When a structure has been exposed to large amounts of water, such as during a flood, it’s very important to immediately take steps to dry out the building, make repairs and plan water damage restoration.
The first step to take during water damage cleanup is to turn off the power to the building. Make sure any gas services are turned off as well, to prevent leaks. Also, document all damage with pictures before you clean up to help when you deal with your insurance company.
For a flooded basement, first wait for the ground outside and around the basement to drain off. If you pump your basement first, uneven pressure will be created and cause damage to the walls, possibly resulting in a collapse.
The best thing to do about water damage is make sure there is proper air ventilation throughout the entire structure. Open all windows and turn on ceiling fans to draw air in and around the room. In addition, find out whether you have plaster or sheetrock. If you have plaster it can probably be dried out. Sheetrock, however, will most likely require complete replacement. It’s important to consult a water damage company to find out the best method to fix water damage to your building’s walls.
Any wood features in the structure should fare well after water damage. Wash down any trim or doors to remove all mud and residue. A Clorox and water solution can be used to wash off mold and mildew. Remove all wet carpeting and furniture and wash down all wood floors with fresh water. Although the floors may start to warp as they dry, keep drying. They should go back to their original shape, especially if weights are used to decrease buckling and warping. It should be noted that the success rate for this method is not as great as you would like and often the floors will need to be removed.
All insulation in the home should be removed. Wet insulation is useless and will cause mildew, mold, and damage to all wood and metal in the home. Check the attic, walls, and under the floorboards to be sure you get out all wet insulation.
A professional water damage restoration company will probably be required to take care of many problems, including treating wallpaper, as well as paintings, photographs, and furniture that has been damaged by the water. A water removal company can help in the entire process of drying out a water damaged structure, ensuring it’s done safely and properly.