Flood damage can be devastating whether it is caused by natural means or a burst pipe somewhere in your home. Cost and damage to property can be extensive if the flooding is prolonged or the leak isn’t stopped quickly. The first course of action is to shut off the main inlet waterline into the home. If you do not know where the shutoff valve is to the main water line, you should call a professional to perform the task. Once the leak has been arrested, the real work begins in cleaning up a flood damaged room. Read ahead for some advice on the best course of action to take when you’re ready to clean up a water-damaged room.
If the flood room has furnishings, all of the pieces should be removed from the room and transported outside to dry or relocated to another dry area. This would involve heavy and small furniture items, bookcases, drapery, area rugs, planters, small appliances, storage containers, cardboard boxes and any bedding material. You’ll need complete access to the flooded area. Obviously, if the flood was due to natural causes, it could be difficult to find a dry area, but try to find the driest area you can, and free up space in the flooded area so that you can continue to get the perimeter cleaned up.
Water can be removed in several ways, depending upon the location and area involved. A basement leak usually offers a drain source and water can be swept to the drain or pushed to it with a squeegee. A mop and squeegee bucket can then be used to remove residual water. If it is a bathroom or kitchen leak with no floor drain, a mob and bucket can be used to soak up the majority of the spill. Any rags or towels can be thrown down to absorb a large water puddle, and it may take some time to ring them out and repeat the process several times. If there is an outside exit door close to the spill, a broom or squeegee will work to push the water outside.
For a carpeted area, a large wet-vac is ideal for sucking up water. It also works on solid floors. The wet-vac canister will have to be emptied several times. The process involves running the intake nozzle in a straight line very slowly over sections of carpet to remove deep saturation that has inundated the back padding. This will lighten the carpet for later removal.
The Drying Out Process
No moisture can be left behind after water damage since mold and bacterial may grow and spread in the area. Doors closest to the flood area should be opened as well as windows to encourage air circulation. You may turn the central heating on and run it to force warm/hot air over the floors and walls. According to professionals of Sacramento Water Damage Restoration, strategically placed space heaters in conjunction with large fans will dry out an area, but it might take several hours to complete the task. Heaters and fan blowers should be used immediately after the bulk of the water is removed so that you can start the drying process. The goal is to get as much air flowing through the room or the area to repair the water damage and prevent mold or bacteria from forming.
Carpet that has been soaked is often irreparably damaged because the backing pile and padding may lose its strength and integrity. Room carpet is best pulled up at the wall edges, lifting it up and away from the nail boards. Once the carpet is free it can be rolled up and transported outside. The padding can then be taken up and removed. Some carpet may be salvageable by using the wet-vac again, in addition to using heaters, fans and direct sunlight. It is up to homeowner whether or not the carpet can be restored and reused. Sometimes the damage is too extensive and calls for a complete replacement.
A final evaluation and inspection is best left up to a professional company that has the tools and expertise to inspect the property. Technicians have moisture meters that can locate any residual water and then remove it. A professional will also have the necessary chemicals and sprays to disinfect the flood area to kill harmful mold spores and bacteriological microorganisms. They can also inspect the structural members like the drywall, wall framework, plaster, ceilings, floorboards and slab foundations. Of course, calling in an expert from the very beginning is a wise choice, since all of the steps will be handled by them in a safe and swift manner.