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Steps to recover from water damage

December 7, 2018
Steps to recover from water damage

Something as small as a broken pipe or as large as a flash flood can lead to water damage that can take a toll on your home for months to come. Most things in your home that gets damaged by water are unsalvageable, and cleaning up the mess can feel impossible and overwhelming. A smart plan and quick action can make your water damage issues evaporate quickly.

Put electrical safety first

Water damage near outlets and wiring should be addressed first. For a minor leak, you should shut off circuit breakers that power the area affected. Shut down the entire circuit panel if the damage is more extensive and affects several rooms. Call your utility company to completely remove the electrical meter if you have been hit with significant flooding and have standing water in your home. Do that first before wading into any flooded areas. Contact your electrical utility or a professional electrician if you are unsure about the electrical safety of water damaged areas.

Stop flowing water

Damage could get worse by the minute if there is water leaking from your home’s plumbing. That is why it is so important to know where your main water shut-off valve is. It is likely in the basement close to the water supply. You could check where your home’s water meter is if you are unsure where your shut-off valve is since your home’s water supply comes from there. The handle on it will likely need to be turned using a tool called a water key. You can find these at hardware stores. If your valve has not been turned in years, you may need to grease it.

Cover your assets

After you have eliminated the risk of electrocution and stopped the flow of water, you should call your insurance company to report the damage. Most home insurance will cover damage resulting from a burst pipe but not from a natural flood. That type of coverage is usually sold separately. Be familiar with the kind of coverage you have before disaster strikes. Remember to take photos of any water damage in your home before you start to clean up. Otherwise, it may be difficult for you to be compensated for the damage.

Dry off

Remove standing water with a pump or wet shop vacuum and take out all water damaged items from the home to sort them into salvageable and unsalvageable piles. You will likely have to get rid of electronics, food and paper products, and carpeting. Valuable rugs and furniture might be salvageable if a professional treats it. Use fans and open windows in damaged areas to allow for damp air to escape. Puncture holes in drywall if there is trapped water in the walls. Wet drywall will need to be replaced anyway.

Call for help

A water damaged home requires a lot of hard work to get it back to its original state. There are a lot of things you can do yourself, but depending on the extent of the damage and the risk of mould, it is better to call professionals to help you. Call Total Plumbing to help manage your water damage and get rid of it quicker. We can help you recover from plumbing problems and help you prevent it.