As a homeowner, you should always be concerned about how to clean up water damage, even if it has not yet happened to you. In truth, this is every homeowner’s worst nightmare scenario, and it makes no difference whether the damage is caused by a faucet that was not turned off, a burst pipe, a bad rainstorm, or a flash flood. The fact is that Little Rock water damage can cause massive amounts of damage in a very short time, and you should know what to do if you should ever have to go through a cleanup.
It is quite evident that the first thing you need to do is to find the source of the water and begin from there. If your bathtub or toilet overflowed, or if rain got into your basement or crawlspaces, that is very easy to see. On the other hand, if water is seeping through cracks in the ceiling, or if it is staining your walls, it may be very difficult to get to the source.
If you have a leaky roof, then you need to fix your roof immediately so that you can stop any further damage. If you have a leaky pipe or a burst pipe, you need to shut off your water supply until you find the damaged pipe.
Before getting started on your cleanup, you need to determine just how badly things are damaged in your home. You may have a limited amount of damage to your drywall, floors, ceilings, and so on, or you might even have damage to the home’s structural integrity, including the foundation. It depends on how long you have had the leak, and on how long the water has had to cause damage to your home.
This article will proceed on the assumption that you have the time and equipment to handle the cleanup on your own, so the very first thing that you need to do is to get fresh air moving through the area that is water damaged. You need to open your windows, your doors, turn on your fans, bring in box fans, etc. What you are trying to accomplish is to completely dry out the area, and this will help to reduce bad smells later on.
The next thing you are going to need is a dehumidifier, and you need to get it going as quickly as you can. The dehumidifier will take that moisture out of the air, which will really help in your water damage cleanup and perhaps even ameliorate the effects of the water damage.
When you have plenty of air going and the dehumidifiers running, you need to pick up books, magazines, photographs, cardboard, and any other paper products. You need to throw them away if they are not valuable and if they are heavily damaged.
You should be able to make copies of most of your paperwork, but then make sure you throw the damaged paper away. If you have valuables that have been damaged considerably, put them in a frost-free freezer, and find a water damage restoration professional as quickly as possible to see whether they can be restored and saved.
The next step in the process would be to get hold of a wet and dry vacuum and clean up all the water that you can. You will find that the vacuum will be especially helpful with carpeting, upholstered furniture, wooden and tiled floors. You have to continue using the vacuum until you have cleaned up the bulk of the water and to prevent any further water damage to your home.
You need to be especially careful with wooden surfaces that were water damaged, so get the fans and dehumidifiers going around your wooden surfaces as quickly as possible so they can dry out. While you have the machinery going, you may want to try using fresh, clean water and mild detergent to clean treated wood. However, you should know that if the wood was not effectively treated, you will end up with permanent damage unless you work very quickly and effectively.
You can also clean other surfaces with mild detergent and fresh, clean water, and you may even want to scrub them with a small brush if needed. You may want to repeat the process if there are areas that were badly water damaged or if they were greatly affected by your water emergency.
Drywall and ceiling damage will probably occur as a result of your water emergency, so you are going to have to carefully inspect your walls and ceilings to try to spot the damage. In general, drywalls and ceilings can probably be dried out as long as they have not swelled or buckled and the seams are still intact. Swelling, buckling and seam separation are signs of greater damage, and that means that you will have to replace the entire damaged area. Even if you manage to dry things out thoroughly, you will probably have to prime and paint the places that water affected the most.