Whether you’ve got water damage following a storm, fire, leaking pipe or human error, a quick response to water inundation is ideal to ensure mould and bacteria don’t take hold.
Getting onto the problem immediately can also prevent secondary damage to valuables and items of sentimental value. In regards to the repair bill, a quick response can also reduce the cost of building restorations in the long term.
Within 24 hours of water damage
Your first priority following water inundation is to ensure your safety, particularly if a building or room has been totally flooded and there’s a chance floors, walls and roof structures have been compromised.
Check that the electricity is turned off or call your local handyman to come and assess the site for you. Wearing gloves, boots and protective clothing can also safeguard you against items that might have dislodged during the inundation.
Once you’ve ascertained your safety, make sure you’ve stopped the source of water, if you can. For example, if water is coming from a leaking pipe or tap, go to the water main and turn it off. These are usually located near your water meter or home boundary, on the front lawn or close to the garden tap.
Next it’s wise to contact your insurance company and check your coverage because fixing water damage can be costly depending on how much havoc has been wrecked. At this stage they’ll likely get their inspector to come out to assess the damage and instruct you on the next step.
Chippy tip: Don’t forget to take lots of photos of the flooded area to show damaged structures and items; this may help with the insurance claims and adjustments
Circulate air and remove moisture sources
Open windows, and if it’s safe to turn the electricity back on, set up fans to help circulate air through the space and turn on ceiling fans. Open up linen cupboards and wardrobe doors and take out drawers in furniture or cabinetry to get the air moving.
Avoid using air conditioning or heating if it’s been compromised during the inundation because it can distribute mould, dirt and other contaminants into your living space. Once air is flowing, deal with items in each room. A dehumidifier can help remove excess water vapor from the air.
Get larger items such as rugs and furniture outdoor in the sunlight, but keep in mind it’s wise to get rid of soft items if they’ve been affected by dirty water because they might become breeding grounds for harmful bacteria. Any flooring that traps water, such as vinyl or linoleum, should be pulled up.
Get cleaning to prevent mould
All surfaces that could have been in contact with bacteria that may have come up through sewers will need to be fully disinfected. It’s less of a concern if you’re dealing with water damage from a burst pipe or rainwater. A mould preventative solution or bleach mix can help get rid of possible mould spores.
Tip: Oil of cloves diluted help kill mould on material.
The repairing and rebuilding stage
If you’ve decided not to claim through insurance but still have some repairs or rebuilding to be done, it’s wise to get a registered builder in to assess and give you a quote. They are trained on the latest techniques and will have experience in fixing water-damaged properties.
Select Maintenance owner-operator Oliver can inspect your home or business and discuss your options moving forward, particularly if you want to make alterations to the water-damaged area.
Send Oliver an email by visiting here or call him on 0403 592 271.