Flooding and other types of water damage to your home can be especially heartbreaking when personal items of sentimental value are waterlogged and wrecked. Standing in the wet and soggy mess that was once your clean, dry house is a scenario nobody wants to face. But water damage happens, and when it does, there are steps you can take to prevent further loss and destruction of your precious property until professional help arrives.
Here are some things you can do to lessen your loss while you wait for the water damage pros to arrive:
1. Safety First—
It is common knowledge that water and electricity are one of the worst pairings possible, so in order to avoid electrocution, be sure to turn off the electricity to the entire house at the main breaker.
Also: If an upstairs room has water soaking through the floor, don’t enter the room below unless you’re certain the ceiling structure isn’t compromised, sagging and about to collapse. And if your water damage involves sewage, wear gloves, boots, long pants and a mask.
2. Stop the Soaking—
Now that you’ve shut off the power, it’s safe to enter the house and try to shut off (or at least curb) the source of the flooding. Turn the water off to the entire house if possible, or try to wrap broken pipes with sheets or anything else you can find that will slow the water and prevent more damage.
If the water in your home is from natural disaster-type flooding rather than the broken pipe variety, try not to open doors between rooms or to the outdoors to prevent unnecessary water and mud from moving from room to room.
3. Remove the Water Immediately—
While you wait for the professional water removal company to come help, you can still begin drying up as much water as possible, because every little bit counts when you’re trying to lessen moisture damage.
Get out all the dry towels you have left and mops to soak up as much water as possible, and get to work. The faster you dry your floors and belongings, the more likely it is that they will be salvageable, so time is of the essence. A product that will help you soak up huge amounts of water fast is MoistureSorb® Fluid Solidifier & Deodorizer Granules. Each teaspoon has the ability to absorb over 10 ounces of water in less than a minute!
4. Lift Everything Up—
If you can get your furniture, drapes, valuables, art, jewelry and books up off the wet areas and to a higher, dryer place, do this as quickly as possible, especially if the water is still actively flooding.
If your couches and chairs have wet cushions, prop them up to begin the drying process, and open all closet and room doors once the risk of spreading water has been eliminated to increase circulation and promote faster drying throughout your home.
5. Hang Everything Possible—
Lift wet rugs off your floors and drape them over a fence, porch railing or any place you can find to allow them to dry quickly and avoid mold growth. Hang clothing, leather products and books as quickly as possible.
Basically, if it’s wet and you can hang it, do so, because the faster you get the drying process started, the less likely your belongings are to be damaged. Be sure to turn on all window and ceiling fans once the professional water damage response team has arrived and removed enough water to deem electricity safe again, as this will greatly facilitate the drying-out process.
The sooner you get started drying out your things after your home has sustained water damage, the less likely they will be to mold. After you’ve called the pros the come help, secure a safe environment and get to work as soon as you can. With diligence, quick thinking and hard work, you can help remove damaging water and salvage many of your memories and furnishings.
6. Prevent Odor from Building Up-
One of the unfortunate effects of water damage is the resulting stench. So it’s imperative to take immediate action to stop your house from smelling. One of the simplest and quickest remedies is to place MOISTURESORB® Reusable Moisture & Odor Elimination Pouches in every room. This product lasts for years and can be used repeatedly until the renovation is complete. In addition, you can scatter MOISTURESORB® Natural Moisture & Smell Removal Granules/Powder on floors and carpeting to soak up moisture and odors. These products act both as dehumidifiers and deodorizers. They will control the moisture and remove water damage smells so you can recover faster.
William Gates is a professional blogger that provides consumers information on water damage and carpet cleaning services in Sacramento CA. He writes for California Water Damage Services, the best company to call to clean up residential or commercial water damage in Sacramento CA.