Clean-Up Check List for Water Damage Restoration
After a flood or other water damage, many things will spring up. It is completely natural to get lost or find yourself overwhelmed between insurance to things that got lost while floating in the water, damaged items, mold, and a list of other things.
Home and business owners often forget things when cleaning up after a disaster, especially after water damage. Apart from the numerous elements to consider, there is also a sense of urgency; a need to be done with the water damage restoration process and get back to their normal lives or business as soon as possible.
The main issue with the process is that wood and drywall submerged in water absorb a large amount of water and expand it. Without a strong vacuum, the process can take quite a while. Rebuilding on top of the swollen wood too quickly can lead to long-term stability issues and even give rise to mold in the property.
Furthermore, if the water damage was from sewage water, there is a risk of pathogens forming cultures in the drywall, contaminating your work or living space. Then there are the personal items to account for, which may not seem like an intensive process on paper, but can be very taxing because of the intricate details involved.
Here is a list of things you need to watch during the water damage restoration process.
Water Damage Cleanup Checklist – The Preliminaries
To start, consider the following:
- Inspect the whole property after draining the water for structural damage. This includes an internal and external inspection.
- Inspect the electrical systems to determine if there is a short. Don’t turn anything on unless an expert tells you that the system is safe and is not in contact with water.
- Check for fire hazards and gas leaks. If needed, only use battery-powered light sources. Avoid incandescent light bulbs or fires to light your way at all costs.
- If you are cleaning the water damage yourself, do not mix chlorine bleach with ammonia or vinegar; this is a recipe for disaster.
- Wear rubber-soled shoes, gloves, and eye protection if possible.
- Look for insects as you enter. You mainly need to look out for:
- Fire ants
- Trash pandas
- Look for mold. If present, only enter with a respirator to avoid breathing the spores in
Once that is done, you can move on to the restoration process.
Water Damage Restoration Checklist – Getting Started
First and foremost, you need to make sure no one is in danger. Eliminate the risk of new floods, fires, and falling roofs as you enter. Look for cracks or severely misshaped shingles. Assume that any remaining standing water or food items exposed to the water are contaminated.
- Call a water damage restoration company. If you have flood insurance, let them know. 911 Restoration helps you deal with insurance so that you can take a breather. If, however, you want to deal with insurance providers yourself, feel free to call them on your own accord.
- Begin the clean-up process. Open all the windows and doors.
- Start with food items first. Remove any items that came in contact with the water. If your refrigerator was submerged and water made its way inside, clean it out completely.
- Move on to clothes, carpets, rugs, curtains, and upholstery. Remove everything and lay them out on your rooftop or driveway. Dry them under direct sunlight for at least 12 hours.
- Check the corners and underneath the furniture. There’s no telling where something might have gone.
- Check electronics. Power them on, and check their buttons. Make sure you are wearing gloves and insulated shoes while doing so.
- Keep damaged materials as proof of loss.
- Check HVAC system, refrigerator, microwave ovens, stoves, and other essentials.
- Check your phone line.
- Check the basement. If your breakers are down there, use a tester screwdriver to check if there is an electrical current. If there is water still standing in your home, let an expert turn the power on. The goal is to turn the ceiling fans on to improve circulation.
- If water damage happens during winters, evacuate the building. Let employees work from home or take your family to a hotel while the experts dry your home up.
- Remove as much debris as possible.
- Contact governmental offices for more information and if you are eligible for any rebuilding compensation. This is particularly helpful if you don’t have insurance.
- Finally, inspect the walls CLOSELY. Use a bright light and check every flat surface, every corner, every crevice. You are looking for:
- Falling paint
- And most importantly, mold.
We recommend using a HEPA vacuum to dry out your walls, carpets, and curtains. Discard the vacuum bag once done to avoid the risk of mold. Once you are done, you will need to sanitize your place. The best way to do that is to use fogging machines and add a strong antiseptic to them.
If you feel overwhelmed or need help doing all this quickly and cost-effectively, 911 Restoration experts of Metro Detroit are here to help. Our water damage restoration experts can help you resume normal operation and lives in a matter of days!