Water damage can happen to any home. Heavy rain, flooding, even heavy snow fall can cause your home to suffer from wet floors and walls. The biggest thing to remember is that your home can be salvaged, but you have to move fast. Serious issues like mold will start to develop after 24 hours of exposure to wet materials.
Using a contractor that specializes in water damage restoration is a necessity if the flooding is severe. Before you make the call to the restoration company, have some information ready.
Know the Water Type You’re Dealing With
First things first – there are three different types of water. Since you probably aren’t a professional water damage repair expert, identifying the type of water you’re dealing with may be a challenge. The first type of water is “clean” water. This is moisture from leaky pipes, condensation, rain, etc. Clean water is safe to remove yourself before you turn to a professional service for the real dirty work.
“Gray” water is the second type and is slightly dirty water like you’d find in your toilets, washing machines, dishwashers, and other appliances. This is also safe to clean yourself, but you must wear proper coverings, and use safety gear to prevent any contamination.
The third type of water is “black” water, and this is the worst type of water damage to deal with. Black water comes from major flooding from nearby water sources like rivers or lakes, or even sewage lines that have flooded. This water can cause serious health problems if not removed properly. It contains many types of bacteria and other contaminants. It’s best to call in the professional water damage repair companies when you’re dealing with black water.
Start Looking for Serious Issues
Yes, we’re talking about mold. Once you’ve identified and cleared out the water that you can, start looking for mildew and mold. Mold is tricky – it can start growing within 24 hours of the water damage incident and can create major health problems for anyone around it.
Depending on the type of water damage you’re dealing with (is this a long term problem like attic condensation, or a flash flood issues that presented without warning?), the age of the mold will vary. If you find mold on any materials, remove the item from your home immediately.
It’s best to call a professional water damage repair expert if you find mold or mildew. The restoration company will search areas that you may not thing of, ensuring that there is no toxic mold in your home.
Start to Dry Out the Area
While you’re waiting for your professional restoration and clean up company to arrive, take matters into your own hands and start to dry out the moisture. You may not get the area dried completely, but fans and a dehumidifier can work wonders.
Depending on the size of the affected area, you may have fans running for several hours or days. The important thing is to ensure that the entire area is dried thoroughly. A water damage construction company will also ensure that there is no water left in the area as they begin their repairs.
Start to Clean and Disinfect Affected Areas
Once you’ve removed any materials that contained mold or mildew, it’s time to start cleaning and disinfecting the affected areas. There are many different options that you can choose from and speaking to a professional is highly recommended. They will provide you with a list of bleach solutions or other chemical options that will guarantee to kill any mold spores.
Look Up, and Repair Your Ceilings
It can be tempting to begin repairs with areas that are right within your eye line. Cosmetically, this makes sense, but safety first when it comes to water damage repair! Any ceilings that have been exposed to water damage should be repaired before any other areas affected.
Ceiling tiles can begin to sag or even collapse due to the moisture they absorbed during the flooding. Water damage construction companies will go through your home and inspect the roof and ceilings to verify the main cause of the leak – and repair it as quickly as possible.
Work with a Professional Restoration Company for Finishing Touches
Once you’ve completed the basics of water damage clean up, let the professionals take over. Replacing damaged wood that has warped, rotted, or developed mold will need to be replaced. Mold is especially prone to growing between (and under) floorboards, and rotting wood can only lead to many problems and issues down the line. It can even lead to structural damage in your home, something that will cause major problems as the years progress.
These are just a few ways to start repairing your home after suffering from water damage. Pairing these steps with a water damage restoration specialist is the only way to guarantee that your home will be safe to inhabit after flooding.
If your home is in the Chicago, IL area, McMahon Services & Construction is the perfect solution to your water damage problems. We run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and are ready to help you clear out your water damage with as little disruption to your daily routine as possible. If your home suffers water damage, call McMahon Services immediately and get the professional assistance you need.