Do's and Don'ts for Flood Damaged Areas

If your business or home is damaged by water for any reason, always make sure to call a professional restoration crew to clean and repair the damage. Water does not only affect the surface. It can penetrate deeply into walls, flooring and masonry and cause extensive damage that may go unnoticed to the untrained eye. The following tips will help you get a handle on some of the damage until trained professionals arrive.

  • When you discover any type of water damage in your home, immediately call a professional water removal and restoration company. Mold and bacteria will begin to grow immediately after the water recedes producing a toxic living environment that can have a devastating impact on your family's health.
  • Never use an electric vacuum to on wet floors. Electricity and water do not mix and electric shock is possible if there is any break or crack in the cord. Water removal and restoration companies have specialized equipment that removes water from almost any surface thoroughly and completely. Hand vacs and household vacuum cleaners are not designed to work on wet surfaces.
  • If standing water is encountered in the home, vacate the premises immediately. Electric shock is possible if the power is still on in the home or business. Make sure to avoid any areas where there are electric cords or large areas of water.
  • If all standing water is gone and there is no danger of electric shock, turn on all ceiling fans, box fans and window fans that are available. Also turn on your heating system to the lowest setting possible. In the summer time, turn on the air conditioning unit. This will increase the movement of the air within the home or business and help moisture to evaporate.
  • If the water leak has been contained to a small area such as the bathroom or laundry room, blot up as much of the water as quickly as possible. This will prevent it from seeping deep into the floor or reaching the walls. The more water you can remove, the less chance of mildew or mold taking hold and growing.
  • When the temperature outside the home is above 65 degrees using a de-humidifier to remove excess water that has evaporated will allow areas to dry more quickly.
  • Move saturated area rugs, furniture and removable floor coverings outside and as far away from the house as possible. Always make sure to have help with this step due to the excessive amount of weight caused by the water.
  • Use towels to wipe down furniture and remove as much water as possible. If cinder blocks or bricks are available, raise the furniture off of the ground by placing them underneath. This will allow air to circulate around them and remove excess water.
  • Check each curtain or wall hanging to make sure they are not touching the floor. If they have incurred water damage, remove them and place them outside to dry. If not, find away to tack them up so there is no chance of them being touched by the water or other wet items in the area.
  • Remove any wet objects from the home and place them outside. Spread them out so they will be allowed to dry thoroughly before bringing them back inside. Pillows, blankets, towels and bed sheets should be allowed to dry and then thoroughly washed before being used.
  • Books that are damp or wet should be carefully looked at. If they are beyond repair consider recycling them. If they are salvageable, take them outside and spread them out allowing the air to flow freely around the pages to remove excess moisture.
  • Collect any small valuables you may have and make sure they are in good condition. If stored in a small fireproof safe, they should be undamaged. Most safes that are rated for fire protection also protect against water damage.
  • Clothes should be hung up to dry or washed immediately to remove any chance of mold or mildew. Leather should be allowed to dry at room temperature to prevent any lasting damage.
  • Open all doors, drawers and cabinets throughout the home. The key to effectively drying out a water damaged home is to increase air circulation. This can be accomplished by opening up as many areas as possible, no matter how small or confined.

Knowing how to react when springtime storms bring damaging rains and floods, is important if you want to protect your home or business from lasting damage. While there is much you can do to begin the clean up process, hiring a company that is professionally trained and has the equipment and experience to do the job correctly can literally save your home from irreversible damage.