What to Do When Your Home Suffers Water Damage

water damageWater damage comes in many forms, and whether your St. George home is damaged slowly by a leaking pipe fixture or water heater, or suddenly from a burst pipe or flash flooding, water damage should always be considered a serious issue requiring immediate attention. Water damage can lead to weakened or rotted wood, and the risk of mold growth is always great.

Knowing what to do in the event of water damage can save a homeowner hundreds or even thousands of dollars. And while there are many things a homeowner can do right away to prevent additional damage, a certified water damage professional should be hired to identify areas of hidden moisture and potentially mold following water damage to your St. George home.

Steps for Homeowners Following Water Damage

If your home has suffered from water damage, you should make sure all electricity is turned off to the home before attempting to enter. Never enter a flooded area if the electricity is still on, and do not turn the electricity back on until a professional has inspected your electrical system.

Another thing to be aware of following water damage is the potential for snakes or rodents to be present in the water or hiding under debris. Move slowly through floodwaters, and always wear protective clothing to protect against pests. If the floodwaters are contaminated, wear a vapor respirator, rubber gloves and eye protection to prevent infection and disease.

Call a Flood Damage Restoration Company

Whenever water damage has caused water to seep through floorboards or has reached walls in your home, it is best to hire a water damage professional who can detect areas of hidden water damage in your St. George home. Water is easily absorbed into insulation materials, and can saturate surrounding drywall materials.

Before the flood restoration company arrives and after the electricity has been turned off, you should open windows and doors to help ventilate your home and to circulate air to encourage drying, as long as it is safe to do so. The flood restoration company may remove carpeting or open up walls to permit airflow to damaged areas.

What Steps Will a Water Damage Professional Take?

As soon as it is safe to do so, a water damage professional will begin extracting floodwaters from your home and will begin the drying process. A water damage professional will be able to identify items that can be restored following water damage, and which items will need to be disposed of and replaced. They will disinfect contaminated areas, and set up high-powered blower fans and dehumidifiers to speed up the drying process.

Generally, porous items cannot be saved after they are damaged by contaminated floodwaters, and this includes mattresses, pillows, particleboard furniture, and paper-based items. Homeowners can begin removing these items from the home before water damage professionals arrive, keeping a detailed inventory for insurance purposes.

Other non-porous items, like wood furniture, can often be restored following water damage. If these items are located in an area that has suffered water damage, move them to a safe area for drying, or place aluminum foil below the feet of the furniture to prevent staining.

A crucial part of the water damage cleanup and restoration process, the water damage professional will use moisture detection tools to identify pockets of hidden moisture behind walls, around appliances and under flooring materials like tile. This moisture is undetectable by sight, but can cause significant damage including rotting wood and hidden mold growth. If detected, materials will need to be removed to allow the area to dry after being disinfected.

How Do I Know When to Hire a Professional?

Not all water damage is significant enough to require the help of a water damage professional. If the water damage is extensive, covers a large area, or is several inches deep, chances are it will be necessary to hire a professional water damage company in St. George. If you are concerned about the potential for hidden water damage, or cannot dry the damaged area within 24 hours, you should consult a water damage professional.

Remember to hire only certified water damage professionals, and don’t be afraid to ask about specific training or experience they have. Feel free to ask about their cleanup procedures and what steps they will take with your property. Ally 1 Disaster Solutions provides professional water damage restoration to the St. George and Cedar City areas in southern Utah. If you experience a flood or water damage in your home, call Ally 1 Disaster Solutions today.