Water that shows up in unwanted areas throughout your home can cause all sorts of damage, not only to many of your possessions, but also to the areas that it occupies. When you act fast, you will be able to save your belongings and minimize the damage that occurs. Of course, it depends on exactly how long the water has been around.
Never treat flood water in your home too lightly, no matter how much may be in your home. The same thing applies even if there is only dampness in your home, as this can result in the creation of mold, which can ruin your floors, walls, furniture, etc. Preventing the growth of mold is essential to keeping the air clean and healthy for you and your family.
On top of contacting your insurance company for assistance, here are some ways that you can clean your home following water damage:
Shut Off Power, Unplug Electronics, and Remove Any Movable Items
The quicker you’re able to get any and all movable items out of the way, the better of a chance you’ll have to save them. Be sure to move all electrical items first. Pull up carpeting and underpadding. Keep in mind that you may be able to save your carpet if you’re able to get it cleaned and disinfected; however, there’s the chance that it may shrink, in which case it can be used as an area rug. On the other hand, you likely will not be able to save the underpadding, as this is what soaks up the most water.
Dispose of the Water
There are many different ways that you can do this. If you have no power or if you’re worried about loose wires, simply use mops and buckets to soak up as much of the water as possible before pouring the water down the drain or onto your lawn. You can also use a wet/dry vacuum, as long as you plug it into an outlet that’s far away from the water itself. Never use an extension cord, as this can also give you a shock.
Dry Out the Area
This is something that should be done as soon as possible. When the water has been cleared, use a dehumidifier and fans to begin drying out the affected area. You can also open up your windows to help circulate air, as long as it’s not raining outside. If you’re dealing with drywall and that was affected by the water, you will likely have to cut those areas away, as it will result in the drywall crumbling and mold developing on the paper backing.
Disinfect the Area
Once the area is dry, use your preferred disinfectant, which will get rid of bacteria that could have come up through toilets, sewers, etc. All areas affected by the water should be disinfected.
Keep Mold from Growing
Once you’ve dried and disinfected the area, apply a good mold control product to the affected areas and allow it to dry overnight. Be sure to follow all directions to ensure that it works the way that it’s supposed to.
Dispose of Any Items that Have Become Damaged
Rather than simply throwing damaged items away into the trash, there may be some items that you can take to your local recycling center. Your local waste management facility will be able to provide you with more information regarding what can be recycled and what can’t.
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