Water damage can be one of the most devastating things to happen to a home and can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage. The worst part about water damage is that sometimes it is not clear what needs to be repaired. If you have a fire in your home, usually it is pretty obvious what areas have been damaged and what needs to be repaired. Flooding and water damage are much more insidious. Water can get behind walls and under floors so you may never even know you have a problem until it is much too late.
If your home has been flooded and you need help knowing how to deal with it, follow these steps to make sure you stay safe and to mitigate the damage done to your house.
If your water damage is too much to handle or you would rather let the professionals take care of the problem, Thistle DKI offers 24/7 water damage repair services to Las Vegas residents and we would love to help you safely and quickly restore your home to its pre-loss condition. Call today!
Be Cautious When Entering
If your home was flooded while you were away, or if you had to evacuate and are about to return to your home, be very careful while you are first assessing the damage. It’s always a good idea to shut off the gas just in case the flood has caused a leak. While you’re at it, you may want to shut off the power as well. If the flood has caused an electrical problem, you run the risk of being shocked or even electrocuted if there are exposed livewires that you don’t know about.
Wear Protective Clothing
Make sure that while you are assessing the damage to your house, you wear good shoes or other protective footwear. You don’t want your feet to be exposed to livewires, mold or other fungi, or bacteria. Standing water is a breeding ground for mold, so make sure you take precautions to avoid any mold that may have developed. Because of the possibility of airborne threats, you should consider using a respirator that is rated to stop mold from entering your lungs.
Check for Structural Damage
Even if your home was in perfect condition before the flood, water damage can expose unknown weaknesses — old and new. Check your foundation for cracks and then examine your walls looking for any new cracks or shifts. Open and close your doors and make sure none of the door frames have shifted. If your doors stick or open and close much easier than before, it could be a sign of structural damage.
Take Lots of Pictures
No matter how small the damage may seem, make sure that you document as much as possible as you are going through your house. Insurance companies need to have proof of damage before they will be willing to help you with repair costs, so the more evidence you can gather the better. Make sure that your pictures are well-lit and in-focus. It’s not a bad idea to give one close up shot and one shot a little further away to give context for each close up.
Check Your Plumbing
Make sure water is running properly out of all of your plumbing fixtures and check for any blockages or plugs. If you have a septic tank, take a moment to make sure that it is not overflowing.
Inspect Attic and Crawl Spaces
If you do not have proper respirator masks, it may be a good idea to leave this part of the water damage repair to professionals. If you do have respirator masks, it is a good idea to assess these areas as they are out of sight but could very well have mold or other damage that can’t be seen from inside the living space of your home.
Begin the Drying Process
Once you have documented all the damage you can find, the first step is to get rid of as much water as possible. Depending on the severity of the flood, you may be able to sweep most of the pooled water outside or into a drain with a broom. If the flooding is really bad, you may need to rent an electric water pump to get rid of the majority of the water. Once you have removed as much standing water as possible, you will want to get fans to dry out any porous materials like carpet and drywall. Even if you have hardwood or tile floors, it’s possible the water could sink into the plywood floors underneath which could be a possible place for mold to grow.
Keep your House Well Ventilated
If the weather is nice, and it’s not raining out, you should have as many windows open as possible to make sure that your home is well ventilated. If there is mold anywhere in your house, keeping the air moving is a good way to mitigate any harm it could do to you from breathing it in and causing damage to your lungs. Ventilation is also very important for drying out all the porous surfaces in your home.
Clean and Disinfect
Once the initial drying has begun, you can start cleaning and disinfecting walls, floors and other belongings that have had a chance to dry out. Because of the dangers that could be residing in wastewater, it is important to disinfect any areas or belongings that were touched by water in the flood.
Call Thistle DKI to Finish the Job
Water damage repair is a very big job. Parts of the process require special gear and equipment that most people do not have access to. Whether you just need help finishing the hard parts or you want us to handle the entire process start to finish, Thistle DKI is just a phone call away from helping return your home to its former glory.