Excessive unwanted water at home and caused water damage can easily stir up panic in any homeowner. It’s quite explainable: dealing with the consequences of flooding, burst pipes, or leaky plumbing is both time-consuming and challenging. What is worse, unwanted water damages property very fast; for example, mold grows within 24-48 hours and it is hazardous to human health. Hence, water removal measures must be taken instantly to avoid severe damage and costly repairs.
While you can tackle minor damage on your own, for handling large-scale damage you’d better hire a reputable water damage cleanup crew. As stressful as the havoc from excessive water is, you should appraise the situation thoroughly and act quickly.
When you face a minor emergency, you may decide to deal with damage caused by water by yourself. You might find useful the following tips from restoration experts.
Note: Remember that you must wear protective gear for water damage cleaning as water can be contaminated.
- Shut off water and power. If you can access the switches, this is the first thing to do. Under no circumstances enter a room with standing water in the event of flood cleanup — not obvious worn-out wiring can cause electrical trauma. Otherwise, unplug all electrical devices.
- Try to soak up water using a wet/dry vacuum or old towels. This is a crucial stage as water from unnoticed puddles will continue penetrating walls, flooring, and furniture.
- Move damaged carpet and furniture to a dry place with fresh air. If you have a steam cleaner, use it. It is important to dry them as fast as possible to prevent mold infestation. Environments with high moisture content are perfect for mold spores to reproduce.
- Then, disinfect affected surfaces. Drying is not enough because excessive water causes bacteria accumulation. You can find various disinfectant options at any local store or use diluted bleach. Note that bleach isn’t suitable for all types of surfaces. So, to avoid additional damage to your stuff, read the instructions thoroughly and follow the disinfectant manufacturer’s instructions.
- For the prevention of mold infestation you’ll need a dedicated product. At any hardware store, ask for solutions to prevent mold growth. Apply the product to walls, flooring, and other surfaces damaged by water.
- To speed up drying, use fans and/or dehumidifiers. If the weather allows, open all windows. Try to get a dehumidifier (some stores offer them for rent or ask your colleagues and neighbors). Keep fans and dehumidifiers working non-stop until everything dries completely.
While you can do much of the cleaning yourself, the total costs of supplies, equipment rent, and time are notable. Additionally, to be eligible for insurance coverage you might need pros to get permits and do the job.
Hiring a Restoration Crew
Dealing with a small amount of excessive water at home is an exhausting and stressful experience. On a larger scale, water-associated damage can be dangerous. Hiring an experienced & qualified water damage remediation crew will relieve you from stress as pros know well how to deal with the after-effects of flooding. Having all the equipment at hand, trained specialists work faster and restore your home to its initial state more efficiently.
If you decide to get qualified help, stick to the following guidelines:
- Call a reliable restoration company that offers emergency services. When it comes to unwanted water, delays can be destructive and costly. Keep in mind that mold spreads very fast in moist environments, and within 24-48 hours walls, flooring, and carpets can be coated with mold spots. So, contact a company that is ready to send a crew immediately. Most services offer free on-site estimation, so you won’t be charged until you agree and sign a contract.
- Collect evidence. Make pictures and videos to record the damage. Your records are important to file a claim to your policy provider; hence, document everything thoroughly. Reputable restoration contractors help their clients to file claims and negotiate with insurance providers.
- Get in contact with your insurance issuer. The reimbursement depends on the scope of damage and your insurance policy. Note that policy issuers provide reimbursement only when certified pros do the job.
- Once a contract has been signed, pros will proceed to the cleaning process.
Excess water will be pumped out. Then, dehumidifiers and air movers will come to the stage. At the same time, specialists will assess structural damage, if any. Next, specialists will inspect affected surfaces for mold presence using dedicated IR detectors.
The process goes much faster compared to the DIY variant because licensed restoration service providers have all the required tools to eliminate the impact of water, including air movers, dehumidifiers, IR detectors, pumps, and so on.
- When all debris is removed, your home will be disinfected and treated against mold infestation.
- Once the damaged surfaces have dried, pros will inspect the house for any damage to a structure. Drywalls and flooring might need replacement or repairs.
- When repairs are completed and your home is back to its initial condition, the insurance company might send an inspector for a final checkup.
Fully equipped restoration contractors deploy job-dedicated machinery, like moisture readers & dryers, and implement advanced technologies to prevent possible secondary damage.
Wrapping it all up, it rests on you to decide on how to remediate water-associated damage. If damage is minimal, you are likely to restore the house to its normal condition by yourself investing a lot of time and effort. Pros will relieve you from the headache and undertake the responsibility to clean up and repair the property, but you have to pay for the service. In case of severe damage, don’t hesitate, and call in pros with dedicated tools right away. The sooner a restoration crew gets down to work, the faster your house will get back to its original condition.