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

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

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.

The Shut-Off Valve: Where is It and Why You Must Know

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

If a water supply line inside your home ruptures, knowing the location of your main water shut-off valve can make the difference between an annoying mess to clean up and catastrophic household damage that requires professional water damage recovery services. A broken 1/4-inch water line typically installed in residences can gush up to 50 gallons of water per minute into your home until somebody shuts off the main water valve. If you have to wait for a plumber to arrive to do it, you can easily have several thousand gallons of water flooding the premises. Every adult in the home should be aware of the location of the water shut-off valve and how to operate it.

shut-off valveIn Warm Climates

The valve is typically located outside at ground level at the point where the main water supply line enters the house through the foundation. It is usually a red, gate-style valve — a rotary valve similar to an outdoor faucet, only larger — that is closed by rotating it clockwise. This will shut off water flow to all pipes and fixtures inside the house.

In Cold Climates

The valve may be found indoors where the cold water pipe emerges through the foundation wall into the basement. It’s usually a red, gate-style valve closed by turning clockwise. Alternatively, the shut-off valve may be located in the main cold water line just before the water heater.

Meter Valve

An additional shut-off is usually located at the water meter, which is typically in a concrete box embedded in the ground out near the street. This master valve turns off water to all the property — including the entire house but also outdoor pipes such as lawn sprinklers, swimming pools, etc. Depending on the type, some water meter valves may require a certain tool to operate the valve.

Just to Be Sure…

Once a year, test your shut-off valve to verify that it turns freely. If it doesn’t, don’t force it. Call a plumber to handle the issue.

Ask the water damage professionals at Rytech, Inc. for more information if you’re unable to locate your water shut-off valve.