How To Handle Water Emergencies and Repair Water Damage

Water damage can be every bit as devastating as any other disaster such as fire, windstorm or earthquakes. Water destroys everything that it touches, and the aftermath of mold, bacteria and decay are total and permanent.

If you have a water emergency, there are some steps that you can take to mitigate the damage and stop it from spreading. Water problems can spring up from broken pipes, both inside and out, and by floods.

If you have a broken pipe, try as best as you can, to shut off the water coming into your house. If that is impossible, just get out, for there can be dangerous places in the house if things get covered up too much. There could be exposed electrical sockets, for example, which could be deadly if you touch the water.

If the water emergency you have leaves any amount of standing water, you should first of all call your insurance company, and let them know what happened. If you have any significant amount of standing water, you should also take up residence somewhere else too.

Your insurance company will be able to tell you who you can call to come and restore your property to the same condition it was before the flood, broken pipe, or whatever it was that caused the dilemma you now find yourself. Most often they will recommend a water damage restoration company like to help you with the process.

There is no usual way or a preferred way that water can get into your home, It can come in through a broken sewer pipe, from too much rain, or even from an underground spring. Of course, the flood from external sources is the most important source and one in which most people associate a water emergency.

In any event, if the damage is considerable, it would be a good idea to move yourself and your family out for a few days while the water restoration experts take charge and begin the process of making things right again.

Water damage quickly turns bad as far as anything it touches is concerned. Water from floods can contain all sorts of bad things. Flood waters from any source certainly will have bacteria, viruses, perhaps e-Coli, pesticides, fertilizer, chemicals, mold and petroleum products.

The workers from the flood remediation company would be wearing protective clothing and breathing apparatus, due to the hazardous nature of the environment, so that should give you an idea of what you would be up against if you were to try this job yourself.

Just the possibility of mold entering the ecosystem of your house, from even minor flooding incidents, can give you a sense of the danger. Mold can be especially dangerous, particularly when it is left unchecked after a water event.

Mold likes to go where it is dark and damp, and where there is no moving air. This is behind the walls, in attics and basements and other places where people don’t often go.

Mold gives off spores that float through the air, so if it is not all eradicated, you and your family could have respiratory and sinus problems the rest of your days, unless the mold is found and removed.

The firs order of business, when the water damage specialists arrive, will be to get all of the standing water out of your house. This is done with very powerful pumps that will quickly get the water outside with the attached hoses.

Next, the drying process begins, when heavy-duty industrial fans are carefully placed all over the contaminated area to dry out the areas where the water went. This process may take several days to complete, but it will dry out most things.

Items that soak up water and won’t give it up will have to be discarded. Couches, pillows, carpeting,  curtains and draperies and any item that retains and holds water will have to go. It is just impossible to get all of the water out of everything, and that is why these items must be discarded, as the will soon be time bombs of unwanted bacteria and disease-carrying pathogens.

Even the drywall, wall studs, and electrical wiring components will have to be replaced, so get ready for a few more weeks of replacement and construction activity.

Once these items are removed, then a very thorough and meticulous cleaning process takes place where all items that are left are sanitized so that there are no germs of any kind left over, and no more is there any mold either.

Now the rebuild can happen, and the painting, new carpet, and furniture follow next, and then the area is safe for you. The whole process may take a week or so to get everything replaced and back into the shape that it was in before the flood, or better.

Then when the move-back-in day rolls around, you can know that you have a safe place in which you can come back to without fear of contamination or mold rearing its ugly head and catching you ill due to some virus of mold spore that was left behind.

Just remember to periodically check your water pipes in the basement, or where ever they run. Know where your water shut-off valve is. That is the main valve that shuts down the entire house. That is what you are looking for, so you can shut off all the water in the house if you ever need to do that.

Even though your insurance company will helping you to choose a good water restoration company, be sure to check on their credentials yourself. The company should be a national company, or if not, one that has an excellent track record in your area. Ask for referrals, and ask for different sections of town, so you know you are getting real reports.

Most water restoration companies are very professional, and they work under a strict set of guidelines so that they cover all areas. And rightly so that they do, as there are many harmful elements in water damage events, and you will want to know that your company that is cleaning up your water will be able to handle your case with professionalism and good results.

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