5 Tips for Cleaning Up Water Damage
Water damage is perhaps one of the most frustrating messes to deal with, especially if you're not sure how to clean it. Regardless of how it got there, you've got to start on the process of water damage clean up, preferably before the damage gets any worse. Luckily, these tips will help you restore your home to the beautiful state it was in before it suffered water damage.
1. Drain Standing Water
Once you've determined that you are not in immediate damage from the water, this should be your next step. The longer water is allowed to stand in your home, the more damage it will cause and the more difficult cleaning it will be. To clean up residual standing water, it's best to:
Wear protective gear like a respirator and water-resistant boots. Depending on where the water came from, it may be contaminated.
Place your pump as low as possible within the water. If the water is especially deep, slowly lower the pump down with a nylon rope.
If there isn't much standing water, less than 5 gallons, then you may be able to clean it up using a shop vacuum. This method is much quicker than a pump, but should never be used to clean up larger amounts of water.
2. Clear out the Area
Once the water has been removed, you can start clearing away debris. You'll want to exercise caution during this stage of water damage clean up, as nails and other sharp materials are often present after the area has been exposed to large amounts of water.
If your home suffered a flood, then be wary of leftover mud in your home. Just like standing water, this mud is often filled with toxic materials and should be shoveled out only with the aid of protective equipment.
3. Watch Out for Mold
In most cases, mold is an inescapable byproduct of water damage and can be cleaned up with little more than a damp sponge and hydrogen peroxide. There are exceptional cases, though, where due to prolonged exposure to standing water or inadequate drying, more dangerous forms of mold can appear.
If the mold is black or there is a large quantity of it, call a professional cleaning service to remove it. When inspecting mold, it's imperative that you always wear gloves, a mask to cover your mouth and nose and some form of eye protection.
4. Clean or Throw Away
For some porous possessions like furniture and clothing, it can be difficult to determine what to do with them after they've suffered water damage. Is it safe to keep, or should you throw it away? A good rule of thumb is as follows: clean the material thoroughly, then spray it with a disinfectant. Monitor the material carefully for 2-3 days, and if you notice any fungus or strange odors coming from it, discard it immediately. Otherwise, it should be safe to keep, even if it was exposed to severe water damage.
5. Monitor Your Health
Cleaning water damage is important, but your health has to come first. Stop cleaning and consult a professional cleaning service immediately if you experience any of the following:
- Breathing difficulties
- Bloody nose
- Skin reactions like rashes or hives
- Violent, hacking coughs
- Get Cleaning
Cleaning water damage is seldom fun, but it's an important part of maintaining the integrity of your home after a water-related mishap. By following these steps, you'll be able to clean your home quickly and efficiently without allowing the damages to worsen.
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