When Water Floods Your Home: What to Do and Not Do

Are you ready in case your home is one of the more than 2% of homes that will have an insurance claim for water damage this year? Many more will have smaller problems that might not exceed insurance deductible levels if handled appropriately. Bottoms fall out of water heaters; sewer pipes back up; feed lines for toilets, ice makers, washing machines or dish washers break; pipes freeze and break... stuff happens and water escapes and becomes destructive.

When water is loose in your home, time is not on your side. The longer water has, the further it will spread. Within minutes wood furniture stains begin transferring to flooring, particle board starts to sponge up the water and swell, paper items begin to dissolve, drywall starts wicking the water and losing structural integrity.

Here are some tips about how to stay safe and limit water damage:

Before Water Damage Happens:

·         Know how to turn the water off. Where is the valve? Does everyone living there know where and how? Are there special tools required? Put needed tools in a place everyone knows and can find quickly. Every minute of delay can mean many gallons of water flooding your home.

What NOT To Do:

·         Don’t operate electric appliances. Don’t use TV’s, computers, lamps, and ceiling fans, etc. while standing on wet flooring.  Also, don’t plug or unplug any electrical appliances in wet areas.

·         Don’t use a vacuum cleaner. Regular household vacuum cleaners can be destroyed trying to remove water.

What To Do:

·         Turn the water off. It is important to stop the water quickly.

·         Call emergency responders. Call a water damage specialist like PuroClean Property Rescue, immediately. Call your plumber for repairs.

·         Use caution. Watch your step - water can cause floors to be slippery. Watch for dangers like collapsing ceilings.

·         Remove water when possible. Mop up as much excess water as you can to limit its spread.

·         Protect valuables. Remove paintings and other artwork to a safe, dry place.

·         Protect furniture. If possible, place aluminum foil or plastic wrap under furniture legs on wet carpeting.

·         Remove items from floors. Pick up any books, magazines, papers, or other items that may be on a wet carpet or floor. Remove area rugs and put them where they can drip without causing further damage. Notice what might be getting wet on closet floors and move to dry areas. Check the floors on the other side of walls where you know floors are wet.

If you are the victim of water damage, don’t ignore it and hope it goes away. Most things will eventually dry out on their own, but a lot of unnecessary damage can happen in the meantime. Water and time are two essential ingredients for mold to grow. It is unwise to try to dry things out by yourself. Water tends to get into more nooks and crannies than most people realize. Professionals from a company like PuroClean Property Rescue know how to limit water damage.

Look for other helpful tip sheets in this series: “When Fire or Smoke Damages Your Home” and “When Mold Invades Your Home” provided by Doug Williams, Owner and President of PuroClean Property Rescue / 500 E Arapaho Rd Suite 206 / Richardson, Texas. PuroClean professionals are “The Paramedics of Property Damage.” For Water/Fire/Mold/Biohazard emergency services 24/7 call (972) 232-1200. For more information, see www.PuroCPR.com.

Posted 11:20 AM  View Comments

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