Our Top 5 Recommendations Following an Indoor Flood
Finding your property with extensive water damage can be a highly stressful situation to be in. No matter the cause of the water damage there are steps that you can take before a professional water damage specialist arrives to commence the restoration works. By following the steps below you can significantly reduce the extent of water damage and ensure that the area is sectioned off and safe for those within the property. We suggest calling in an emergency water damage specialist right away and in the meantime, use the below as a guide.
1. Ensure the area is safe
This is the most important step that you can take when flooding strikes. The first thing to do is to section off the area and ensure that anyone within the building including staff, family, children or pets do not have access to the flooded area. If there is extensive water damage and exposed electrical wiring we suggest switching off the power from the mains to reduce any electrical risks. If you’re the only one present we recommend leaving the site as it is so that you don’t put yourself in harms way. If you aren’t sure where the main electrical box is or you aren’t sure about what to do we recommend leaving the flood-damaged area and phoning in a flood damage specialist immediately. Other specialists including electricians and plumbers may also need to be called to the property, depending on the source of the water damage.
2. Identify the source of the flood
Identifying the source of the internal flooding is a good start. If there’s been heavy rainfall and thunderstorms along with a window opened in your property, the source of the flood can be easily identified. Other forms in flooding could be a burst hot water tank, blocked gutters resulting in water being directed towards and inside the property, an overflowing toilet, a burst sewage pipe or a malfunctioning washing machine. For sewage water and overflowing toilets there will normally be an odour that accompanies it. If you suspect this is the case we recommend avoiding the flooded areas as bacteria will be transferred from your clothing and shoes to other areas in the property, requiring more extensive sanitation. If you can’t locate the source of the flood it’s best to leave the water damaged area and await a water damage specialist.
3. Move personal belongings and furniture away from the water
If you have personal belonging and small items that are close to the flooded area or already saturated with water, you can start to move them out of the way and into a dry area of the property. Some of these items may be salvaged but if there is high water saturation that is contaminated from an overflowing toilet or a burst sewage pipe, these items will need to be disposed of. We don’t recommend attempting to move larger items of furniture including desks, couches or shelving. This is to ensure there is no risk of injury to yourself. Instead you can leave these larger items for the flood damage specialists to move with their technicians and staff.
4. Use towels to soak up excess water
If you know that the water in your property is not contaminated, for example from sewage or an overflowing toilet, you can use dry towels to soak up any water in highly saturated areas. This process involves using a dry towel and pushing down firmly on it over the saturated carpets and flooring. This will immediately result in the water transferring from the flooring to the towels. If you repeat this process until the towel itself is fully saturated, you would have removed quite a bit of water that will alleviate any remediation works. This will ensure that there is a lower chance of the water infiltrating sub-flooring and structures to ensure a quick restoration job.
5. Turn off heaters and allow cold ventilation
When there is a high level of humidity and standing water, mould can start to develop fairly quickly. When there is flooding at your property we recommend immediately switching off any heating systems and opening the windows if there is cooler air outside. This will keep the temperature at a baseline level and ensure that the water does not begin to increase in temperature and create the ideal environment for mould to grow. With plenty of ventilation and a reduction in room temperature, the restoration works will be conducted in a faster amount of time and there will be a much lower chance of mould growth.