Drying out From Water Damage: Six Things to Know

home water damage

The aftermath of home water damage can be a confusing time. Drying out a wet house is a complex process and usually a project for experienced professionals. In fact, if the damage qualifies for homeowner’s insurance coverage, the policy usually stipulates that significant work must be performed by qualified, certified water damage experts. However, you can take certain basic but vital steps to begin the process of drying out a home yourself, before the pros take over.  

First And Foremost

Stay safe. Don’t enter wet areas of the house if electricity is still live in those rooms. Turn off power at the main electrical panel or contact an electrician to do so. Avoid any direct contact with contaminated water. If the damage results from a sewage backup or outdoor flooding, stay out of the affected area of the house and let qualified professionals remove the water.

Then What?

  • If home water damage originates from a non-contaminated source like a broken plumbing pipe, rainwater, or an overflowing appliance, you can use a broom or floor squeegee to push pooling water outside through an exterior door. In rooms without an exterior door, use a wet-dry vacuum if available to pick up and remove water, or simply a mop and bucket.
  • Opening windows lets in air to ventilate wet areas. Run fans to move air in affected rooms, too.  If the HVAC system is not damaged, turn on the system and switch the fan setting at the thermostat to “On” (instead of “Auto”) in order to circulate air continuously.
  • Water-saturated rugs, upholstered furniture, mattresses and other absorbent items should be hauled out of the house, ASAP. 
  • If a powered dehumidifier is available, keep one or more running in affected areas of the house to accelerate drying and prevent secondary damage resulting from high levels of indoor water vapor.
  • Have valuable paper items such as documents and photos gotten wet? You can temporarily interrupt the process of deterioration by freezing these items in a home freezer until professional document recovery services can be accessed. 

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