It doesn’t matter if it’s a burst pipe, an overflowing washer or faucet, or serious flooding from storms, water damage in your home can be devastating. Water can ruin your carpet, furnishings, electronics, and if not handled quickly, it can create health problems for your family. Knowing how to clean up after water damage can be important to saving your property, protecting your family, and keeping a serious disaster from becoming worse.
Types of Water Damage
There are 3 main types of water damage. The type of water will determine how it should be cleaned up and whether you should try to do it your self, of if you should have a professional cleaning service address the issues.
1. Clean Water
Water from a leaky roof, a burst pipe, or an overflowing appliance may result in “clean” water damage. This will be the easiest clean up. The biggest concern is getting the water cleaned up quickly, before mold and fungus can begin growing.
2. Gray Water
Gray water is slightly contaminated either because of it’s source or because it has been left unattended. Water from an overflowing toilet or washing machine is gray since it has been used. Clean water can become gray if it is left untreated for extended times. Gray water is hazardous because of microbe that may exist, and gloves should be worn during any clean up you may attempt.
3. Black Water
Black water is the most hazardous water you will encounter. Water from natural disasters, or sewer damage or backup is black. It can contain toxic materials, bacterial disease, chemicals, pesticides, etc. In situations where you have black water it is best to let a professional cleaning service with proper equipment handle your clean up.
Gray and black water are not necessarily the actual color of the water, but a designation for the amount of contamination in the water. It is important to identify the source of your water damage in order to assess if the water is contaminated.
Water damage can create health risks, especially in situations of gray or black water. The American Lung Association even points out that water damage can create problems for people with lung disease or cause lung disease.
Cleaning Up Water Damage
In the event you suffer water damage and you either want to handle clean up yourself or begin the process quickly while waiting on an emergency clean up crew, there are some steps you’ll want to keep in mind.
1. Turn Off Water
If your water damage is from a burst pipe or broken appliance, quickly turn off the water at the main valve. You will want to locate the main water valve for your home, before you end up in a distressed situation.
2. Shut Off Utilities
In a situation of a major flood event, it’s a good idea to shut off your electric and gas.
3. Get Some Air
As soon as you can, open windows and get fans blowing air on the affected area. Circulating fresh air will help begin the drying process and also reduce the smell that comes with water damage.
4. Reduce Humidity
If you have a dehumidifier, get it running as soon as possible in order to take the moisture out of the air.
5. Save your Property
Once you have air moving and some drying underway, move any wet belongings or furniture to a dry location. If you can’t move the furniture, place it on blocks or place aluminum foil under the legs of the furniture in order to prevent wood stain on the carpet.
6. Wet/Dry Vac
If you have access to a wet/dry vacuum, start cleaning up as much water as possible from furniture and carpeting. You can also vacuum in tiled areas. The important thing is to remove standing water and excess water on furniture promptly.
7. Clean Wood
For wood furniture, remove the water quickly, and use fans and a dehumidifier to dry. If the wood has been treated, you may then clean the surface using water and a mild detergent.
8. Drying Drywall
Generally, drywall may dry using fans. If the drywall has absorbed too much water and swells resulting in separated seems, you will need to replace it. Even if you do not replace your drywall, you will want to prime and repaint the damaged area.
Continuous ventilation may be required for a lengthy time to fully dry the area. Keep fans on and windows open when you can. The key is to avoid an environment where mold and mildew grow. Mold comes with it’s own issues and techniques for clean up.
Whether you suffer flood damage and need emergency clean up, or existing water has resulted in a mold problem, Able Builders, Inc is available to handle your clean up needs. We are available 24/7 for emergency clean up or contact us now to schedule an estimate.