Having to deal with the aftermath of a flooded house is exhausting, especially after running around to get professionals to help deal with the situation. Once the water has been drained from your room or home, there is still a lot of work left if you want to ensure that your precious possessions don’t suffer even more damage. We’ve compiled a how-to list of steps to take if you find yourself dealing with a situation as this, so that your water damage clean up process is done thoroughly.
- Identify The Type Of Water Damage
Aside from the fact that everything’s soaked in water, you’ll have to take into consideration where the water came from, as a typical home has several water sources and each should be dealt with through a different approach, to some extent. Your standard water supply that runs from your taps and provides you with the water you use for bathing, washing and cleaning is the least damaging kind. It is chlorinated water that was prepared for safe human, animal and organic use, so you won’t need to worry about it causing any side effects beyond exposure to your home and its contents. The second type of water is grey water – essentially water that has been used to wash dishes, bathe in, or has gone through a washing machine. While not completely clean anymore, it doesn’t contain enough hazardous contaminants to pose any serious health risks, so you should be able to clean it up without any worries about inhaling or being exposed to harmful chemicals. The third type of water is black water. This is by far more dangerous and can be extremely harmful to human, animal and other organic life. Examples of black water include sewerage water or flooding from nearby industrial areas or contaminated rivers. In this case, you are almost certainly dealing with at least a few types of bacteria and chemicals that could result in health complications. If you’re facing a black water situation, do not attempt to clean it up yourself; rather call in the help of professional cleaners who will clean and decontaminate it in a safe manner.
- Check Carefully For Mold
The second wave, so to speak, of water damage is the high likelihood of mold formation because the area is still damp and not properly ventilated. Mold is a rapid-forming fungus (under the right conditions it can start showing within 24 hours of moisture exposure) that can have serious health complications, as their spores are microscopic and can be inhaled without you even knowing it. If you spot signs of molding, wash down the area with a detergent and water mix, followed by a treatment of anti-fungal spray to ensure it doesn’t return.
- Remove, Repair Or Replace
If you’ve already moved everything out of the affected area to a dry location, you still need to carefully check all of your household items, as well as your ceilings, floors, walls and any other areas that came into contact with water. If you have wood finishes, you may need to remove and replace them, unless they have been treated with waterproofing. Dry walls typically suffer irreparable damage quite easily. While it’s inconvenient and time consuming to rip them out and replace them, drywall is fortunately an affordable material and readily available.
- Dry Everything Thoroughly
In the case of highly absorbent materials such as couches, you may need to hire a professional upholstery service or machine to get all of the trapped water vacuumed out and dried. Wipe down all surfaces until they are completely dry. The next step is to reduce the moisture in the area as much as possible. Getting fans, portable air conditioners and dehumidifiers and placing them around the room with the windows open, will help a great deal. You should give the room ample time to allow for thorough ventilation and drying to take place. Once everything is completely dry, do another inspection of the walls, floors and ceilings, as there may be new signs of water damage that seeped in through these areas.
If you value your home and possessions, it’s always best to recruit the help of specialists who can expertly handle the situation and know the best course of action to take. If you’d like help with your water damage clean up, contact us.