Written by Andy Gurczak

November 9, 2021

Water Cleanup Process: What to Do?

Water Cleanup

Water damage is quite a common type of home or business structural damage and, consequently, a common type of insurance claim. It can happen in many ways but always leaves behind the unpleasant task of cleaning up the damage. Deciding how best to deal with the water cleanup process can be frustrating and challenging. For this reason, we have compiled a list of tips and tricks on how to handle water cleanup better.

Water Cleanup Living Room

Consider the Different Types of Water when Dealing with the Water Cleanup Process

Before beginning the water cleanup process, you must first identify what type of water caused the loss. There are three types of water.

The first type is clean water. Therefore, it can come from rain, condensation, leaky pipes, and so on. This type of water doesn’t pose a threat to humans since it lacks contaminants or bacteria. As a result, it’s also the easiest to clean up.

The second type is gray water. Gray water is slightly dirty water from dishwashers, washing machines, clean toilets, and so on. Therefore, some may have contaminants, and the repair process should be carried out carefully and with proper safety gear.

Finally, the third type is black water, such as sewage or severe flooding from nearby rivers. This water contains waste, bacteria, and other serious contaminants. Blackwater can cause very serious health problems and should be dealt with immediately by water damage repair professionals.

Water Cleanup Types of Water

Water Cleanup: The Destruction Water Causes

  • First, wallboard and drywall: These porous materials act like a sponge and become fragile in a flood. Afterward, they may even remain contaminated if you don’t disinfect them properly.
  • Second, plaster: This thick material may not need replacement, but it takes a very long time to dry. However, it can get severely cracked or warped. In that case, it will need replacement.
  • Third, insulation: Be sure to hose down and dry out foam sheets of insulation. Meanwhile, muddy fiberglass batts should be thrown out. Finally, cellulose insulation, made of blown-in treated paper, will need to be removed and replaced.
  • Solid wood: Furniture and other solid wood items may warp and crack following water damage. However, you could save them by drying them out completely.
  • Particleboard and laminated wood: These materials may separate and weaken after getting wet and usually need to be replaced.
  • Moreover, wood studs and framing: These solid pillars are usually fine if they dry completely. Nevertheless, be sure to disinfect them.
  • Floor coverings: Most carpets and laminated coverings must be thrown out after a flood or water damage. However, a professional cleaner may be able to save a small rug or valuable carpets. Regardless, immediately remove them from the site.
  • Furthermore, pipes and electrical wiring: Floods can float or break pipes and strip electrical wiring. In addition, water damage can also affect these elements of the structure.
  • Appliances: Damaged appliances can leak harmful and explosive gases into the air, electrocute and leak water. Therefore, be sure to get them checked by a professional.
  • HVAC: Heater and air conditioner units can become flooded and damaged. As a result, they may have their internal electrical systems spoiled. In addition, venting systems can flood and become contaminated. In conclusion, you must have them verified, cleaned, and repaired by a professional.

Water Cleanup Damaged Materials

Water Cleanup: Step by Step

Water Cleanup Step 1: First, locate the water source.

As we mentioned before, homes usually have three types of water running through them: clean water, gray water, and black water. So the first step after realizing you have water damage would be to identify what type of water is the culprit of your loss. Then, it’s crucial you shut off any water source in your home in order to prevent additional damage. In case the problem is an opening on your personal property, be sure to seal it off with a tarp.

Water Cleanup Step 2: Second, water removal and drying the affected area as soon as possible.

It’s essential to act fast when dealing with the water cleanup process. In fact, did you know that mold and mildew can begin growing in as little as 24 hours if the water is left standing?

The water damage restoration services you hire will empty the space and remove standing water with professional water removal and drying equipment.

Water Cleanup Removal

Removing and Tossing Damaged Porous Materials

Porous materials include wet carpeting, insulation, drywall, fabric, and similar items. If they’ve been soaked in water, you may have to cut them out and throw them away. Water will permanently damage most porous materials by shrinking or warping them, and mildew will damage them even further.

Then, to dry out the affected area, they will place industrial fans on the wet flooring and walls. Finally, to really dry out surrounding wood, carpet, and other materials, they will install large-capacity dehumidifiers. You don’t want any moisture left after your water damage restoration process.

Moreover, we recommend inspecting your home to confirm there are no hidden areas that may require water cleanup. For example, check under floorboards and the padding beneath the carpet to see if water has permeated these spaces. If so, make sure to place fans on the affected areas to ensure everything has completely dried out.

Water Cleanup Step 3: Then, disinfect the remaining materials.

Once you remove the damaged components, and dry the area, it’s time to disinfect to eliminate all mold and bacteria. A simple bleach solution should do the trick if the water damage isn’t too serious. However, we highly recommend you get a professional restoration service regardless of the severity of the damage. A water cleanup company has the right tools, experience, and knowledge to clean the affected areas properly.

Inspect for mold

Once everything is dried and disinfected, re-inspect for any signs of mold damage to your home. If you find mold, be careful and take safety precautions.

Some molds can be toxic and harmful to humans. If it is a minor mold issue, you might perform the water cleanup project without a professional. On the other hand, an invasive mold issue should be fixed by a professional.Water Cleanup Mold

Water Cleanup Step 4: Structural damage restoration is the last part of the water cleanup process

After the water mitigation part of the water cleanup process is over, it’s time to begin with structural restoration. You might want to contact several local contractors to get repair costs estimates before getting started with structural restoration. Ask for repair bids and solicit an itemized bill before agreeing to a water cleanup and repair agreement.

For a Significant Water Cleanup and Repair Process, Contact Your Insurance Company

Extensive water cleanup and repairs in your home are not something you should tackle on your own. Contact your homeowner’s insurance company and find out your options for assistance. Sudden events, such as a burst pipe, are more likely to be covered than a slow leak. Work with your insurance company at every step to ensure your home is clean, secure, and safe.
If you need help filing, negotiating, or settling your insurance claim, don’t hesitate to hire a public adjuster. Call AllCity Adjusting today to handle your public adjusting needs.

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