Fast, effective water damage repair after a flood, fire, burst pipe, or other such emergency will ensure your safety and also protect your home from long-term damage. Professional flood restoration and repair services also reduce the risk of mold growth in the home, and a water damage restoration contractor can pinpoint the cause of a burst pipe, leak in the ceiling, or other plumbing disaster.
Important steps for residential water damage repair:
The best choice for proper water damage repair in your home is to rely on a professional water damage cleanup company. However, if damage is minimal or if a water damage remediation company cannot arrive in a timely fashion, note some essential tips and steps for residential water damage repair.
Never assume that it’s sufficient to turn off the water supply to an overflowing dishwasher or burst pipe in the basement. It’s not unusual for a homeowner to turn off the wrong valve inside the home, leaving the water supply to a broken appliance connected and risking even more flooding!
When dealing with any broken appliance, burst pipe, or other such interior floods, turn off the main water valve. In a basement, the main valve is usually located on a pipe running against an exterior wall. If your home doesn’t have a basement, check in the utility area next to the water heater or outside the home next to the foundation. You’ll also want to turn off the home’s main electrical breaker.
There are typically three types of water that need flood remediation services:
Don’t assume that floodwaters from outside your home will simply recede on their own, and note that a basement or other sublevel might not have a doorway or other area for waters to drain away. Water from any source is also absorbed by drywall, carpeting, and wood building materials rather quickly, leading to structural damage and potential mold growth.
To remove standing water, it’s good to invest in a sump pump which you can rent from virtually any home improvement or hardware store. If standing water is not very deep, you might also rent a heavy-duty wet-dry vacuum with a tank you can empty as needed during extraction.
It’s easy to think you should open windows when drying out a home after a flood, but consider the temperature and humidity levels outside first! If it’s very humid outside or if rain clouds have not moved out of the area, it can be good to keep windows closed and rely on a dehumidifier and heavy-duty dryers to establish adequate ventilation in the home.
If the outside environment is dry, open the home’s windows but aim fans to direct air outside the home rather than pulling air into the house. Circulating air around the home might not actually dry out flooring and other surfaces, whereas pulling humidity and airborne moisture out of the home helps to remove floodwaters.
Never assume that your home is free of flood damage if surface materials appear dry and clean. The backside of drywall, wood studs behind the home’s walls, the home’s subfloor, and padding underneath carpeting all absorb water easily, and dampness along these surfaces and materials can lead to eventual mold growth.
A moisture meter can alert you to excessive humidity levels in hidden areas of the home, including behind drywall. A water damage restoration expert can also pull up carpeting to inspect its padding and check areas of overlooked water, such as along baseboards or base molding.
Once porous materials like drywall and wood floorboards absorb water and become soft, they are typically not salvageable and need replacing.
Damaged areas of the home need disinfecting, to kill mold and other contaminants and ensure a hygienic, safe surface.
It doesn’t take long for mold, mildew, and other contaminants to form on and spread along porous materials, as said. After spraying such areas with your bleach solution and allowing time for that cleanser to saturate, and after scrubbing surfaces with appropriate brushes and tools, note if mold or other residues still linger.
If mold, mildew, or any such debris remain on carpet padding, behind walls, or along floorboards and wall studs after cleaning, these materials need replacing. Be sure to cut them away gently so as to avoid allowing mold spores to become airborne, and ensure you bag them in airtight plastic bags before tossing those materials in the rubbish.
Once your home is clean and dry, replace damaged insulation, wall studs, drywall, and carpeting. However, you might first note if this is an opportunity to upgrade those materials to something more energy-efficient, cost-effective, watertight, and potentially more comfortable.
For example, you might choose blown foam in place of damaged fiberglass insulation, for added energy efficiency. Replace damaged hardwood floors with a dense, watertight timber species such as teak. If you need to replace your home’s carpet padding, invest in something thick and dense, for more sound insulation and added comfort underfoot!
After flood repair or water damage restoration, consider mold remediation services. Unlike mold cleanup and mold damage repair, remediation services monitor your home for the risk of potential mold growth.
Mold remediation contractors typically note the overall humidity in a home and especially moisture behind walls and in other enclosed spaces. Such contractors will check for signs of developing mold and ensure spores are cleaned before mold spread. These mold remediation services keep mold growth and resultant damage to a minimum, ensuring your home is safe for you and your family.
How long does it take to repair water damage?
A relatively small, contained flood in an average home often takes 2-3 days to repair and clean. For larger homes and more severe floods, and if you’ve allowed the home to be exposed to floodwaters for a long period of time, cleanup might take 5 days on average.
Can you dry out drywall?
Drywall itself can dry out even if left untouched; however, if the material is adjacent to water-soaked insulation behind the wall, the drywall might remain wet. Note, too, that if drywall remains wet for 48 hours or longer, mold often begins to form.
Does mold grow along insulation?
Paper-based cellulose insulation allows for mold growth. Fiberglass insulation does not feed mold, but wet insulation holds dirt that allows for mold growth. Fiberglass insulation also has a paper face that can also encourage mold growth without proper water damage repair.