How to Do Water Damage Clean up
The first thing that you should do is find where the water damage is coming from. If you’ve left a faucet on or have had hard rains that have filled your basement with water, it’s pretty easy to figure out. If you are not able to find the actual source of the water, you may have a pipe that has burst. You want to stop additional water from entering your home as soon as possible. If you have a bust pipe, turn off the water supply to your home, if your roof is leaking, stop the leak as best you can, etc.
Before you start your water damage cleanup, you want to assess the level of damage to your home. If you have a limited amount of damage, there are many things that you can do yourself. If drywall, floors, etc. have been completely destroyed you may need to call in a professional, unless you are able to replace these items yourself.
Assuming you can manage the cleanup on your own, the first thing that you want to do is to get fresh air moving through area with water damage. Open windows, turn on fans, bring in box fans, etc. This is going to help dry the area, and will also help to reduce smells later.
Next, get a dehumidifier running as quickly as possible. Dehumidifiers take moisture out of the air, so this will help you in your water damage clean up efforts. Remember to check and empty the tank often. You are going to want to run your dehumidifier until things are completely dry to avoid mold and mildew in your home.
Once you have these two important things running, pick up any papers, books, photos, etc. If they are not valuable and are heavily damaged, throw them away. You can make photocopies of most paperwork and then throw it away. If valuables have been damaged, freeze them in a frost-free freezer and consult with a water damage professional as soon as possible to see if they can be saved.
Now you’ll want to get out a wet/dry vac and clean up as much of the water as possible. This will be especially helpful for carpeted areas, upholstered furniture, even tile or wood floors. Continue this process until you have gotten the bulk of the water damage cleaned up.
If you have wood surfaces that have been affected by the water, you’ll want to remove the water as quickly as possible and then use fans and a dehumidifier for additional drying. A mild detergent and clean water can be used on wood that has been treated.
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Other surfaces in the area with water damage can also be cleaned with a mild detergent and clean water. Many of these surfaces can also be scrubbed with a small scrub brush if needed.
If you have drywall damage as a result of the water, you are going to have to inspect the drywall to see if it needs to be repaired. As a general rule, you can probably dry it with a fan as long as it hasn’t swelled and the seams are still in tact. If there is swelling or the drywall seams have separated, you will need to replace the damaged area. Even if you can dry the drywall without replacing, you may need to prime and paint the damaged area.
If you have ceiling tiles, as are common in many basements and they have been damaged by water, you will need to dispose of them and replace them.
Continue to ventilate the area that has been affected by water damage using open windows and fans until everything is dried. Continue to use your dehumidifier during this process as well. You may be doing this for some time until the area is completely dried out. You do not want to allow mold and mildew to grow.
If the water damage was the result of a malfunction with something in your home, repair quickly and correctly so that you don’t aren’t cleaning water damage again in a few months! water