How do you clean up water damage?

If your home or business has been flooded, your first priority is safety. Stay away from the area until officials say it’s safe to return. When you can go back, take emergency supplies and cash with you. If you can get to a phone, call your insurance company and, if necessary, a flood and water damage restoration contractor.

If you decide to go it alone, the first step after checking for safety is to dry out the affected area. It’s important to get rid of all moisture ASAP before it causes more damage. And for small leaks, this may not be difficult, but it’s important to be thorough. Use fans to circulate air in the affected area. For larger projects, consider renting a large-capacity dehumidifier to really dry out surrounding wood, carpet, and other materials. You don’t want any moisture left after your water damage repair.

Then you’ll want to remove and toss damaged porous materials. Porous materials include carpet, insulation, fabric, and similar items. If they’ve been soaked in water, you may have to cut them out and throw them away. Water will permanently damage most porous materials by shrinking or warping them, and mildew will damage them even further. And if you have a beloved piece of furniture you want to save, you could try isolating and drying it out, but the damage may already be done, especially if you see drywall water damage. 

Finally, when damaged components have been removed, disinfect the whole area before you begin working on rebuilding. The most common choice is a bleach solution, but there are a number of homemade options you can choose from. Lightly spray and wipe down the area before you start water damage repair to help make sure no mold spores linger.

It’s easy enough to say what needs to be done, but a whole other thing when actually doing it. Homeowners often will make the damage worse or not do it correctly. Your best bet is to call in the professionals. If you are not 100% sure of your own skill, call a water damage company. They will have the experience and equipment to handle any water damage restoration you find yourself needing.