Water damage of any category, unless treated immediately, can cause the growth of organisms that are harmful to your health. Even if what you have is clean water damage, mold and mildew usually grow within hours and could affect your home or building. It becomes more dangerous the longer the water - whether clean, gray or black - is left to stand. Gray and black water damage, because of the contaminants in it, can cause chemical reactions aside from mold growth, and are more dangerous.
If the water level in your home/building is more than one foot deep or larger than 10 square feet, call a professional right away. Waiting for it to subside may be harmful to your health as well as that of your family members or tenants. By taking action quickly, you will be able to mitigate the extent of the damage, salvage more possessions and keep you safe.
What Should I Do?
- Call for help. Contact an approved water damage repair company immediately. Search for someone that provides 24/7 support and is able to send a technician to your home right away.
- Turn off the electricity. Electricity and water don't mix. Even if you feel the area is safe it is better to err on the side of caution until a professional has time to evaluate the situation.
- Stop the water. If at all possible attempt to stop more water from entering the home.
- Move to higher ground. Remove furniture, equipment and other items away from the water and moisture. If you are unable to remove furniture then contact a storage company and have it relocated until the water is extracted and the home is dried. Some flood damage repair companies are able to provide removal of furniture and belongings as part of their complete package of services.
- Extraction. Have all water and humidity professionally extracted from the home including carpets, furniture, drywall and other impacted areas.
- Removal. Some items may not be salvageable and will require appropriate disposal. If you aren't sure, consult with a professional flood damage repair provider who will be able to assist in determining what is able to be fixed and what could be a potential health hazard.
- Repair. Flooding causes damage to many areas that will require repairs; cabinets, walls, floors and furniture frequently need extensive remediation after flood related damage takes place.
- Document. Take pictures and record notes on all activity related to the flood damage. It will assist in submitting a claim to your insurance provider as well as help in repairs and restoration.
- Leave. Extensive water related damage can cause health related issues ranging from infections to allergic reactions. Lock up and leave the home rather than risk an injury or illness related to flood damage if your home has extensive water damage.
- Call Insurance. Your insurance agent will be able to assist in submitting a claim but be sure to work with a reputable flood damage repair contractor who is recognized by your insurance provider. Failure to use a qualified provider often leads to rejection of claims resulting in costly fees and out of pocket expenses.