There are many reasons that water damage can occur within a structure or a house. When most folks think of water damage, they think of flooding. But there are many other causes for damage to your property as well such as sewage backups, clogged pipes, cracks in the floor foundation, water getting behind the walls of your house, appliances like washing machines causing moisture damage, and leaking roofs. All of these things can create a lot of damage to your home and will need to be addressed quickly before the situation becomes worse.
The first step after you have taken in your basement is to get outside and dry off the area. If there is water present, the moisture level should be gone by the time you get outside. If there is more moisture than usual, it’s a good idea to use a dehumidifier to lower the humidity level in the basement and take preventative action to prevent mold from growing. If you have existing mold, you should have it cleaned up before you proceed with the rest of the steps below. If not, your cleanup and restoration company will likely have to deal with the mold. And you don’t want that.
Once you are at the scene of the water damaged, take pictures. This is very important if you are working with an insurance company. You want them to know exactly what was taken in your home and how it all fits into their plans. You want them to understand that you are working on a clean up, not a full restoration. Some water damaged homeowners wait several months before they contact their insurance companies about their water damaged property.
If your water damage clean up consists of minor household items like an ice maker or a washer and dryer, you may be able to remove these right away. Check to see if the ice maker can be saved and contact the homeowner right away. This is extremely important and the sooner they contact their insurance companies, the sooner the process can begin for a speedy and inexpensive repair to the problem.
If your water damage clean up consists of minor things like a few old clothes, a few decorations and some artifacts, this process will be a lot easier and faster. It might take some time to actually get all of these items out of your home. For example, if you find a door knob or door frame and have to remove it to get to the underneath of it, this might require hours a day, seven days a week for removal. So, be prepared to spend a few hours a day, seven days a week, if need be, for the removal of mold remediation contaminants.
The quicker you respond to the water damage cleanup, the less chance there is of spreading the contamination to other areas of your home. Also, make sure that you have the right equipment and tools on hand the moment the cleanup team shows up at your house. This equipment can include an assortment of specialty masks that prevent moisture from entering the lungs and airways and other specialties such as water extraction fans to suck up the excess moisture. By having the right tools on hand when the cleanup crew is showing up, you are guaranteeing that you have the best chance of containing the mold and making the damage safe for your family to return to later.