Water Damage – Prevention Steps to Take in Your House
Unwanted water can cause a lot of damage. Not only can it potentially ruin prize possessions, but it can also damage the house that stores them. Acting quickly minimizes the damage and could save the possessions. Depending on how long water stands, furniture pieces may be salvageable and sometimes carpeting as well. Electronic devices hit by water probably cannot be saved.
Flood waters are not to be treated lightly. Even when a basement is damp or has only an inch of water, it is a perfect mold breeding ground. Mold ruins flooring, carpets, furniture, and walls. Poor indoor air quality causes problems like asthma that can lead to illness severe in nature. Keeping the air in a home clean and healthy by preventing mold growth is important.
1. Calling the insurance company is the first step. Tell the company what you plan to do.
2. Disconnect the power before unplugging any electronics. Immediately move furniture, electronics and other moveable items. Pull up the carpets or area rugs and the underpadding. Carpets that are professionally cleaned and disinfected may be salvageable. If carpet shrinks, it may serve as an area rug. The underpadding acts like a sponge. A lot of water is absorbed. It is unlikely that under padding can be saved.
3. Rid the area of water. When concern about loose wiring or lack of power is present, use mops, buckets and old towels to soak up water. As long as neighborhood sewers are not backed up, water can be poured down a drain. If drains cannot be used, pour the water onto a permeable surface such as the lawn. When power is available, a wet/dry vac is an option. Electricity and water can be a deadly combination. Use outlets that are far away from the water. Do not use extension cords. The connection could short out and deliver a nasty shock. Overwhelmingly flooded areas might require a sump pump, or better yet, a professional water damage expert.
4. Disinfect the area after it dries. Use a disinfectant to rid the area of bacteria that may have come from toilets and sewers. Non-upholstered furniture, wood, and walls need to be disinfected.
5.To prevent mold growth, after disinfecting, apply a solution made of inorganic salts and distilled water. Use it on anything susceptible to mold growth. A mister can be used to spray an entire room. It dries overnight and forms a thin layer over mold that is growing. The solution crushes the spore roots.
6. Responsibly dispose of damaged items. Everything should not be thrown in a dumpster to be sent away and out of sight. Damaged goods should be organized into piles and recycled if possible to alleviate pressure on landfill sites. Toxic liquids, adhesives, stains, and old paint do not belong in the same disposal location as drywall, furniture, computers, TVs, and cellphones. Contact the local waste management center to find where to dispose properly of the items. A better option may be to let water damage experts take care of the task.
The disinfectant, preventative solution and mister are available from home improvement retailers. Asking a professional to handle the job might be a better bet. Experienced technicians know what non-toxic products to use and how to apply them.
Professionals do emergency water extraction. They remove affected materials such as tile, carpet, framing, and drywall. Technicians clean and dry the affected areas. They use a hydrometer to verify moisture is removed. Carpets are cleaned or replaced. Professional water damage experts can be contracted to reconstruct affected areas.