The last thing any homeowner wants is to come home and discover a major water leak or flood has damaged their home. If you’re the victim of such a disaster, stop dwelling on “what if’s” and start working toward a full recovery. Follow these steps for the most effective water damage restoration after a disaster strikes.
Stop the Water
If a pipe leak or other plumbing issue is to blame for the water damage, shut off the main water supply immediately. It’s important to make sure every capable person in your family knows where the shut off valve is and how to use it. If the water leak is from a toilet or washing machine, you can shut off the water supply by turning the valve on the wall directly behind the appliance.
Shut Off the Utilities
In a major flood or catastrophic plumbing failure, it may be necessary to turn off the electricity and gas for the safety of you and your family. For a minor water leak, you can probably skip this step. Instead, you should simply shut down the electricity at the circuit breaker panel. Shut off power to all water-damaged rooms before you attempt to unplug or remove electrical devices there.
Call Rainbow International®
It is imperative that you call a professional restoration company immediately. It could mean the difference between restoring your home quickly to pre-loss condition or needing extensive and expensive reconstruction. Box fans and shop vacs only remove so much water. If moisture wicks up the walls and penetrates the subfloor, you could be left with hidden mold growth and permanent structural damage to your home. By acting within the first 24 to 48 hours of the water damage occurring, you can prevent permanent damage and reduce repair costs.
Get the Water Out Quickly
To help minimize further damage to your home and belongings, clean up as much pooled water as possible. Don’t attempt to use a regular vacuum on wet carpet. A shop vacuum is appropriate, but check the manufacturer’s instructions before powering it on. You can also soak up water with a mop or towels.
Encourage the carpet and walls to start drying as soon as possible by strategically placing fans around the room. Open the windows to let fresh, less humid air enter and further aid in the drying process.
Move Belongings Out
Transfer furniture, clothing and other belongings outside. Place aluminum foil under the feet of furniture that’s too cumbersome to lift out of the house to help prevent wood stain from bleeding into the wet carpet.
Remove area rugs as soon as possible to prevent the dye from staining hardwood and carpeted floors. Wipe down wood dressers and bookcases. Open wet books to speed up the drying process. Clean your clothing, bed linens, blankets and other textiles exposed to water as soon as possible to deter mold and bacteria growth.
Don’t Remove Wall-to-Wall Carpeting
In an attempt to save your carpet, you may be tempted to remove the tacks so you can roll it up and move it outside. The problem is that carpet tends to shrink when it dries out, meaning it won’t fit anymore when you try to reinstall it. If the carpet remains tacked in place, shrinkage won’t occur. Therefore, you should focus instead on drying your wall-to-wall carpet as fast as possible.
Watch Out for Pests and Debris
If the water damage was caused by a flood, snakes and rodents may seek refuge in your home, so watch out. Potentially dangerous debris such as nails, glass and wood splinters could be washed into your home, so never walk around barefoot while restoring your home from flood damage.
File an Insurance Claim as Soon as Possible
The sooner you file a claim, the faster you can receive financial help returning your home to normal. Make a list of the damaged items and take pictures. Don’t throw anything away just yet, even if it’s permanently damaged. An insurance claims adjuster may need to see the damaged items before your claim goes through.
Count on Rainbow International to perform Rapid Structural Drying techniques with state-of-the-art equipment and technology. Our goal is to take care of the nitty-gritty water damage restoration process so you can work on getting your life back in order. Contact us for a free water damage mitigation estimate today.