Water damage restoration is an often expensive process that gets worse the longer its left alone. Although we will come to your house right away, getting a jumpstart on things yourself will help minimize the damage. These basic tips will only help you hold out until professionals arrive on the scene ASAP. You can take care of the first steps, which will lessen the extent of the damage overall and could save you a lot of money over the course of a large restoration project.
How to work quickly and safely
The first thing that you need to figure out is how to work safely. The first factor is the color of the water. If the water is black or very oily, scummy, or dirty, it may be best to stay out of it altogether. If you know or have reason to suspect that the water is contaminated with sewage, do not attempt to clean it up yourself. Exposure to sewage either through the mucus membranes or through cuts, scraps, and punctures can lead to severe illness and even death.
If the water is clear or moderately dirty, you can venture in with safety precautions. Every member of the cleaning crew should have thick, rubber soled shoes. If the water is deep, use boots tall enough to protect you. Outfit everyone with a pair of thick rubber gloves and a face mask as well. Mold loves to grow in standing water.
Remove as much as possible
Your next step is to remove everything that you can. Gather and bag trash to start, and then move on to carrying out waterlogged furniture and possessions. In most cases, many of these will end up on the curb. Set aside furniture that could potentially be restored for inspection by a professional. If the water is gone, remove the carpet or top flooring to see how the subfloor is.
Clean up the standing water
Clean up any puddles you have left, or pump out the water. Extreme floods may require a professional pump to move. Handle shallower floods with a wet/dry vacuum. Once everything’s vacuumed up, get the air moving. Open the windows if the weather permits, turn on dehumidifiers, and set fans to run full blast. The longer wetness persists, the more damage it can do.
Assess the structural damage
You may need a professional for this step, or it may be obvious to you. Make sure that you’re checking the walls and floors for signs of mold and rot. A crumbling wall is easier to spot than a spot of mold that will grow into something bigger in time.
Disinfect, disinfect, disinfect
Your last step should be to disinfect everything. Use a standard household cleanser for most of this; whichever brand that promises germ killing power is perfect. There are also plenty of antifungal cleaners out there; select one and treat your walls, carpet, and anything else with that as well. Nipping mold in the bud will save you further damage (and potential health problems) down the line.
Basic water damage restoration has to do with clean up and repairs. Get rid of the water, and replace the damage to the house. Professionals need to be called when the water exceeds what you can clean up yourself, complications seem to be present, or when you’re not sure of the extent of the actual damage. A good rule of thumb? If you have to call your insurance company, you have to call a professional water damage restoration company.