Water Damage Remediation Strategies - First Response
Water damage is hazardous to your health and dangerous for your home or business. Therefore, time is of the essence when it occurs. If treated quickly, you can minimize the damage, reduce restoration costs and prevent the growth of mold, and other contaminants. Put your safety first: water may cause damage to the foundations, short circuits in the electrical system and carry biological hazards.
If you’re in the midst of a water, fire or smoke disaster, here are some ways to mitigate the damage.
Dealing with water damage:
- Determine whether your property is structurally safe. Before entering, take a look at the ceiling and supporting walls. Do not enter if the ceiling is sagging due to water buildup or if walls have collapsed. If you are not certain the building is safe, stay out and have a professional make an assessment.
- Remove as much water as possible by mopping and blotting.
- Remove wet area rugs or other floor coverings.
- Use fans to circulate the air and assist drying.
- Open furniture drawers, closet doors, and luggage to enhance drying.
- Wipe furniture dry.
- Prop up wet furniture cushions for even drying and place small wood blocks or aluminum foil under furniture legs.
- Remove wet fabrics and dry them as soon as possible. Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.
- Remove damp books from shelves and spread out to dry.
- If damage occurs during a cool season, leave heat on; if in summer, use an air conditioner if available.
- If the outside temperature is above 60 degrees, use dehumidifiers if available.
- Move photos, paintings, and art objects to a safe, dry location.
- Lift draperies off carpet, loop through a coat hanger, and place the hanger on the drapery rod.
Important warnings on water damage
- Do not go into rooms with standing water if the electricity is still on.
- Do not use electrical appliances while on wet carpet or wet floors.
- Do not use an ordinary household vacuum to remove water.
- Do not lift tacked down carpet without professional help. Lifting the carpet incorrectly could promote shrinkage.
- Do not wait to call for professional help. Damage from the water and bacteria growth can begin within hours.