Floods can be devastating. Water is extremely powerful and can cause way more damage than we sometimes give it credit for. Dealing with flooding and water damage in your home can be really overwhelming. When you first discover the water in a place it’s not supposed to be, flood cleanup can feel like an impossible task. Where do you even start? First off, take a deep breath. It seems overwhelming now, but if you follow a few simple steps, the process of flood restoration will be much easier and more manageable.
1. Call Your Insurance Company Right Away
The first step when you have any sort of disaster or home damage is to call your insurance company. Be sure to take as many photos and videos as possible to document the extent of the damage so that the insurance company can see exactly how much assistance you need. This will decrease hassles with the insurance company and help you prove how much damage was done.
2. Determine What Type of Water It Is
It’s very important to determine what “color” of water you have. There are three types: clean water, grey water, and black water. Flooding from rain or broken sump pumps is usually clean water. “Clean” doesn’t mean it’s not still somewhat gross water, it just means that there are no major contaminants in the water. Grey water is water that may be contaminated by soap, oils, or other contaminants that are not bio-hazards. Black water is water that’s been contaminated by human waste. You should never, ever touch black water. If you smell sewage at all, stay far away from it and call a professional.
3. Remove What You Can
As soon as you discover the flooding, you should remove whatever items you can remove safely from the flooded area. Do not attempt to remove items that pose a risk to your health and safety, such as electronics or items that you would have to wade through unsafe water to get to. However, if you have items such as photo albums that have been damaged by the water, remove them as soon as possible. Do not throw them away, even if they have been extensively damaged- they may be salvageable!
4. Remove the Water
Depending on how much water there is, you may be able to get away with using buckets to remove water, but renting flood cleanup equipment such as an extractor to remove the water is another option. Again, do not attempt to do flood cleanup by yourself- or at all- if it smells like sewage. It may be black water and contain pathogens, which pose serious risks to your health. Using a pump or vacuum will speed up the removal process significantly. You need to start this step quickly. Mold can start to grow as soon as 24 hours after the initial water damage.
5. Dry and Dehumidify The Space
This step will probably take a while, perhaps a few days. You’ll need large fans, and we don’t mean box fans. You need large industrial fans, preferably ones that are specifically made for drying out rooms and not just moving air through a space. You’ll also need a powerful dehumidifier to remove the water from the air and avoid condensation on your walls and floor.
The last step is to sanitize everything that the water came in contact with. Even if it was clean or grey water and didn’t contain pathogens, it’s just better to be safe than sorry. You’ll need a powerful disinfectant, preferably containing bleach. Be cautious when disinfecting your property, especially things like wooden furniture.
Don’t Be Afraid to Get Help
If at any point you feel like you may be in over your head, remember that it’s okay- and even advisable- to ask for help. Americon Restoration has been serving Ohio for over a century and we specialize in water and storm damage! We know you may have concerns about COVID-19 and we want to assure you that we are doing everything in our power to keep our employees and our customers healthy and safe. Americon Restoration is taking all necessary precautions before entering our customers’ homes and closely following CDC guidelines. We want you and your family to feel safe and stay healthy! Please contact us through our website or by phone at (216) 221-5200.