One of the most serious property emergencies is water damage caused by flooding, after a storm, roof leak, sewage backup, and HVAC leak. Mold starts to develop in 24 hours after the occurrence of the incident.
Even small amounts of water can cause mold growth and water damage which may result in structural problems and safety hazards.
If ignored, there’s a possibility of the mold and water damage knocking out your home’s structures, like ceilings, walls, and foundation.
It’s important to source the root cause of the problem from the start to avoid the nuisance and costly consequences of water damage.
Hiring professionals can help you resolve water damage issues promptly using the right techniques and equipment.
You can click here to learn more about water damage restoration services.
In this article, you’ll learn the effective ways to manage and recover from home water damage.
- 1 Understanding Water Damage
- 2 11 Ways to Manage and Recover From Home Water Damage
- 2.1 1. Ensure Your Family’s Safety
- 2.2 2. Locate the Source of Water Damage
- 2.3 3. Get Rid Moisture
- 2.4 4. Inspect for Mold
- 2.5 5. Pick Up Debris and Protect Your Valuables
- 2.6 6. Remove Excess Water
- 2.7 7. Repair Water Damage
- 2.8 8. Disinfect the Area
- 2.9 9. Inform Your Insurance Company
- 2.10 10. Be Prepared to Move in
- 2.11 11. Hire a Professional Residential Restoration Services
- 3 Conclusion
Understanding Water Damage
The damaging effects of flooding and other causes of water damage happen quickly. Here’s how water damage can affect your property and belongings:
- Within Minutes: Water leaks spread evenly and quickly only within minutes, soaking anything that gets in the way, such as your upholstery, floors, walls, and your personal belongings. Your carpet, photographs, documents, and books may get stained, warp, and bulge.
- Within 1 to 24 Hours: From the first hour to a day after water exposure, water damage starts to show up. Your drywall may start to bulge and break, metal surfaces corrode, and furniture pieces swell and crack.
- Water Damage 48 hours to 7 Days: The damage becomes more extensive between 48 hours up to a week. You’ll notice mold and mildew growth. Your windows, wood flooring, and doors swell and warp. Also, serious biohazard contamination is likely.
- Water Damage More Than a Week: Structural damage, biohazard contaminants, mold, and mildew growth pose serious risks after a week. Delaying restoration could result to more severe water damage and costly expenses.
11 Ways to Manage and Recover From Home Water Damage
The following are ways on how to manage and recover from the effects of water damage to your home.
1. Ensure Your Family’s Safety
Your first priority should be to ensure the safety of your family. Stagnant water can switch off the power supply of flooded area and your entire house.
Keep in mind that water and live electricity can be a potential cause of hazard, such as electrocution.
Therefore, you need to bring your family to a secure location before attempting to repair and manage things.
Check the following things you need to do to ensure your family’s safety:
- Turn Off the Main Power: You need to make sure that the main power is turned off or the control panel is down. Never enter a flooded home to switch the power off. Call a professional electrician instead who has the right gear and equipment to deal with the task.
- Close the Water Valve: You also need to close the water valve to avoid contaminating the water system.
- Turn Off Gas Supply: In a large flood, make sure to cut off the main gas supply.
- Discard Damaged Food: Discard any damaged food to prevent food poisoning.
2. Locate the Source of Water Damage
Water damage can stem from clean water or contaminated water. Clean water comes from leaky pipes and rain, which is the easiest to clean.
On the other hand, contaminated water or gray water comes from appliances like dishwashers, toilets, and washing machines.
Because the water has contaminants, cleaning is harder. Another type of contaminated water is black water, which come from filthy sewage.
Blackwater may also originate from a river.
Entrust managing black water to professionals because doing it yourself may expose you to various types of disease-causing microorganisms.
3. Get Rid Moisture
Dry your home to get rid of moisture, which is the major source of mold problem.
Before you dry your house in a heavy flooding situation, you need to ensure that the flood dissipates first.
Check for hidden moisture beneath the carpet padding and under floorboards to find out if water permeated in these spaces.
Here are the steps to get rid of moisture inside your home after flooding:
- Wear Protective Gear: You should wear protective gear like gloves and rubber boots when you enter your home to protect you from objects that can cause injuries and bacteria filled water. If you’re allergic to latex or natural rubber, grab a pair of nitrile gloves to keep your hands protected and avoid skin irritation
- Remove Water: Use a hand, gas, or electric pump to remove stagnant water. Place the pumps in the lowest portion of the flooded floor. Dump the water into the backyard, the sewage system, or a tanker truck to avoid any harm.
- Provide Proper Ventilation: Once all the water is removed, you need to circulate dry air by opening the doors and windows to allow fresh air to enter inside the house. It’s advisable to blow air by installing electric fans to specific areas. If your heating system is usable, you can turn it on to warm your house and to get rid of moisture. By drying out your house promptly, it’ll prevent mold and rot.
4. Inspect for Mold
When all areas are dry, inspect for mold. Remember that mold can be harmful and toxic to humans.
Even a minor issue can go out of hand if you’re not keen on repairing water damage.
So, you need to work with a licensed plumber to tackle invasive mold problems caused by plumbing leaks.
5. Pick Up Debris and Protect Your Valuables
One way to determine the extent of water damage is to clear out debris. It’s also important to clear out debris because flood water is messy.
Check the following tips to help protect your valuable after flooding:
- Remove leaves, sediments, garbage, and tree branches.
- Evaluate if you can take your furniture items, precious heirlooms, drapes, and rugs and separate them in a dry room or away from your house.
- You can also protect your valuables by lifting wood furniture from wet carpet areas. Insert tin foil underneath the feet to prevent carpet stain. Remove wet rugs on the flooring.
- Don’t attempt to salvage any severely damaged item. You should throw them or retain for insurance purposes.
6. Remove Excess Water
Excess water is a major culprit to mold and mildew growth. That’s why you should eliminate excess water as soon as you can.
But before you safely get rid of water, you need to take photos and videos to document the damage first, which will help with your future.
After which, you can remove excess water by:
- Using plastic tubs or buckets to remove standing water easily.
- Using a wet-dry vacuum, after removing water with buckets.
- Using a mop to absorb water in difficult-to-reach areas.
- Ventilating and drying the area thoroughly.
7. Repair Water Damage
Repairing the water damage from flooding takes the longest time because walls and flooring sometimes need replacement.
Broken fixtures and appliances are also in need of repair. Before making any extensive repairs, you need to find temporary shelter for your family.
Here are some tips when repairing water damage:
- Check the seal of your siding and your roof. Repair these parts of your house to avoid costly expenses in the long run. Repair or replace shingles or siding to ensure water remains outside your home.
- Seal and caulk your plumbing fixtures, doorways, flooring, and windows to get rid of future repair tasks due to water damage.
- When replacing your flooring, consider a waterproof option such as vinyl and ceramic tile to withstand another flooding event in the future.
- If you observe water damage on carpets, wooden items, walls, and other porous materials, you’ll need to remove and replace everything, especially if they’re beyond cleaning and repair.
You can hire a reputable contractor with knowledge and experience in water damage restoration to repair your home.
Obtain a reasonable quote and ensure that the contractor follows a strict time and budget.
It’s also important to check with the authorities if you need to obtain city permit for certain repairs.
8. Disinfect the Area
Grey and black water can cause infection and communicable disease, causing vomiting, diarrhea, skin problems, and other more serious medical conditions.
Therefore, a crucial step in the clean-up process is disinfection to eliminate all bacteria and mold.
You can use a simple bleach solution to do the trick. Disinfect all items in the affected area.
9. Inform Your Insurance Company
Do you know the coverage of your homeowners’ insurance policy?
It’s important to call your insurance provider right after the incident of discovering the water damage to know the coverage of your homeowner’s insurance.
In this way, your insurance company can help you by sending an adjuster to assess the water damage and coverage for your loss.
You need to document how much each item is worth and take before, during, and after cleaning your home.
By doing so, the insurance adjuster can come to assess the extent of the water damage.
It’s important to check your insurance policy if the insurer can take care of the large part of the water damage repair and restoration costs.
But what does homeowner’s insurance generally cover?
- Homeowners insurance covers accidental and sudden water damage caused by a pipe burst or ruptured water heater.
- Standard policies don’t cover flood damage.
- Standard homeowners’ insurance policies won’t cover water damage that results from lack of maintenance.
10. Be Prepared to Move in
When all the repairs are finished, you need to prepare yourself and the house for move in.
Hire a professional inspector to check your home after the repairs to evaluate for any red flags.
After which, you can bring in your belongings, appliances, and furniture and your family can resume normal living.
Moving in after flooding and water damage repair and restoration brings a sigh of relief to your family.
While there could be plenty of things to do, such as bringing back your home’s glory, you need to make sure that similar scenario won’t happen again.
Hence, it’s important to talk to professionals how to make your home waterproof, such as consulting the expert advice of a licensed plumber, electrician, and water damage restoration specialist.
11. Hire a Professional Residential Restoration Services
Are you busy to handle the damages caused by flooding? Do you prefer focusing on your family than managing water damage?
Or do you prefer professional hands to do it to ensure the quality of work? If your answer is yes, then you need to hire a professional restoration specialist.
Homeowners experience tremendous stress in the event of a catastrophe that usually occur without any warning.
That’s why it’s important to know the right residential water service company that can help stabilize the emergency situation.
A professional can help make your property safe to live in again. But how do you choose the right restoration company for you?
Check the following tips when hiring professional residential water damage restoration services:
- Check The Company’s Capabilities: Choose a water damage restoration company that uses the latest technologies and tools in the industry to obtain great insights into your situation and help restore everything back to normal.
- Check Certifications: Select a water damage restoration specialist that is certified to ensure the excellent quality of work. It’s best to choose a company with IICRC Certifications and one that holds a high Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating.
- Check Services: Choose a company that can help you attain your water damage repair and restoration goals by checking their services and comparing them with others. It’s important not to ignore this step to ensure you’re getting the most out of your money and you have a one-stop shop for everything you need.
- Interview: You also need to interview a representative from the company over the phone or face-to-face to ask relevant questions such as the availability of 24/7 emergency service and advanced equipment, and whether the company is locally owned and operated.
You’ve learned the best ways to manage and recover from home water damage.
Following the tips above can help you avoid compromising your health and safety while ensuring that you resolve the root cause of the water damage.
You need to determine your capabilities in handling water damage repair and restoration.
If you lack the experience and knowledge, it’s better to entrust this problem to professionals.