When your home or business suffers from water damage, nothing feels more urgent than getting the repairs underway. After all, the floors are warped, the walls are soggy, and everything smells like a musty old basement. But before you dive in and start ripping out carpets and hauling away debris, you must create a game plan for restoring and cleaning up after water damage.
Thinking through these steps now will help you shorten the duration of this repair project later on. A good checklist will ensure that you have considered all aspects of water damage repair and cleanup beforehand instead of scrambling around frantically during it.
Table of Contents
Decide Whether to Repair or Replace
If the damage from water is localized or you can easily remove the source of the leak, repair the affected areas. Repairing can be less costly than replacement, especially if there is only a small amount of water damage.
If the amount of water damage is extensive or the source of the leak is difficult to remove or repair, consider a replacement. This is especially true if the damage is in a high-traffic area that will need to be repaired multiple times. If you have insurance, you can speak with your insurance company to determine if replacement or repair is the best option.
Dry Out the Structure and Contents
If possible, start the cleanup process by removing as much water as possible from the structure and the belongings. You can use fans and dehumidifiers to dry out your walls and floors. If you have a large amount of water damage, you may want to hire a professional water removal company to assist you.
Localized water damage can be dried out by opening windows and doors to get the wet air out and using fans to push the remaining moisture out of the room. Be patient during this process, and keep an eye on your belongings to ensure they are drying properly.
Find the Source of the Water Damage
Regardless of the cause, water damage begins with a source. The source of the water damage should be discovered as soon as possible so that it’s easier to repair. If a pipe bursts, the water source is visible. If a pipe leaks, the water source is more difficult to identify. In this case, you may want to call a plumber to help pinpoint the leak.
Once you know the source, you can start to plan out the repairs that will be necessary to fix the water damage. If the water damage is due to a leaky roof, you may be able to fix the problem by adjusting the roof. If a flood has occurred, you may need to replace the flooring and remove and replace the cabinets. The extent of the damage will dictate the necessary repairs.
Evaluate Damage and Install Repairs
Once you’ve found the source of the water damage, you can begin to evaluate the damage and make repairs. Water damage often comes with additional damage, such as warping, rotting wood, or mold growth. You can repair warped or rotting wood by sanding it down and sealing it. You can repair mold growth by cleaning and sanitizing the affected areas.
You can also install preventative measures such as dehumidifiers and air filters to reduce the likelihood of future mold growth. For large amounts of water damage, you may want to hire a contractor or a specialist damage restoration company like Protegrity Restoration to assist with repairs. Experts like these are trained in the types of repairs required for a variety of water damage situations. They can help you save time and money by installing the correct materials in the right locations.
Clean Up After Water Damage
Finally, you will want to take care of the mess left behind by the water. Again, this may take time, depending on the extent of the water damage. To clean up the mess, you will likely want to use a combination of cleaning methods, including vacuuming, mopping, and cleaning with disinfectant cleaners.
Certain items, such as wood and other porous materials, may need to be removed from the structure and cleaned separately. For large amounts of water damage, you may want to hire a cleaning or restoration company such as 1-800 Water Damage for disaster cleaning services.
No one likes to deal with water damage, but it’s a problem that many homeowners face at some point in their lives. Be sure to create a game plan for restoring and cleaning up after water damage to make the process less stressful.
Start by deciding whether to repair or replace damaged items; dry out the structure and the contents, find the source of the water damage; evaluate the damage, and install repairs. Finally, clean up after water damage to prevent additional damage and reduce the total amount of repairs that will be necessary.
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