Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Basic Water Damage Remediation Steps

Water damage incidents take a variety of forms and can vary significantly in their severity. While some minor ones can be handled by property owners, most major incidents require the attention of a specialist. Assessing the damage and knowing whether to call a water damage remediation specialist for help can be a challenge.

One of the advantages of hiring a water damage specialist is their expertise in analyzing the severity of the damage and experience in determining the best course of action to quickly and effectively eliminate the negative repercussions. If you are going to attempt water damage remediation on your own, these are just a few of the things that must be taken into consideration:

  1. Turn off the electricity. Flooding situations significantly increase the chances of electrocution, and are almost always beyond the realm of DIY water remediation. Electrocution can also come from a simple wall socket and standing water. If there is any doubt about the risk of electrocution, the electricity should be turned off. It is also important to make sure you are not in any standing water when shutting off the breaker because this could also cause electrocution.
  2. Remove loose items and furniture. Different materials have different resiliency to water, and it is better to be safe than sorry. This is especially true with expensive furniture. Most furniture is made of wood, and different woods react differently to water. Some woods are very resilient, some can warp and bend, and others, such as particle board, simply begin breaking down. The sooner these items are removed from the water, the better the chances are that they will be salvageable.
  3. Remove water quickly. The longer water sits, the more saturation will take place. Water pumps can be purchased at most local hardware stores. It might be necessary to purchase more than one pump depending on the size of your property and extent of the damage. When pumping water out, it is important to make sure the water is drained far enough away from the home that it does not drain back towards the property.
  4. Completely dry the property. Thoroughly drying a property is the most difficult part of DIY water damage remediation, and is where most property owners make mistakes. Incorrectly deeming a property dry could lead to mold and mildew growth and other health risks. Fans should be brought in to aid the drying process, and carpets and pads should be pulled up. Property owners sometimes make the mistake of deeming their floors dry simply because their carpet is dry. It is often the pad under the carpet that retains moisture and leads to health risks. You should also be running a dehumidifier to help pull moisture from the air. This will help to lower the risk of mold and mildew growth, but remember to frequently empty the dehumidifer tank to ensure optimal performance.
  5. Treat for mold and mildew growth. You should use anti-mold treatments throughout your water damage remediation efforts.You may also want to consider hiring  professional to come in to do mold and mildew testing after the remediation process. This will help catch problems before they get out of control, and it will also help detect potential problem areas.

Water damage remediation can be a difficult and complicated process, and it could end up costing DIYers more than hiring a professional in the first place. The steps above are only a few of the most basic things a property owner should know before attempting DIY water damage remediation.

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