—— What Steps Can You Take Once Water Damage Has Occured? ——
Water is one of the main causes of both indoor mold contamination and interior structural damage. Whether it's a full-on flood situation or just a minor mishap (such as a slow leaking pipe), the damage caused by water to indoor building materials can be substantial. Many property owners are not even aware that significant damage and/or contamination
has occurred until much later when the problem has reached a crisis level. The good news is that It doesn't have to get
to a crisis stage if you follow some simple guide lines and get the appropriate professionals involved early on. So. . .
What are the steps a property owner should take in order to solve a flood or water damaged interior problem?
When a flood occurs inside your property, it doesn't take long before you know it happened. However, with a slow leak
from a water pipe hidden inside a sealed wall, you might not discover the problem for months! Either way, once you
become aware of water damage, you must take steps to deal with the problem.
1.) Turn off the water and stop further flooding.
The first step is to shut off the water and stop the situation from getting worse. The sooner you can halt the water from getting in, the better. If your flood is due to a naturally occurring phenomenon (such as an overflowing river, heavy rains,
or flash flooding), you may have to wait for the conditions to improve.
2.) Remove standing water and let area dry COMPLETELY.
The second step is to get rid of all excess water and dry out the area. Depending on the amount of water, you may need
to bring in professional assistance to get this accomplished in a timely manner. There are a number of ways to dry out a flooded room or basement. Depending on the damage, industrial equipment may be necessary to dry out walls, carpets, furniture and other interior furnishings and materials. The point is to get the area dry as completely and quickly as possible.
3.) Locate the water source.
The next step is to find out were the water originated from: A crack in the foundation or wall, a burst pipe, a loose tile, a leaky roof, etc. If the damage has been occurring for a while, then you may have more than one area where the water is coming from, so locate all sources.
4.) Repair the damaged area to prevent future flooding.
This is a critical step to ensure the problem will not happen again. Once you know where the water is coming in from, get it fixed! It might need to be a temporary fix in order to start the clean up and restoration work. That's okay. Just make sure that a permanent solution is put in place before the work is completed. You don't want to undertake extensive restoration work and then have the temporary fix fail, leaving you with another flood!
5.) Clean-up area, and remove and replace all damaged materials.
Some clean-up may have been started already in order to locate where the water was getting in, and to fix that problem. Also, depending on the extent of the damage, effected materials such as carpets, wall board, tiles, flooring, and insulation will need to be completely removed. it is not recommended that these items be kept once heavy water damage has occurred. If they are at all contaminated with mold spores, the mold growth will be rapid, and unfortunately, ramped. Carpets, drapes, and couches (in particular), may retain a "musty" or "moldy" odor, even when completely cleaned and dried.
When the damage is significant, you should call in professionals to test for mold, safely remove contaminated material, and properly restore the effected area (which may include plumbing, electrical, masonry, along with general construction). Use only contractors who are qualified, licensed, and experienced in flood and water damage restoration, as some work may require EPA certification or special licensing.
Steve Timpany, President of SMS Indoor Environmental Cleaning, Inc., is an NADCA Certified Air Systems Cleaning Specialist (ASCS), an ACAC Council-Certified Residential Mold Inspector (CRMI), and an ACAC Council-Certified Microbial Remediation Supervisor (CMRS). Mr. Timpany is also a member of the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA),
a member of the IAQA's Education Committee, and a member of the Indoor Environmental Standards Organization's
(IESO) Consensus Body. He is an Indoor Environmental Professional and a Mold Remediation Specialist.
For more information on SMS Indoor Environmental Cleaning, Inc., Flood and Water Damage Restoration Services, or
to schedule a Flood and Water Damage Inspection please complete our Request A Quote form by using the link below.
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