Repairing after household water damage – what you should know
You’ve probably heard horror stories from friends and relatives in the past concerning water damage. It can happen for various reasons, like natural disasters, spontaneously bursting pipes, or a leak coming from your neighbor upstairs. Whatever the reason, you’ve got an uncomfortable situation on your hands. It can be both frustrating and challenging to manage the situation, particularly if you’re a rookie when it comes to these instances. Well, the good news is that you’re not the first person to go through this. To make the restoration process easier, you can go back to the way things were before this unforeseen event occurred, take a look at the following tips.
Track down the source
When you start the rebuilding process, you first need to locate the water source giving you trouble. Excessive rain and leaky pipes are frequent culprits, so check there first. They are also the most accessible leaks to clean yourself without professional help, as the water generally doesn’t carry any health hazards. However, if you’re dealing with black water, which entails sewage or water from overflowing rivers, you should have no contact with it. This type of water usually carries bacteria, waste and other contaminants, which can be severely detrimental to your health. In this case, it is best to call in professional help.
Let everything dry out
High levels of moisture are extremely destructive for your home. No matter the extent of the damage, you should take the necessary measures to ensure the area dries as soon as possible. If you want to ensure that you’re doing it correctly, remove furniture and all other objects from the affected area as quickly as possible. Use fans to drive out humidity from walls and floors, and make sure to leave them running for a long time so that everything is thoroughly dried. On the surface, it can seem like there’s no condensation left, but water damage can seep far down the very structure of a building, so don’t be tricked into switching off the fan. If there’s enough moisture, so you notice water visibly dripping off the surfaces, wipe the excess out with towels and only then turn on the fans. Depending on the amount of deterioration you’re confronted with, you may have to rent some industrial-strength fans for the job.
Replace affected items
After a water damage event, some items in your home would likely become irreparably affected. Drying everything out may not work in all cases, and when it doesn’t, you should throw all that stuff out and replace it. Drywall is one of the first things you’ll have to replace since it can easily become oversaturated with water, providing grounds for bacteria and spores to grow. Insulation is in a similar situation, and it becomes over soaked quickly and no longer provides any cushioning support. Like drywall, it develops into a breeding ground for harmful substances that could endanger your health.
Upholstered furniture, whether sofas or chairs, should be replaced as well. The material is almost impossible to dry or clean properly, and it’s best not to take any chances. Mattresses that have sustained water degradation are likewise no longer safe and ought to be replaced. You don’t want to sleep in unsanitary conditions. Certain clothing items, like those made from leather or suede, can become severely damaged from contact with water and will probably have to be tossed off. Makeup and skincare items are also easily contaminated, and for your safety, you should toss them away and get new ones. You may feel guilty throwing things away just like that, but it’s vital to do so for your physical well-being.
Inspect for mold
One of the most significant troubles water damage brings along is mold. Typically, mold starts developing on afflicted surfaces 24 to 48 hours after the flooding. The invasive nature of moisture makes it so that no matter how well you try to get the area dry, you might not succeed and expose your home to mold. Some places can also be rather tricky to dry, such as ceilings. If you begin to observe the tell-tale signs of mildew, like the heavy, stale smell or if your eyes and nose feel constantly irritated, you’re most likely dealing with a fungus infestation.
It’s essential to act promptly if there’s any cause for concern. Mold can pose serious threats to human health, causing respiratory allergies or exacerbating the symptoms of chronic conditions like asthma in susceptible populations. Getting rid of this pesky problem will necessitate the aid of experts. Get assistance from Water Damage Prevention and Detection to make sure you rid your space of mildew for good. They can quickly assess the extent of the damage by inspecting your home. After the initial examination is completed, they’ll know how to proceed and which steps are necessary to remedy the situation promptly. Keep in mind that no amount of mold is safe. Even if you see only a tiny section of your wall or ceiling affected, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. By the time mildew becomes visible, it has already permeated unseen parts of the house like attics, basements, heating and ventilation systems or crawlspaces. Call in professionals so that you and your family stay safe.
Check for unseen moisture
After taking all necessary measures to eliminate the damage, you may be confused as to why you’re still dealing with adverse effects. Lingering moisture has destructive effects on your home and must be addressed immediately. This problem occurs mainly when the flooding was very mild, as it can cause you to underestimate the effects simply because you don’t see them. In cases like this, it’s best to look for hidden areas where condensation may have gathered.
Carpets are often the culprits. Although they can seem to have completely dried out, it is very likely for moisture to remain trapped in the fabric and cause fungus to develop. Take your rugs to a professional cleaning service for thorough disinfection. Any kind of particleboard furniture can similarly act like a sponge and absorb a large amount of water. If you don’t want to throw an entire cabinet or bookshelf away, consider cutting out and replacing the damaged parts.
Resolving post-flooding deterioration is a lengthy process, but it is necessary to follow all the steps to get your home back.