Drying a water damaged space after a storm may seem like a haphazard process, particularly if the home has been affected by substantial flood water. Actually, it’s an established, well-researched science that is continuously being refined with new techniques and technology. That’s why one of your first tasks should be contacting a water damage recovery professional to respond to the scene, ASAP. In the meantime, however, you can initiate the process of drying a water damaged space yourself by following a few guidelines in a very specific sequence:
First, Reduce Humidity
Concentrated humidity trapped inside a water-damaged structure rapidly infiltrates and damages other areas of the house that were not actually contacted by flood water. Contain the spread of secondary damage by thoroughly ventilating the premises. Open all exterior doors and windows. Utilize fans to keep air moving through the house and run portable dehumidifiers if you have access to them.
Move Indoor Water Out
Turn off electrical power to affected areas of the house. Don’t wade into standing water. Where water is pooled on hard surface floors, push it out of the door with a floor squeegee or broom. If the basement is flooded, leave that to the professionals.
If the flood left behind deposits of wet mud indoors, it should be considered contaminated with toxins. Wear a mask and gloves and shovel out as much mud as you can, depositing it in a identified pile outside, well removed from the house.
Sort Water-Damaged Items
Identify stuff you want to save/recover versus that which must be discarded. Pull the discards outdoors ASAP to reduce the amount of waterlogged material indoors. Carpeting soaked by floodwater should be considered contaminated and removed, as well as wet mattresses, cushions and other absorbent items. Take photographs of all damaged items you don’t intend to retain for the insurance record. Relocate things you plan to save to a dry place such as an upper level of the house or a sheltered secure area like the garage.
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