9 things to remember if you get water in the house
Posted on Jan 26, 2017
Stop the source, turn off main valve to the whole house if need be. Don’t know where or how? Now is the time to learn. Ask a spouse, plumber, the handy-man neighbor, whoever. It will save you a lot of grief later, a few minutes saved may make gallons of water difference and subsequently the time it takes to clean it up.
Check the SAFETY, turn off any breakers to the affected rooms and unplug any electrical appliances, until you know for certain they are safe. Watch your step as mud and water can be slippery. Rescue the most valuable items, sentimental things first. In this situation, time is of the essence.
Protect your home from further damage, cover holes in roof or move damageable items to higher ground, if not possible to move large furniture, set up on wood blocks or Styrofoam, as rust and furniture marks are the hardest to remove from carpet.
Evaluate the situation. How much water got in the house? If it is a small to medium amount and it is clean water (rain, or tap) then you can probably handle it, and if it only effecting hard surfaces and floors.
Call your insurance agent if it is beyond your scope. The faster you get going the more you save, and less headaches for everybody.
If you can, sweep out, mop and/or wet-vacuum out as much water possible, wash and dry any fabrics that you can. Get as many fans as you can to start air movement. Air movement is as important as temperature for drying purposes. Is the humidity outside and temperature such, that you may open windows and doors? You also have to think about security issues if you can not stay there. Dehumidifiers can lower the room humidity and thus cause the surfaces to dry faster, you can rent those from rental stores. If the carpets have gotten wet, it is prudent to call a professional restoration contractor immediately, for water can run underneath the surface and cause problems later, such as mildew molds and bad odors. A good carpet cleaning and/or restoration company has the tools to test to see where the water is EVEN BELOW the obvious surface.
If the water that has come in is from rising flood waters, or unsanitary sources, such and tubs or sinks it is called “gray water” and precautions must be taken. use gloves, rubber boots and use disinfectants on surfaces during and after the drying process. Call 205-252-5326 for recommendations. A free service to the readers of this booklet.)
If there is an unusual amount of water, or it has set long enough on the floor it probably means that the water has started to permeate the walls. A professional is needed to handle this kind of disaster for you. Removing sheetrock or baseboards and forcing dry heated air into the cavities to prevent mold and mildew from starting is necessary.
A professional restoration company like To the Rescue! and others, can apply anti-microbial (chemicals to prevent mold from starting and also deodorizes at the same time) to all surfaces and even into wall cavities sometimes without removing the wall surface, (certainly an advantage, it can save time and money, and for your convenience it gets your life put back together sooner.)
Many times at this point, the cost of the remedy has usually gone way above what your deductible for your home insurance is. If that is the case, then it only makes sense for you to do the basics, call your insurance agent and request that a professional restoration company come and do the job “Right”. Most people only think of getting the water out of the carpet but, “Right” includes not only the water extraction, but working to prevent long term damage to the structure, such as walls & ceilings. Quick drying of all surfaces including under carpets and the carpet pad is necessary. “Right” even relates to Indoor Air Quality. Why? Water left in the wrong places can mildew, thus the molds mildew and fungus releases spores into the air which can make you and your loved ones sick later.
A professional restoration company uses professional equipment such as high powered fans called turbo dryers, dehumidifiers, and test equipment to tell actually where and how much water got in. That is the only way to truly put the rooms back into pre-disaster condition, putting your home and life back in order. When a major situation like this occurs no one can twitch their nose and make it all magically disappear, but a professional restoration company can help you through with a minimum of stress.
On the other hand, if the source is sewage, USE EXTREME CAUTION. Keep pets and children away. You are dealing with a health hazard. You Must have professional help as this situation is beyond the scope of home-owners. The pollutants in this “black water” has been known to kill. What drastic measures needs to be done ? All carpet and pad must be thrown away, sheet rock removed and carted away remaining structures must be disinfected and sanitized. A professional restoration company is a life-saver in a situation like this.