Top Water Damage Cleanup TipsWater damage cleanup must be done in quick order to be truly effective. From the time it occurs, you have a window of just 24 to 36 hours before mold begins to form. Even if you manage to dry out a space with a wet-vac or shop-vac, moisture could well still be present behind a wall, in the floor or subfloor, or, even in furniture. For instance, you might have an old sectional that got wet and seems to be perfectly fine. However, if you look under the furniture piece in a day or two after, you might see and/or smell mold.
Water damage can be deceptive. Water penetrates into structural cavities creating trapped pockets of saturation. The detection of water in these areas can often only be discovered with sophisticated moisture detection meters. Undetected moisture will continue to cause damage. This damage, at a minimum, will cause odors. Greater damage will surface when materials delaminate, shrink, split and further deteriorate to where costly repairs are required. —Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration CertificationThe very first water damage cleanup tip is to know what you’re really dealing with and if you can handle it on your own or have to call a professional water damage cleanup service. If it’s just a small amount, like a tiny leak in the roof or some leaking under a sink, you’ll probably be able to go the DYI route. However, if there’s any standing water or was standing water, it’s worthwhile to leave the job to a professional service. Here are some more of the top water damage cleanup tips:
- Document any damage. If you have homeowner’s insurance and/or flood insurance, now is a good time to retrieve those policies and for review. You’ll first want to start the water damage cleanup process by documenting any damage with pictures. In addition, most insurance policies require you do what’s necessary to mitigate any further damage, so be sure to take precautionary steps.
- Air out the space as soon as possible. Open windows, use ceiling and floor fans to circulate air. You’re trying to get the air flow circulating throughout the room to lessen any further damage to your home. Circulating air will promote dryness — something you’ll want to achieve quickly.
- Dehumidify and pump water out of the room. Use a shop-vac or a wet-vac to vacuum water out of the room. Once there’s no standing water left, you should bring in a dehumidifier to lower the moisture levels and further mitigate more possible damage.
- Remove all sodden objects from out of your home. Anything that’s been submerged or is soaked with water should be taken out of your home immediately after you’ve removed the water. These include rugs, carpet, furniture, and any other objects which are wet or damp.