What to do in the Moments After a Water Disaster
Posted on February 17, 2017
Of the most common home disasters, there are two that require immediate attention: fires and floods. Any reasonable attempt to stem the situation goes out the window if you’re not home when these disasters occur, but if you are home, you must act quick. This blog will focus on the latter: water disasters.
Water Disaster Strikes: Take Action
While in the midst of a water emergency, damage waits for no one. Best case scenario: you have contact info for a local restoration company readily available in an emergency type drawer or on the fridge you can call right away. If you don’t, do a google search and read a few reviews before calling. Let’s assume you’ve made the call and a team will be out to mitigate the damage within 60 minutes. What do you do now? …
Many home water emergencies are a result of internal plumbing problems. A burst pipe or malfunctioning sewage system can cause basement flooding that can happen in an instant, or slowing over time. Standing basement water is likely to be contaminated with sewage and chemicals harmful to your health. We suggest:
- wearing a mask
- hip or waist-high waterproof boots
- rubber gloves
You can never be too careful. Open all available windows for adequate airflow into the basement or other flooded areas.
Take Pictures and Call Your Insurance Company
Taking pictures of every area of your home and most possessions, especially ones of great value, is a good standard practice. Before you begin to remove items from flood water, take pictures of all affected areas for insurance purposes. Ideally, you’d have a photo set of all your items before a disaster to compare with damaged items. Even so, take pictures of the damaged area and then call your insurance company.
Obviously, you need to remove the water. Once your insurer gives you the go ahead to remove water, it’s time to get moving; anything you can do between that moment and when a restoration or disaster cleanup service arrives can be a time and money-saver.
Suggested Water Removal Appliances
- A sump pump
- A wet vac
If you don’t have access to a sump pump or wet vac, remove as much water as you can with buckets and other containers. Unless you live close to a hardware store or have a neighbor that can lend you these items, you’ll spend more time trying to acquire them and less time removing water.
Note: Water is heavy: a cubic foot of water weighs 10 pounds. Where gloves and be careful when transporting buckets.
For all intents and purposes of this post, mold damage should not be an issue with damage restoration services and mitigation services on the way. But, if you can’t get someone out to your house soon, serious mold damage can begin with 24 hours. First, determine what can be saved (ex., a floor rug can be professionally cleaned and dried for 100-500 dollars more, but wood furniture might be too saturated with water to dry effectively).
Mold growth can be controlled on surfaces by cleaning with a non-ammonia detergent or pine oil cleaner and disinfecting with a 10% bleach solution. Note: never mix ammonia with beach, the resulting fumes are toxic.
Rapid Restoration Emergency Services
Call us and we’ll help you with your water damage situation within 60 minutes. Our experienced emergency response team will mitigate your water disaster and get your home back to pre-damaged condition as soon as possible.