Water damage can be a common occurrence, but unfortunately, it’s also one of the most severe emergencies property owners may have to deal with. Whether it’s from a major flooding event, a weakened roof, burst pipes, or leaking appliances, time is a significant factor when working on water damage restoration.
Water-related damage can negatively affect your property’s value and safety in no time. On top of that, it can promote microbial growth within 72 hours, causing structural issues and safety hazards that slowly but surely negatively affect your home.
We understand that cleaning up after the mess of water damage can be overwhelming and distressing. To help you address a water-related disaster and get your home back in order, we’ve summarized seven immediate steps to take for a safe and successful water damage restoration process.
Protect Yourself Before Anything Else
After a water damage emergency, the first thing to do is to ensure you and your family are safe. This includes turning off your home’s power supply and unplugging all damaged electrical appliances to prevent electric shock or fire risks. If you have to enter wet areas to do this, it’s better to call an electrician than to attempt to do it by yourself.
Stop the Source of Water
If water continues to flow into your home, it’s best to identify its source and fix it as quickly as possible. For example, if you are dealing with a leaking pipe, closing the supply line valve and repairing the leak are two practical solutions you can use.
If you’ve detected water damage but can’t identify the source of the problem, turning off your water supply and getting help from your trusted plumbers is a necessary step.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Most cases of water damage are covered by homeowners insurance, so it’s best to speak to your agent about your policy’s inclusions as soon as possible after the damage occurs. You may be able to make a claim, but it’s crucial that you act fast to get your request through.
After speaking with your agent and scheduling an inspection with a claims adjuster, document all your affected belongings. Pictures of your furniture, appliances, and clothing, as well as water-damaged walls, ceilings, and floors throughout the cleanup, can significantly help strengthen your claim.
Remove Standing Water and Dry Things Out
Removing standing water and eliminating moisture in your home are crucial steps in the water damage remediation process, so it’s best to do these as soon as possible. Initiating the drying process within the first 24 hours and drying a property completely within four days helps prevent risks of microbial growth and further issues.
Using buckets or plastic tubs can help get water out of your house, but renting a shop vac from your local home improvement center can speed this task up. Once the excess water has been removed, the remaining moisture can be addressed by using fans and dehumidifiers. These appliances circulate air in the affected area and accelerate the drying process.
Sort Your Possessions
One of the upsetting things about experiencing a water damage emergency is having to let go of items that are too far gone. However, it’s crucial to sort your possessions and separate salvageable items from the rest as soon as possible to prevent further losses.
In general, porous materials like carpeting, rugs, fabrics, and insulation that have been soaked in water will need to be removed. Aside from the fact that they cannot be cleaned and sanitized thoroughly, these items can hold moisture and serve as the perfect breeding grounds for mold.
Meanwhile, non-porous objects can still be salvaged with swift and adequate drying and sanitization.
Watch Out for Early Signs of Mold
Mold can start to grow and propagate inside your home within the first 72 hours after the water damage emergency. This is especially true if the excess water and moisture have not been addressed.
On that note, remember that mold can damage any building materials it feeds on and turn your home into an unhealthy environment. This is why it’s crucial to look for signs of microbial growth, like furry discolorations on surfaces and persistent musty odors.
For minor issues like spotted clothing, it’s best to cut out the affected material, and discard it immediately. However, major mold build-up may require the intervention of professionals. They will know the safest and most effective ways to address the infestation and keep your home safe from mold.
Work With Water Damage Restoration Experts
Repairing a home after water damage is not an easy project. It can be exhausting, time-consuming, and even dangerous. If you have doubts that you can successfully restore your property on your own, there’s nothing wrong with dropping your tools and turning to water damage remediation professionals instead.
Certified experts use professional tools and proven processes to dry your home, replace damaged components, and even restore your water-affected documents and electronics.
Water damage can be an overwhelming problem to address, but knowing what to do right after such an emergency can help you get started on the road back to normalcy. With this, know that you won’t have to shoulder the burden of repairing your home on your own. A water damage restoration and mold remediation company like Restoration 1 can guide you through a straightforward restoration process so you can get your life back to normal in no time.
When a water damage emergency strikes, don’t hesitate to call Restoration 1 of Minnetonka for 24/7 cleanup and restoration solutions. We’ll get the job done right the first time and get your property back to the way it was.