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How to Cope with Water-Damaged Homes?

There are two sides to water-damaged homes. It can be as easy as taking out water and drying up rooms. Or, you may require restoring a bigger portion of the house. In this case, you need the most experienced water damage contractors. Restoration means turning your home into pre-damaged conditions. It involves removal of water, drying, and decontamination.

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How to Cope with Water-Damaged Homes?

There are two sides to water-damaged homes. It can be as easy as taking out water and drying up rooms. Or, you may require restoring a bigger portion of the house. In this case, you need the most experienced water damage contractors. Restoration means turning your home into pre-damaged conditions. It involves removal of water, drying, and decontamination. 

Act Quickly

Homeowners must move fast when water damage occurs. Otherwise, stagnant water or moisture creates an ideal atmosphere for molds, mildew, and other forms of bacteria. Extended exposure to this kind of environment causes possible health issues. You may be compelled to rebuild your water-damaged residence. 

Carpets, rugs, and drywall develop microorganisms that remain permanent. Replacement seems the only practical option instead of allowing infectious viruses to saturate the air around you. Some of the materials that you should change include the following:

  • Flooring
  • Walls
  • Shelves
  • Ductwork
  • HVAC systems
  • Clothes and curtains

 

Restoration Process

Hire professionals to implement the complicated restoration process. However, it’s important for residential property owners to understand the entire project. Everything starts with a detailed examination of the damage. Consider the possibility of changing floors, walls, and ceilings. 

Inspection covers not only the magnitude of water damage. It also entails checking the house for structural reliability. Take photographs of the interiors. These photos are necessary when you deal with the insurance company.  

Flooding can weaken the structure if it remains for some time inside the building.  Inspect the foundation thoroughly. Include the basement, columns for any crumbling, and load-bearing walls. Inspection establishes the class as well as the category of damages. It, therefore, helps you determine the best restoration technique. 

 

Water Damage Classes and Categories

The four classes are as follows:

Class 1 is the most minimal level. The only part of the room absorbed slight moisture.

Class 2 affected the whole room. It has permeated walls and carpets. 

Class 3 saturated the walls and may have reached the ceiling. 

Class 4 calls for special drying methods. Materials may have sustained severe destruction.

 

Here are the four categories:

Category 1 indicates damage comes from clean water sources like broken pipes and toilet tanks. It can progress to Category 2 or 3 if ignored.

Category 2 damage originates from water with detergents (dishwasher or washing machine). Or, urine that overflows from congested toilets.

Category 3 refers to contaminated water that can cause sickness or death. This may come from sewer systems, flooded rivers, and standing water infected by bacteria. 

 

Dangers in Water-Damaged Residences

Take extra care to enter flooded houses (if you have evacuated). Watch your steps. Remember stationary water is dirty. It’s difficult to see through. Be careful of debris especially sharp objects underneath. The water can also contain hazardous chemicals or pathogens (microorganisms). Wear waterproof clothes if possible. Dry out the house immediately. It reduces the likelihood of molds growing and destroying the foundation.

 

Molds also generate various health disorders such as asthma attacks and respiratory issues. These represent a grave risk for infants, children, elderly folks, and sick family members. Wear masks, gloves, and goggles if necessary. Disinfect all belongings and everyone in the household affected by water damage. 

 

Water Removal

Water damage contractors use a variety of modern vacuums and pumping equipment to get rid of the still water. The type of apparatus depends on their magnitude of damage. Drying and dehumidification start after the vacuuming of standing water and porous surfaces. This is a vital step to remove the moisture. The process of drying out may take up to several weeks. 

 

Cleaning comes next. All belongings require extensive cleaning along with decontamination. This approach averts the unwanted growth of bacteria and molds. Clothing, draperies, and carpets need antimicrobial treatment. Use scrubbers or brushes to eliminate dirty particles. 

 

Don’t fail to inspect your attic for any damage. Insulation in the walls can bring the water up. It’s one of the best places to begin your inspection. Scrutinize the water-damaged rooms for dampened plaster and drywall. Open the windows. Check all electric wirings before you turn on the lights.

 

A thing to Do and Avoid after Flooding

To Do:

  • Ditch excess water through mopping and blotting procedures.
  • Wipe surplus water from wooden furniture items.
  • Remove lighting fixtures (lamps) and tabletop objects or accessories.
  • Take out wet cushions, foams, and upholstery.
  • Put wood blocks or aluminum foil between the legs of furnishings and wet rugs.
  • Separate colored rugs from soaked carpets.
  • Transfer art pieces to a safe and dry room.
  • Collect all small particles from the flooring.

 

Not to Do:

  • Avoid leaving wet fabrics (clothing) in place. Hang all furs and leather items for air/heat drying.
  • Don’t leave paper, magazines, books, and colored objects on wet floors and carpets. Throw away the water-damaged paper items.
  • Refrain from using the vacuum for removing water.
  • Don’t use electric household appliances. 
  • Don’t turn on ceiling fans. Avoid staying inside rooms where the ceiling has sagged.

 

EPA Recommendation

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advises homeowners to dispose of the following materials. Those that have not been cleaned properly and dried within 48 hours of the damage. Keep in mind that decontamination in restoration remains as the most essential process in water-damaged abodes. 

 

Choosing the Contractor

See to it that you hire contractors with experience, competence, knowledge of modern techniques, and a complete set of sophisticated equipment. Check their qualifications carefully. Go through review websites that feature a list of possible contractors with corresponding reviews. 

 

Check your candidates’ websites and customer testimonials. Ask for references from people you can trust. This includes friends, next of kin, and local associations. If possible, talk to the persons about their referrals. Conduct interviews in person and not over the phone. These tips will help you search for the right service provider. Don’t hesitate to call the professional water-damaged company if you see a DIY approach is not appropriate. 

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