At Tidal Wave Response, we know that things in life happen unexpectedly. And one of those unexpected events can be a sudden flood, an extensive water leak, or a sewage backup. The professional services you’ve called have taken care of the problem but now you’re left to clean up the water and the damage it’s caused. Here are some tips to clean up safely and recover any items that have been damaged.
Disconnect and Move
The first and immediate step to water cleanup is turning off the power, unplugging all electronic items, then removing them from the room. If the water level is high enough to reach the electrical outlets, it could cause a short and render them inoperable along with possible electrocution. Wear protective gloves and boots to avoid this. Also take out any items you can move quickly and safely such as toys and small appliances to reduce water damage.
Collect the Water
There are plenty of ways to clean up the water, from using a mop or bucket to a bunch of towels to soak up the water. You can dispose it by pouring it down the drain if the sewage pipe isn’t backed up or out in the front yard. Using a vacuum is another option but be cautious not to plug it in anywhere that’s remotely wet. Even if you use an extension cord, you run the risk of it shorting out and electrocuting yourself. You can also rent a heavy duty vacuum from the machinery and hardware store.
Dry Everything Out
After the water is gone, use a fan or dehumidifier, or open the windows to dry out the room and prevent mold from forming on the wet surfaces. Get as much air to circulate inside the room to make the drying process go faster. It might take approximately three days for everything to be completely dry but must be done immediately to reduce water damage and save your belongings.
Salvage or Toss
Sift through all your items and decide which ones can be saved and which should be thrown out. Clothes, wood, and lightly damaged things can be recovered by setting them outside in the sun or hanging them out to dry. Remove wet insulation, base molding, carpet, the padding underneath the carpet, and drywall as they can be hosts to mold and mildew. Don’t cover wood materials until they’re almost completely dry to prevent dry rot and additional damage. Clean and disinfect every surface with a detergent solution to kill bacteria and mildew spores that can come from a sewage leak.