water pipe that is broken and spewing water

Steps to Water Damage Cleanup

We’re in and out of homes all the time and while we’re not in the thick of water losses, dealing with water damage can be very frustrating for homeowners. Floods from storms or leaks can cause water damage to appliances, furniture, carpeting, and your walls – even basement floods and your furnaces. If your home is dealing with a water damage disaster, then follow these steps to ensure a swift and safe cleanup.

Unplug the electronics

To avoid electric shock, you’ll want to unplug everything. Safely unplug all electronics from the wall and turn off any appliances prior to cleaning.

Soak up the water

To minimize the damages, you’ll want to soak up as much water as possible and quickly. You can begin by mopping and blotting the water. If you have a wet/dry vacuum, then you can suck up a bit of water with that. If you don’t have one, then your local hardware store should have some for rent. You might even opt to rent a sump pump to remove the standing water.

Soak up the water on the floors, walls, and anywhere else you find built up water damage. Remove any soaked items, immediately. Take them to a dry area with good ventilation until you’re ready to begin cleaning them. Document the damages to each room and the appliances with pictures to present to your insurance company.

Preventing mold growth

Disinfect everything that has been touched by the flood water. Bacteria can build up on your walls, floors, and carpeting especially if caused by a sewage backup. You can purchase disinfectant at your local hardware store. Scrub down all walls and floors using the solution.

After the disinfectant step, apply a mold inhibitor product. This too can be purchased at a local hardware store or department store. Use a scrub brush and follow the directions on the package for best results.

On your soaked furniture, apply a desiccant. This should remove any residual moisture from the fabric. If the furniture is upholstered, then you’ll want to get a professional cleaning service to deal with it.

All surfaces affected by water damage must be thoroughly dried, cleaned, disinfected and deodorized or run the risk of mold growth.

Drying process

Open the doors and windows in your home and allow the air to circulate. You should leave them open when away from the home only if it is safe to do so.

For the lingering water left over after the soaking step, you’ll need to set up fans in each affected room. The fans should remain on all day for a minimum of one week. Placing a dehumidifier in the room can also speed up the drying process. If possible, then lift the carpet flooring and allow the fans to circulate air underneath.

If your vents were exposed to the flood water, then wait to turn on the . It’s best to have it first inspected and cleaned by a water damage professional.

Cleaning and disposal

Surface clean all appliances with an all-purpose cleaner. Wipe away all dirt and debris that may have gotten built up. Have all the electronics cleaned by professionals as it’s possible to damage them attempting the cleaning on your own?

Anything damaged that is unsalvageable should be disposed of immediately. All water damaged mattresses cannot be salvaged and should be thrown away. Tear out and throw away all flood-soaked drywall and insulation.

Consult a professional cleaning service that specializes in water damage restoration for any items of value. Books, paintings, and photographs that can be salvaged are best left restored by the experts.