Water damage can cause a host of problems for homeowners who don’t take the necessary steps for flood water removal.
Not only can water destroy many items in your home, but can also cause long-term structural issues as well as encourage mold growth, which can cause health problems in many people. Preventing the growth of mold is vital to the health and safety of those living in your home, so taking the necessary steps for flood water removal as quickly as possible is important.
Here are a few things you can do to keep mold at bay after water damage occurs.
1. Find the Source of the Flood. Water in your home can come from a variety of sources including roof leaks, a damaged foundation, a burst pipe in your walls, clogged gutters and more. If you discover that you have a water situation, take immediate steps to correct the problem. In some cases, you can make the repairs yourself. In others you may have to call in a professional. Either way, don’t wait as the water will continue to move throughout your home and cause water damage until the problem is repaired.
2. Remove items from the flooded area. Start with your electronics. Immediately turn off the power and remove any electrical items from the area. Next, remove items that are made from fabrics such as furniture, draperies, and rugs. Lastly, remove items such as tables and other items constructed from hard materials and then pull up the carpet. Depending on the amount of water you have, you will not likely be able to keep the carpeting and padding due to a possibility of mold growth and/or shrinkage of the carpet after flood water removal.
3. Flood Water Removal. Begin the process by sopping up large amounts of water with a wet/dry vacuum or with towels and mops. Next, use a carpet cleaner/extractor to begin removing water out of your rugs or carpet. You can dispose of the water down the drain or out in the yard, depending on your unique situation. If you have a flooded basement, using a sump pump to remove the water might be more practical and efficient. If you don’t already have one, you can get one at a local hardware retail establishment.
Depending on the original source of the water, your drying efforts may extend beyond the boundaries of any one room. For example, if your water problem is a result of a roof leak, you will need to dry your attic as well as the areas behind the walls in order to ensure thorough removal and to prevent mold from forming. Wooden trusses and studs provide the perfect medium for mold to grow.
4. Dry. After you have removed as much water as possible, place fans around the room to begin drying it as quickly as possible to prevent additional water damage. You can speed up the process by adding a dehumidifier in the room to keep moisture levels down. Once the air becomes saturated, it becomes difficult for fans to continue drying the room. Opening windows can help circulate fresh air into the room.
If the room has saturated drywall, now is the time to cut it away. Drywall acts like a sponge when exposed to water and will swell. And the paper backing provides the perfect growth environment for mold. Even if you are able to completely dry the Sheetrock, it will remain damaged and require replacement.
5. Disinfect. Last but not least, disinfecting the entire area is important to the prevention of mold growth as well as to neutralize any potential contaminants that might remain after the water has been removed. There are several powerful disinfectant agents on the market today that do a good job of destroying contaminants and inhibiting mold growth. It is important to treat the entire area including the wall studs, sub-floors and other areas that might have been affected by water. Any furniture that is salvageable will also need to be treated.
IF you aren’t confident in your abilities to remove all of the water and properly disinfect your home after a flood, your best bet is to contact a professional. We ONLY employ certified water damage & mold remediation technicians. This ensures all of our team members have the knowledge and skills necessary to ensure thorough water removal, which will significantly decrease the chances that mold will form. In addition, the cleanup services we provide will have your home back in shape in much less time than if you were to try to do it yourself. The best news of all is that many insurance policies cover the cost of the service.