When it comes to your home, one of the most difficult situations to deal with is water damage. Whether it’s from a roof leak, pipe burst, or flood waters, water damage can affect your flooring, cabinetry, walls, electronics, furniture, and more. Especially after hurricane Harvey, Houstonians are dealing with water damage more often than ever before.
For any disaster, it’s important to know how to deal with water damage and who to call. Because water can affect so many things on a property, the process can be a bit long.
- Emergency Contact
You must call a restoration provider that can handle an emergency. The longer the water resides on the property, the worse the damage can be and will eventually lead to issues with mold. Mold is not a fun issue to deal with. It can be a hidden cause of illness which is as violent as the flu.
- Immediate Inspection
Your first contact will be able to inspect the damage and what stage it’s in. At this point you can get professional advice on what needs to be done to remove the water and what has been affected. Eyeballing it yourself can lead to some parts that have been missed and eventually cause a worse situation.
- Water Removal / Extraction
The next step is to get rid of the water. The water removal process must begin as soon as possible, and in cases where the quantity of water is enough, must be pumped out and extracted via vacuums. Hundreds or thousands of gallons of water can be removed using these methods, which is especially necessary in the case of a flood.
After the bulk of the water has been removed, the remainder must be dried using specialized equipment. Metrics such as room measurements, temperature, and humidity help determine the best route to take. You’ve probably seen air movers and dehumidifiers before. They are like powerful fans that blow on areas that have been affected by severe moisture. These are directing air towards a pocket of moisture that can help displace it and move it to an area for extraction or evaporation.
- Cleaning and Restoration
The remainder of the process involves cleaning all items and structures that can be restored. There are specific techniques involved for each part of the home that’s been affected. At that point, damage can be assessed as in what’s not able to be dried, and restoration can begin. In many cases, this may involve replacing parts of the flooring or drywall.
Some Emergency Water Damage Tips
Once water enters an area, there are a few primary concerns to keep in mind. You need to determine if it’s safe to stay in the house. Electrical hazards are among the most important. Wet materials can also be very heavy due to the absorbed water. Trying to lift heavy items from one area to another, or up/down stairs can result in injury if it is heavier than you expected and you’re still on wet ground.
Things to do after flooding:
- Remove as much water as you can through mopping
- Wipe away excess water from wood furniture, and ensure no electrical appliances are nearby
- Remove and put up wet upholstery to try air drying them
- Use your air condition to help move the air and improve drying