The source of the water has been eradicated or shut down and electricity has been turned off. However, you may now be wondering what your next steps should be when taking care of water damaged areas in your home. It is important to start working quickly, as waiting to treat water damage can lead to potentially costly issues.
Inspect for Mold
Water damage can lead to mildew and mold. You may be thinking that there is no way that your home has succumbed to mold damage. However, mold and mildew can begin accumulating within a day that water damage has occurred. If the water damage has been over a period of time, it is likely that there are mass amounts of mold. Treating mold damage may require an expert, as certain types of molds are toxic to humans. Mold issues can require cutting out the damage and throwing it away. However, some mold issues require the use of a professional. Keep in mind that all the mold may not be visible and may be hidden in certain areas where damage is present.
Dry Out Areas That Have Been Affected
The quicker you can get rid of all the moisture in the damaged area, the better. While this is generally easy to do for small leaks that may have happened, larger areas may present more of a challenge. You may need to rent out equipment or hire a professional to tackle larger projects when you are struggling to remove all the moisture in an area. Not getting rid of all the moisture and going through with a repair can lead to mold growth and future issues.
Remove Damaged Items
Any damaged items and materials need to be discarded. This may include carpet, fabric, and insulation. Items that are porous will become permanently damaged from water, so it is important to cut out these items and have them removed. While you can attempt to dry out porous items, it is generally better to throw these items away as they could create future issues if they are not dried out properly.
When mold begins to grow, the releasing of spores occurs. These spores can linger even when the damaged materials have been cut out and thrown away. That is why it is important that you still disinfect areas where you have removed materials. Often, a homemade bleach concentrate can help to disinfect potentially infected areas. Spray and wipe down areas of concern.
Water damage always has a source. If you are unsure of the source, one of the first places you will want to check is your roofing and siding. Damaged siding is one of the leading causes of water damage in the home. Exterior issues of your home can often lead to interior issues. There may be obvious signs of damage on the exterior of your home or it may be more difficult to detect where the damage lies. Routine inspection and maintenance of your home can help to prevent future issues from arising, as well as pinpoint any potential problem areas.
Replace Damaged Wood
Wood that has been damaged on your home from water, including in the ceiling and flooring, will need to be replaced. Simply covering up this wood or disregarding it could lead to mold and mildew buildup, as well as potential structural damage to your home. Boards that are damaged will need to be pried apart and cleaned before you plan on replacing them. In most instances, you will need to completely replace the boards and may require the use of a professional.
Water damage should not be taken lightly, as it can lead to serious structural damage and costly future issues if left unaddressed. Speaking with a professional can help you identify problems and find solutions. Always make sure that the cause of your water damage is determined, as that is the first step to rectifying the issues.