1. Assess the Damage
It is essential to assess the severity of water damage after the source has been stopped and excess water removed. This should include a full visual inspection of all affected surfaces, furniture and walls for any signs of damage. During this assessment, property owners should be on the look-out for loose objects, buckling walls or ceiling tiles, discolored wall paint and other indicators of water damage
2. Stop the Source of Water
The next step is to stop the source of water from continuing to cause damage. This can be done by turning off all valves that deliver water to the home or business, including any out-door taps and plumbing fixtures if necessary. If you are unable to locate the source, contact a plumber immediately for help in determining where it may be located.
3. Remove Excess Water
After finding and stopping the source of water, excess water must be removed as quickly as possible in order to prevent further damage. This can be done using specialized pumps, extraction vacuums, mops and towels. It is important to note that electrical appliances and outlets should not be used if they have come in contact with water, as this can lead to an electric shock.
4. Dry and Clean Affected Surfaces
Once the excess water has been removed, the affected surfaces must be dried using air movers, dehumidifiers and fans. Any wet carpets and furniture should also be dried, although it is best to consult a professional for proper drying techniques if possible. All affected areas should then be cleaned using detergents and disinfectants in order to remove any dirt or debris left behind by the flooding
5. Disinfect and Sanitize
To prevent the growth of mold or bacteria, all affected surfaces should be disinfected and sanitized. This can be done using chemical solutions such as bleach or hydrogen peroxide, although it is important to use the proper concentration in order to avoid damaging the materials. It may also be necessary to use special cleaners for fabrics and carpets that are sensitive to certain chemicals.
6. Repair and Restore Damaged Materials
Once all areas have been dried, cleaned and disinfected, any damaged materials or furniture should be repaired or replaced in order to prevent further damage from occurring. This includes anything from drywall to carpets and other porous materials that may have come into contact with water
7. Monitor the Progress of Restoration
It is important to monitor the progress of the water damage restoration process on a regular basis in order to ensure that all steps have been taken and the situation is being managed effectively. This includes tracking the progress of drying out materials, repairing damages and cleaning affected surfaces
8. Document Findings and Outcomes
Property owners should also document any findings or outcomes throughout the water damage restoration process, as this can be important for insurance claims or other legal matters related to the incident. Photos of damaged materials, receipts related to repairs and a record of any special instructions given by professionals should all be kept in a file
9. Check for Hidden Damage/Mold Growth
In some cases, hidden damage from flooding may not be visible until weeks after the incident. It is important to watch for any signs of mold growth or other damage that could have been caused by the water. If any suspicious activity is spotted, contact a professional immediately in order to prevent further damage from occurring.