Water damage, whether it comes from a flood, a burst water pipe or an overflowing toilet, can wreak havoc on your home. It’s important to address your water damage problem as soon as possible to reduce the damage that excess water causes. If excess moisture is not removed, you could quickly have a dangerous mold problem.
First, if the source of the flood is inside your home, shut off the source of the water. This may require turning off the main water shut-off valve in your home. In most buildings, this valve is outside, in a utility box, in your basement or crawlspace, or on or near your water meter. Call your water company if you can’t find the valve.
If you have extensive flood damage, you also need to turn off the electricity in the flooded part of your home because water and electrical power are a dangerous combination. Turn off any natural-gas supply lines as well.
Next, clean up the excess water. Place buckets underneath any place where the water is dripping or cover the floor with a tarp to prevent water damage to your carpets. If flooding in your home has caused a sagging ceiling, this means water will burst or seep through the floor above if no action is taken. You can prevent this by poking tiny holes in your ceiling to allow water to drip from the floor above.
You can also remove water with a mop, wet/dry vacuum cleaner, or professional carpet cleaning machine. You may be able to save carpets that have been wet for less than two days, but you will most likely need to replace the padding underneath.
If water has damaged your upholstery, soak up as much water as you can and leave the furniture out in the sun to dry.
Opening your doors and windows will help dry out the flooded area. You can also use fans and dehumidifiers to remove excess moisture.
If water damage has affected your walls, take down any wall hangings and leave them in a place where they will not get wet. It may be best to remove any wallpaper to prevent mold from growing on your walls.
Depending on the extent and cause of your water damage, your insurance company may cover some of the repair costs, including the cost of hiring a contractor to take care of the water damage. Your insurance company may choose a contractor to hire. Check into this before spending extensive time and money on water damage repair.