Steps To Take After Water Damage In Your Home

Water damage can come from plumbing emergencies, sewer backups, flooding from firefighting efforts, and natural disasters. And as a city situated in one of the most flash flood-prone regions in North America, you may know by now how standing water inside your Austin property can quickly make things messy and stressful.

To make matters worse, water damage left unaddressed can easily lead to mold and microbial growth. And let’s not forget structural issues and safety hazards that can put yourself and your loved ones in danger. This is where swift water damage restoration in Austin becomes necessary.

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and confused about where to start with your cleanup project. However, it pays to remember that acting fast is key to achieving successful water restoration in Austin. On that note, here are some steps you can take right away to get your property back to normal as soon as possible.

  1. Protect Yourself and Secure Your Most Valuable Items

    Water damage comes with elements like contaminated water, risks of microbial growth, and structural damage that can harm your health and safety. So before starting any attempt to re-enter and clean up your property, it’s best to:

    • Wear rubber boots, gloves, and protective clothing before entering a flooded area.
    • Switch off the circuit breakers before unplugging electronic devices to avoid shock.
    • Watch out for sagging ceilings and other structures showing signs of possible collapse.
    • If possible, secure essential documents and items first.
  2. Call Your Insurance Provider

    Your insurance policy exists to cover specific damages to your property, and now is the best time to utilize it. With this, it’s a good idea to contact your insurance company as soon as possible after your water damage has occurred. They usually assign a representative to look into your claim, explain your coverage, and advise you of the next steps you can take.

    However, remember that homeowners’ insurance policies usually only cover sudden and accidental damages, like water damage from a burst pipe or a ruptured water heater. Therefore, following the same criterion, standard plans may not include flood damage.

  3. Document the Water Damage

    Clear photos of all the furniture, appliances, devices, clothing and other belongings affected by water damage have to be taken. Affected floors, walls, and ceilings must also be adequately documented. These files are required by your insurance provider and can help you achieve the best possible result for your claim.

  4. Contact Your Trusted Water Damage Restoration Experts

    Water damage restoration in Austin, or any place for that matter, must be performed as soon as possible. Specifically, the process must be started within 24-48 hours after being allowed to re-enter your property.

    Water can spread quickly and spoil your floors, walls, furniture, and other possessions, so it’s crucial to get help from your trusted water removal, cleanup, and restoration experts as soon as possible.

  5. Address the Water Source And Dry Out Standing Water

    While waiting for your restoration professionals to arrive, you can begin addressing the source and standing water to help prevent further damages to your property. You can put on your protective gear and do the following:

    • For water damage from a burst pipe or other plumbing emergencies, locate and stop the water source first.
    • Remove standing water using buckets or plastic tubs.
    • Use mops to absorb the remaining water.
    • Rent a wet-dry vacuum from your local hardware store to dry the area further and get rid of damp dirt as well.
    • Use fans and open the windows and doors if the weather permits to ventilate the area.
  6. Sort Through Affected Items

    After water damage to your property, the sad reality is that there will always be things far too damaged to be restored. In this step, you have to do the tough job of looking through your possessions, determining those that can still be salvaged, and discarding those no longer safe to use.

    In particular, some parts of your home you may need to let go of after extensive damage are your flooring, insulation, drywall, and carpeting. These are porous materials, and a large-scale water event can quickly turn them into breeding grounds for mold.

  7. Watch Out for Signs of Mold

    Microbial growth can start within the first 48 hours after a flood or water damage. And if that’s not enough, mold can quickly reproduce and take hold of your home in as fast as 12 days.

    With that in mind, it pays to remember that microbial growth is not simply an aesthetic problem. Instead, it eats at your home’s building materials, compromises its structural integrity, and even poses health hazards.

    These are just some of the many reasons to look out for signs of mold, such as musty odors and furry growth. If you suspect microbial growth in your home, let your restoration team know right away.

With your home in disarray and your prized possessions soaked, experiencing water damage can naturally be stressful and frustrating. Still, it’s not the end of the road for you, and you don’t have to get stuck living in a damaged home. By acting fast, salvaging what you can, and enlisting water restoration in Austin immediately, your life can get back to normal in no time.

At Restoration 1, we’re all about serving our community with the fastest response times and the highest quality of water damage restoration in Austin. Don’t face a water disaster on your own, call our certified professionals today to get expert help today.