Water damage is one problem that needs immediate attention. When you address the issues early on, you can minimize the damage. Failure to start restoring the water damage in a timely manner can easily cost you more time and energy. After years of professionally managing a number of properties and having experienced water damages a few times, Income Realty gained some knowledge on what to do in these situations. Here’s what you need to know about the best practices and smart tricks to combat the problems created by the water invasion in your home
1. Safety first
Water damage can result from a variety of reasons. Some underlying causes raise the risk of more serious consequences that need extra attention. For example, the damage resulting from flooding creates unique needs. You have to ensure that the water hasn’t caused damage to the power lines nor introduced snakes or rodents into your home. If it seems that your home has experienced heavy structural damage, then it’s wise not to enter the home before getting any professional help. Also, you need to keep clear of standing in any water that could be in contact with damaged power lines.
2. Act immediately
Surveying the damage, you see wet curtains, puddles on the floor, and soaked sofas. Looking at all the water damage can make anyone depressed. While seeing the damage that water can cause is shocking, there’s no time to wait. It’s very important to act quickly and start fixing the damage. Wet materials, regardless of the particular type, start to seriously degrade in a day. For example, the invasion of mold may easily start in the first 24 hours after the materials soak in water.
3.Determine the type of water
You should definitely determine the different types of water that may cause damage to your home. Professionals distinguish between these types of water: clean or white, grey, and black water. The latter is the worst. Blackwater might result from flood or sewer water entering the house. It’s the most dangerous water because there are bacteria and waste material in the mix. The risk of contamination is extremely high. In most cases, you shouldn’t even try to clean up this water without expertise and tools as there are numerous health risks involved.
Gray water is more benign yet could still harbour some risks. This type of water enters your living space from toilets, washing machines, and similar appliances or pipelines. The contamination risk is relatively lower compared to black water, but you still need to take proper safety measures. Be careful not to get into direct contact with the water by using safety gear. The third type of water is clean water. Also known as white water, this umbrella term covers rainwater, leaks from non-sewer pipes, condensation, and other sources that aren’t carrying the potential for great contamination.
4. Mold is a serious concern
Water-damaged materials need an inspection for traces of mildew and mold. You could be surprised how easy and fast mold colonies could gather strength and invade the soaked materials. Sometimes water damage may uncover more deeply rooted mold issues. For example, a flooded crawl space could have provided a good environment for mold for a long time. You just discovered the infestation because space got flooded, making you explore every nook and cranny more in-depth. Of course, any prior mold contamination could be exacerbated by an extra influx of water and moisture. When you are taking care of the mold problem, then ensure you take all the necessary precautions. Some forms of mold can be toxic to people and almost all types of mold can be quite aggressive in their nature. You may think that you removed all of the mold, yet if there’s a critical number of spores left, you’ll see a regrowth quite soon. That’s why serious mold infestations are better left to professionals. They’ll sort it out in a way that the risk of regrowth is kept to a minimum.
5. Watch out for porous materials
Assess all the porous materials in your home. These are the materials that prove to be the most difficult to work with after water has damaged your home. There’s a great chance that you just need to remove and throw away some of these materials. Porous materials include carpets, drywall, fabrics, and even unsealed wood. When these materials have soaked up excess water, then serious damage might occur that could only be fixed by turning back the time. That said, should you have any damaged objects of high emotional value, then take them to a restoration expert. Sometimes, there’s a way to restore smaller items, but the associated cost could be quite steep.
6. Dry the affected areas
Your most important step to prevent further damage is drying out the affected area and soaked materials. When the damage isn’t too bad, you might feel that it’s a piece of cake. In reality, you need to be very thorough even when there has been a small leak. Water can be quite sneaky, making its way into tight crevices not immediately recognizable to the naked eye. Take extra care to recognize the possible affected areas and dry them out completely.
7. Check the ceilings
While porous materials prove to become a nuisance under wet conditions, ceilings may take a turn towards being outright dangerous. Gravity is the key here. Too much water in the wrong place adds extra weight that might make the roof collapse. The critical step here is to ensure that there are no structural issues resulting from the water damage. You need to check whether the beams or rafters have been affected in any way. If they are compromised, then don’t enter the hazard zone before getting professional help and an expert’s reassurance that it’s safe to enter the area under the soaked ceiling.
8. Disinfecting is an important step
When you have completely removed any damaged stuff and materials, it’s time for disinfection. Many people opt for bleach (in the form of a solution), but you can also use lighter disinfectants as long as they have proven to be effective against any contaminants. Use a spray bottle and wipe the area before starting any further damage repair. This way you’ll ensure that no mold, mildew, or bacteria remain on the surfaces. Skipping the disinfection entirely raises the chance that the affected areas start harbouring mold or other biological hazards in the long run.
Note: This article is informational only. When making purchasing decisions, conduct your own research.
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