When flooding happens in your home it is extremely important to take action quickly to prevent further water damage. However, do not attempt to enter your home unless you know all electricity has been
turned off and the water has drained out. During flooding, dangerous foreign objects can work their way inside your home. An extreme example is in Florida when one resident found an alligator in his home after a flood. More realistic dangers include broken glass, electrical shortages and chemical spills. So, what do you do to repair water damage?
Know the water you are dealing with
There are three types of water that can cause water damage to your house; clean water (from rain or leaky pipes), gray water (slightly dirty water from dishwashers or clean toilets), and black water (very dirty sewage water that can pose health risks). For the most part, cleaning up after clean water and gray water can be done by yourself – using proper safety gear and equipment of course.
Black water on the other hand contains waste, bacteria and other contaminants that can cause serious health problems. You should not try to clean black water damage by yourself. There are companies (most covered by your insurance) that specialize in dealing with black water clean up.
Act faster than the mold
A major problem with water damage is the possibility of long term mold in your home. Mold can start developing in as little as 24 hours and will grow extremely rapidly if not treated. Even slight condensation can lead to major mold problems. Because mold is harmful to humans, it is important to take action right away. If you had clean water-damage, and notice a small patch of mold forming, you can simply cut out the affected drywall, bag it, and throw it away. In major mold issues that result from water damage, it is better to get out of the house and call professionals to remove the mold.
Focus on what’s above you
Ceilings are the most susceptible to further damage because of gravity. Any water soak ceiling should be dealt with first as it is likely to come crashing down if not taken care of right away. While repairing the ceiling, be sure to check the major supports in your house to ensure everything is structurally sound. Check the wood inside your walls and ceiling when replacing the drywall to ensure that there is not water damage. If the wood is noticeably wet, work to dry it off as quick as possible with high powered fans. If there is already signs of mold or if the wood is severely drenched, you will want to call a contractor to replace the wood. Do not attempt to do this yourself as it is hard to tell which wood beams are for structural support.
What is typically covered by insurance
Any type of water damage can lead to long term, potentially very expensive, issues in your home. Insurance companies typically will cover a pipe bursting over a slow leak but it is a good idea to put in a claim if there appears to be surrounding water damage. Water can quickly soak into drywall and grow mold. Take action quickly and your chances for getting a claim processed are much higher. Plus, the damage will be dealt with faster so the overall price will likely be lower.
Take action to prevent against future issues
If you live in an area that is prone to severe storms and flooding, chances are you may have to deal with water damage repair again. There are a variety of very nice waterproof flooring options that you can
install in your home. Using waterproof flooring will help mitigate water damage and ease in the repair costs.
It is not just the interior that you need to focus on when there is water damage to your home. Exterior siding is susceptible to rot and should be inspected, repaired, or replaced after any water damage. Water can slip in behind stone siding and creep behind paneling, causing long term damage. These are much harder to spot and it is usually a good idea to bring in a professional with an eye for spotting water damage.