When you find water in a place it shouldn’t be or your basement floods, it can leave you feeling devastated. No matter the severity, water damage is overwhelming. Because water can hide behind walls, it feels intimidating to know precisely the extent of the damage and where to begin restoring your home to normal.
When damage occurs to a home due to water, we advise starting water damage remediation within 24-48 hours if possible. We have compiled a list of 6 steps to begin restoration for water damage.
1. Stop the Cause
The first and most crucial step is to stop what is causing the water damage.
If it is a leaky or broken pipe, faulty plumbing in a faucet/ toilet, or any other issue within the primary plumbing system of the home, start with shutting off the water. To do this, locate the main shut-off valve and turn it until you hear the water flow stop. When you believe the valve is off, go to any or multiple sinks and turn them on to release any remaining water in the pipes that could worsen the issue.
If the water damage is caused by weather, like flooding in a basement, and you have standing water, do what you can to limit flow into the home. Removing standing water could mean making a dam or creating a sandbag barrier to divert the water away. Do what is necessary to decrease the amount of water entering and decrease the potential damage.
2. Assess the Damage
Once you stop the water flow that is causing the leak, it is time to assess the damage.
Turn off Electricity (if Applicable)
Depending on the amount of water, if water enters outlets or reaches exposed wires, it can create damage and therefore is a hazard. If you believe there might be water near electrical elements, turn off the power if you can safely access the breaker. Turning off the power will avoid unintentional electrocution.
Document the Damage
Before taking any action on fixing the water damage, be sure to document the damage by taking photos or videoes if it is safe to do so. Photos and videos of the damage you take are used for many reasons. First, they will help you, or any professional who assists you, know the full extent of the problem.
Secondly, if you report the incident, these photos will be part of your insurance claim. The images are crucial in ensuring no questions about what was damaged.
Depending on the reason for the water damage, filing a claim with your insurance might be the best choice. Most insurances cover accidental flooding caused by faulty plumbing systems like a broken water heater or overflowing tub.
However, if it is due to weather, it may only be covered if flooding is part of your insurance policy.
Take an Inventory of Damage Within the Home
Depending on the extensiveness of the water damage, list any furniture, electronics, or other valuables within the home that incurred damage. Inventorying your affected possessions will help you to know what needs replacement or repair.
3. Remove All Furniture and Valuables from the Space
Before drying the space, you should remove anything moveable and impacted by water. Remove things like furniture, electronics, paperwork, toys, etc.
Removing excess items from the space will help reduce further damage to your possessions. It also will allow you or a professional to dry the affected area more efficiently.
4. Check for Mold
Once you clear the space of any excess furniture or possessions, it is an excellent time to check for mold. Mold can begin developing within 24 hours. It is vital to examine the area for mold to prevent further growth. Once mold starts growing, it can be difficult to remove
If you find any mold growth evidence, contact a professional. Mold can be toxic and cause a host of medical issues. A professional is best equipped to restore water damage by eliminating mold and preventing further growth.
5. Dry it Out
Now that you have cleaned the space, inspected the damage, and checked for mold, it is time to dry out the room or house.
If standing water is in your home, you can begin removing the water with buckets and plastic tubs. Another helpful tool to assist in water removal is a shop vacuum. This vacuum is designed to suck up water and other materials a standard vacuum cannot.
You may need to remove flooring, drywall, or insulation to access all the accumulated moisture. Pulling up carpet and carpet padding will allow full ventilation of the material and allow you to access the water seeped through the carpet.
Once you have removed all visible water possible, you will need to work on extracting all other moisture. There are a few ways to do this:
- Use fans to circulate the air
- Place a dehumidifier in the space to remove humidity
- Open the windows to increase ventilation.
Depending on the damage, furniture may need to be dried, cleaned, or thrown out. This step is an excellent time to take the appropriate action for your furniture.
6. Repair What You Can
Once the space is thoroughly dried and no traces of moisture remain, you can begin water damage remediation.
Remove all damage to your walls. Scrape off any peeling, bulging, or stained areas. If the drywall is stained and structural integrity intact, you can salvage it by cutting out the affected area. However, if the drywall has a large section sagging, you must remove the entire piece.
If the damage is minor, you can fix it yourself. A minor repair could mean replacing drywall, spackling, and repainting the area. Be sure to sand down any bumps and rough edges.
If you need the knowledge to repair the damage or the damage is too extensive, a professional can help you with restoration for water damage.
Save Yourself the Hassle and the Worry and call Utah Disaster Clean Up
When water damage occurs, your life can feel uprooted, especially if it is a significant water issue. The last thing you may want is to research and purchase the correct supplies and tools to resolve your issue, only to worry if you did it correctly enough for no further damage.
Take the worry out of your water damage remediation and contact Utah Disaster Cleanup today.
Our technicians will remove all hazards, remove damaged surfaces, and restore your home to how it was before the water damage occurred. We are ready to help.