Coming home to discover indoor flooding due to heavy rains or a leak in your pipes is a stressful ordeal for any homeowner. The water will damage your home and your belongings, including furniture and electronic appliances. This can lead to extensive financial loss, especially considering the cost of fixing the leaks, the house, and purchasing new items.
Water damage also threatens your safety due to potential structural damage. Thankfully, you can take numerous measures before and after water damage restoration to minimize damage to your home.
This article reviews the prep and after-service tips that can help you navigate water damage restoration easily. Stick around to learn more.
Water Damage Restoration
Water damage restoration refers to the rehabilitation process of a home or property to its initial state after a water damage incident. The process may take days to weeks to complete, depending on the extent of the damage. However, you may need to restore your home urgently because staying elsewhere may add to your costs. If that is the case, emergency restoration services from companies like Summit Cleaning & Restoration in Portland Oregon will be useful.
When the process is complete, your home should be completely dry and safe to inhabit. Some steps in water damage restoration include water extraction, debris removal, content restoration, and reconstruction.
Preparing For Water Damage Restoration
Preparing for water damage restoration is key to minimizing further damage. Below are some things you can do to prepare for the restoration process before a professional arrives.
- Switch Off Electricity, Gas, And Water Supply
Switching off your electricity, gas, and water supply is a safety measure and should be the first thing you do, provided it’s safe. This is because water and electricity are a dangerous combination, as they increase the risk of overheating power sockets or a fire outbreak. Furthermore, gas is flammable, making it likely to aggravate the fire, causing more damage. You also risk being electrocuted if electricity is turned on and the water reaches any electrical outlets.
Once the electricity, gas, and water supply have been turned off, unplug all your electronic appliances from the power sockets. This also prioritizes your safety and helps minimize damage. While at it, ensure you move the appliances to a dry place within or outside the house. If turning off the electricity, gas, and water supply isn’t safe, consider contacting a professional for help.
- Inform Your Insurance Provider
Insuring your home against property damage caused by water, wind, fire, and theft is essential for homeowners. This is because the cost of restoring your home to the pre-loss condition can be quite high.
Once you notify your insurance provider, an adjuster will investigate the damage and use their findings to provide an approximation. The average claim settlement for water damage and freezing is USD$11,650. The essence of this tip is to minimize your out-of-pocket costs, which cushions you from extensive financial loss.
- Ensure You Capture Photos And Videos For Documentation Purposes
After filing an insurance claim, your insurance provider will require evidence of the damage. The sooner you provide proof, the sooner your claim can be settled. Therefore, ensure you take photos and videos capturing the damage’s extent and water level.
Insurance providers typically schedule an adjuster to visit your home to investigate the damage and determine the claim’s validity. Nonetheless, having documented evidence is vital in case your claim is declined. The documentation will also pay off when you need a cost estimate from a restoration expert.
- Move With Caution
There’s a lot that can go wrong after a water damage incident. This includes slipping or falling, being electrocuted, or being caught in a fire. Therefore, it’s crucial to proceed cautiously to avoid falling victim to these dangers. For instance, if going into the house to switch off water, gas, and electricity feels unsafe, call a professional to assist you.
It’s also advisable to wear protective gear as a safety measure. For example, safety boots are essential in preventing slips and falls and protecting your feet if you step on debris. Similarly, protective gloves and long-sleeved cotton apparel protect you against electrical mishaps. Again, if you don’t have access to basic protective gear, seek assistance from a professional.
- Remove Standing Water
Standing or stagnant water is the water that accumulates after indoor flooding. Eliminating this water is an efficient way of prepping for water damage restoration. Before draining the water, ensure you have your protective gear on, including gloves, rubber boots, protective clothing, and a mask. This ensures your safety, especially if the water is contaminated.
If the water level is manageable, you can remove the water using a bucket or basin or a professional wet and dry vacuum cleaner. Once you’ve removed the bulk of it, use a sponge mop or a squeegee to dry the remaining moisture. Ensure you use clean water to eliminate any residue.
On the contrary, if the water is excessive, consider contacting a professional for help. This is because professionals have access to a wider range of equipment for draining water effectively, including pumps and other specialized tools.
- Remove Your Belongings
Once your home is dry, it’s time to remove your belongings. This includes salvageable items and debris. Consider moving your reparable and undamaged items to a secure location where you can keep them until water damage restoration is complete.
On the other hand, make plans to dispose of debris and irreparable items properly. When determining which items are reparable, consider whether purchasing new items is higher than repair costs. If yes, consider keeping them. If repair costs are higher, you may as well buy new items.
- Properly Ventilate Your Home
Drying out your home after water damage involves more than draining and mopping the remaining moisture. You have to ventilate your home afterward to keep moisture away for good. Opening windows and doors, leaving the air conditioner on for longer, and setting up electric fans and humidifiers will help you achieve this. However, you must not use your electronic ventilating appliances until switching your electricity supply back on is safe.
Properly ventilating your home slows down the development of mold, safeguarding your home from further damage. Depending on the extent of damage, complete drying can take anywhere between a few days to a week. Therefore, the earlier you can start, the better.
What To Do After Water Damage Restoration Is Complete
Once your home has been restored to its initial state, it’s wise to implement measures that prevent future water damage. This after-service guide will help you accomplish that. Some tips include the following:
- Installing Leak Detectors
Leak detectors are an efficient way of preventing future water damage. These electronic devices are designed to detect flooding and trigger an alarm. Additionally, these detectors are multifunctional and may come in the form of temperature sensors and Wi-Fi devices. They can also be programmed to enable you to receive phone alerts when an alarm is triggered.
The two types of leak detectors are area detectors and spot detectors. The former comprises sensor wires that identify floods covering an extensive area. Meanwhile, the latter sets off an alarm when the sensors are exposed to water or moisture.
The detectors can be active or passive. For example, active detectors detect floods and automatically switch off the water supply. However, it can only work if connected to the water system. In contrast, passive detectors only trigger a warning to notify you of a leak, meaning you have to shut off the water system manually.
- Cleaning Your Gutters Regularly
Blocked gutters are a major cause of water damage due to the accumulation of standing water. Keeping your gutters clean is essential to get rid of standing water, thus avoiding damage to your roof and walls. Failure to do so may cause structural damage and compromise your and your family’s safety.
- Knowing The Location Of All Your Water Shut-Off Valves
Knowing the location of your water shut-off valves is crucial to mitigating water damage when a leak occurs. Remember, it only takes a few minutes to flood your home after a leak. Therefore, shutting off the water supply as soon as you notice the leak saves you from damage and eventual costs.
Additionally, faulty shut-off valves can cause water damage if they aren’t replaced. Thus, besides knowing where these valves are located, it’s also essential to assess their condition regularly.
- Inspecting Drains And Sinks Frequently
Keeping your drains and sinks in optimal condition is a good tip for preventing future water damage. One way to ensure this is by finding more effective ways of discarding cooking grease that doesn’t involve pouring down your sink. Grease can clog pipes and damage them, causing a blockage. No amount of hot water can help clear the grease from the pipes, so you shouldn’t drain it in the sink.
In addition, long-term use of chemical drain cleaners damages your pipes and increases the risk of leaks. Regular inspection of your sinks and drains helps you determine whether there’s anything that needs replacing, further preventing water damage.
Consider investing in a snake drain to help unclog your sink and drains. Additionally, ensure you dispose of debris in the trash and only drain water in your sink. And, of course, clean your drains as frequently as possible for the best results.
You can take numerous measures before and after water damage restoration to minimize damage to your home. Preparing for the water restoration process requires you to switch off your electricity, gas, and water supply, inform your insurance provider, take photos and videos, and move cautiously. It’s also vital to remove standing water to ventilate your home properly.
On the other hand, implementing certain after-service tips is crucial. These include installing leak detectors, cleaning your gutters regularly, knowing where your water shut-off valves are located, and inspecting drains and sinks frequently. Incorporating these prep and after-service tips gives you a better chance at managing water damage and preventing its occurrence in the future.