Water damage can be a very detrimental thing. Even the smallest amount of moisture can lead to irreparable damage to both your possessions and the house in which they are kept. There are certain steps one can take to ensure as little damage is done by water as possible, although once water has entered the home, at least some damage is certain.
Water and Electricity Don’t Play Nice
First and foremost, one should disconnect the power at the main circuit breaker. Electrical fires can start easily, and electrocution can be a significant risk if there are large pools of standing water. Disconnecting and removing electronic items should be the first priority, as electronic equipment is most susceptible to water damage.
After the electronic items are out of harm’s way, the next things to be moved should include all furniture, pictures and any other moveable items that the water has contacted. Moving to a safe, dry area is the best solution, where they can be towel dried or put out to air dry.
You Definitely Don’t Want a Waterpark Inside!
If more than an inch of water has entered your home, it will likely be necessary to pull up the carpet and any underpadding as soon as possible. It may be possible to save the carpet, though it should be cleaned and treated for mold. If water has come up through the toilet or sinks, it will be necessary to disinfect the area and any items damaged by the water to kill any bacteria that could be present.
Removing the water can be done in a variety of methods. Buckets or towels and mops can be used to soak up water, and as long as the sewer system in the city hasn’t overflowed, one can pour the water down the drain (otherwise it is recommended that you pour the water onto an area of your lawn that is a fair distance from the house).
A wet/dry vacuum can also work, although one should take care to ensure the vacuum has been plugged in where there is no water. Many hardware stores can also rent you a sump pump to help remove the water.
After the area has been cleaned, disinfected and dried, be sure to treat the area for mold prevention, as moisture is an ideal environment for fungal growth!