Most restoration tips tend to focus on what happens after your disaster is well underway. Today, we want to focus on how you can minimize damage and help make the best of a bad situation. First, you’ll want to contact a local restoration team as soon as you notice your home is flooded. They can take over and do things professionally as soon as they get there. Taking these five steps while they’re still on their way can help ease the entire process.
1. Document Everything
This is one of the most common restoration tips because it actually makes a huge difference. Whip out your smartphone and start taking pictures! If you have other people there, have them do the same. Also, use any other photography equipment you have–it’s just that the average person is more likely to have a smartphone than a DSLR! Having evidence of your damage will help with your insurance claim down the line.
2. Cut Power to the Area
If you can safely reach the fuse box, cut power to the flooded area of the home. Your restoration team can restore it if it’s deemed safe to do so. Flooded areas can electrocute people if a socket is compromised. It’s better not to risk it, and turn everything off just to be safe.
3. Investigate Water Source
If it’s safe to do so and the power isn’t on in the affected area, it’s time to investigate for the water source. Sometimes the source will be obvious, like water pouring through a basement window or a burst pipe. If the source isn’t obvious, be cautious. Sewage backup can be toxic! If the source of the water is clear and you can stop it, do so. Turn the water off to your building to combat a spraying pipe or overflowing shower, or close an open window.
4. Gear Up
Before you move on to cleaning this water source, make sure you have the gear to do so. Masks would be perfect, but if you don’t have any on hand, you can tie a damp cloth around your mouth and nose. Do this only if you’re sure that the water source is mostly clean. It works for a broken ceiling pipe but isn’t worth the risk if you have a gray water flood or sewage backup.
Next, make sure that you have closed toed shoes. Galoshes are best, particularly if they rise higher than the water level. You want as little of your body as possible to be exposed to the water. Don’t enter water that’s too deep!
Lastly, gloves will help protect your hands from scrapes and abrasions that could let in waterborne bacteria. You want to protect your skin and body as much as possible! Don’t enter the water if you have any open wounds.
5. Move Furniture
If you (and any helpers) are properly geared up, know that the power is off to the area, and the water isn’t too deep, you can move your furniture out. Getting a chair or desk out of the flood quickly could be the difference between losing it and saving it. Move them out to a dry area where they won’t contaminate other places–a porch or more elevated part of the garage, etc. Don’t let them drip on your carpet!
By now, the restoration crew should be arriving. They’ll take over removing water and property. In time, your house will be like new–particularly if you followed these restoration tips. Stay safe and take action!