If you experience water damage, it can feel overwhelming at first. The situation may appear bleak, but there is a high chance of recovering your home from home water damage quickly in most cases. The first step is not to panic. Keep calm and follow this short series of simple steps to guide you to a successful home recovery after water damage.
Protect yourself and your possessions
Water damage in all its forms can potentially harm your health and safety due to contaminated water, flood dangers, and mold growth. To protect yourself, take these actions:
The first thing to do is to shut off the electricity by switching off the circuit breakers and unplugging devices.
If you’re in danger of flooding, evacuate the flooded area until authorities deem it safe to return. When you reenter the property, wear rubber gloves, waterproof boots, and protective clothing. Lastly, if you can rescue the most valuable items, such as documents or electronics.
Find the source
The first step to fixing water damage in your home is to identify the source of the water. In some cases, like broken plumbing or a natural disaster, the source will be easily identifiable. However, the cause may be difficult to identify if it is behind a wall or ceiling. Once the water source is discovered, you will need to take steps to remedy the problem and seal the leak.
Fixing plumbing, sealing fixture casing, or altering landscaping water flow channels may be all you need to remedy the situation. However, in some cases, you will need a professional to identify and repair the source of unwanted water flow.
Differentiate between types of water
Believe it or not, there are three types of water. The first type is “clean” water from rain, condensation, leaky pipes, and so on. It’s relatively harmless to clean it up yourself.
The second type is gray water, slightly dirty water from dishwashers, washing machines, shower drains, etc. And it may have some contaminants. But you can clean it up yourself if you remove it carefully and with proper safety gear to protect yourself.
The third type is black water, such as sewage or severe flooding from nearby rivers, etc. This water contains waste, bacteria, and other serious contaminants. This kind of water is more frequently encountered during floods and other natural disasters. Black water can cause severe health problems, and you shouldn’t try to clean it up yourself.
Dry the damaged area
While it may seem obvious to remove any collected water, drying the affected area completely is one of the most important yet overlooked parts of the process. Use mops, rags, a dry/wet vacuum to remove any water that may have collected, and then use fans and dehumidifiers to remove any remaining moisture.
Remember, water leaks in a warm house create the perfect, humid environment needed for mold to reproduce, and leaving the damage unaddressed may cause you some serious problems down the line.
Whenever necessary, call a professional to dry-out the water damages.
After standing water has been removed, you will need to dehumidify the remaining moisture. This is one of the most critical steps you need to take to fix water damage in your home or office. Residual moisture can cause warping and other property damage and lead to serious health issues like the formation of mold, bacteria, and other contaminants.
Dehumidification removes hidden moisture to eliminate the possibility of further damage occurring once you have removed the primary water.
Inspect for mold
Certain mold strains are toxic to humans and pose serious health risks. Most of the time, mold can spread quickly once it infests an area, so it is in your best interest to inspect for growth to avoid any health hazards. For minor issues, you can cut out the affected area, bag it, and dispose of it immediately.
However, with severe mold infestations, you need to shut down any airflow to stop contamination and call a mold specialist. Often, mold can appear inside the walls or floors, so this inspection must be ongoing throughout the restoration.
Clean the affected area
To ensure all mold and bacteria have been eliminated, take time to disinfect the areas that your water damage repair efforts have impacted. A simple bleach solution should do the trick. Be sure to disinfect any items in the affected area to ensure any mold or bacteria is eliminated.
For some homemade eco-friendly home cleaning solutions, you can make a disinfectant spray. Take an empty spray bottle and place the mini funnel over the top of the bottle. Then pour half a cup of white vinegar and add two tablespoons of baking soda. Leave the mixture for five minutes so that the foam can subside.
Next, add ten drops of essential oil to it and shake well before use.
Spray the solution to every region you just dried and scrub the area once again. To get the best results, make sure you spray and clean the affected area twice.