If your home's been damaged by water, you're at risk of structural issues, mildew and mold growth. The more you understand about how to respond to this type of disaster, the better off you'll be in terms of avoiding long-term complications and hazards from the water. Here are a few tips that can help you tackle water damage head-on and protect your home.
Safe Power Management
If there's any standing or running water in any part of the house, you need to shut down the power to that part of the home immediately. Any water accumulation can be hazardous to your electrical system. When your water damage is just a small trickle leak or seep, it may not be a concern, but if it's more than an inch of water or it's still accumulating, it's best to shut it down. For water damage that's isolated to a single room, just shut down the breaker to that specific area. If it's widespread, you might have to turn off the main breaker to the house.
Proper Water Elimination
Before you can dry anything out, you have to eliminate the water. That means identifying its source and stopping it, then ridding your home of what's built up. If the flooding is due to a broken pipe or malfunction in your plumbing, you may need to turn off the main water shut-off valve to stop the flow. You'll find the valve in the basement or just outside the house in most cases.
For water coming from an outside source, you need to plug the area where it's coming in. Find the source and patch the hole or fill the crack with something, even if it's temporary until you can address it in greater detail.
Remove any wet furniture, boxes or other items from the area and then use a pump system to draw water out if it's deep enough. Pumps are great tools for this, because you can direct the water anywhere just by moving the drain hose.
Effective Drying Technique
After eliminating the standing water, get air moving in the space to dry things out. Open the windows if the air outside is reasonably dry. If it's pouring rain, this won't be effective, but dry, calm days are great for this. If you can't open the windows, you'll want some industrial-sized fans to start drying things out. Place a dehumidifier in every room that's been affected by the water. The dehumidifier will draw moisture out of the air, helping to speed up your drying process.
Once you've dealt with the immediate issues, you'll need to call a water damage restoration company to help you with drywall and other structural concerns. Make sure you do this right away, or you may have mold growth inside the walls that can lead to more extensive repairs.
For more information, contact Flagship Restoration or a similar company.