Water can cause problems like structural damage and mold and mildew growth. If you’ve experienced a flood or major plumbing leak, take steps to immediately clean and repair the area. Here are a few tips on how to deal with residential water damage.

Turn Off the Water

If the water damage in your home is due to a burst plumbing pipe, your first action should be turning off the water source. The main water line is on an exterior wall and often on the side of the house that faces the street. Call a plumber if you need assistance.

Water and electricity are a dangerous combination. When your home has flooded and you don’t yet know the extent of the damage, turn off the power to avoid shock and injury.

Assess the Damage

When you can safely access the property, it’s time to check out the damage. Before starting clean-up, take pictures of the damage for your insurance company. Store the images in the cloud or on your computer for safekeeping. After photographing, you can begin to move items out of the flooded area. Move anything that may be salvageable to a dry location.

Cleaning Up Residential Water Damage

If standing water remains in your home, the next step is to pump it out. If there isn’t a lot of water, you may be able to remove it with a shop vac or by mopping. Use fans to thoroughly dry the space. Because mold growth can begin in as little as 24 hours, it’s important to dry the area as soon as you can do so safely.

Water causes significant damage to many types of building materials. Sheetrock, carpeting, insulation, plywood, and particleboard should be removed from the home and replaced. Some items will need to be dried before determining if they’re salvageable.

Any time you’re dealing with excess moisture or water damage, you have an environment conducive to mold growth and pest infestation. Use a dehumidifier and keep fans running to combat the higher humidity in the water-damaged areas of your home. Dispose of damaged building materials as soon as possible. For significant flooding, it’s best to hire a water damage restoration professional to handle the cleanup.

House Doctor Home Inspection serves Rhode Island with home inspection services. Contact us to schedule an appointment if you are buying or selling a home.