From a broken pipe to a torrential rain, flooding can wreak havoc on your home and belongings. When water invades your home
and causes damage, it is usually unbelievably traumatizing. Even before the water stops flowing, a daunting mess might be more damage than you can handle. When a flooding emergency occurs, you need to assess the situation and decide- should you call for expert help?
Emergency Timeline & Checklist
Step one: Stop the water at its source to minimize damage. Determine the source of the flow; is it from a visible plumbing connection or coming from a less accessible ceiling or wall? Obviously, you could turn off a faucet but do you know where the shut off valve is on the street?
- You might need a plumber immediately.
- If sewage has contaminated your building, you have a biohazard to deal with and will need specialized help.
Step two: Deal with active wet areas. Turn off the electricity and remove small electrical devices from the areas with excess water, if it is safe to do so. Remove small furnishings from carpeted areas or place aluminum foil under furniture legs. (This helps prevent permanent rust of furniture stains.) Hang draperies and pin up furniture skirts to avoid contact with wet floors. Avoid the possibility of electric shock; do not use a home vacuum or shop vacuum to remove water.
- Is large furniture affected? Plan for restoration crews to move furniture into dry areas.
- Are the carpet pads or walls in contact with puddles? Professional extraction equipment can be brought into the home to physically remove any free standing water from carpet, padding, and upholstery.
Step three: Get the moisture out. Mold grows quickly in warm, damp spaces. Are you able to adequately ventilate the area? After it is determined safe to use electricity, household fans can be arranged to create cross breezes and improve air flow.
- Professional services use industrial dying air movers for added ventilation in areas such as crawl spaces. Special features may include multiple drying positions, selectable motor speeds, and antimicrobial protection.
Step four: How will I pay?/ Is this covered? Contact your insurance agent for advice on your coverage. Some policies will authorize a water damage company as part of your service; often flood damage is excluded.
- Experienced service companies can help with your insurance claim and provide detailed progress reports.
An overflowing sink in a tile bathroom might take an hour to clean, however, flood restoration work is not for your typical do-it-yourselfers. When you’re faced with water damage, attacking the problem with detergent, sanitizers, and elbow grease are helpful, but not enough to combat the long term effects and restore your property to its previous state. Without the correct equipment or experience, cleaning the affected area yourself can leave you with more flood damage problems than you had before. Determining if your wet dry wall, carpet or furniture, appliances can be salvaged or needs to be replaced requires a qualified opinion. Calling a professional remediation company like All Brite Cleaning & Restoration with the proper equipment can save you money in the long run by heading off potential problems.