If your home suffers from water damage, you’re likely stressed and worried about how to fix it. Maybe you woke up to a broken pipe and you have water in your kitchen or bathroom. Perhaps a storm hit your area, causing flooding in the basement. Water damage causes both emotional and financial stress for your family. Here are some ways to deal with residential water damage.

How Much Water Has Flooded Your Home?

You’ll be able to manage the cleanup if it’s only a small amount of water. In the case of a major catastrophe, call in a professional to help. This is especially true if the cause was a flood or natural disaster. Don’t try to handle the situation yourself if your home has suffered a lot of residential water damage.

What is the Source of the Residential Water Damage?

It’s important to know where the water damage came from before trying to tackle it yourself. There are three types of floodwater to know about. The type you’re experiencing will determine how to undertake the cleanup. Clean water is water that has come from leaking pipes or a leaky roof. Gray water is water that flooded out of a washing machine or dishwasher, for example. It might be slightly contaminated but it’s most likely safe for you to clean it up on your own. Blackwater is an entirely different story. This is water that comes from a flood or the sewer. It contains contaminants and bacteria. This type of water is a health hazard and you need to get professional help to deal with it safely.

How Much Water Damage Has Your Home Suffered?

It isn’t only the visible damage that is a concern. There may be damages to other parts of your home that make the house unsafe. For example, water damage upstairs might leak through to the ceiling below and cause the ceiling to weaken and collapse. Your HVAC and electrical systems might be at risk because of residential water damage. Submerged electrical equipment is often beyond repair. Don’t try to handle any electrical problems on your own. Hire a professional who can safely address any issues.

Be Safe When Cleaning up by Yourself

Turn off all electricity and sources of water before attempting any cleaning or repair. This may require the services of an electrician. Put on protective clothing if you have to wade through water.

Removing Water

A wet/dry vacuum works well when the amount of water is relatively small. A water pump is helpful when there is significant flooding. Be careful if you are experiencing flooding and residential water damage in the basement of a structure. Remove only about one third per day. Removing it all too quickly can cause floor buckling and walls to collapse.

Dry the Home

There is the potential for mold growth to begin in as little as 24 hours. Set up fans as soon as possible to begin the drying process. A dehumidifier is a great option to help remove moisture from the air.

Disinfect the Area After Experiencing Residential Water Damage

Disinfect anything that was affected by the floodwater. Any porous material that came into contact with black water should be thrown out and replaced. Sanitize any items that are intact and salvageable.

Can Anything be Saved?

It’s likely that some of your household possessions cannot be saved after a flood. Water permanently damages most everything it comes into contact with. Be prepared to haul away your damaged belongings. If the flooding was severe, renting a dumpster for your site is an easy way to dispose of the ruined contents of the space. BCD Inspection Service offers home inspections in Orange County and Long Beach. If you’re buying or selling a home, contact us to schedule our services.