Every homeowner lives in fear of damage to their homes, whether it be burglary, fire or water damage. Walking in the door to discover a mini lake in your living room can be a horrifying experience. Water damage can occur for a variety of reasons, be it overflowing toilets, sinks left on or a burst main line. Regardless of how you came to be swimming in your bedroom, the need for you to take action is immediate. Included here are the first steps to take upon discovering water damage in your home.
Stop The Flow
The best step you can take when dealing with water damage is to stop the flow of water and prevent further damage as quickly as possible. This means you are going to need to shut off the electricity, turn off the main water valve and unplug electronic appliances. Stopping the flow of water is the first step in getting things back to normal.
After you have stopped the flow of water, you will need to bust out your camera. You may not feel like this is the biggest photo-op of your life, but taking pictures of the damage at its worst is critical. Insurance companies will need to see photo proof of what happened in your home to file a claim and work on paying for repairs.
This is an incredibly tedious process, but must be seen to carefully and precisely. Begin by opening windows, if weather allows, and move all soaked furniture outside. Towel off all hard surfaces, especially wood floors, and lift up rugs and carpet. If you are able to call in a water damage specialist in time, they may be able to save the carpet. Your entire structure should be able to dry in 2-5 days if all wet articles are removed and airflow is good.
Following the drying process you will need to clean and disinfect all of the areas in your home that were wet in order to prevent mold and bacterial growth. Be sure you do not use heat to aid in drying as it can accelerate the growth of bacteria. Surfaces must be completely dry in order to kill all of the mold spores.
Following the damage, you will want to wait until your structure is fully dry and all surfaces are clear of mold before beginning reconstruction. Before starting work, decide if this is a good opportunity to make any updates and remodels to the home. You may be able to install new flooring, or remove a wall that was already damaged. It can be helpful to a hire a contractor who specializes in recovery from water damage and repair.