How Do You Safely Get Rid of Water in a Flooded Room?

flooded roomThe sight of a flooded room in your house can be panic-inducing. Standing water definitely doesn’t belong here and your first overwhelming instinct is to get it out. The consequences of water influx sufficient to flood a room generally require professional water damage recovery methods ASAP, as water damage spreads deep into the structure and mold growth is rapidly triggered. In certain cases, however, DIY methods can successfully remove at least some of the water before turning the job over to qualified pros.

First, note these cautions:

Never enter a flooded room where electricity is still live. Turn off circuit breakers that control power to that room. If the electrical panel is inaccessible due to flooding, call an electrician.

Consider the source. If water came from a ruptured water supply line or an event like an overflowing washing machine, basic personal protection such as gloves and rubber boots are likely sufficient. If it’s a sewage backup, outdoor flooding, toilet overflow or other potentially toxic source, however, leave water removal to qualified professionals.

To move water fast:

  • Before starting, take photos to document the extent of flooding.
  • Use buckets. Flexible plastic buckets to scoop up standing water is a quick way to remove a large volume. It’s also physically strenuous—one gallon of water weighs 7 pounds. Make sure you’re up for the effort and don’t strain yourself.
  • A wet-dry vacuum is better. If you have one, or can rent one quickly, use it. A typical consumer-grade wet-dry vacuum can pump out at least 5 to 10 gallons per minute. Many have suction attachments to skim the floor/carpet, too.
  • Push it out. Once the main volume of water is removed, if there’s an exterior door nearby use a floor squeegee to push remaining puddles outside. A push broom also works.
  • Mop and sop. For residual water on a hard floor, repeated mopping will get most of it. Old towels are also good for soaking up small stuff.
  • Now ventilate. Open windows and run fans to move air continuously through the room. Run the air conditioner to remove indoor humidity if temperatures permit.

Tags: , , ,

Return to the Blog Home Page