Water damage clean-up and restoration involves returning your property to its original condition before the water deluge. The process can be stressful as it consists of inspection, extraction, sanitation, dehumidification, and reconstruction if necessary. Although water damage clean-up and restoration don’t require any certification, they should be performed by water damage restoration specialists who are equipped with the right tools for the job. However, if the water damage is minor and you’ve got the knowledge and skill, you can give it a shot to save money by doing it yourself.
Knowing the causes of a disaster you want to fix is the first step to solving it. In this case, identifying why water invaded your property is essential. In most cases, water damage is caused by:
- Rainy weather and natural disasters
- Rubber or PVC water supply lines
- Air conditioning condensation
- Leaking or burst pipes
- Inefficient roof water drainage
- Clogged drains and clutter
- Faulty water heaters
- Damaged sprinkler systems
- Broken household appliances
- Water overflow from toilets
- Septic tanks and sewer backups
After identifying the causes of the water damage, it’s also essential to know the different signs of water damage, which include:
- Water stains
- Peeling or bubbling paint
- Structural damage
- Mold or mildew
- Puddles of water
- Cracks on the ceiling
- Damp odors
- Swollen materials
You can also discover more here or research online about water damage signs.
If you’re looking for ways to handle water damage in your home, this post is for you. You’ll discover a well-prepared water damage restoration checklist that will help you tackle the problem in your home.
Evaluate Your Safety
You and your family’s safety are crucial. Therefore, it should be your first concern to prevent any harm from befalling any of your family members. For instance, if water has flooded your house, it can be dangerous to step on it if it has come into contact with electricity. So, ensure to turn off your electrical power and the gas services before anyone enters the house. Before reconnecting, ensure an electrician checks the ground and other unsafe conditions.
Conduct A Water Damage Inspection
A water damage inspection and assessment are necessary to identify the water source, the contamination category, and the water damage class.
The water source is highly related to the causes of water damage discussed above. However, sometimes it’s challenging to identify the water source, even after identifying the cause of the water damage. For instance, you may identify the cause of water damage as floods, but the water enters the property through multiple openings.
After identifying and stopping the water source, determine the contamination category to protect your health and facilitate a safe restoration process. If your house is affected by dangerously contaminated water, it would be advisable to vacate your house as soon as possible. But if the contamination is manageable, you can avoid the affected sections until they’re cleaned and sanitized.
There are three types of contaminated water: white water, gray water, and black water.
White water is free of contamination, and it’s easily cleaned. White water usually comes from burst pipes, leaking faucets, bathtubs, sinks, and water heaters. However, this type of water can easily be contaminated if not cleaned immediately.
Gray water usually has some pollutants but isn’t considered toxic. This type of water is usually contaminated by detergents, bath soaps, and fabric softeners. Its sources include dishwashers, broken washing machines, and kitchen and bath drain pipes.
Black water is highly contaminated and extremely hazardous. You should take extra precautions to ensure personal and property safety when cleaning black water. The sources include floods, toilet backflows, and sewage pipe problems.
Moreover, identifying the water contamination category helps determine the scope and type of decontamination required.
The third part of the inspection process identifies the water damage class or extent. The extent of water damage can be classified as:
- Pre-existing damage: Covers damages present before the water damage occurred.
- Primary damage: Damages caused by the water.
- Secondary damage: The aftermath of a water event, including sagging drywall, unhealthy mold growth, and warped flooring.
Any stagnant water needs to be removed as soon as possible. The more the water sits on your property, the more damage it’s likely to cause. You can drain the water yourself using a bucket or a submersible pump. But suppose the water is in excess, especially in your basement. In that case, you can contact water damage restoration specialists since they have the right equipment to extract the water fast and effectively.
Dry And Dehumidify The Property
In addition to ventilating your house, you can use air scrubbers, air movers, and dehumidifiers to speed the drying process. Dehumidifiers also help prevent the development of a musty smell. If you don’t have the tools, you can hire specialists to do the work for you. They have access to other pieces of equipment like wood drying machines, which help dry wood, thus preventing mold growth.
Repair And Reconstruct If Necessary
Next, remove the unrecoverable parts—for example, carpet padding and drywall below the flood line. Carpets can be thoroughly cleaned but need to be replaced eventually because of minor stains that you can’t remove. Furthermore, reconstruction may be necessary if severe water damage is caused by a natural disaster.
Clean The House
After drying, dehumidifying, and renovating, it’s essential to clean up the house to remove all the dirt accumulated during the restoration process. Also, it might help to disinfect your home using fabric-friendly detergents, especially if it’s contaminated by black water.
Things To Avoid Doing In The Event Of Water Damage
Now that you know what to do during water damage restoration, here are things you should avoid doing:
- Don’t get near or step on the water if your home’s electricity hasn’t been turned off, even if you don’t see any wires in contact with the stagnant water, it’s better to be safe.
- Don’t use your overhead lights if the water damage is in the ceiling since it can cause more danger.
- Avoid using your household vacuum cleaner to extract the water to avoid electrocution.
As you’ve seen, water damage clean-up and restoration entail much more than cleaning and restoring areas where water was present. Hopefully, the checklist outlined above can help you through the entire process of recovering and restoring your home from water damage.