Right now it seems as though water is destroying more and more homes. Flood defenses are failing. Rivers and bursting their banks. And flash floods are ruining the homes of thousands of people every year.
That means that clearing up the damage after a flood is something of a hot topic right now. With so many people affected, there’s a need out there for some sound advice. Water damage can lead to some serious problems if left unaddressed.
For a start it’s bad for your health. Water itself is a breeding ground for all sorts of nasty bacteria in a flood situation. And waterborne illnesses, even in rich countries can be a problem. But more than that, water leads to the growth of mold. When walls, carpets and furniture get wet, it soon starts to grow. And it can lead to severe illnesses, including respiratory problems.
With that said, here is some advice for minimizing the damage done by water to your home.
Get As Much Stuff Out Of The Way As Possible
Water and electricity don’t mix. So it’s important that you get all electronics out of the way as soon as possible. If you notice water coming in, turn off the power to your house and unplug all electronics, putting them upstairs.
If you do have any advanced warning that a flood is imminent, consider pulling up the carpet and the underlay too. When it gets wet, the carpet will shrink and it will eventually stink. The underlay needs to be removed too since this will absorb water like a sponge.
Get Rid Of Water
The best way to get rid of the water, once the flooding recedes, is to use a bucket. Then, for any remaining water, use an old towel or sponge.
Using a pump or a wet and dry vacuum is possible. But you need to make sure that it is completely safe to use power outlets.
Dry Out Affected Areas
Drying out a house that has been affected by flooding takes time. But there are things that you can do to speed things along. The first is to open all your windows so that air can escape. Secondly, you can use a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier will make it easier for water to evaporate into the surrounding air.
Prevent Mold From Growing
Once the water hits your walls and flooring, there is the very real threat that mold will begin to grow. And once it sets in, it’s hard to eradicate.
The best way to deal with the problem of mold is to hire a water damage company to sort out the problem for you. That’s because it’s just not worth taking the risk when it comes to your health.
That doesn’t mean that there is nothing that you can do to solve the problem yourself. You could, for example, use anti-mold products to the walls and floors to kill the mold spores themselves. But getting this right is difficult and normally it’s safer to go to a professional outfit.
Disinfecting The Affected Areas
One of the problems that many people encounter after a flood is the growth of bacteria. It might seem that flood water is pretty harmless. But the water itself may have been mixed with sewage at some point, making it unsafe.
The best solution is to sanitize all the areas that have come into contact with water. That includes any walls, floors or upholstered furniture that were submerged by flood water. Remember, it’s not just mold that can grow where things get damp.
Disposing Of Your Property
Unfortunately, no amount of diligence will be able to save all of your property. The water will inevitably take some of it, even if you follow all of the advice in this post.
Of course, during a flooding situation, everybody is in the same boat. And that means that thousands of people will be descending on their local landfill to throw out the items in their homes destroyed by water. This puts pressure on landfills and it clearly not good for the environment.
Instead of following the crowd, make the most of your ruined property. Take things like old appliance to be recycled where possible. And ensure that any toxic products, like paints and adhesives, are taken to the recycling center and not dumped into a landfill.
Those who are concerned about their local environment can go to earth911.com to find out where the recycling centers are in their local area.