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Essential Water Damage Restoration Tips

Posted on May 5, 2017

We have all had the experience of a bathtub or sink overflowing or an issue with a blocked drain and some have even experienced more severe water damage through situations such as floods, burst piping or sewerage pipe ruptures.  In some situations it may be best to call out a professional to deal with the situation, especially if you are covered by insurance.  Here are a few tips on how to handle the situation until you can get professional help, as well as ways to deal with the smaller spills yourself.

What are the first steps?

Your first concern in this type of situation should be for the safety of yourself and your family. So start off by: Turning off the water mains if need be. Turn off the power at the main fuse box if safe to do so. Turn off the gas if it is safe to do so. Evacuate everyone from the premises if need be. In severe cases, get everyone to safety before dealing with the situation.

How do you deal with minor spills?

In the case of more minor spills you can:

  • Turn on sump pumps if they will be effective in the situation.
  • Use a wet/dry vacuum cleaner to suck up excess water if safe to do so.
  • Use a mop to remove small amounts of water remaining.  If the water is from the toilet and contains sewerage, you would need to ensure that you are wearing protective clothing and that everything is disinfected or discarded after clean up is complete.
  • Make sure no water has reached electrical appliances, unplug and dry off any electrical equipment. Do not try to use until the item is 100% dry.
  • Wipe down any surfaces containing small amounts of water while removing any items on these surfaces to ensure both the top and bottom of the items are dried.
  • Use plastic, aluminum foil or other non porous items under the legs and bases of items to raise them higher than the floor/carpet
  • Remove cushions, rugs, mats off the furniture and floors
  • Remove any vulnerable art items from wall and floor surfaces and store safely
  • Remove any items that can be removed off the floor to dry area
  • Remove and discard wet papers, cardboard, boxes and books
  • Remove wet fabric items such as curtains and clothing
  • Treat special fabrics such as leather and fur with care
  • Do not use any appliances until it is safe to do so
  • If it is safe to do so, turn on air-conditioners and fans to increase drying
  • Remove items you cannot salvage and take them to a recycling center
  • Use a mold deterrent on floors and walls if necessary

Fabric items need to be cleaned and thoroughly dried before being returned to their rightful places. All upholstery will require thorough drying and possibly deep cleaning before being used. Carpets and floors will need to be 100% dry before replacing furniture in the room. You need to ensure that you get as much of the moisture up as possible to prevent the growth of mold and mildew in your home.

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