It’s devastating to experience residential water damage. When your home has been flooded, you may be asking yourself how you’ll ever recover from the mess. The key to the process is to begin work immediately to fix the problem.

Different Kinds of Residential Water Damage

You may not realize that there are three types of water, and they all cause damage to homes. These are:

  • Clean water
  • Gray water
  • Black water

Clean water is water that originated from condensation or leaky pipes. It’s a type of water that you can most likely clean up on your own if it hasn’t started a mold infestation.

Gray water is considered to be slightly dirty. Sources of gray water might be washing machines, toilets, or dishwashers. This water may have contaminants in it and you can likely clean it up on your own if you use protective gear.

Black water is wastewater that may contain pathogens. It may come from river flooding in a natural disaster or the sewer backing up. There are bacteria, waste, and other harmful contaminants in this type of water. This isn’t the type of cleanup to do on your own because it is toxic and may cause health issues.

Look for Mold Issues After Residential Water Damage

It’s possible for mold to start growing within 24 hours after a surface has been soaked with water. You might discover mold that’s been growing for some time if your water damage is in a hidden area. Attic condensation may have caused mold growth a long time ago that stayed under your radar.

Be careful when you encounter mold. Some mold is a threat only to the materials it grows on. Other mold is toxic for you and your family to breathe. If you encounter a minor mold problem, you may be able to simply remove the damaged material and throw it out after bagging it. For more serious mold problems, call a professional mold mitigator.

Dry Wet Areas

The first thing you must do when you encounter residential water damage is to eliminate any moisture before more damage happens. After removing the water, set up fans to dry the area. More serious water damage challenges will require very large fans and dehumidifiers in order to dry carpet, wood, and other materials completely.

Another important aspect to cleaning up residential water damage is to get rid of any damaged porous material. These include:

  • Insulation
  • Carpet
  • Fabric

The next step is to disinfect all remaining areas. This will remove any possibility of lingering mold issues and must be done before replacing damaged materials.

Replace All Damaged Materials

It’s best to start with damaged ceilings first so you prevent any collapsing. Make sure any roof leaks are fixed properly before fixing ceiling areas. Damaged wood should be replaced next. Fixing any wood components that are a part of your home’s structural support should be done with the help of a professional.

Replace swollen floorboards or soaked carpeting. You might want to think about replacing the flooring with waterproof material. Examples of this include high-end vinyl or ceramic tile. Other areas you might be replacing next after residential water damage include:

  • Drywall
  • Siding
  • Caulking
  • Paint

Residential water damage may be covered by your homeowners insurance policy. Calling your agent is one of the most important steps to take as soon as the damage occurs. File your claim so you can find out how much money you’ll have available to help with repairs.

Veterans First Home Inspections provides inspection services to the National Capital region. Contact us to schedule an appointment.