Tips on Cleaning Water Damage in your Home
When unwanted water from faulty plumbing, appliances and sewer drains ends up in your home unexpectedly, you are experiencing a water damage emergency for 2 clear reasons.1. Water introduces the potential for mold contamination in your home. 2. The longer it remains the more damage it creates. For example: Water that saturates carpet from an overflowing sink can easily be extracted and all is well. However, if water is left to remain it can cause structural damage to the sub-floor and surrounding substrates. Water exposure is a destructive energy that only ceases when it is completely removed from the indoor environment. Complete removal must include the elimination of trapped moisture in building materials as well as personnel items such as furniture and luggage. It is important to know helpful tips on cleaning water damage in your home.
Often when water damage manifest its ugly head it is not recognized for the threat that it actually is. Someone comes home after work and discovers some water in the basement and cavalierly dismisses it as a quick cleanup with a shop vac. This approach often leads multiple homeowners into greater trouble in several weeks because the walls were never evaluated for trapped moisture. Moisture in drywall and other materials like paneling are breeding grounds for mold. High humidity and dampness can equally bring about unforeseen problems with mold in the home. Mold is a growing problem that affects carpet, walls, flooring as well as the air we breathe. Occupants in these compromised environments can experience difficulties from allergies, and respiratory complications such as asthma.
One of the best tips on cleaning water damage in your home begins with quickly removing water to minimize the damages and increases your chances of avoiding mold. Although in some cases water has been there for days without notice, quick action is still capable of stopping further damage.
Water Damage Restoration
Preventing mold should be the first concern after water damage and clean air is the only way for occupants to remain healthy. So what should be our course of action when facing water damage?
Always have it evaluated by a local water damage restoration company. They often provide free assessment and this is crucial for determining the damages. Calling your insurance company to determine coverage is also a step to not overlook as often homeowners are covered for such water damage restoration. Here are some tips.
Tips on cleaning Water Damage in your home
- Everything begins with getting rid of the water by any means necessary from a shop vac to a professional flood damage restoration company. Buckets, mops and towels are probably not an approach that will be considered by most, but this too can work for small wet areas. Take caution if using a shop vac or anything electric. Water and electricity don’t mix and you should never consider removing water yourself if your shop vac cord is going to end up in standing water. Extension cords in water are very dangerous and should not be used as with any electrical item that becomes wet. Always where rubber boots if you do try a “do it yourself” approach, stay clear of touching electrical items and electrical outlets.
- Stay clear of all electrical sources “period!” Some information on the web will recommend disconnecting the power to electronics, unplugging electrical cords and removing wet electronics. WRONG! Unless the thought of waking up the next morning is not attractive to you, DO NOT TOUCH ELECTRICAL WHERE WATER EXIST. Who cares about anything electrical that is already destroyed. The intelligent consideration to believe is, “if electrical things have come into contact with water they are no longer of value”. It may be safe to manage your way carefully to your circuit box and shut off breakers that supply power to affected rooms, but only if you can find a pair of rubber boots to wear. If water is in wall switches and light fixtures they may spark a bit but they should break on their own. If you fear the sparking could cause fire, the instructions above should be followed.
- Furniture and non-electrical contents should be removed from the room or placed on blocks of wood if available. This suggestion is very prevalent on the web as well, however if you call a local flood damage company they will be there in minutes and do it for you. No use in pulling a muscle or acquiring an injury for a piece of furniture. Often art work or cherished children’s projects are stored under beds and in basement boxes and should be considered for removing before water gets to them. The faster you get items out of water’s way, the more likely you’ll be able to save them. Area rugs can be moved from water and placed somewhere to dry if the water is from a sanitary source . Don’t worry about the under padding as it will be heavy like a wet sponge and drip all over. They are not very valuable and can be discarded during the water damage restoration process and replaced.
- Recognize what can and can’t be saved based upon the type of water. Obviously almost everything quickly caught in fresh water can be saved, however if the source is sump or sewer you must be willing to let some things go. While there are several exceptions, pillows, cushions, cardboard boxes, mattresses, stuffed animals and most everything absorbent should be removed from the home and discarded. Both sewer drain water and ground water are abundantly supplied with living organisms that create health hazards the greatly outweigh the benefits of keeping contamination in the home. Even when these items are dried and cleaned, they can still release dangerous endo-toxins into the home.
- Disinfect all surfaces after water removal to remove germs and kill microbial contamination. This is often considered after drying wet materials; however the time to apply germ killing disinfectants is immediately after the water removal step has been completed. This includes personnel contents as well as structural materials in the home as germs are anywhere where water has been. Action Extraction a Macomb Michigan water damage company uses plant-based only anti-microbial agents that are completely all natural. While there are other alternatives there is no substitute better than all natural “green” disinfectants. Bleach should be avoided and in several states it is illegal to utilize them for water damage cleanup.
- Dry all materials to stop mold. After you’ve disinfected all surfaces you must dry all wet materials thoroughly. Because moisture is invisible to the naked eye it is recommended to have the environment looked at by a reputable water damage company as they have the necessary detection meters that locate trapped moisture in materials. Drying of materials is based upon the scientific method of forcing water to become a vapor with rapid air movement and forcing water vapor back to the state of a liquid using a dehumidifier. There is no drying aside from air movement and dehumidification.
Once these tips on cleaning Water Damage in your home have been taken your water damaged home will once again be a safe haven for you and your family. Call Action Extraction today if you need a local water damage restoration company.