Flooding – Water Remediation & Drying Tips
A storm with significant downpour, an overflowing toilet or sink, and damaged pipes are just a few ways water can enter unwanted places in your home. Typically, once it starts accumulating, it doesn’t often stop. Water damage caused by flooding is one of the most common causes of insurance claims each year. Valuable items are damaged, precious artifacts ruined, and even the value of the property can decrease as a result. It is extremely important to take immediate action if flooding takes place in any area of your household. Most homeowners are hesitant or unsure of what steps to take. If you find yourself in this situation, here are a few important tips to help you resolve the problem:
• If water is still entering the area, the most important task is to stop this flow. Find your main water valve and turn it off. This valve is most commonly found outside the home, next to the water meter, and on the side supply water to the meter. If there is an opening in the roof or structure of the home, use tarps to cover the opening and immediately call your local emergency restoration company. If a pipe is leaking, duct tape does wonders to temporarily patch a hole.
• Remove all items soaked in water from the area. If the property is too heavy, wait for a professional to do it. Separate the items in a well ventilated room, away from the flooded room. Items may be salvaged after they dry. If any sewage or hazardous chemicals have spilled or flooded the area, it is also a good idea to let professionals remove them. Placing fans on the relocated items can help with the drying process.
• Begin to dry the area as soon as possible. With significant water build-up, a water pump will work best. Make sure to direct the water outside the home, as far away as possible. If you don’t own a water pump, family or friends may surprisingly own one. Pumps are likely available at your local hardware store. In damp areas, or after pumping the water out, use towels to wipe affected areas. Place fans in the room and keep all doors open for adequate ventilation.
• Mold growth is a major concern in moist areas. The best way to prevent mold growth is to spray the area with chemicals. Cleaning and restoration companies are licensed and well versed in applying these chemicals to appropriate areas. These chemicals are applied after the water removal. If sprayed by a restoration company, talk to them about health hazards. Most of these chemicals are environmentally friendly.
• Take care in flooded areas containing electricity. Water build-up in areas with live electricity can cause electrocutions or fires. If you are in anyway uncomfortable with the situation, wait for a professional to evaluate the area. We highly advise you don’t go on your roof or on ladders to fix a problem, especially during storms. Leave these tasks to a professional.
Experiencing a flood in your home can be quite stressful. Many of these incidents could have been avoided by taking simple preventative measures. Investing in newer appliances regularly, not storing pictures or any valuables near water sources, and having your roof inspected every few years are highly recommended. Having a plan or written instructions before a flood occurs can relieve you of a lot of stress. Keeping squeegees to direct water away from the affected area, duct tape, a water pump, tarps, and spare towels in the household are a good way to be prepared. Keep this bulletin and emergency contact phone numbers readily available. You never know when they could be of use!