

Your first priority should be to make sure your household doesn’t experience any further damage and your health doesn’t get damaged by possible contaminants. Water can carry lots of toxic materials if coming from the gas lines, the sewer system, or a disaster.

Wear protective clothing to protect yourself from hazardous materials found in gray water. Shut down power and even water, if necessary, before you head to the flooded area for inspection and action. Any electrical appliances could wreak havoc combined with water.

Remove What You Can

Did you know that most of your furniture can be saved if you remove it less than 24 hours after the water damage? Even the sofas and carpets can be saved, so spring into action asap and remove the wet carpet and any furniture that can be removed.

It’s likely you won’t be able to remove everything, so try to protect the damaged materials you can’t remove from the affected area. Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between the floor and furniture that can’t be moved to avoid significant damage.

Pump Out the Water

Use a sump pump to remove water from your basement or any other affected area. If you have a generator, your sump pump should be able to work even without electricity. If your sump pump is broken, go the old-fashioned way and use a buckle.

If you’re dealing with a minor flood on ceramic tile flooring, you can even vacuum it with your household vacuum, especially if you have a wet dry vacuum. The sump pump is the easiest and most ideal solution, but if you don’t have one, make it work another way.

Look For Mold and Mildew

One of the most dangerous aspects of any flood or water or moist is the development of mold. Mold is toxic and can do a lot of harm to our health, especially if we live surrounded by it. So, you need to find mold and mildew and remove every bit of it.

For small old issues, remove it, bag it, and get rid of it. However, if you have a serious issue, you better call a professional to avoid mildew and mold developing in the porous materials and places you can’t see.

It’s Time for Drying and Dehumidifying

After you’ve removed the furniture, water, and mold, it’s time to begin drying out the flooded room. You can use a large-capacity dehumidifier to circulate air or turn on the air conditioning and leave it on at all times. If the weather allows, you can even open the windows and doors so air can get in and the room can dry out faster, but don’t do this if it’s humid outside.

The most important thing is to get everything to dry completely so mold can’t further develop. Drying time is also important, so maintain the drying process for at least three days so you’re sure all wall coverings and all wet materials are completely dry.

Clean and Sanitize the Place

If you’re dealing with toxic water from storm damage or a burst pipe in the plumbing fixtures, it’s possible that your place will be crawling with bacteria so it’s important to properly disinfect it. A water restoration company will use all sorts of cleaning techniques like wet, dry, and spray cleaning. You can use bleach to prevent the mold spores from growing and spray and wipe everything clean before you continue.

Even if you experience clean water damage (those come from leaky pipes of washing machines or overflowing containers), it’s still very important to get everything sanitized and clean after you air it out.

It’s also important to note that you shouldn’t take off your protective gear or your mask just yet. And if you feel like you can’t handle it or want it done professionally, you can call specialists to professionally disinfect and even deodorize the place to make sure no bacteria or odor are left behind.

Repair and Restore to Original Condition

This is the last step where most of the process is already completed. All there’s left now is to figure out what needs to be repaired and what else needs to be thrown away. Bring back the dry furniture and what you’ve been able to save and figure out what needs repairing or reinforcing.

You may be able to repair some things on your own but for more serious damages, especially connected with electricity, call the experts. If you’re lucky, you’ll only need to carry out small repairs and you’ll be ready to bring everything back to what it was before.

Consider Bringing in a Water Mitigation Specialist

If you’ve experienced minor water damage emergy and these water damage restoration tips were enough for you to handle it – good for you! But, even in such cases, and even more so in more severe instances of water damage, you should consider bringing in a water mitigation company.

What does a water mitigation company do? A water mitigation company will make a water mitigation plan and work to fortify your home so you never have to worry about something like this happening again.

And we all agree that you wouldn’t want it happening again, don’t we?

What Should You Not Do After Water Damage?

We’ve shared our water damage restoration tips and tried to answer the important questions related to the topic, so let’s also go over the don’ts of water damage restoration. It’s good to know what to do in these situations, but sometimes it’s even more important to know what not to do when experiencing water damage. So, here are some pieces of advice on what to avoid when dealing with water damage restoration.

Don’t access the flooded area if there are structural damages.

If you’re dealing with a flooded basement, don’t go down there for inspection before you’ve made sure the floors and walls haven’t had any damage. They need to be in good condition so you can enter the room without them collapsing and injuring you.

Don’t handle structural or electrical work if you haven’t got the experience.

Even if you’ve decided to go DIY with this, don’t carry out the structural or electrical repairs if you don’t know what you’re doing. These kinds of repairs shouldn’t be done by amateurs even in normal conditions, let alone now. So, if there is some work that needs to be done, call an expert.

Don’t let garbage pile up.

Garbage piling up is never a good thing, especially not under these circumstances. Pests and bacteria could develop, so get rid of everything fast. Make sure you follow the proper disposal techniques for each type of garbage you’ve got on you. Keep it organized and keep it going.

Don’t leave pools of water for long.

Try to get the water out of the room or rooms as fast as you can. And also, dispose of it properly, not to cause a bigger problem somewhere else. If there’s water lying around for prolonged periods of time, you’ll make another problem for yourself. One with mold or bacteria. And that’s an even bigger problem that takes much more time, effort, and money to handle.

How Did You Like Our Water Damage Restoration Tips?

And those were the dos and don’ts of water damage restoration we wanted to share with you in this article. We hope we’ve been able to answer all your burning questions about this issue and that you find our all tips useful. Have we missed something important? Do you have anything to add to this? Feel free to comment below. You can also ask us any questions – we may even write more articles for your questions!

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