We’ve all heard the stories: a friend comes home from vacation only to find a flood in their home due to a burst pipe, or a relative watches as their basement fills with water during a particularly rainy storm. Water can flood into homes many ways, but always leaves behind the unpleasant task of cleaning up damage. Deciding how best to deal with water damage can be frustrating and challenging. Check out our ten best tips to manage water damage in your home:
- Locate Water Source
Homes typically have three different types of water flowing through them at any given time:
- Clean water: This water comes from rain and leaky pipes and is the easiest for homeowners to clean on their own.
- Gray water: Dirtier water from washing machines, dishwashers and clean toilets. This water may have contaminants, making it harder to ensure proper cleanup.
- Black water: Including sewage and water that has flooded the home from nearby rivers, it is not recommended that homeowners try to tackle water damage from black water on their own, as it contains many contaminants and bacteria that can be harmful.
- Dry Location ASAP
It’s important to act fast when dealing with water damage. Mold and mildew can begin growing in as little as 24 hours if the water is left standing. To dry out the affected area, take as much out of the space, including furniture, and place fans on the wet flooring and walls. If the water damage is extensive, you may need to rent a few industrial strength fans to ensure the area dries completely.
- Look for Hidden Moisture
Once everything that can be removed has been and fans have been turned on to begin the drying process, it is a good idea to look for places that are unseen but can trap moisture. Check under floorboards and the padding beneath carpet to see if water has permeated these spaces. If so, make sure to place fans on the affected areas to ensure everything has completely dried out.
- Inspect for Mold
Once everything is dry, look for areas where mold may have begun growing. If mold is found, be careful. Some mold can be toxic and harmful to humans. If it is a small mold issue, you may be able to carefully take care of it yourself. If mold has been growing for a long time, or there is a lot of it, it may be best to call for professional help.
- Remove Drywall and Other Porous Materials
Water can permanently damage porous materials such as drywall, carpet, and wood by warping or shrinking them. These materials, if wet, should be removed and replaced. If the water damage is minimal, you may be able to save certain carpet or wood pieces by drying them out ASAP.
- Disinfect the Area
To ensure all mold and bacteria have been eliminated, take time to disinfect the affected area. A simple bleach solution should do the trick. Be sure to also disinfect any items that were in the affected area to ensure any mold or bacteria is eliminated.
- Inspect Roof and Siding
If not properly sealed, water can enter the home through the roof or even the siding of a home. Inspect your home for potential weak spots and repair or replace siding and shingles as needed to ensure water stays outside the home.
- Seal and Caulk
Once the water damage has been cleaned up, stop future water events by ensuring you’ve properly sealed and caulked new fixtures, including windows, plumbing fixtures, flooring, and doorways.
- Rethink Flooring
If water has damaged your flooring, causing you to remove and replace, you may want to think before installing new flooring. There are many waterproof options available, including ceramic tile and waterproof vinyl that can withstand any future flooding events.
BONUS TIP: Contact Your Insurance Company
Extensive water damage in your home is not something you can (or should) tackle on your own. Contact your homeowner’s insurance company and find out your options for assistance. Work with your insurance company at every step to ensure your home is clean, secure, and safe.
If a burst pipe or appliance leak has left your home with water damage, don’t wait to act! Call your professional plumbing team at Wm. Henderson to repair or replace damaged plumbing now. Our skilled plumbers are on call 24/7, and trained in the latest video and trenchless technology! Don’t face water damage and plumbing emergencies along. Call your Wm. Henderson team now!