Excessive moisture can wreak havoc on a structure. Between mold, mildew, and infrastructure damage, even small amounts of water can cause big problems. Everything from drywall to furniture can be affected, but repairs aren’t always cheap. To keep your property from paying the ultimate price, learn these DIY water damage cleanup tips before things get out of hand.
What Does Water Damage Cleanup Involve?
Cleaning up after water has damaged a structure can be tricky and dangerous, so don’t attempt it if you can hire a professional instead. This is especially true when you’re cleaning up buildings wherein the appliances, gas lines, and electronics have been compromised. Adequate water damage cleanup efforts also involve lots of heavy lifting, so get help when necessary to prevent accidents or injuries.
The destruction that water causes can vary from one case to another, so carefully assess your situation before digging in. Here are the 6 most important places to check:
- The Drywall – It’s made out of an extremely porous material that acts like a sponge when it gets wet.
- The Plaster – It’s a thick material that takes an inordinate amount of time to dry after being exposed to moisture.
- The Insulation – Depending on your structure’s insulation type, different things can occur. None of them are favorable though.
- The Wood – Solid wood items like furniture and framing tend to warp and/or crack when they touch H2O. Most of the time, wet wood will have to be replaced.
- The Floors – Floors can take an especially hard hit when exposed to standing water, and not just the coverings either. Don’t forget about the joists.
- The Wiring – Water wrecks wiring like nothing else, so be prepared to call an electrician for assistance.
Unchecked areas of your home or office can become breading grounds for contamination. That’s why water damage cleanup jobs almost always require help. Remember, you need to address the condition of all HVAC systems and plumbing components as well.
Pro Tips for a DIY Water Damage Cleanup Project
If you’re lucky, you can salvage your structure without having to fork over the extra money for professional help. That’s only possible, however, if you follow these 10 simple DIY rules:
- Keep your nose open for the smell of gas.
- Watch out for shifted foundations, walls, floors, and stairs.
- Turn off the electrical power and water (unless it’s inaccessible).
- Check plumbing quality by opening faucets and flushing toilets.
- Open all the windows and doors to help with ventilation.
- Remove all loose debris before starting repairs.
- Use a combination of wet vacs, fans, and dehumidifiers to hasten the drying process.
- Slowly dehydrate basements to prevent structural damage.
- Wear protective clothing, respirators, and eye shields at all times.
- Remove every single item that’s contaminated with mold.
When to Call in the Experts
Water damage cleanup often requires more effort than a DIYer can muster. If you think you need a second pair of eyes, call in the experts. If your project requires heavy equipment or professional installation, ask for help. Most of the time, flood insurance will cover the cost of water damage repair and some even provide discounts to homeowners who hire professionals to do the work.