Have you just moved into your new house and noticed your ceiling swelling up and the floor flooded with water? If yes, then your residence needs serious water damage repair.
Water damage acts like a snake bite, if you don’t act fast enough, you will incur a huge loss and no one wants that. In this disastrous case, some of your products can be repaired, while the rest might just end up in the nearest garbage. Plus, it might also cost you a fortune to fix your place and restore it to its original condition. So why should you take such a risk? Instead, come up with preventative measures to keep your property safe.
Consider the following tips to mitigate any kind of water damage. If the problem already exists, then this checklist of solutions you and your general contractor should follow would help you recover from the damage faster and keep the problem from spreading any further.
The first and foremost step, in this regard, is to cut off any source of water and electricity, until the water damage repair is complete. It will keep you and your repairmen safe from the danger that could occur in the event of water and electricity meeting.
Contact a public adjuster in order to get help filing a claim
Chances are that if you own a house, you have insurance for it. However, filing an insurance claim after getting any kind of damage may be difficult for the inexperienced. In order to remove the hassle of dealing with an insurance company that might run around in circles and keep you from being able to afford professional repairs, hire a public adjuster like the Bulldog Adjuster team in order to make sure you get the largest possible settlement. A large settlement means less money for you to spend out of pocket on making sure your life gets back on track after home damage.
Once you have your public adjuster at hand and can start the repair processes with the help of water damage repair specialists, here are the steps you and your contractor should take to get your house shipshape again!
1 – Differentiate between the Different kinds of Water
If you’re wondering, what we mean by “kind of water”, then let us introduce you to three different types of water. The first one is “pure and clean” water, which we get from different mediums, such as condensation, rain, and leaking pipes, etc. So, if your area is flooded with this type of water, it’s going to be super convenient for you to soak up the place in no time. Plus, it wouldn’t hurt your budget as it isn’t water that would require disinfection.
The second type of water is “grey water” which is like contaminated water from dish-washing, laundry, and cleaning toilet, etc. Grey water is a form of waste water, which means that just drying the place won’t do the full job. Rather, you will also have to scrub and disinfect the area with bleach or anti-germs spray/fluid. However, if you think you need a professional cleaning team to repair water damage from this kind of water, then it would cost you around $4.5 per square foot on average.
The third type of water is “black water” which has a link with sewage disposal or sudden overflow from rivers. Keep in mind that this type of water is highly contaminated with several bacteria and insects which can multiply faster than expected. This is why you have to be very careful. Black water can cause complex health problems and should be treated on an immediate basis. But it’s important to take a step back and hire an expert team that will take all the safety precautions while repairing your place and helping you recover from water damage.
According to a recent financial report, cleaning black water by hiring expert teams costs $7 per square foot. This may seem expensive, but if you clean the black water yourself, then you might end up paying more in terms of hospital bills.
2 – Soak and Dry the Damaged Area
After determining all the affected areas, it’s time to soak up all the water. You and your cleaning team should be able to place portable fans around to aid in the drying process if the area is small. In case the area is extensively damaged, then it would be beneficial to rent a “large capacity dehumidifier”.
The dehumidifier would not only dry out the floor and affected walls, but also get rid of any moisture in the wood or carpet.
Drying out the water would prevent the moisture from transferring to other unwanted chemicals. Thus, you can easily limit the damage to the affected area by only working on the specific region.
3 – Look for Mold
Mold is a fungus that grows on anything that has been moist for more than 24 hours – sometimes shorter than that in the case of humid areas like South Florida. It is frequently found growing in attic and can be found in hidden regions, like under the carpet or inside bumps on the wall. However, mold can cover other regions of a home in the event of water damage due to storm surge, leaking pipes, and weak roofs.
Mold cannot be treated fully by inexperienced homeowners, and it is advised to throw out anything that has mold growth that will come into contact with children, pets, or other people with compromised and sensitive respiratory systems. Additionally, if the mold has taken over one of your walls by the time you notice it, then shut down the place so no air particles can reach it. This is because some mold can be easily transferred through the air and flow around the house, spreading the mold and increasing the damage you and your family will have to recover from.
Keep in mind that the best way to treat mold would be to contact a fumigation agency and get all the mold removed from every single piece of furniture that has even a slight mold growth.
4 – Get Rid of all Porous Products
Porous products include carpets, unsealed cement, and wood, etc. if any of these products are damaged from water, the only way to get rid of any further damage is to throw these materials out or just cut off the region which was soaked with water.
All the porous products when submerged in water can cause a fungal infestation, like mildew, which grows at a higher speed than mold and can cause more damage. Plus, if your furniture or affected rug has a sentimental value for you, and you’re not ready to throw it out, then you should lay it out in the sunshine so it can fully dry.
But remember that product won’t be in the same as it was before, so it’s no use to save it. Keep emotions aside and think rationally, as the water would dry, but the bacteria and fungi would remain exactly at the same place and can cause damage.
5 – Scrub and Clean the Infected Area
We know that drying the area can help stop the multiplication of bacteria, but what about the infestation that remains?
To get rid of the remaining bacteria in the region, the use of bleach and a homemade cleaning solution is a perfect option in lieu of a professional service – or while you wait for your appointment.
The homemade cleaning solution requires:
- A small funnel
- Empty spray bottle
- Tea tree essential oil
- A ½ cup of white vinegar
- Eucalyptus essential oil
- Two tablespoons of baking soda
How to make the perfect disinfectant spray?
Take an empty spray bottle and place the mini funnel over the top of the bottle. Then pour a ½ cup of white vinegar and add two tablespoons of baking soda. Leave the mixture for 5 minutes, so the foam can subside.
After that add ten drops of both the essential oils to it and shake well before use. Spray the solution to every region you just dried and scrub the area once again. To get the best results, make sure you spray and scrub the affected area twice.
6 – Repair the swollen ceiling
Before your ceiling collapses and causes huge financial or health damage, it’s fairly important to look out for the source of leakage that is causing your ceiling to swell and scrape off on a frequent basis.
If the damage was due to a natural cause, like rainfall, then there must have been an open pore through which the water seeped inside. Hence, find that open pore and caulk it immediately to prevent any further damage to your property.
Moreover, if the roof was damaged because of water leaking from one of the internal pipes, then you should locate the porous pipe and have a professional company come in to replace it as soon as possible to avoid any further damage.
7 – Replacement of Defected Wood
The whole structure of a house mainly relies on wood, so if a piece of it is damaged, it can affect the house as a whole. To prevent this damage, it’s important to inspect every corner of the house after the water damage repair and mark every wooden plank that needs replacement.
But remember that you should have alternative support which can temporarily be on the place of the wooden plank that is being removed, so make sure the house does not collapse or weaken other structures near it.
Soaked up wood can give rise to the growth of mildew and mold, which is not good for your property.
8 – New Flooring
If your carpet was on a wooden floor, and it was completely soaked with water, then it’s time to clean it up. If you thought removing the carpet would eradicate the possibility of any further damage, then you’re wrong.
The wooden floor beneath the carpet would swell up because of the moisture the carpet left on it. Thus, it is important to install new flooring which does not soak up water, such as concrete floorings like ceramic tiles and high-end waterproof flooring which will initially cost a little, but would work well in the long term, making it a cost-effective decision for you.
9 – Remove the Damaged Dry Wall
If the water damaged and rotted some parts or the whole wall after dried it up, it would be important to remove the infected parts of the wall. For undoing the damage, the first step is to lay down a tarp which is a flexible, water-resistance or waterproof sheet. This can prevent the debris or dust from collecting.
The second step is to mark the affected region and then cut it off, but if there are several damaged areas, then it would be better to remove the complete drywall at once. It will help you curtail the damage to your property.
10 – Install a New Drywall
After the affected drywall is removed, it is time to take all the possible measurement to install a new drywall. Besides, cutting a slightly larger piece might help when you are installing the new drywall. You can cut the extra wall with a knife which would give it an accurate fit with no spacing at all four sides.
Similarly, keep in mind that if the size is not measured beforehand, the drywall might turn out to be short and not fill up space. The situation can cause the formation of minor pores which can cause the water to seep again and damage the newly installed drywall sooner than the old one. That is something that you do not want.
11 – Block any Unnecessary Open Spaces
Open spaces can form with time, and if not looked upon and filled up, then it can result in a higher risk of water damage. This is because the more the pores open the higher are the risks of water seeping through.
So, first take a brief survey of the area that is affected and look for all the open pores and then start caulking them with chemical solutions and at some places fill up the unnecessary space with cement. It would do the whole job faster than any chemical or clay.
12 – Prime and Repaint
After all the replacements and filling up the space, your area would look raw, and you would see patches of cement and other solutions everywhere. This is not a very pleasant sight to look at. The best thing to do is cover up the recovered materials with prime and paint.
Priming and repainting your walls would give them a whole new look and while painting you’ll realize that there are no pores left in the wall as no paint has passed through it. This will give a smooth and nice look to the area.
Plus, polishing your furniture would kill the smallest amount of bacteria as the polishing fluid has strong chemicals that bacteria cannot fight against and thus die. This would leave your furniture bacteria free and would also make it look like as it was bought a while ago.
Water damage can be a haunting experience, but not for people who know how to deal with it and recover from the damage. Plus, no damage is bigger than life itself! it takes a little courage, a lot of research and a good insurance policy to repair possible water damage.