Depending on the type of water that has flooded your home, you can either do the extraction yourself or call the pros for help. If it’s light-colored, relatively clean water from leaky pipes, condensation, and rain water, for instance, you can do the water extraction safely. If the water is gray, it might have come from washing machines, dishwashers, and clean toilets. It might be slightly dirty with some contaminants, hence the need for proper cleaning gear for your protection during water extraction. But if you’re flooded with black water from overflowing rivers or sewage, it might contain serious contaminants such as bacteria and waste. You can’t DIY it so you have to call for the pros to help fix the water damage.
Inspect for signs of mold
Mold is opportunistic and fast-acting as it can grow and thrive in moist conditions, such as water damaged areas, in as quickly as 24 hours. Wear proper protection, such as N-95 respirator, goggles, and gloves since some mold release toxins harmful to humans. Remove mold-infested materials, bag them, and dispose of them right away. In case of serious mold infestation, call professional mold removal services after getting out of the house and cutting off any airflow. Depending on the extent of water damage, mold may also grow in hidden spots such as under the floors or behind walls, so don’t miss checking these spots during your inspection.
Dry out affected areas
Bring in air movers to help hasten this process and improve air circulation in damaged areas. You can also use dehumidifiers to help dry affected carpets, wood, and other materials.
Throw out unrecoverable damaged porous materials and disinfect remaining ones
Soaked porous items such as fabric, drywall, carpet, unsealed cement or insulation, should be thrown out. If you miss damaged materials, they can become home to mold. If you have water damaged furniture, air movers might be able to dry them out. But if the damage is irreparable, it would be safer to throw them out. Those that you can salvage must be thoroughly disinfected with bleach or other homemade cleaning solutions to ensure that no mold spores can survive. Do this before employing air movers to dry them out.
Fix ceiling first
If your ceiling is affected, attend to it first, or risk it collapsing on you and causing even further damage or injuries to people. Get rid of the ceiling panels, locate the source of the leak if leakage is the issue, and check the rafters or beams’ structural integrity to ensure that no other part of the ceiling will sag or collapse.
Replace damaged wood
Check for mold-infested, rotting or warped wood and remove them. Clean the areas underneath the affected floors and replace them right away. You might want to call in the pros if the affected wood is a part of your home’s structural support.
Install new floors
After removing the damaged floor, you might want to consider investing in waterproofed flooring. There are engineered wood, top-of-the-line vinyl or ceramic tiles that are better at handling water damage in case of future water problems.
Install drywall and new external siding
Check for sagging drywall, particularly those that are sagging at least 3/8 of an inch from its baseline. Remove it and replace it with a new one. Do the same inspection to external siding, where water might have seeped through. Replace damaged ones before rotting starts.
Seal and caulk
You can do something to minimize potential water damage by repainting your walls and ceilings, sealing, and caulking them.
About Author: Megan Jones is a writer and a camping lover who works with Grizzly Tarps. Having huge experience in home improvement and design, Megan has gained some valuable knowledge, which she is now actively promoting.