Water damage step by step guide

The following steps are key when performing water damage mitigation

water damage image of technician extracting water

Water extraction is an important step in the mitigation process

Step 1: Locate where the water is coming from. If visible, make sure to turn off the main water supply or take whatever steps are needed to put an end to the water intrusion. The following are some basic examples of water intrusion; leaking pipes, broken pipes, broken water lines, water heaters, overflows, appliances, roof leaks and mishaps of leaving on water too long etc. Most people typically try to remove standing water before stopping it at the source. Find the source and stop the situation from getting worse.

Step 2: Carefully remove electronic devices from affected areas. Water and electricity don’t work well together.

Step 3: Begin by moving all contents from the water damaged area starting with the heavier pieces followed by the lighter contents. Checking contents once moved to a non-affected area is wise. Inspect the contents for any water damage in a dry safe location. Keep in mind that the longer contents are left in standing water the greater the possibilities of soaking up the water resulting in further damage.

Step 4: Once you’ve removed the saturated contents then you can begin to remove the remaining standing water. Water extraction/removal will usually take the most time during the course of your loss. There are different ways to approach a water intrusion and to verify what equipment, materials etc will be needed depending on the size of the loss. In certain situations basic house hold towels or a hand mop will work, while when dealing with a large water intrusion you may need to use more commercial equipment such as a weighted water extraction unit or even a submersible pump. Additionally when vents are involved, and water is pouring through a vent you have to be sure to remove all water and check vents for clogging.

Step 5: Be sure to open up the home by opening windows and doors to release any humidity build up (if safe to do so) and provide some assistance with drying the structure. Safely use fans to circulate air flow and utilize a dehumidifier if you have one to help the dry out. The dehumidifiers dry the air, while the air-movers (fans) circulate that dry dehumidified air around the room drying structure and contents. More often than not the two work hand-in-hand to dry your home and belongings.

infrared image of a water damaged wall

Infrared cameras can pinpoint water damage quickly

Step 6: When soft goods (textiles) like carpets, rugs and drapes are involved they may need some more detailed attention when cleaned or dried out. Rare carpets sometimes will need special cleaning and handling to insure a pre-loss condition, it also important to remove carpets from affected area’s to install proper air flow to pin point the sub/concrete flooring under theses carpets.

Step 7: Be sure to inspect all building materials for warping, swelling or any visual damages if you don’t have access to an infra-red camera or moisture meters.

Step8: Being that water can also cause mold or dry rot, verify that all affected areas are properly dried before starting any reconstruction. If not dried correctly dry rot or mold can start to spread in these incorrectly dried affected areas.

If you spot mold damage, you should contact a mold remediation company before attempting cleanup to insure that you don’t cause any unforeseen damage to your home as well as the air you breathe.

About Dan Camara

Dan Camara is the CEO of PuroClean Home Rescue in Sacramento. We have been helping the good folks of Northern California with water damage dryouts, mold removal and fire cleanups for nearly 5 years now. Connect with me on Google+
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