Flood damage can happen from indoor plumbing problems or natural events. When your home experiences this issue, it can be a scary event. How can you recover when so many problems develop because of the standing water on your property?
Although it can feel like an overwhelming experience, water removal and flood restoration are possible for many homes. It takes a plan, some sweat equity, and a little time to complete the repairs. Homeowners can complete some of the repairs themselves. If you encounter any issues that you’re unsure of how to address, it’s always better to bring in an experienced flood restoration contractor to address the issue.
Contact Your Insurance Company Immediately
Your protections after a flooding event depend on the policies that protect your home. The damage is likely covered if the standing water develops because of a plumbing issue. Some issues are not part of a standard homeowners policy but could be included with flood insurance.
Common claims that get denied include burst pipes during the winter, sewage backup problems, and flood damage that occurs from the outside. The difference between water and flood damage is often open to interpretation. That’s why the best thing you can do is contact your insurer about your issue to know how to respond.
Is the Water Damage New or an Existing Problem?
New water damage often appears as a single dark spot without rings around it. When touched, the surface feels firm and wet because there hasn’t been time to weaken the drywall. Older water damage areas feel squishy and soft. Even wood can get this way with enough exposure.
You will notice dry water rings if there has been a persistent issue. There could also be mold or decay present.
What to Do If You Encounter Floodwaters at Home
It is essential to remember the following steps if you see standing water appear at home. Even if it is only an inch or two to manage, these actions help to keep you and your property safe.
- Always treat floodwaters or standing water as if it is contaminated because it likely is that way.
- Wear personal protective equipment, including waterproof gloves and boots, before entering a flooded area.
- Protect any cuts or injuries with a waterproof bandage. Wash these areas out thoroughly if they encounter any water.
- Don’t keep any food that came into contact with the standing water, including canned goods.
- Once finished with the inspection or repair work, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Do not rely on hand sanitizers alone for disinfection.
- Pets, kids, and seniors should avoid contact with standing water whenever possible.
The priority is to remove the standing water before moving on to other repairs. You might need a few tools to get that job done, ranging from a wet/dry vacuum to an extraction tool.
Although a pail and a mop can get minor issues, it is imperative to work with speed here. You want to get that water pumped away or extracted quickly to limit how much damage it can cause.
How to Remove Standing Water Indoors
Most flooding issues require a removal tool to get the water out of a building. The option you use often depends on the location of the standing water.
If you have a flooded basement, it’s often easier to use a pump to extract the water. You can send a hose out of the area or to an operational drain to remove it.
When you’re in a bathroom or kitchen, a wet/dry vacuum can help you remove unwanted water quickly. It helps to review the setup for this tool to ensure there isn’t a filter to clear before starting.
You can also work by hand with buckets, mops, brooms, and squeegees.
As you work, you’ll find that there could be hidden areas where standing water gets trapped. There can be mud, leaves, and other items trapped behind baseboards, outlet covers, or appliances. You’ll need to move everything out, inspect the area, and replace the items to ensure nothing remains.
It might be tempting to bypass some spaces because the area seems dry. If any moisture remains there, it becomes a friendly place for mold and mildew to start growing.
Clear Out the Drainage Areas
Property owners with standing water issues may find the ground around their structures overly saturated. It doesn’t take long for the soil to dry out so that it can receive more water, but you’ll still need to clear your home’s drains to prevent erosion damage.
Should standing water linger around your foundation, it helps to create channels for the water to run away from the house.
Floodwaters can leave unwanted deposits of garbage, organic debris, and dirt around the house. Try to be proactive in removing this material.
Once the immediate risks are mitigated, you will need to inspect any storm drains and gutters around your property to ensure they’re not clogged.
Begin the Restoration Process
Water damage restoration delivers the best outcomes when it begins within 24 to 48 hours after being cleared to re-enter your home. If you never had to leave, try to remove the standing water immediately to limit the damage.
Flooding problems may require you to remove drywall, flooring, and insulation to prevent mold, mildew, and odors from spreading. If your furniture was affected by the issue, it might need to be dried, cleaned, or taken to the landfill.
Once all the standing water is gone from your home, you’ll need to address damp belongings. A central air conditioning unit can help to dehumidify the indoors, while floor fans and other tools can encourage items to dry faster.
If you can begin the drying process within the first day, everything should be finished after three or four days to eliminate the risk of mold and mildew development. Most homes need one to two weeks to complete the repairs.
It is crucial to get started immediately. If you cannot do the work yourself, an experienced water damage restoration contractor or specialist can help you begin the repair process. If you have any questions about how our professional water damage repair service can help you, dial 206-458-5237.