Cleaning Up Water Damage
Posted on Feb 10 2013 at 02:32:52 PM in How-To
The first obvious step to take in saving a home from water damage is to make sure there is no more water getting inside and that there's no stagnant flooded areas of the house. Breaks in the roof and flooded basements are common problem areas, though sometimes it can be as simple as an open window.
Once it is clear that no further water can enter the home, pumping out flooded areas and salvaging the room are next. Plumbing stores will sell cheap pumps that can be run by drills through a garden hose, and after removing the masses of water it is the air that must be saved next. All windows must be opened and all fans must be turned on. The air must be circulated in order to dry the room out. Dehumidifiers should be spread throughout the damaged areas, as long as the dank is frequently emptied. All this will do a great deal against mold.
After larger measures are in place the carpet should be checked for water damage. If it is too thoroughly soaked through enough that simply vacuuming with a shop vac won't do, ripping it up from the floor and supporting it on wooden beams will help it dry with the fans and the dehumidifiers. It is important to note that anything that is damaged by "black water" or sewage water should be disposed of immediately.
Wooden surfaces affected by water can usually be mopped up without incident. Though, any extreme damage should involve professional replacement, at least to hold off mold. Now is a good time to find low cost salvageable valuables: pieces of paper that can be copied and then disposed of, pictures and personal items not too damaged by the water or requiring instant removal from the dangerous environment. Critical valuables can be placed in a frost-free freezer and a water damage professional can advice their further aid after the home is handled.
Generally, drywall can be saved by simply drying it. Any swelling or broken seams tell a different story, however. Any bubbles must be shaved off and filled with drywall mud. Holes should be covered with mesh or paper tape before using drywall mud. After sanding and reapplying the mud until the wall looks appropriate, priming and painting will handle the aesthetics of the drywall.
Unfortunately, any ceiling tiles in the affected areas should be disposed of and replaced. Continue ventilating the house for one or two weeks following the incident, and make sure the source of the problem has been dealt with, or there could be another cleaning bill in less than twelve months! If any structural damage appears to have taken place it is always important to contact professionals before serious damage is caused to the home.
SERVPRO of West Jordan, Utah has the experience and resources to respond quickly to your residential or commercial fire and water damage emergencies. SERVPRO specializes in water damage clean up in Utah.