When you have to deal with water damage in your home, it is overwhelming and inconvenient. It’s hard work to remove the water and mitigate the damage. Here are some tips to help you deal with residential water damage.
Assess the Amount of Flooding
Before getting started, decide if it’s a project you can handle on your own. If it’s a small amount of clean water, then you can probably do it yourself. On the other hand, major flooding is a different issue. It’s a better idea to call a professional for the job.
What Type of Residential Water Damage Are You Dealing With?
There are three possible types of residential water damage. Determine which type of water you’re dealing with.
- Clean water comes from rain or a leaking pipe. It’s free from bacteria or other harmful substances, so it is safe to handle it on your own.
- Gray water is often from a washing machine or dishwasher and may be only slightly contaminated. You’re probably safe to clean it up using proper protective gear.
- Blackwater originates from natural disasters involving flooding from sewers and rivers, which you don’t want to come into contact with. Hire a professional for this type of water cleanup.
Level of Damage
A small amount of damage is typically a DIY project. Significant damage isn’t something you’re normally going to want to tackle by yourself. This is because water damage can lead to structural problems and mold. A deep flood may have caused damage to important home components, like the HVAC or electrical systems. When you’re dealing with a lot of water, hire a professional. They will be able to troubleshoot any potential issues and safely make needed repairs.
Stay Safe When Cleaning Residential Water Damage
Turn off all electrical and water sources before cleaning up the damage. Shut breakers off at the electrical panel and turn off the water main. Wear protective clothing and gear even if you’re dealing with clean water.
Remove the Water
The first step is eliminating the standing water. A small amount of water can be removed with a wet-dry vacuum. Rent a water pump if the flooding is significant.
Dry Everything Out
Get everything dried as soon as possible because mold can grow in as little as 24 hours. Use fans to speed the process. Rent a commercial dehumidifier if you’re dealing with major damage and a lot of moisture.
What Items Can be Saved?
Decide what you can save and what needs to be thrown out. Water causes permanent damage to most items. Get rid of anything that can’t be dried, sanitized, and salvaged. You may need to remove and replace drywall, carpeting, and insulation.
Disinfect Your Belongings When Dealing With Residential Water Damage
If you’re not throwing it away, disinfect everything that water came into contact with. When dealing with hazardous materials or sewage water, then get rid of all porous materials. Anything left in the home needs to be sanitized after being dried to prevent mold growth.