Water damage to homes can be very expensive to deal with. You do not have to live in an area that is prone to flooding to experience damage from water. Your water heater can burst, this is more likely to happen if your water heater is over five years old. If your home is more than 20 years old, your chances from having damage from water from a shower problem increases by at least 37%.
Tips for Dealing with Damage from Water
- Never mix water and electricity. That may seem like a no brainer but people are seriously hurt every year because they do not take the right precautions. Turn off the circuits leading to any areas that have been impacted by a flood or where there is a leak. The consequences are just to high to not take this simple step.
- There are other safety concerns with floods and leaks. Turning off the power to an affected area is the first step but you should remember that damp areas are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and mold. There are at least 1,000 kinds of mold that can be bad for human health. If you suspect you have it, you need to bring in a professional mold cleaning service. Mixing a solution of one third bleach to two thirds water should prevent mold growth if it has not already started. You can also buy products that will kill mold while being environmentally friendly, if you want that and have a problem with bleach as some people do.
- Get as much of the water out as you can. To prevent more damage from water, get it all out. If there is not that much you can use a shop vac to remove it. If you do not have one, you can rent one from a local hardware store. If the amount is significant, you should hire someone to remove it. Remember, this needs to be done as quickly as you can because the longer the water is there, the more damage your home will sustain. This is not the time to take a wait and see approach.
- Air out the affected areas. The quicker you begin to dry out the affected areas, the better. Bacteria and mold will begin to flourish in about 48 to 72 hours. If you have had a flood, this means you may have some time. If you just discovered a leak that may have been present for a long time, you may already have a problem. Either way, nothing bad can come from bringing fresh air in and trying to dry out the area as quickly as you can.
- Get rid of anything with fabric or carpet that was soaked. If your basement flooded and you had rugs down there, you will probably have to throw them away as well. You can take them to be professionally cleaned or consult a carpet restoration service but these surfaces provide some of the best breeding grounds for mold and bacteria. Weigh the costs of cleaning vs, replacing your items.
- Prepare for the next time. Unfortunately, damage from water is something that you may have to deal with more than once. You can make this process easier in the future by putting your items that you store in the basement in plastic bins and by de-cluttering your space at least once a year.
If you are a homeowner with a basement, the chances are that you will have a flood at some point. Even if you are not a homeowner or if you do not have a basement, damage from water is something you will probably have to deal with eventually. Make sure your insurance policy covers flood water damage. Many policies do not. This is especially important if you live in an area that is prone to flooding. Even if you do not, it is worth it for you to take some time and talk to your insurance carrier about what they will cover if you have any damage from water? from a leaky roof to a burst pipe. At the very least, it will give you peace of mind.
Regardless of the cause, professional services can help clean the damage.