Whether your basement is prone to flooding on a rainy autumn day, a pipe burst, or your toddler clogged the toilet with their Ninja Turtle action figures, water damage can happen to anyone. Depending on the extent of the flooding, there are several steps you can take.
Step 1: Identify the type of water damage.
Check out our blog post on types of water damage: Three Types of Water Damage
If the water is safe for you to remove yourself, then you can proceed to step 2.
Step 2: Unplug any electronics, disconnect the power, and remove any movable items immediately.
Definitely address electrical items first after you’ve disconnected the power (very important) and then move onto your most valuable items. The sooner you can get items out the more likely you are to save them.
Step 3: Remove the water.
Arguably the least fun part, it is also arguably the most important. If the amount of water is extensive, you can rent a sump pump or wet vac from your local hardware or home supply store. Or, if it was your toddler, we hear a bucket is just as effective (just maybe a little more time consuming). As long as the sewers in your neighborhood aren’t backed up, you can pour it right down the drain.
If the water damage is extensive, make sure to take pictures and contact your insurance company about making a claim.
Step 4: Dry and disinfect.
This is a vital step in order to mitigate mold damage. Mold can begin to develop as soon as 24-48 hours after a flood, so getting your area clean and dry is crucial. Use fans and dehumidifiers to properly dry out the areas and open any windows to provide additional ventilation.
If drywall was seriously damaged it may need to be cut away and replaced, and the same can be said about any severely impacted wood or flooring.
After the areas have properly dried out, use a strong disinfectant to kill any bacteria that may have been present in the water. Flood water can leave behind some nasty germs, so properly cleaning the area can help prevent any of that from spreading.
Step 5: Get new stuff.
Losing your stuff to flood water can be frustrating and emotional. However, now you have a great excuse to go on a binge shopping trip at Target.
As intimidating as water damage can seem, recovering from it can be relatively simple. Follow these steps to take back your home in a safe and healthy way.
We drew inspiration from these articles. Check them out for more information on the subject:
What to Do in the First 24 Hours After a Flood