Water Damage Tips
Understand that when it comes to a water disaster, you are working against a ticking clock. The longer you wait to take action, the more extensive the damage your Cedar Rapid home can suffer from. At Challis Restoration, we strongly suggest you do the following three things as soon as possible.
First, if the water is coming from a source that you have control of, turn it off. For example, if a pipe burst, turn off water to the house. This minimizes the damage and prevents it from worsening.
Second, call a professional water restoration company (our local Cedar Rapid water damage cleanup team is standing by). A simple phone call will have professionals assessing how to best repair the damage. Always go with a professional company; not only can water damage be hazardous to attempt to fix on your own, but a professional company also has access to tools and resources that an individual homeowner would not. In addition, most insurance companies don’t ensure self-repairs, which brings us to the third thing that you should not hesitate to do.
After these critical steps are taken, there are more steps you can take to hasten and smooth the process. First, understand what level of water pollution you’re dealing with. If it’s clean water, such as a drinking source, you’re safe to proceed. If it’s contaminated water, like from a sewage line or floodwater, leave everything to the professionals. Contaminated water can pose a serious health hazard. If you’re working with a clean water source, then there are things that you can do yourself in addition to the efforts of a professional water restoration company. You can:
- Open windows or turn on the air conditioner if the weather allows. This helps ventilate the area, which can prevent mold from growing.
- Open closet doors and things such as furniture drawers to increase airflow in water damaged areas. If a step can be taken to increase airflow and help to dry, do so.
- Wipe and dry furniture to remove excess water, which prevents water staining and warping.
- Remove as much water from areas by mopping and blotting where it’s wet in areas where the water damage has occurred.
- If couch cushions or similar furniture have gotten wet, they can be propped up for even drying.
- If something can be removed from the damaged area, do so. Move furniture to dry, lift drapes off flooring, and remove wet area rugs.
- Move valuables such as paintings, photos, or instruments such as a piano to a safe, dry place where they can be further from the water source and assessed for damage.
There are also some things that you should not do. For example:
- Do not use your ordinary household vacuum to remove the excess water. Regular vacuums are not meant to be used for water removal and attempting do so could prove hazardous. A professional water restoration company will have the proper tools, such as wet vacuums, to do so safely.
- Do not use electrical appliances while standing on wet flooring or carpets. If safe to do so, unplug any electrical appliances that are in the damaged area and remove them. In many cases, even if they seem to be operational, it is safer to replace appliances that have had access to water damage.
- Exercise extreme caution when electricity and water are involved. Turn off the power, and never go into any room with standing water if the electricity is on.
- Do not attempt to remove carpet or other household additions that have been tacked or nailed without professional help. Doing so could damage or ruin your carpet. When in doubt, always leave it to the professionals.
- Never go into any room where you have reason to believe that the structural integrity of the building has been damaged. If you can see something like a sagging ceiling, stay clear and wait for the professionals, as these situations can be extremely dangerous.