When water enters your home, the potential for additional damage increases with every hour. As soon as you can get to the phone, call a water restoration team to make the most of the first few hours to minimize loss.
While you wait for the professionals, here are some things you can do to minimize additional damage and speed the cleanup process.
After the initial shock of a home flood, immediate action is crucial. Since mold and mildew work faster than you do, maximize the first few hours of effort. Quickly inventory your contents and identify the objects with the best chances of saving. Focus on high-value items that were not waterlogged. If a piece of furniture is ruined, can you later salvage a part of it (like the marble top or brass hinges) for a replacement piece instead of wasting time now?
Before entering a flooded home, be aware of hazards inside. Downed power lines, gas leaks and chemical spills expose you to immediate danger. The storm may allow access to vermin like snakes, fire ants, rats, or hornets.
During clean up, additional problems may develop. Structural damage may show up as large wall cracks or a saggy ceiling. Carbon monoxide poisoning from generators is a deadly possibility. Wet food may begin to rot in the refrigerator and pantry. Mold and mildew start to grow within 24 hours.
Working with a water restoration team with experience can eliminate duplicate efforts for maximum results. Start with an agenda:
Open all the windows and doors, including cabinets, dressers, and pantries. Get ventilation to the attic and basement. Significant additional property destruction, such as mold growth and major damage to wood floors, cabinets, sheetrock, insulation and other structural materials and contents, can occur when buildings are not dried quickly.
Get all salvageable items to a safe place, either on a dry floor or in the garage. Consider any porous cushions suspect; if touched by contaminated water they are impossible to save.
Install plastic barriers to unaffected rooms before you remove sheetrock and carpeting.
Use bleach and other cleaners with caution. Professional remediation teams have access to professional chemicals and the proper safety equipment.
Even if you are successful in removing all of the standing water from your home, everything will remain damp and wet, especially if heavy rains have increased the humidity in your area. If you have power, use your air conditioning and portable fans to help dry the wet areas of your home. Use the biggest and most efficient fans available. For example, ICC utilizes specialized equipment to dry wet buildings two to three times faster than home rental equipment.
With ICC, you are assured the latest in high tech inspection tools to determine the extent of the damage. Years of experience drying hardwood floors, plaster walls, tile, and concrete ensure your items will be well cared for. State-of-the-art drying procedures, including “Directed Heat Drying®” technology help minimize potential health hazards that can be caused by water damage. Expert contents restoration may include removal, drying, and storage of your contents at a secure climate-controlled storage facility, as required.