Residential water damage can be caused by many things. There might be a weather disaster that causes a flood, a burst pipe or a leaking appliance, or a failing roof could be letting water inside. No matter what the source, you should address residential water damage immediately to keep it from worsening.
Know the Different Types of Residential Water Damage
There are 3 different types of water that can infiltrate your home. They require different methods of dealing with residential water damage.
Rainwater and water coming from leaking pipes is called clean water when referring to home water damage. It does not contain contaminants and can be cleaned up safely on your own. Of course, you will still have to hire a professional to fix the pipe that burst or the hole in the roof.
“Gray water” is slightly contaminated and should be handled with caution. If a washing machine, dishwasher, or clean toilet leaks or overflows, this is considered gray water. With proper safety gear, you can usually clean it up on your own.
Residential water damage from flooding usually involves black water. This type of water is dangerous because it contains sewage, bacteria, and waste. You should not attempt to clean up black water if you experience residential water damage from a river flood or sewer backup. This type of cleanup should be left to professionals.
Use Fans to Dry the Area
The first step for dealing with water damage is to dry out the area. Remove any standing water and then position fans to dry out the surfaces. You may need to rent industrial fans or a wet/dry shop vac.
Inspect for Mold
Mold can germinate and grow in damp areas within 24-48 hours. If you had a leak or flood at home, inspect for mold after drying up the water. One of the first things you’ll likely notice is a musty smell. Keep an eye out for any discoloration and stains where the water damage occurred.
Get Rid of Damaged Porous Surfaces
If any porous materials in your home were soaked, they should be cut out, removed, and replaced. Porous materials include carpet, insulation, and upholstery. These types of surfaces have a high likelihood of growing mold.
Disinfect Hard Surfaces After Residential Water Damage
After you have completed the above steps, disinfect the remaining surfaces. This will help prevent mold from growing and clean any bacteria that may have been in the water.