How to Treat a Flooded Home and Why It Should Be Left to the Professionals

If you’re stuck cleaning up a flooded home, there are some things you’ll need to do to make sure you don’t suffer from any negative long-term consequences.

Calling professionals is the best option if you are in the situation of being caught in a flood. If that’s not viable, here are some water disaster cleanup techniques that may be helpful: 

  1. Ensure your home is structurally sound.
  2. Remove furniture and belongings contaminated by floodwater.
  3. Remove flooring to the subfloor.
  4. Remove sheetrock to at least one foot above the water line.
  5. Leave doors and windows open.
  6. Increase circulation.
  7. Remove humidity from the environment.
  8. Proceed with repairs once the studs in your home contain less than 20% moisture. 

Flooding causes a lot of damage. However, much of the damage that comes after a flood is more related to the moist environment that excess water creates in your home. You can use at-home solutions, but these may not be effective or practical for you to use.

Professionals have access to the tools that can help remove moisture from your home and measure when it is safe to commence rebuilding.

Immediate Dangers of Floods

There are two types of floods that can damage your home:

  1. Natural Disasters.
  2. Plumbing and Infrastructure Mishaps.

Of the two types, plumbing disasters and infrastructure accidents are the most common causes of flooding in developed areas. This is especially true for areas around Salt Lake City, Utah. The region is so dry natural flooding is so improbable residents almost don’t need to worry about it.

If you’re caught in a situation where your plumbing has backed up or a pipe has burst, you should take a close look at the immediate dangers and take precautions to protect your possessions and stay safe from biohazards. 

If the disaster comes from your plumbing, you should shut off your incoming water. Every home has a water shut-off valve, usually located in the basement near your other utility appliances. 

How to Clean Up From A Flood

Once you are no longer dealing with water, you can worry about cleaning up

Salvage you things

What you try and salvage is up to you. Depending on the type of water causing the flooding, you may be able to salvage a lot. White water, or water directly from your mainline, is generally harmless to get on your things. Before it came bursting through your pipes, it was ready to be used as drinking and washing water. 

Most things may be dried easily to help with the damage. However, you may want to wash any clothes and blankets you plan to keep to ensure they’re clean when you need them. 

Gray water and black water may make salvaging things harder. These types of water have been mixed and contaminated with other things and may harbor unsafe microorganisms. Water damage caused by these may best be thrown out for your safety.

If you are set on saving contaminated items, use a disinfectant or bleach solution to kill anything harmful.

Expose subfloor and studs to assess and mitigate water damage

Water flows down into the deepest crevices of your home. Because of that, drying the surface will leave water below, which will foster an environment of rot and decay. Therefore, your priority is to strip your home down to the subfloor and remove any contaminated flooring. 

You may be tempted to try and salvage carpet or hardwood flooring, but these items, if not removed and thrown away, will begin to breed mold mildew — microorganisms that can severely affect your health.

By stripping your water-damaged flooring and drywall, you eliminate items that retain water that would make water disaster cleanup unnecessarily tricky. Exposing the skeleton of your home gives you the greatest possible positive outcome for home repair.

Increase Air Circulation and Dehumidify

Up until this point, you may rightly assume that you are capable of flood cleanup. You are correct. Until now, you only need some essential tools to start making your repairs. You could do fine with some razor blades, hammers, and small prybars.

Drying out your home may be difficult without the right tools, tools that professionals keep on hand. 

Before you can start to install new drywall and flooring, the wood in your studs and subfloor must have a dryness reading of less than 20%. The reading is typically done by a small handheld tool you probably don’t have in your toolbox. 

You’ll also want lots of circulation to draw the water out of your wood. The osmotic properties of water will naturally draw moisture out of your wood if the environment is dry enough. You can achieve this with heavy-duty fans and a dehumidifier. 

For areas with low circulation, you will need desiccants, objects that naturally draw water out of the air. You may want to put these objects in closets or cupboards where it is harder for air to circulate. 

The Pros of Professional Water Disaster Cleanup Companies

If you aren’t already a disaster recovery specialist, you probably don’t have access to the tools that will help you quickly dry out your home and get ready to rebuild. 

These tools can be costly, especially for one-time use. Keep in mind that gathering the necessary equipment may cost you a couple of thousand dollars!

While taking care of everything by yourself is admirable, it may be better financially to have someone else take care of cleaning up for you.

Besides having the tools you may need readily available, disaster cleanup professionals have lots of experience and best practices that help them to know when it is safe to begin rebuilding. 

Restoration specialists either know someone who can help you make the finishing touches on repair – like installing new sheetrock, or they are licensed and able to complete the repair work for you.

Get Help From Western Disasters Cleanup

If your home is ground zero for a flooding accident, we have professionals trained in water disaster cleanup to help.

Cleaning up a flooded home is no easy task, especially if you aren’t the DIY type. But that’s why we are here. We want to help you get back to normal. 

Contact us to help with your water damage cleanup needs!

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