Many residential homes and apartments face water damage disasters brought on, most commonly, by a plumbing issue or weather-related issue. Water damage can wreak havoc on everything from walls, floorboards, cabinets and furniture to hardwood floors, tile floors and much more. In its wake it can leave a host of new problems if the water damage is not properly treated.

When water damage isn’t treated immediately, it causes humid, moist conditions that toxic mold thrives in. Exposure to mold has led to upper respiratory tract symptoms, coughing, wheezing and more in otherwise healthy people, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Water damage can continue to grow worse and result in permanent damage if emergency response is not sought immediately. After making a phone call to United Water Restoration, follow the Do’s and Don’ts outlined below to help contain the damage.

Water Damage: Do’s

  1. First and foremost, make sure the source of the water is turned off to contain the damage.
  2. After the water is turned off, turn off the breaker in the damage area prior to removing any electrical devices that might be in or on the affected wet area.
  3. Remove any standing items that you can such as plants, books, baskets and the like that may cause a stain to develop on the wet carpet.
  4. Also, lift draperies and pin up furniture skirts that may also get wet to preserve them; which is the key, preserving as much of your home and possessions as possible while awaiting the professionals to arrive.

Water Damage: Don’ts

  1. Most importantly, do not attempt to use your home vacuum to remove the water. The result may be an electrical shock to the user as well as damage to the device.
  2. Do not use newspaper to absorb the water in high traffic areas because the ink easily transfers and therefore can stain the carpet indefinitely.
  3. Stay off the wet flooring as much as possible to keep it from spreading to unaffected areas.
  4. While it may be tempting to use a shop-vac to clean up the standing water, the flooring needs to be properly dried so it does not cause more damage. Also, when properly dried by a professional, part of the process is applying an antimicrobial agent that will prevent the growth of mold. The problem with mold is that it doesn’t always appear right away. In fact, it can sometimes take weeks and/or months before it is detected and it can quickly and drastically reduce the air quality in your home which then can contribute to health issues.

The take home message is simply this: if you experience a leak or flood in your home it is important to address the issue as soon as possible by contacting a reputable plumber, even if the damage appears to be insignificant. If you are unsure who to call, United Water Restoration works side by side with many leak detectors and plumbers in your area and we can refer you to a reputable company. We can walk you through the whole process and give you your options and help you file an insurance claim if the damage is excessive.