Your Water Damage Cleanup Guide: The First Steps You Must Take

Have you recently suffered from a burst pipe, overflowing toilet, or a serious flood?

If so, your home likely has some water damage that you will have to deal with now. Knowing what to do after experiencing some flood damage is vital to saving your home and other valued possessions.

Keep reading to learn what steps to take next for your water damage cleanup and how to get your home back to normal.

Call Your Homeowners Insurance Company

The first thing you should do after you’ve had water damage is to call your homeowners’ insurance provider. Your insurance company will send an adjuster to your home to look and assess the damage you have. Depending on your insurance policy, the damage might be fully or partially covered.

You should document your valuables and take pictures of the damage before you begin the cleanup, during, and afterward. This will help your adjuster to make your claim and assess the damage that has been done.

You should then find a reputable company that will help you with the cleaning up and restoration of your home. Keep in mind that your home insurance policy may not cover flood damage so you will need to review your policy beforehand.

Safety First

If you have experienced a major disaster to your home, the first thing you need to do is make sure you and your family are safe. There are a few things you should do as soon as you can.

Start by turning off the main power to your home. Electricity and standing water is a very dangerous combination. If the main power switch is near a wet area and is difficult to ensure you can stay safe while turning it off, you will need to call an electrician.

Once the power has been shut off you can reenter your home. Make sure you wear protective clothing, such as gloves and rubber boots. These will protect you from dangerous bacteria that can be found in the water.

If the flooding wasn’t severe, you may be able to save your valuables by lifting them up and out of the water. Plastic crates or tin foil can be used to create a lift for your furniture.

Start Cleanup as Soon as Possible

Once you have been cleared to reenter your home, you should start cleaning up as soon as possible. This should be done within 24-48 hours if possible. Anything that came in contact with the water will need to be cleaned and disinfected. If the water contained hazardous materials or sewage, take steps to protect yourself from the risk of infection.

If the damage is extensive, hire a restoration company to assist you with the cleaning. If you are able to handle the task yourself, start with drying the water first.

Next, determine what can be saved and what needs to be thrown away. You might need to remove your flooring, the drywall, and any insulation that got wet. Any furniture that can be saved will need to be fully dried out and cleaned to prevent mold from growing.

Thoroughly Dry Your Home

Once you have gotten all the standing water out of your home you will need to completely dry the interior. Once you can turn the electricity back on you can use the central heating and air to help pull the humidity out of the air.

To help speed up the process you should use some floor fans to circulate the air and dehumidifiers in the areas that are still damp. The earlier you can get your home dry the better chance you have at avoiding the growth of mold and mildew.

Turn on the electric lights in your closets and rooms and leave all the doors and windows open to help the drying process.

Mold and Mildew

One of the biggest issues to deal with after a flood is the growth of mold and mildew. The sooner you are able to get into your home and dry it out and remove your belongings, the better the chance you will have to avoid losing them to mold growth.

If you are unable to get back into your home right away, you will likely have some mold or mildew starting to grow. Be careful not to spread the mold spores around through your home when you are in the drying process.

Any upholstered furniture or mattresses that were damaged during the flooding should be removed and discarded. These soft materials generally can not be saved and will quickly harbor the growth of mold and other bacteria.

Furniture that is made out of solid wood, plastic, or metal should be salvageable with some heavy cleaning. If the wood has soaked up too much water and is swollen, then you will need to discard it.

Restoration

Once you have your home fully dry and removed all the damaged furniture, flooring, drywall, and other items, you can begin the restoration process.

New subflooring will need to be laid followed by new carpet, tile, or wood planking. Walls will need new insulation, studs, and drywall in the areas that were affected the worst.

Appliances that were present under the waterline will also need to be removed and replaced. Make sure the electrical breaker or power to the home is turned off to avoid electric shock and injury.

Learn More About Water Damage Cleanup Today

Water damage cleanup after a flood is no easy task. The first step you need to take is to call your home insurance policy and start the process.

Once you are allowed to reenter your home, start the process of removing the standing water and drying everything out. The sooner you are able to remove the humidity from the surfaces, the better chance you have at avoiding the growth of mold and mildew. Once everything is dry and properly cleaned and disinfected, you can begin the restoration process.

If you would like more information about your home, be sure to visit our website daily!

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