Posted on: 10 October 2018
Finding water damage in your home is an unwelcome wake up call, and usually alerts you to a hidden plumbing issue that you didn't know existed. Beyond calling a plumber to deal with the underlying issue that caused the water damage in the first place, there are a few things that you should do to get your home back in working order again and to prevent as much lasting water damage as possible.
Turn the Water Off
The first thing that you should do is always turn the water supply off. Usually, a leak in the pipes of your home means that you will have to turn the water off at the water supply valve, which is a manual valve usually located in your basement next to the water heater that can be turned by hand. If the water damage comes from another source, like a clogged drain or an appliance, you'll want to work to alleviate the clog or to shut the appliance off – washing machines, in particular, usually have a water shutoff valve behind the unit.
Remove the Water
The next step is to remove all of the standing water from the area to prevent it from soaking into the surfaces of your home as much as possible. Hardware stores will sell or rent submersible pumps, which can remove water and pump it directly into an unclogged drain. For smaller areas of water damage or when a submersible pump is unavailable or ineffective, you can use a shop vacuum to remove as much water as possible. You'll also want to install either a series of large fans or portable dehumidifiers in the affected area, as these appliances can help improve ventilation and reduce the overall amount of humidity – which can cause further water damage if not addressed.
Cleaning and Drying
Finally, once all of the water has been removed, you should go over the water damaged areas with disinfectant wipes or cleaners to kill bacteria, remove dirt and prevent the growth of mold. Throw away upholstery, fabrics, books, and other soft organic items that have been soaked, but be sure to take photos and note their value for insurance purposes.
Call the Professionals
Finally, you should always get in touch with a professional water damage restoration company. While the above steps are what you should do immediately to protect the water damaged area from the worst possible damage, professionals will have access to experience and equipment that you simply do not, and will be able to prevent and restore a larger extent of the damage.Share