Having to deal with any type of damage to your home is a very stressful experience. Nobody is ever fully prepared to mitigate or completely avoid the disaster, so it is important to stay calm, assess the situation, and try to find the most efficient approach to restoring your home.
Water damage can come in different shapes and sizes, and depending on how affected your living space is, you can attempt the repairs yourself, or seek professional help. I needed more advice on how to best react in moments like these so I talked to the experienced plumbing professionals at OneStop Plumbers, who are often first responders in homes affected by floods and leaks, and here’s what I learned about preventing, mitigating and addressing water damage.
Before you start taking steps to perform water damage restoration, it is vital to establish what type of water you are dealing with. Water that invaded your home can be divided into 3 categories:
Chemically harmless water that comes from rain or pipes. Pretty safe to deal with. Some basic equipment like rubber gloves and boots will suffice.
Gray water is a more contaminated variant. It comes from washing appliances, toilets, or any other source that might alter its chemical structure making it more contaminated than clean water. Dealing with gray water requires a more serious approach.
The most dangerous type of water comes from sewers or a flooded river. In this case, it is safest to call professionals who possess the proper knowledge and equipment.
The first thing to do is make sure electricity does not come in contact with the water. Disconnecting all outlets, or better yet, killing the electricity inside your home completely for the time being is recommended. It is also worth noting to avoid using any device that operates on power if you haven’t properly investigated all affected areas.
Mold loves dark and moist areas and water-affected homes are its favorite space to grow. It can be dangerous, and it is important to quickly find it and dispose of it. If smaller surfaces are affected, you can simply cut them off and put them in a plastic bag for disposal.
Sometimes the infestation is more serious and requires a professional touch. The spores can easily spread through the air, and that’s why you need to shut all airflow. Mold is sneaky and can hide inside your walls and floors, which is why a thorough investigation is necessary through the whole restoration process.
Removing the water is critical to saving your home, but after that job is done comes the drying process. If the damage is not enormous, you can use simple fans and natural airflow to speed up the drying process, provided that you’d dealt with potential mold first.
Getting dehumidifiers is also recommended. The faster you react, the risk of mold infestation diminishes. Removing furniture from the affected areas makes the job easier as well.
The best way to deal with porous materials is to simply replace them. It might sound expensive or overwhelming, but the risk of mildew is pretty significant when it comes to drywall, wood, or unsealed cement. Also any furniture you deem not worth bothering to repair is too best replaced.
The final measure before you can safely resume restoring your home to its former glory is disinfection. When you’re done with drying affected areas, removed porous materials, and made sure mold and mildew are not present, it is time to disinfect.
A simple DIY solution you can use is a piece of cloth and bleach. Spray bleach across affected areas and rub it. Let it dry and then, finally, start repairing. Remember that professionals are here for you if you don’t confident enough to perform these steps on your own.