After a flood, leaky pipe or any other event that causes excess water or moisture in the home, it is important to take steps as soon as possible to avoid water damage. Water damage can result in a variety of different problems such as structural damage, wood rot, mold growth, etc.
- Remove Excess Water
The first step is to remove as much water from the affected area as possible. Water can simply be bucketed out. However, for large amounts of water it is advisable to use a sump pump which can be rented from a local hardware store. Alternatively, use a wet vacuum cleaner to suck as much water, residue, debris and muck that may be associated with the flood.
- Remove Belongings
It will be necessary to remove all furniture items and other belongings from the flooded area. Items that cannot be saved should be disposed of immediately. Other items should be cleaned and dried effectively to prevent mold growth and other damage. A day or two in the sun should effectively dry out all belongings that can be saved.
As mentioned above, dirt and debris are commonly part and parcel of a flood. It will be necessary to clean up the dirt before and after the drying process has taken place. Any flooring, dry wall or other structural elements that cannot be cleaned or have already suffered water damage, should be removed and disposed of. Carpets and wood flooring may be severely affected and will probably need to be replaced.
This is probably the most important part of the process. Open all windows and doors to allow the cleaned area to air out. Use fans and heaters in the area to speed up the drying process. Keep in mind that the longer it takes to effectively dry out the space, the more likely it will be that water damage will set in.
Ideally, all the above steps should be performed within 24 hours of a flood or other water related disaster for the best results. If you do not have the resources or time to manage this, it is highly advisable to contact a flood and water damage specialist for assistance. They will have expert knowledge as well as the right tools and equipment to resolve the problem quickly and effectively.