When your home has water damage, be it from a burst pipe, overflowing sewer, leaking roof, or natural flood, it is in dire need of restoration. There's more to water damage restoration than simply mopping up and drying out the home. In fact, water damage is downright hazardous to your health!
First, if your home is flooded, the immediate danger is electrocution. In addition, structural damage to the building could cause injuries due to falling debris and unstable footings. The water itself may be carrying dangerous chemicals, raw sewage, or microorganisms that can make you sick.
Even when the home has been declared safe to enter, damage restoration is not easy and is best left to a professional. Time is of the essence as well. The longer water soaks your home and belongings, the more damage occurs. Plus, mold starts to grow in moisture environments making it essential to dry out the home ASAP. You can minimize losses and future damage by acting promptly.
What's involved in water damage restoration? Stabilizing the environment, cleaning, disinfecting, drying, and repairing.
Before you can begin cleaning up, you must stop the inflow of water. For example, if your damage is the result of a hole in the roof, you must secure the roof so that the water stops flowing inside. Likewise, if a burst pipe is shooting water into the house, turning off the water supply to the home is your first step followed by emergency repairs.
Other issues involve removal water-soaked insulation, determining if asbestos is present in water damaged walls or ceilings, and reinforcing damaged floors and ceilings. Opening windows and setting up a ventilation system such as fans is also an important step for stabilizing the environment. Depending on the nature of the flooding, this step may come after cleaning.
Next, standing water, mud, and debris must be removed. This cleaning step should be followed by disinfecting because rarely is water damage "clean." For example, floodwaters from swollen rivers carry fertilizer, sewage, chemicals, and other hazards. When the water recedes, not only is the residual left behind muddy and messy, it's dangerous. Disinfecting all surfaces is a must. Even if the damage is due to a broken washing machine hose, the clean water that spills soon mixes with the dirt and grime embedded deep inside your carpet and carpet pad.
Once everything has been cleaned, discharged, and disinfected, the water damage restoration job is not over. Now, it's time for repairs. You may need to replace or repair carpets, floorboards, baseboards, wallpaper, drywall, electrical systems, pipes, insulation, cabinets, and other building materials. In addition, the contents of your home may need to be repaired or replaced.
Cleaning up water damage is a major project requiring speed, expertise, safety precautions, equipment, cleaners, disinfectants, and reconstruction know-how. Do not do it on your own. Instead, water damage restoration companies are equipped to restore your home promptly and professionally. Let the experts handle the mess – they'll prevent further damage and dry out your home ASAP.