After a storm, or cold winter, water can sometimes end up in unwanted places and cause quite a bit of damage. It can significantly damage many parts inside your home, as well as your personal possessions. Once you are aware water has leaked into your home, if you act quickly, you can minimize the damage and potentially save some of your possessions. If you are finding water that has been around for a little while, that could alter your level of success in saving things like your furniture, carpets, and any electronics that have come into contact with the water.

On any level of water intrusion into your home, you should never take it lightly: even if your basement is mildly damp or has an inch of water, it is still a place where mold can become a significant factor. Mold can cause structural damage to the walls in your home. Mold can affect other places such as your furniture, carpets, and flooring. If mold or mildew is around in your home it can greatly lower the quality of air you breathe, causing respiratory problems including asthma and other severe illnesses. Staying on top of water damage can mean preventing mold growth, which is key to keeping your home’s air healthy and clean.

After the event of a storm, or if you notice water damage, you definitely want to contact your insurance provider to report the problems. Once you have filed the necessary claims and documented the damage, here are several tips on how to deal with water damage in your home to minimize the extent of the damage.

  1. Unplug any electronics, disconnect the power, and remove your possessions from the room ASAP.

If you are quick to getting these key things done and the possessions out of the affected rooms, you’ll be far more likely to salvage or save them. The most obvious thing to do first would be to unplug and move electronics out of the room first. Cut the power to the room if water is a threat to rising to the internal wiring of your home. Tear up any carpets, remove any rugs, and get rid of all underpadding to avoid creating a breeding ground for mold and mildew. On occasion, you may be able to salvage and clean your carpets or rugs. So before you throw them out, reach out to our friends at Encore Carpet Care to discuss potentially saving the affected flooring materials. You probably won’t be able to save any underpadding as it acts as a large sponge and will absorb any water or moisture causing permanent damage to the underpadding.

  1. Get rid of the water!

Once you have successfully removed all of the objects and flooring materials from the room you can switch gears and focus on actually removing the water from the room. There are several ways to attack this project aside from calling a professional such as ourselves at Encore RRC. If you’ve cut power to the flooded home, you can pick up a bucket and get to work! Using old towels, buckets, and mops to soak up as much water as possible first, while pouring the water down a nearby drain or your lawn. If you are able to safely use your power outlets, another good way to remove the water to begin the drying process would be a wet/dry vacuum. Remember, water and electricity do NOT mix. If a sub-space in your home is flooded, like your basement or crawl space, you might consider using a sump-pump to get rid of the water. Your focus should be on getting rid of the water and beginning to start the drying process to prevent mold and mildew from setting in.

  1. Time to dry it out

After all of the water is removed, and you’ve used mops and towels to get rid of excess water, it’s time to bring in fans and dehumidifiers into your home to help the area dry out. If the rain has stopped from the storm, it’s also wise to open windows to get the air circulating which will help speed up the drying process. If water has reached any drywall, you’ll most likely have to start cutting away the portions that were affected. Drywall becomes mushy when wet, and the paper backside can be a great place for mold to start growing. Make sure to remove your baseboards to avoid causing more damage than necessary. If you have particle board in your home, it is highly unlikely it will be salvageable. If you had hardwood, you can potentially save the boards.

  1. Disinfect and sterilize

Once you have finished drying out the area, including any drywall, insulation, or wood in your home, it’s good to use a strong disinfectant to get rid of any bacteria that could have come up from the sewers via toilets or other drains. Disinfect and sterilize all of the areas the water has touched, including the walls, wood, and certain types of furniture that sat on the floor during the water damage.

  1. Take pro-active action against mold

With cleaning done, and the area has been thoroughly dried out, applying mold control such as concrobium mold control, bleach will only help against surface mold, and can actually contribute to the spread of mold! Concrobium is non-toxic and can be used on furniture, walls, floors, really anything that mold and mildew can grow on. After applying the mold control solution, it’s best to let it dry overnight. If you must spray an entire room, you can use a mister to cover more area, quicker.

  1. Dispose of un-salvageable items correctly

The biggest mistake most home owners make is to just toss the damaged items into a dumpster. It’s best to organize the damaged items into like piles and responsibly recycle them. It’s a lot of work, but it’ll help take some of the pressure off of filling up your local landfill. Do your best to figure out what items go where for proper recycling.

  1. Contact the contractor

If you haven’t already, it’s time to get in touch with a local, reliable contractor who specializes in water damage restoration. Getting your home back into its pre-damaged state is the next and most valuable step in getting you, your family and your lives back on the right track. Finding the right contractor isn’t hard, we wrote a blog about it here. Once you’ve gotten the right contractor for your job selected, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing you’re in professional hands and your home will be in ship-shape in no time.

If you are interested in contacting us for more information regarding our emergency water restoration services, please click here to contact us.