Steps to Take After Water Damage

One of the most damaging and devastating things you can ever experience is flooding in your home. However, you’re not alone, we’re here to help you with some steps on how to deal with flood damage.

There are many causes of household flooding including – Heavy rains, Sewer back-up, Appliance Malfunctions, Malfunctioning sump-pump, and Burst pipes. This can be a time of great confusion as to what to do concerning safety, cleanup and even how to pay for all the repair and restoration.

Flood Damaged Home

7 Immediate Steps to Take After Water Damage In Your Home

1. Call Your Insurance Company

Your homeowners’ insurance will vary depending on what policies you have. The insurance company will send an adjuster to look at and assess the damage and determine if it is a covered loss.

Document the values of each and every item you can think of and take as many photos as possible before, during, and after cleanup. This will help the adjuster when he or she is able to come assess the damage. They might even suggest a restoration company like Jenkins Restorations that can help you with your cleanup and restoration process.

Note: Not all home insurance policies cover flood damage. For more information about how flood insurance works, check out our blog post.

Safety First after Water Damage!2. Safety First

The most important step in any major home disaster like flooding and water damage, is to make sure yourself and your family are safe. There are several things you can do to stay safe in your home.

Turn off the power

Water and electricity obviously do not mix. But, if turning off the power requires you to enter or stand in wet areas it is best to leave it alone and call an electrician. Do not reenter a flooded home before turning the electricity off.

Wear Protective Gear

Be sure to wear protective clothing–such as rubber boots and gloves–when you re-enter your home. This will protect you from injuries that can get bacteria filled water in them.

Protect Your Valuables

You can lift wood furniture off the wet carpet areas and insert tin foil under the feet to prevent staining of the carpet. Likewise, remove any rugs that may be on wet flooring.

You may be forced to leave your home if the flooding is bad enough. Make sure it is also safe when you return to your home to begin dealing with the aftermath. Don’t drive through any flooded areas!

3. Start Cleanup Immediately

If possible, water damage cleanup should start 24-48 hours after you’ve been cleared to re-enter your home. In many situations, the damage is too extensive for one person or family. Get help from a restoration service to stay safe and ensure all damage is removed.

If you decide to begin the drying process yourself, make sure you wear protective gear. Determine what is salvageable and throw away anything that is too damaged or no longer safe to use. Be aware that you may need to remove flooring, drywall, and insulation to prevent mold and mildew from spreading in your home. Furniture may also need to be dried out, cleaned or thrown away depending on the level of water damage.

4. Dry Out Your Home

Once all standing water is removed from your home, you will still have to contend with damp belongings, particularly if you live in a very humid area. If you are able to get your electricity back on, use central air conditioning to remove humidity. Floor fans such as Air Movers and dehumidifiers can help dry damp areas of your home as well.

You can’t get too dry, so be certain and avoid mildew, molds, and other lingering issues that could result if you rush back in. You may need the assistance of a professional restoration contractor like Jenkins Restorations to ensure a dry home. Time is of the essence and studies show that starting the drying a home within the first 24 hours and completely drying a home within 3-4 days will almost completely remove the risk of mold and mildew.

5. Check for Mold

Mold can begin developing after the first 24 hours of a flood, and once it has started growing it can be difficult to remove. The quicker you remove items from water and begin drying them, the less likely they are to be lost to mold.

If it gets bad, you’ll often have to completely remove the affected areas. It’s always best to err on the side of caution and have a professional assess the situation.

In the event of mold, our sister company, Jenkins Environmental, can assist you in removing it and restoring your home to a safe and healthy condition.

6. Begin Restoring Your Home

The repair of water damage in your home from flooding is typically what takes the longest amount of time. Flooring and sometimes even walls need to be replaced, broken possessions are often in need of repair, etc. If major construction is needed, make sure you hire an expert!

7. Move Back Into Your Home

Once you have the go ahead from your insurance company, your restoration/construction company, and your local government(in the case of natural disasters), it’s time to move back into your clean, dry, mold-free home!

Download this FREE guide to help you figure out what to do after water damage.

If you need professional help, contact us today for 24/7 support.

How Long Does It Take to Get Rid of Water Damage?

Dealing with water damage can be a real challenge for homeowners, both right after the damage, as well as in the long run. Whether you are dealing with flood damage from storms, or leaky pipes, water damage can cause all sorts of headaches as well as significant health and safety problems in your home.

Maybe you are just dealing a burst pipe, or worse yet you have a flooded basement. Regardless of how bad the initial damage is, you cannot afford to wait to start the water cleanup process. Water spreads very quickly and will get absorbed into the floors, the walls, your furniture and other areas in your home.

Once you have stopped the actual leak, you need to immediately start the process of water mitigation, which is the process of preventing or reducing the amount of water damage, to prevent additional damage.

Does Water Damage Happen Immediately?

Within minutes, water leaks will spread evenly in your property, soaking everything that gets in the way. Your walls, floors, upholstery and belongings all become soaked in water. As soon as water creeps in, your carpets may get stained and your photographs, books and other paper goods may start to bulge and warp.

If the water is black water, like from sewage, anything the water touches immediately becomes a potential bio-hazard. With this type of water damage, the home will need to be decontaminated.

If the water is clean water, like from a water heater or washing machine, standing water in the affected areas is much less of a concern. You still have the damage of course, but the risk of a bio-hazard is less likely.

Water Damage Within 1 to 24 hours

Within just a single hour up to a day after your home has been exposed to water, it will begin to cause damage. This is when drywall begins to bulge and break, furniture begins to swell and crack, and metal surfaces begin to tarnish.

Water Damage Within 48 hours up through 7 days

Between hour 2 and the end of the first week, the damage will compound. Your home will experience growth and spread of mold and mildew. The doors, windows, and wood flooring may swell and warp, and metal may begin to rust and corrode. At the same time, there is a possibility of serious biohazard contamination.

Water Damaged Child's ToyWater Damage After More than a Week

If water damage persists for more than a week, mildew and mold growth, structural damage and biohazard contaminants may pose serious risks to you and your family. The delay in restoration time may also increase the cost to repair water damage significantly.

Mold spores and the need for mold remediation and decontamination services are almost guaranteed at this point.

How Long Does Water Damage Restoration Take?

The time that water damage repairs take to complete will depend on the time it takes for the material affected to dry up and how severe the damage is. If you’re just dealing with a single room, maybe two, it will likely take less than a month- 72 hours for drying out, and another 1-2 weeks to actually repair the damage.

The larger the space, the longer the process will take. If your whole home has been affected, the restoration process will likely take multiple months. In this situation, you and your family should find another place to stay.

Getting Professional Help

Most flooding and water damage situations require immediate response by professionals. Once you have stopped the leak, it’s time to start removing water. If you try to do it yourself and miss something or wait too long to call, it will take significantly longer to repair and restore your home. Often, professionals can get to the damage more quickly, taking steps that the average homeowner may not know to take, that can reduce the overall costs of restoration.

When you hire a water damage restoration company to handle your water repair, they will start with water extraction immediately to minimize the damage and even help prevent the onset of mold. After the water mitigation process is complete and further damage prevented, the water damage restoration process will begin so you can start rebuilding and restoring your home!

If you are unsure about what your first steps for when your house floods should be, then give us a call! We specialize in water damage restoration and flood or natural disaster repairs. Our goal is to get you repaired and restored as soon as possible to help you safely enjoy your home once again.

Download this FREE guide to help you figure out what to do after water damage.

If you need professional help, contact us today for 24/7 support.