15 Ideas to Apply After Water Damage to Your House
Residential water damage can lead to devastating losses. It can wreak havoc on foundations, floors, walls, and furniture and can even result in mold and severe health problems.
Fortunately, homeowners can use these 15 ideas to minimize the effects of water damage and prepare for home restoration in a cost-effective and timely manner.
1. Turn off the Power
Electricity and water make a deadly combo. Therefore, the first thing to do after experiencing water damage is to switch off the power. However, if this requires you to enter wet areas, it's best to contact an electrician.
2. Close the Valves
The leading cause of water damage emergencies is a pressurized pipe or a broken hot water tank. Knowing where the shut-off valve is located is imperative so you can immediately stop the flow of water and stay in control before the water damage worsens.
3. Notify Your Insurance Provider
Your homeowners' insurance is going to differ depending on which policy you have signed up for. The insurance provider will send a representative to inspect the damage and check if it's covered.
4. Document the Damage
Videos and pictures of the damage are crucial evidence when filing an insurance claim. Images are also useful for tracking mold, rot, or other changes in various areas of your home.
5. Dry the Area
When it comes to water damage, time is of the essence, and you need to ensure you've checked the whole property for water. Open the doors and windows and use dehumidifiers and fans to facilitate airflow. It's a good idea to point fans that face an open door or window as this will help remove moisture from your house.
6. Protect Your Belongings
You can remove wood furniture from wet carpets and keep tin foil under the feet to prevent the carpet from staining. Similarly, remove any carpets or rugs that might be on the wet floors.
7. Remove the Dirt
Water alone cannot lead to mildew and mold growth – it's actually a combination of dirt and water. Thus, once you have wiped off any stagnant water, make sure to clean the area using a detergent or any appropriate surface cleaner.
8. Sand Down the Floor
Once the wood floors are clean and dry, they might show indications of cupping. This is when they become concave or convex in shape. You can perhaps sand the floorboards down using an orbital or drum sander to flatten the affected areas. If the boards have moved up, you will have to use a hammer to nail them down.
9. Get in Touch with a Water Damage Repair Company
Contacting an expert restoration company to evaluate the water damage and make repairs is an excellent way to ensure the job is performed correctly.
For instance, a leaky roof might result in moisture that promotes mold growth, whereas a broken drainage pipe might damage the floors and walls in the bathroom.
Severe water damage is usually too challenging to be completed as a DIY task. It requires special technology and equipment that only a reputed and experienced restoration company can offer.
10. Check for Mildew and Mold
The next thing you should do is check for mold and mildew growth. Mildew and mold growth can start to form in as little as 24 hours after water damage. Thus, you have to carry out an inspection promptly.
Mold can be highly toxic to humans. Therefore, if you see any signs of mold in the drywall, baseboards, or walls, you should remove the infested material and discard it.
11. Inspect the Structural Damage
The load-bearing walls and foundations are susceptible to water damage and might fall or crumble once they dry up. You need to stand 50 to 100 feet away from the damage on every side of your house and check for saturated wood, a sagging roof, wavy and bent walls, and whether the house tilts or leans.
An experienced structural engineer can evaluate weak structural defects after water damage, such as unsupported floors and walls.
12. Sanitize the Affected Area
To make sure all bacteria and mold have been eliminated, take time to sanitize the areas that have been impacted by your water damage repair efforts. Basic water and bleach solution should be able to do the job. Make sure to sanitize any items that were in the impacted area to get rid of any bacteria or mold.
13. Replace the Laminate Flooring
If your home has laminate floors that appear just like hardwood, you need to know that they work - differently when exposed to stagnant water. Laminate floors trap moisture and start to swell up, and thus, if it has been damaged by water, you will have to get them replaced.
14. Install Devices to Detect Water
Even when you have cleaned up the water, you should keep an eye out for the moisture in your house to prevent further damage. A water detection device is an alarm for moisture – install one near toilets, washing machines, dishwashers, along with other similar appliances to identify a problem before it worsens.
15. Seal and Caulk Any New Materials
Once you've replaced any damaged materials, it is time to protect them from further water damage. If you need to replace any floorboards, you'll either need to seal the new wooden parts or change to a waterproof material such as high-end vinyl or tile. Waterproof floor components are going to protect against water damage in the future.
If you replaced any fixtures, make sure to seal and caulk them. Line the fixtures, including windows, sinks, toilets, and frames, with a durable caulk to prevent water from leaking in the future.
Last Few Words
Timely action and intervention are crucial if you wish to mitigate the damage and reinstate your house to its former glory. At AdvantaClean, our team of specialists can help you deal with water damage. We use non-invasive methods and cutting-edge technology to identify the cause of flooding and fix it at the root of the problem.