Water damage to a home is similar to a snake bite. If you’re not careful and take immediate action, you could incur a huge financial loss and property damage. Nobody wants to experience the repercussions of water damage, especially in their home.
However, we have all heard a story of someone we know coming home to a flooded floor after vacation. There are many ways water can flood in a home, including busted pipes and a rainstorm. Unfortunately, floods leave behind the challenging work of cleaning your house and dealing with the resulting water damage.
While dealing with water damage is very challenging, below are 13 tips to make the process easier:
Locate the Source of Water
Three different water types flow into a home. The first type of water is clean water that comes from leaking pipes or rain. Clean water is easier to clean without requiring professional help.
The other type of water in a home is known as greywater. Greywater comes from home appliances such as toilets, dishwashers, and washing machines. It is much harder to clean grey water flooding in a home, and you may need professional help.
Another type of water is known as black water. This is mainly polluted water. If you notice that your home has a black water flooding problem, don’t attempt to clean up on your own.
Blackwater contains bacteria and other harmful contaminants that could hurt your health. Thus, it’s essential to let a professional handle black water flooding and the resulting damage.
Dry the Area as Soon as Possible
It’s essential to act as fast as possible when cleaning your home to avoid water damage. Mildew and mold could start growing as soon as 24 hours after the flooding. Mold growth is fueled by moisture.
After flooding, take everything out, including furniture, and electronics and dry out the affected area. You can also place fans on the wet walls and floors. However, if the damage is too extensive, you should consider hiring several industrial-strength fans to make sure that your house dries completely.
Look for Any Hidden Moisture
Once you remove all your items from the affected area and you’ve switched on your fans to blow over the area, ensure you also inspect all other areas of your home for any hidden moisture. Flood water may slip into other hidden areas such as under the carpers and beneath the floorboards.
Ensure you clean out the hidden areas of your floor and walls. You can also place a fan on the affected areas to make sure that they are completely dried out. Hidden moisture could be very dangerous for your house.
Check Your House for Mold
Mold and mildew growth is one of the signs of water damage to your home. Unfortunately, most homeowners don’t know the signs to look for after flooding in their homes. But, if you’re one of them, these are the signs to look for if you may have water damage.
After everything is dry, check out all areas for any water damage. Any remaining moisture may lead to the growth of mold and mildew if left unchecked. Most mold species are harmful and toxic to humans.
If you find a small mold issue, you may clean it up without requiring professional help. However, water damage repair projects can be quite hard, especially if you deal with extensive mold growth problems. Look for a licensed and reputable plumber to handle the mold problem for you.
To get rid of all mold and mildew in our home, follow the below steps:
- Clean and scrub the area using hot water, a stiff brush, and soap
- Dry vacuum the cleaned area
- Thoroughly rinse the area with clean water
- Disinfect the surface
- Let the surface air dry
When cleaning an area infected by mold, remember not to use any products that contain ammonia. For example, if mold has grown in your carpet and you can’t clean it, throw the carpet away. Also, remember to wash and dry your curtains, drapes, bedding, and clothes to get rid of any mold that spreads to them.
Remove All Porous Materials Such As Drywall
Have you noticed any water damage to porous materials in your houses, such as carpet, wood, and drywall? If you have, it may be time to throw away these items. If you can’t repair these items, replace them. However, if you notice that the woods or carpet didn’t incur a lot of water damage, try drying out the wet areas to avoid extensive damage.
Disinfect the Area With Water Damage
After removing all the damaged components resulting from flooding, it’s time to disinfect the area. For example, don’t install a new carpet without disinfecting the floor to avoid mold growth. For most homeowners, the most common choice for disinfectant is using a bleach solution.
However, other homemade disinfectants also work well. Lightly spray the area with the disinfectant and wipe it down before starting the damage repair process. This will help ensure that all mold spores are removed.
Start With the Ceiling Water Damage Repair
Ceilings that incur water damage are riskier because of gravity. You don’t want your ceiling to sag or collapse on you and your family. Start by removing the affected parts.
If a water problem on the roof causes the leak, ensure you find the source of the leak before starting any repairs. Also, check whether the water caused any damage to the rafters or beams. Ceiling replacement could be very challenging. Thus, contact a ceiling installation professional to help you with the project. If you are a DIYer you can find guides on the internet for how to repair drywall ceiling damage.
Replace Any Damaged Wood
Any severely damaged wood, especially on the floor, should be replaced. Check also for rotten wooden boards and any wood with developed mold and mildew issues. During the water damage restoration project, pry apart any damaged boards, clean and disinfect beneath them before installing new boards.
If the damaged wood is also a part of the structure of your house, be careful when replacing it. Ensure that your home’s structure has the right support before, during, and after the restoration project.
Install New Floors and Seal Them
From swollen floorboards to damaged carpets, home water damage is very evident, especially on your flooring. However, if you aren’t sure, check under the floorboards for trapped moisture. Also, remember that padding and underlayment are prone to water damage and should always be removed.
However, this also gives you a chance to replace your flooring and install new waterproof flooring. High-end vinyl, engineered wood, and ceramic tiles are great waterproof flooring materials. These great flooring options can help you protect your floors from future water damage.
Check and Replace Your Drywall
Most homeowners often wonder how much drywall they should replace in case of water damage. If drywall has sagged or swelled up due to water damage from the baseline, it’s time to change the whole sheet.
Otherwise, if the damage is less, you can cut the damaged part and repair the water-stained area. Don’t forget to inspect the insulation too. The water could also damage it.
Check the External Siding for Damage
Roof problems such as ice dams can cause damage to the siding materials too. The biggest issue with this is that the water will slip behind the sliding, resulting in permanent damage. If this happens, you may need to replace the siding immediately before it starts rotting.
The water can also slip in your siding through the faux stone or any other exterior walls surrounding your home. Therefore, it’s essential to be thorough with your inspection to avoid missing any signs of water damage to your sidings.
Seal and Paint
After replacing all the materials that incurred water damage, seal and paint the area. Ensure you match your stain or paint with the rest of the house when touching up. Caulk and seal the materials to reduce the risk of future water damage.
Contact Your Insurance Holder
If you have extensive water damage, you may need to contact your insurance company. Unfortunately, extensive water damage expenses are high, and you’ll probably have a hard time tackling them on your own.
If you have homeowner’s insurance, contact them to find out if they can cover the damages. Work with the insurance company throughout the process to ensure your house is safe from mold, clean, and secure from potential future water damage.
Are You Ready to Handle Water Damage to Your Home?
Cleaning up after a flood can be a daunting task. However, the worst part is repairing water damage. After a flood, the first question you should ask is, “Does my home have water damage?” Fortunately, if you know how to handle the damage after flooding, the process will be easier.
It takes a lot of patience, some courage, research, and a good homeowner’s insurance cover to repair current water damage and protect your home from any future damage.
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