Our top tips for water damage cleanup after a flood

water damage

The process of water damage cleanup after a flood or leak can seem daunting. It’s a process that needs to be completed quickly and efficiently, in order to prevent more serious and irreversible problems from occurring in the future.

Water damage affects many areas that aren’t always detected as issues at a first glance, such as cupboards and cavities. It isn’t as simple as just drying the water damage.

Instead, it’s best to extract all the water to avoid any build up and minimise issues.

Within the first 24 hours, water has the ability to cause irreversible damage to any personal belongings and soft furnishings. In addition, floors, doors, window frames, carpets and walls will begin to soak up the water and may swell. This can also ruin any paint or wallpaper that may be on the walls.

Furthermore, it is likely that mould and mildew will begin to develop. Therefore, it’s essential to take action within 24-48 hours.

If left longer the damage can cause further issues including:

  • Pest Infestations
  • Stains
  • Foul Odour
  • Corrosion
  • Damaged Surfaces
  • Cracks

Water Damage Cleanup Tips

1. Knowing the type of water

Different types of water require different types of cleaning up, as some are more toxic than others.

The first type of water is ‘clean water’, which is the least toxic out of the three. This water comes from rain, pipes and wells. This is also the easiest and cheapest to clean up.

The second type of water is ‘grey water’. This comes from dirty, but uncontaminated water, such as toilet and washing machine water. Therefore, it requires a little more effort and money to cleanup, compared to clean water.

The final type of water is ‘black water’. You shouldn’t attempt to cleanup yourself due to the toxic chemicals and excrement it contains. The water can come from sewage or from flooding of rivers. This can seriously affect your health and it’s harder to cleanup, therefore, professionals should be hired to ensure your own and your property’s safety from the water damage. Click here to read about how to avoid a sewage spill and how it can affect your health.

2. Drying out water damage

The longer the water and damp is left, the more serious the damage can become. It’s ideal to start drying after the water has been extracted and within 24-48 hours.

By using air movers to dry out the area and belongings, you reduce the risk of more serious damage. It’s best to hire professional dehumidifiers and air movers, or to hire a specialist restoration company like CPL t/a Rainbow International to come and sort it for you. The point of this is to extract all damp and remaining water from the property to get it as close to its original state as possible.

3. Looking for mould and mildew

Once mould and mildew begin to grow, it spreads fast and is very hard to remove. In most likely cases if it spreads, items and areas may have to be removed as they are unsalvageable, such as materials like wood and other fabrics. By finding mould and mildew early on, the more likely it is that you can assess it and stop it from spreading.

Both mould and mildew are toxic to humans and can cause serious health issues if not dealt with correctly. In cases like this, professional companies are the most experienced in removing mould and mildew effectively and efficiently, to prevent it from spreading further.

4. Remove unsalvageable items and materials

Any porous items or materials will be damaged, such as drywall, carpets and fabrics and will only get worse once mould and mildew start to grow on them. Since these are more than likely to be unsalvageable after water damage, it is likely that these will have to be thrown away. Therefore, assess what is worth saving and what is not.

5. Decontaminate

It is always the safest option to call in the professionals such as CPL t/a Rainbow International, to decontaminate the property, as it may not be safe for you to do yourself. However, if you do attempt to do this yourself, use quality decontaminating products, such as bleach and strong disinfectants.

At CPL t/a Rainbow International we are experts in dealing with water extraction, water damage and a wide range of flood and leak damage related issues, with nearly 20 years of experience. To find out how we can help, give us a call on 0800 0304360.