Tuesday, April 14th, 2015 by Audrey Simmons
Should you do it yourself?
You walk into your home and notice water covering your floors. Your furniture is soaking up moisture, your carpets are submerged, and there are electrical wires draped through the water. Experiencing unwanted water in your home can be a very overwhelming experience. You will ask yourself: Where did the water come from? How will I get it out? Where will I sleep? You may even consider cleaning it up yourself.
Cleaning up after water damage requires much more than just mopping up and drying out the contents of your home. Even if you have prior experience, it is not a sound idea to perform a water damage restoration by yourself. The manpower required to complete a water damage restoration job greatly exceeds the abilities of one or even a few people. Experienced professionals from an established restoration company will have the equipment, cleaning supplies, and education needed to successfully complete the job.
Recurring leaks. Water damage can occur due to a leak somewhere in your home. This leak could be coming from a number of places: a toilet, a refrigerator water filter, or a crack in your home where rainwater is entering. When repairing leaks originating from within your home, you need to have the proper knowledge in order to pinpoint where the problem area is and the correct tools in order to replace the necessary parts. When sealing a leak in your home which is allowing rainwater in, if you miss even the smallest area, you will be faced once again with water damage the next time a heavy rain comes. The damage may not be as serious the next time around, but any leak which allows moisture into your home will threaten mold growth. This takes us to the next reason why you should not “do it yourself."
Mold. Your house floods. You dry everything out, replace the carpets, and expect everything to be back to normal right? Wrong. Your home may appear clean and dry, but this does not necessarily mean you are in the clear. You are running the risk of missing areas that have water damage which can eventually lead to mold. Firstly, a large amount of water does not need to be present in order for mold to grow. Even a trace amount of moisture getting into a wall or under a floor can cause mold.
According to the Florida Department of Health,exposure to mold can cause mild to severe side effects in people such as congestion, asthma attacks, skin rashes, infections, headaches, and nosebleeds. These symptoms often go unidentified as a reaction to mold and are written off as allergies or flu like illnesses. There are many types of mold which people react to in various ways. You may not necessarily experience the same symptoms as someone else living in your home. Also, the amount of time you spend in your home can affect how severly you may react to it.
It’s dangerous! If the water damage in you home is not taken care of quickly and properly, water from a sanitary source can easily become contaminated. Contaminated water harbors harmful bacteria that can be detrimental to you and your family.
Water coming in contact with electricity poses serious danger to anyone around. If you are thinking about moving things in your home to get the drying process going, be very cautious. If there are wires or outlets touching water, call a professional before touching anything. Also, water that has impaired your electrical system can result in further damage, such as a house fire.
If you are living in a colder climate, water from a flood that creeps into the cement foundation of your home, will freeze and expand during the cold weather. This can cause cracks, compromising the foundation of your home.
How can you be sure that your home is completely dry and your indoor air is safe to breathe?
Qualified restoration technicians use moisture meters, which detect hidden pockets of moisture that would otherwise be unseen by the naked eye. Reputable restoration companies will always get a second opinion, turning to environmental service companies to perform pretests and post-tests for each home they restore. These companies will also perform moisture mapping and mold clearance testing, providing lab results to ensure the threat of mold growth does not exist.
Water damage in your home may or may not seem like a big deal; but something as minor as a leaky sink can lead to much more serious conditions later on if not taken care of properly. If you find yourself amidst flooding and/or water damage in your home, please do the following:
Turn off the water
Call your insurance agent to file a claim
Check for structural damage before entering or reentering your home to avoid being trapped
If you think you may be dealing with contaminated water, wear protective footwear and clothing
Keep the power off until an electrician has inspected your system for safety
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