Water damage, whether from flooding, a malfunctioning toilet or any other cause, can have disastrous results for your home and possessions.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent and clean up this problem. During the cleanup phase, it’s essential that your home and belongings get back in good condition.
1. Turn off the Water
Water can create a range of issues for your home and its contents. From minor leaks to flood damage, there are several steps you can take to restore your house back on track.
Prior to anything else, you must ensure the safety of yourself and anyone else in the area by shutting off the water if possible. This is especially critical if there has been damage done due to a leaky pipe or malfunctioning appliance; doing so will stop further water intrusion into your house.
Once the water has been turned off, you must remove all wet materials from the affected area. This includes taking apart furniture, clothing and other items that have become saturated with water.
Next, you must thoroughly dry everything out. Depending on the severity of the damage and weather conditions, this may involve using fans or dehumidifiers.
If there’s a lot of water on the floor, use a wet-dry shop vac to quickly eliminate it. If you don’t already own one, rent one from any local hardware or home improvement store for only $20! Or just buy one on Amazon.com since Amazon always has great deals and ships to you in one or two days usually with Amazon Prime.
Once the area has dried, you can begin assessing the damage done to your furniture and other possessions. This will help determine if you need to discard them or have them professionally repaired by a professional.
When cleaning up water damage, be sure to take pictures and videos of the area so you can document your work and prepare for an insurance claim. Doing this will maximize your claims process and avoid any unnecessary delays.
2. Remove All Wet Materials
Cleaning up a water disaster requires taking several steps to minimize damage and get your life back on track. The first step is to remove all wet materials from the area.
To quickly dry clothing, the fastest method is to use a wet-dry vacuum or similar device. Not only will this save you time in the long run, but it also eliminates moisture-related hazards that could otherwise arise.
Once most of the water has been cleaned up, you can begin assessing the actual damage and creating a plan for cleanup. If needed, call in an expert for assistance.
Depending on the damage and location, accessing certain areas may prove more challenging than expected. If your basement has flooded, for instance, using a ladder or scaffolding may be necessary in order to reach certain places.
As you clean the area, be mindful of other materials in contact with water such as carpeting, insulation, fabric and wood. After flooding, these may shrink or warp due to flood damage and are vulnerable to mold growth. The best approach is to locate any valuable items to relocate away from wet locations before beginning with other tasks.
3. Disinfect the Area
One of the most essential steps in restoring your home after water damage is disinfecting the area. This tedious but essential task helps to prevent germs and bacteria from spreading throughout your property. For optimal results, utilize proper equipment and effective cleaning techniques.
It’s essential to get the job done correctly so your family can return to a healthy, clean environment in no time. In addition to using top-of-the-line products, be sure to adhere to all safety protocols and wear appropriate protective clothing when working.
Additionally, try your best to remove water from the house as soon as possible so it can dry quickly and completely. The most efficient way of doing this is through fans, air movers and dehumidifiers.
A quality dehumidifier will also keep the humidity levels down, which is essential for any serious home owner. Plus, they’re affordable – some can be purchased for as little as $100 and will last you for years to come.
4. Remove All Stains
If water damage is the source of the stain, it’s essential to identify and fix the source of the leak. Otherwise, the stains will return.
If the water is coming from a pipe or roof, it is imperative to locate and seal the leak before beginning treatment of the area. Doing this will prevent further damage and make removing stains much simpler.
Once the stain has been eliminated from an area, it is essential to thoroughly dry it. This can be accomplished using either a vacuum cleaner or by running fans or air conditioning units on the spot.
Most water stains can be quickly and easily cleaned away, but some are more challenging to eliminate. These include those on wood furniture, floors and counter tops.
To remove these stains, begin by applying a light coat of oil. You can use various oils such as cooking oil, mayonnaise, butter or solid shortening for this purpose.
Apply the oil by gently massaging it over the area, working with its wood grain. Let sit for several hours or overnight before buffing away any residue.
If your wood is dark, it may take more than one application of oil to completely remove it. In this instance, you could also try using a bleach solution as an alternative solution.
Water stains from fresh water can be removed with this method, although it also works on older ones. Simply mix 1 part chlorine bleach to 3 parts water or, if your ceiling is colored, try oxygen bleach instead.
If your stains are stubborn and won’t go away with a simple home remedy, it may be time for wood-specific products. Fortunately, many of these solutions are affordable and safe to use on furniture and floors – plus many can be reapplied multiple times!
5. Dry the Area
Once all wet materials have been removed, the next step in water damage restoration is to dry the area. This step is essential for preventing mold and mildew from forming as well as keeping your property secure and healthy.
To begin drying the area, begin by taking away any wet carpet, wood or other porous materials that need replacing. Additionally, make sure all electronics, furniture and other valuable items are removed from affected areas.
Professionals will use specialized equipment to guarantee all damaged materials are dry before proceeding with more extensive work, such as repairing or refinishing walls. They use tools like moisture meters, infrared imaging devices, dehumidifiers and heavy-duty fans to quickly assess water damage and expedite drying time.
If you’re working with drywall, inspect any water spots for signs of deterioration or mold. New spots usually feel dry and firm as they haven’t been present long enough to weaken the material.
Older spots typically have a softer, squishy feel to their surface due to having been around for longer. This indicates that water has had more time to affect drywall or other material and may be more serious than initially believed.
Once all items have been removed from the affected area, disinfect it with a solution of bleach or another product designed for bacteria and mold removal. Doing this helps prevent mold and mildew from returning and creating more issues, especially if you live in a humid area. Afterward, open up your windows to allow fresh air into the room and increase ventilation levels.
If you need help with cleaning up water damage in the Phoenix AZ area contact these top rated and reviewed water damage companies below.
6801 N 21st Ave Suite F, Phoenix, AZ 85015
1135 N McQueen Rd STE 132, Gilbert, AZ 85233