Floods can certainly be a pain in the neck, aside from being expensive and time-consuming.
They can have numerous causes — from weather conditions, burst pipes, clogging, to appliance malfunction and others.
Sometimes the water damage is minimal and it can be cleaned up within minutes. In other cases, it can be devastating, requiring a costly water damage repair or even a complete home renovation.
According to a 2020 report, the annual cost of water removal and damage repair in the U.S. is $13 billion.
As soon as you notice any flooding, you should first locate its source and try to stop it. Next, you must unplug all the electronics or switch off the power generator in case you know its location.
Then, you can start assessing the damage and coming up with a water damage restoration plan. Here are some guidelines to help you out in the process:
Assessing the Situation
Once the flooding has stopped, you should try to estimate the severity of the flood. Check for standing water and check the walls, ceilings, and floors.
If there’s little to no damage, you could try pulling off a DIY water damage repair. Soak up the remaining water and ventilate the room as much as possible.
In addition, you could use a fan, dehumidifier, or any other appliance to speed up the process.
However, in most cases, it’s better to contact a water damage restoration company right away. Oftentimes the consequences don’t appear serious at first glance.
For instance, if it’s pouring rain outside and your roof is old and leaky, your walls might get soaking wet. It might be difficult for you to notice that damage right away, especially if it happens in the attic.
Ironically, the attic is also the place that usually takes the worst beating. The basement is a close second.
When you’re examining the water, there are three types that you need to look out for:
- White/clear water. It’s typically rainwater. You can safely handle it yourself.
- Grey water. Usually, this type of water can be seen leaking out of appliances like dishwashers, washing machines, etc. It’s not toxic and can easily be disposed of.
- Black water. This water type has been in contact with fecal matter and other harmful substances and strong chemicals. You shouldn’t try and dispose of it yourself, but rather call the professionals who have the right protection and equipment for it.
As we mentioned already, you should check the walls, ceilings, and floors. Ceilings should be addressed first, as they could collapse if they get too wet.
Then, you should check the porous materials like wood, drywall, plaster, etc., as they are the most damage-prone. If the water damage is serious, you might need to scrape off the affected areas to prevent further damage.
However, it can sometimes deep into the house’s structure, so you should be thorough.
You might want to try to differentiate between harmless ghost stains and mold, which implies serious water damage inside walls. And not just that — inhaling moldy air can be extremely hazardous to you and your health.
Therefore, you should address it as soon as possible.
Water Removal and Drying
If there’s standing water in the building, you should contact a water damage service immediately. They know exactly what to do and therefore can act quickly, which is essential when it comes to water damage.
Plus, they have the right equipment for it.
Firstly, for water removal, they will use various types of vacuums and pumps.
Secondly, after all the standing water has been extracted, they will typically proceed with drying. For that, they will use air movers and dehumidifiers.
Moreover, they will monitor the moisture levels to keep track of the progress.
Water Damage Repair
The extent of the repair will be determined by the level and severity of the damage. In some cases, no restoration will be needed.
In other cases, especially when they involve mold, a more thorough approach is necessary. That typically includes the replacement of entire walls and structures.
Aside from water removal and drying, water damage restoration service also involves the cleaning, disinfection, patching, repainting, or sometimes even a full renovation of the affected area.
In case you end up needing to redo the whole room or even house, consider using waterproof materials if possible.
In addition, make sure to insulate all the potential leak sources before they start causing issues.
Home Advisor shows us that the average water damage repair cost is around $3,029, though other sources claim it’s as high as $10,234.
Either way, water damage can be a major inconvenience and a setback in terms of both time and money.
Also, the longer you ignore it, the more severe the damage will be. Therefore, you should prepare and learn how to act quickly in case you ever encounter a flood.