Restoration Guide: What Do You Do If You Have Water Damage?


Water damage is normally the fourth most common reason for homeowners to file an insurance claim. This happens for many reasons, such as floods and spills. So, you must first determine the cause, shut off the source of the water if applicable, and turn off the electricity if necessary, to avoid short circuits and shock. What then? Then it’s time to assess the damage, clean up the excess water, and repair the damage as soon as possible. The excess water must be removed quickly and drying carried out as wet materials will develop serious problems within a noticeably short period of time, sometimes within hours. This can lead to falling ceilings, mold, or other problems. You may need emergency services to thoroughly clean up the mess and limit the damage! A company that deals with moisture control, water damage mitigation and repair will do whatever it takes to undo Water damage restoration a home or business to its original state, or better.

There are different types of water!

In fact, there are three types of water, and each one needs to be treated differently.

1) There is “clean” water, which can come from rain, condensation or leaking freshwater pipes. In most small cases, you can clean this type of water yourself. However, drying wet drywall, plaster, carpets / floors, wood floors, cabinets, and the like may require you to purchase outside services and specialized equipment to minimize damage.

2) The second type of water is “gray” water. This is dirty water that comes from dishwashers, washing machines, sinks and the like. This water may contain contaminants, but you may be able to clean it yourself if you have the equipment and proper safety equipment to protect yourself. When in doubt, it is best to call on experts. In addition to the damage this can cause to your home or business, the health risks that can come with gray water are flooding.

3) The third and final type of water is “black” water. This water contains wastewater, other waste, bacteria, and other more serious contaminants. Black water is dangerous to health, and you should not try to clean it up yourself. Professionals have the equipment and protective clothing necessary to dispose of the black water safely and know what to do with contaminated furniture and materials.

As soon as the excess water is gone!

Now is the time to do a more thorough inspection of the damage and determine what drying work needs to be done. If mold and mildew is already present, it should be removed immediately to prevent spreading. Depending on how much moisture material, such as drywall, has been absorbed and how open the damp or mold patches are to air circulation, it may be necessary to remove and replace these materials. You will have to be incredibly careful with existing mold and mildew. Fungi can be poisonous and very harmful to the materials they attack. Professional mold remediation companies have the experience and safety equipment needed to safely remove the mold. If you hire professionals to deal with the mold and / or mildew, then make sure they use proven mold removal methods. Just spraying the fungus with chemicals won’t kill the fungus. It must be treated and disposed of with the correct cleaning agents. If you find mold, try to eliminate airflow to the area, get out of the area and call for help!

If no mold or mildew is found, or if mold or mildew is removed, the next action will normally be to dry the wet areas. This is normally done with the help of specialized equipment that cleans the air while blowing air at the same time. It is important to initiate drying as soon as possible to avoid the additional possibilities for mold and mildew and to prevent further damage to materials through water absorption. For minor spills, you may be able to do this yourself using fans, hair dryers, and the like. For larger areas, you may even be able to rent large capacity dehumidifiers to dry our surrounding wood, carpet and other materials. However, you may still need to rely on professionals to ensure proper drying as they have instruments to measure moisture content and you do not want any moisture remaining after the drying process is complete. And when in doubt, it is normally best to rely on professional drying services. Especially for large areas with water damage. Professionals may be able to save on furniture and fixtures that you may otherwise have to replace.

Remove and dispose of damaged porous materials!

Porous materials such as carpet, padding, insulation, fabrics, and the like may need to be removed and discarded. Water can permanently damage most porous materials by shrinking or warping them, and mold will damage them even worse. Again, if in doubt, call a professional to see what can be done to save the material or furniture.

Disinfect the other materials if necessary!

Once all damaged material has been removed, all mold and mildew has been removed, and drying is complete, disinfect the entire area before beginning Water damage restoration Bethesda. This may not be necessary in the case of minor clean water damage, but it is critical for gray and black water floods. In any case, the disinfection must be carried out to ensure that no mold spores remain. Typically, a bleach / water solution is used for this by lighting and quickly wiping the entire contaminated area, one small area at a time, so that the disinfectant does not soak into the water or dry before wiping. There are many disinfectants available that can be used. When in doubt, you can engage professionals for this.

So now is the time to repair the damage!

Where do you start? Ceilings! Ceilings exposed to water damage are more at risk from gravity causing them to sag or collapse. So, get started when it applies. Remove the affected ceiling panels or boards first. And as we said at the beginning, make sure you understand what is causing the water damage, such as a leaking pipe or damaged roof, and make sure that the problem is resolved and cannot cause further damage. We assume that was done long before we got that far.

Take the time to make sure the water has not caused structural damage to joist or rafters. When in doubt, call professionals.

Replace all damaged wood!

All badly deformed wood, rotten wood and wood with mold problems should be replaced. You must pry apart and thoroughly clean damaged boards before replacing them. And if the wood is a structural part of your home, you need to be incredibly careful when replacing the wood so that the structure is not compromised.

Kathy McDonough