Water damage can happen to anyone, and unless you’ve had experience dealing with water damage in the past, it can be a stressful and frantic experience. The first thing you should always do is contact a professional water damage repair team, but while they’re on their way, and depending on the source of the water, there are things you can do to protect as much of your property as possible. To reduce damage in the event of a flood, here are some emergency safety tips to consider.
1. Identify the Source of Water Damage
The first thing you should do when you notice that water has been entering your home is to try to locate the source of water damage. Is the water coming from a leaky pipe in your kitchen? Has a bathtub overflowed? Is water leaking through the windows in your basement? Knowing where the water is coming from will help you decide your next steps as you wait for a professional water damage repair company to arrive.
2. Take Pictures of the Damage as You Found It
Depending on the cause of the flood, you may be able to claim the damage through your insurance company. Taking pictures around the area is very important when filing your insurance claim because it indicates the extent of the damage and it will work in your favour as you explain the situation to your insurance company. A professional water damage company will also take many of its own photos to be included in reports that will be sent to your insurance company during the claims process.
3. Stop the Flow of Water
If you can see the source where the water is flowing through, such as a pipe, stop the flow of water by plugging the burst pipe or shutting off the water supply to your home. If it is coming in through the foundation of your home, you will need to call a flood damage restoration company immediately. They will have the right equipment and tools to stop the water from coming into your home, remove the water, and dry your home thoroughly.
4. Disconnect the Power
The next thing you should do is quickly disconnect any power cables, unplug electronics, and remove them to a dry space. The sooner you get these items out of the water’s path, the more likely you will be able to save them. If it is possible, turn off the power leading to the affected area, especially if the water is beginning to rise above electrical outlets.
5. Move the Furniture Quickly
If you have carpet or furniture in the area, do your best to remove them so they do not get soaked. You can pull up any carpets and area rugs, which can be cleaned and disinfected. If the flood is in the basement and you have furniture like couches or tables, bring them upstairs or take them outside if they are already wet. The sooner they are out of the area, the more likely you can prevent them from being destroyed.
6. Increase Airflow
Another way you can start preparing your home for water damage restoration is if you increase the air flow to the affected area. The most common areas in the home for a flood are the basement and bathrooms. Both areas will likely have windows or doors, which you should keep open. You can also put a dehumidifier in these areas, turn on the air conditioning, or place fans to circulate the air through the room. Although these may be steps you can take to minimize water damage, only your professional water damage restoration team will be able to thoroughly dry up the area using their high-tech equipment which most people do not have on hand in their homes.
7. Remove the Water
Another way you can protect your home is by getting rid of the water that has flooded your home. You can lay down old towels, and use a bucket and mop to soak up the water as much as possible. If the water comes from a sewage source, you should stay away from the room that has been affected, and keep your family far away from it. Always contact a flood damage restoration company if the water is from a sewage source, or if it is more than just a puddle on floor. It is important to remember that just because you have mopped up the visible water does not mean there is not further damage. You should always call a professional flood restoration to come and inspect and test for moisture in the building materials. This moisture is not always visible and can lead to mould growth if left untreated.
8. Remove Coloured Rugs from the Wet Floor
Unless you want your floors to be stained you should remove any coloured rugs and mats from the floor. Rugs and mats that have been soaked can lead to leaking dye that ends up on your light-coloured carpets or hardwood floors. Remove these items and take them outside to dry, or take them to a carpet cleaner to be disinfected and cleaned.
9. Prevent Mould Growth
Preventing mould growth should be one of your major concerns if your home has been flooded. Once the area has been thoroughly dried and you have disinfected all the surfaces, you need to ensure that the area has completely dried. Once mould spores are in the air, they can land on any surface and spread throughout your home. Especially in dark, cool, moist areas like the basement, mould can find its way into cracks and crevices and cause significant damage overtime. A professional water damage and mould removal company can help dry out your home and destroy any mould spores in the air or on the surfaces of the affected room.
10. Get Help from a Flood Damage Restoration Team
In the case of a flood in your home, it is your primary goal to clean and prevent your home from further water damage. The best way to do this is to hire a professional water damage restoration company. The way you respond to water damage in your home is paramount to whether and how quickly you can restore your home. This difficult task involves so many responsibilities, it can be overwhelming and near-impossible to manage alone. Especially in cases where sewage water has entered your home, the safest way to handle it is by a professional.
Flood Services Canada is ready to provide quick-response cleanup services across the GTA and will use the best techniques, personnel, and technology to ensure your home is clean, safe, and dry as soon as possible. Contact us at (416) 302-2107 to learn more about how to protect your property, or use our emergency hotline at (416) 999-3930 to get our rapid-response teams deployed to your area.