Water Damage Tips
- Turn off the water source!
- Shut off power to all flooded areas. You don’t want to play with electricity and water.
- Contact a professional water damage company for a Free Damage Assessment
- Protect Furnishings! While we’re on the way, get them out of the water.
Here are some good ideas:
- Remove as much water as you can with mops and towels. Remember, colored towels can bleed colors onto the carpet, if you leave them wet on the carpet.
- Pick up drapes from hitting the bottom of the floor.
- Stay out of rooms where the ceiling is starting to sag.
- Wipe down furniture to remove remaining moisture.
- Remove wet area rugs that are in the affected area.
- Remove pictures, paintings, and art pieces to an unaffected area.
- Look through file cabinets to ensure sensitive documents (passports, etc….) are not affected.
Here are some, not so good ideas:
- Don’t automatically assume you can take care of it by yourself. Call a professional water damage company, and get a Free Damage Assessment.
- If you have a sewer line backup or sewage damage, call a professional water damage company immediately. Sewage removal can cause illness if not done properly and can contaminate your belongings.
- Don’t use your household vacuum cleaner. These machines are not typically made to remove large amounts of water.
- Don’t use appliances or outlets in the affected area.
- Don’t ignore it and just hope it dries out on its own.
- Be careful!! Items that are wet, can be VERY heavy.
- Check for water intrusion
- Consult with a third party industrial hygienist
- Consult with a professional mold remediation company
If attempting to preform work on your own:
- Put up containment around affected area
- Set up contained area under negative air
- Remove affected materials
- Place in double bagged, 6 ml bags
- HEPA vac all surfaces within affected chamber
- Have a 3rd party industrial hygienist perform a post test.
- Limit your movement in the home to prevent particles from being imbedded into upholstery and carpets
- Retain a contractor to board up windows, roofs, or other penetrations in order to prevent additional damage
- Open windows for ventilation, if weather permits
- If loss occurs in the winter: pour antifreeze in toilets, sink and bathtub drains to prevent freezing
- If electricity is off, empty refrigerator and freezer and keep doors open allowing ventilation inside.
- Clean all chrome surfaces with a soft cloth and water and then apply a coat of Vaseline to protect them from pitting.
- Toss any canned or packaged food or beverages that were stored close to the fire into the garbage, especially any containers that were already open as they may contain harmful contamination
*Do Not attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces
*Do Not turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet
*Do Not attempt to clean electronics as the electronic circuitry is sensitive
and can be damaged easily
*Do Not attempt to shampoo or clean your carpet or upholstered furniture,
improper cleaning can set in stains and odor
Frequently Asked Questions
- What should I do first?
Safety is always the first thing you look at. Outlets and appliances typically will expose the most amount of risk. After safety, getting to the water source and turning it off would be next.
- It’s Saturday morning; I’ll just wait until Monday morning?
The general rule of thumb is that the longer the water sits, the more potential it has to become a bigger problem. Mold has to have a food source (water), so as long as materials (carpet, drywall) stay wet, they have the potential to become moldy.
- Is this covered by my insurance?
Typically, your claims adjuster is the best person to ask this question to. They can tell you the limits on your policy, as well as talk about any coverage issues.
- If I just leave it, will it dry on it’s own?
The short answer is yes, but it’s not really that simple. Yes, it will end up drying on its own, but how long will it take to dry? Also, if it takes a week to dry, is there secondary damage occurring because it is not drying fast enough? Is there mold growing because it is not drying fast enough? Always call a professional water damage company to get their expert advice. There are many that will come out and give you a Free Damage Assessment.
- How long will it take to dry?
Hard to say for sure. There are many variables that go into this equation; things like, location, duration, type of water, type of building material, weather conditions, how long has it been wet, etc….