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How to Properly Handle Water Damage

A sink overflows, causing water damage.

Water damage can cause long-lasting and expensive damage to any home or setting. Knowing when to handle the problem on your own or call professional help will guide your restoration. Whichever method you choose, you’ll need to be sure to properly handle the water damage, big or small. 

Types of Water Damage

Water damage can happen at any time of the year and can be costly no matter what caused it. Winter is one of the most inconvenient times for water damage and knowing the common types of water damage that happen during the winter can help you prepare. Properly handling your water damage can keep costs to a minimum and potentially prevent future issues. 

Clean or Dirty?

Water and plumbing run throughout our homes and businesses to bring in clean water and expel contaminated water. Depending on the source of your water damage, the water could be sanitary or unsanitary, and that will change the way you might go about handling your water damage properly.  


Obviously, clean water will be less of a pain to handle and you might think you don’t need any sort of professional help. Dirty water may be more intimidating to clean up since there will be further cleaning after the water itself is cleaned up. Either way, water damage is categorized by the amount of water. 

Level 1 Water Damage

This is the most mild and minimal water damage category. This includes clean, sanitary water only. The source of water damage in this stage most likely comes from a water supply line or water from fresh precipitation. In this stage, not much water has been absorbed and thus evaporation is highly effective and there are several tips to help clean this water damage


Level 2 Water Damage

This water is usually unsanitary and can pose potential health risks. Water that runs in things like aquariums, dishwashers, washing machines, and so on will have contaminated water with things like chemicals and minerals. In this stage the water damage has moved up from mild and has begun to affect your home or business on a structural level. Walls, ceilings, floors and insulation are damaged in this stage. This category of water damage will take much longer to remove or restore.  

Level 3 Water Damage

Water damage of this level affects more than half of the room or structure and water absorption has already started. Level 3 water is highly unsanitary, usually  coming from sources like the sewers, natural runoff, or floods. This water can contain dangerous chemicals and contaminators that can make someone ill just after exposure. This is where water damage control becomes time-consuming regardless of your method. At this point significant water damage has already occurred and been absorbed into most of the materials. 

Level 4 Water Damage

This type of water damage is usually caused by a huge influx of water, such as a flash flood. Cleaning this type of water damage is costly and time consuming no matter what. Most, if not all materials affected have absorbed water and might require removal or restoration of certain areas. Without a doubt you would want to call some sort of restoration company, who may need special equipment for this level of water damage. 

Properly Handling the Damage

Your best bet is to call water damage and restoration experts at any level of water damage to make sure the cleaning is done properly and professionally. Like any sort of problem or issue, it’s best to respond sooner than later to achieve the best results. However, there are some things you can do to prepare for water damage experts and make their job a little easier. 

If Possible…

  • Turn off the electricity or power in the affected areas. If this poses a danger, stay away from the area until professionals arrive. 
  • If you can identify the source of the water leak and it’s small enough to plug, try to do so. This will help prevent the problem from growing and getting worse. 
  • Take pictures of the affected area and the damage. This will help when you’re making an insurance claim. 
  • Remove any possessions you have that would be affected by water damage. Save what you can, but don’t risk your safety to do so (for example, if your electricity is still on).

Don’t Forget 

  • Check for mold when you are able. Mold can continue to grow up to 24 hours after the water is removed and dry. 
  • Contact your insurance company and confirm your coverage. Begin a damage claim when you can to have the process already started. 
  • Hire a licensed professional to take care of your water damage properly and efficiently.


Water Damage in Cleveland?

Americon Restoration are Cleveland’s mold removal experts. We can help you restore the safety and comfort of your home! Americon Restoration takes all necessary precautions before entering our customers’ homes and closely following CDC guidelines. Please contact us through our website or by phone at (216)221-5200.