The Fundamentals Of Dealing With Water Damage In Your Home

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Most people understand how destructive and hazardous water damage can be, but they don't fully understand what they should do when water damage occurs. When it comes to protecting your home and the safety of your family, it's important that you understand how to assess the water damage and address it to minimize potential problems. Here's a look at some of the things that you need to consider in the face of water damage in your home.

Identify The Water Source First

If your home has suffered any water intrusion, you need to determine the source of the water before you ever come in contact with it. This is essential because the water could potentially be contaminated and a health hazard. 

Make sure that you know where the water has come from. Water from a broken inbound water pipe is clean water. This water isn't a health hazard, but it is a safety hazard in terms of the risk of electrocution or other threats. 

Rainwater runoff isn't quite as clear. In fact, rainwater runoff can be contaminated by chemicals and other hazards in the soil. That makes floodwater and excess rainwater more significant concerns than freshwater exposure. You'll want to avoid venturing into this water if possible to protect your health.

Septic backups and sewer-related flooding, including broken main drain pipes, are an even more serious concern for health and safety. This type of water often harbors all sorts of bacteria that can make you very ill. It's best to steer clear of this water.

Reach Out To Water Damage Mitigation Contractors

Once you've identified the source of the water, you need to reach out to water damage mitigation contractors right away. Most contractors will suggest that you turn off the electricity to the house to eliminate the risk of electric shock since water conducts electricity.

You'll also be asked what level of contamination there is in the water so that the mitigation contractors can adequately prepare for any potential exposure. That's why it's important that you identify the water source first. 

Be Prepared To Dry Things Out

When the water damage mitigation contractors arrive, the first step is to remove any remaining water in the house. The contractors will bring sump pumps to force the water out of the house, draining it to somewhere safely away from your foundation.

Once the excess water is removed from the structure, the next part of the process involves drying things out. Your water damage mitigation contractors will bring in some large-scale fans, open the windows, and take other measures to ensure sufficient airflow to dry out the house.

Your carpets will typically be removed, as will most of the furniture and anything else that's been damaged by water. Those things will be dried out and treated separately or replaced if necessary. 

Expect Treatments To Prevent Mold Growth

The final stage of water damage mitigation is to replace the damaged areas, including new drywall, where needed as well as new structural beams if necessary. Once the damaged areas are replaced, the contractors will apply a mold inhibitor to ensure that the remaining affected materials are protected against mold growth.

Mold is a serious health hazard and thrives in areas exposed to moisture. That's why it's important that the area be treated to prevent its growth after water damage exposure. This is typically the final step of water damage mitigation efforts.

When you understand the process of dealing with water damage in your home, it makes it easier for you to prepare yourself before the situation ever happens. That way, if your home ever does sustain water damage, you'll be prepared to handle it properly and keep your home and your family safe.

Contact a local water damage mitigation service to learn more about the restoration process.