Water damage cleanup tips
Water pooling at certain places in the house or property can cause some severe damages. Especially when it remains unattended for a long time, the damages could be more severe. Pooling can cause damage to the belongings and assets. However, what is even more challenging is that it also creates structural damages to the house and property.
With quick thinking and quick action, the effects can be mitigated. It’s mostly about how long the water has been allowed to stay pooled. Pooling or flooding puts many things at risks including electronics, rugs, carpets, and furniture items.
The waterlogging should not be taken lightly. There are specific areas in the house that must be attended to quickly during such situations. For instance, water should not be allowed to stay in the basement for long. Even an inch high flooding can pose threats to the house as well as the health of the family members.
Water weakens the structure of the house. At the same time, it causes dampness. Dampness gives a perfect place for the molds to breed. The growth of mold ruins the belongings. But, it also creates health-related issues. Some of the health conditions like breathing issues, prolonged headache, and asthma going bad can be owed to molds.
Prevention of the growth of mold is one of the primary concerns during the water damage cleanup. For thorough cleanup, you will want to call the insurance company or a company explicitly providing water damage cleanup services. But here are some of the things you can do as preliminary action.
Kill the power in the area and move things away from water
- First of all (and most importantly), kill the power to the area which has been affected. Do not just start unplugging the electronics. Turn the main switch off if you have to. This is all the more important when the water level has risen above the power outlets. Remove all the items that can be damaged by water such as electronics and furniture. The faster you act, the lesser will be the damage.
- Remove all the rugs and the carpets. Area rugs and wall to wall carpets must be removed. Remove the under-padding if there is any. Once the carpet has been exposed to water, it may shrink and may not be restorable. However, you can disinfect it and still use it as a rug. It is difficult to make the underpadding usable again as it absorbs a great deal of water. For the same reason, it needs to be removed quickly as it may keep the area damp.
Getting rid of water
- There are quite a few ways to remove a substantial amount of water. But before you start, again make sure that the power supply to the affected area has been disconnected. You can remove the water with some manual work.
- Get some towels or mops and a bucket. Use them to soak as much water as you possibly can. The water can be discarded in the drains if the neighborhood sewers are also not blocked. If there is a blockage, you can dispose the water in the garden or lawn (or any place will not cause further pooling).
- You can also use the vacuum technique to get rid of water. However, it is an electronic appliance and must be used carefully around water. Also, plug it somewhere far from the affected area. Filling near the water pool can cause short out and may give you an electrical shock.
- If there is power available in the area, then you can also use the sump pump. They are available for rent at the hardware stores. It can be used quite effectively to remove the water and dry up the area.
Dry out the impacted area
- Once you have gotten rid of all the water, you can start drying out the area. Since there would be no more water, you can restore the power supply (but be careful). Make use of the dehumidifier and the fans to dry the area out. If it isn’t raining, you can also open the windows. Air flow will help in drying the area faster.
- Remember that it is essential to dry the area as quickly as possible to prevent mold growth. If the drywall has also been affected, you will need to remove the area that was water touched. Most drywall is likely to crumble. Also, the paper backing used in the drywall is an excellent food for the molds.
- If the trim is made of baseboard remove that first. But if the trim is made of pressboard, then you may not be able to save it.
Disinfect the area
- Once you have thoroughly dried the area, you will need to disinfect it properly. Insulations, wood beams, and drywalls are some of the areas that will need to be disinfected. Use a good quality disinfectant to kill the germs and bacteria.
- The harmful germs and bacterial usually find their way through the toilets and sewers. Every part of the area that has been affected by the water must be disinfected. This will make sure that there are no health hazards.
Get rid of the damaged items.
If some items have been damaged due to flooding, you will want to get rid of them. If individual items can be recycled, you can take them to the recycling center instead of dumping them. You can also call a waste management company in your area, and they will take care of it appropriately.