What to do in case of water damage?
First and foremost, take care of yourself and your family and make sure everyone is safe. Once you are ready, contact your insurance broker to report your claim. You will be assigned a claims adjuster as soon as possible to assess the damage.
Once your claim has been filed and you are waiting for a claims adjuster to contact you, take steps to protect your property from further damage or loss:
Initial water disposal: It is strongly recommended to immediately remove excess water using specialized commercial pumps and pumps. The objective is to limit the damage to the minimum possible.
Pressure washing / cleaning: Residual organic matter in cracks and crevices in recoverable materials can be removed by pressure washing. Cover the solution with an extraction device immediately after application to avoid absorption of contaminants in other porous materials.
Application of disinfectant: Treat the affected area with an antimicrobial biocide to reduce or eliminate human pathogens.
Drying out process: When the excess water is removed, the remaining water must convert from a liquid to a vapor, promoting its evaporation. Normally this is done more efficiently with specialized air circulation equipment. This equipment is specially designed to provide a large volume of air on and under surfaces to speed up the drying process. Once the moisture has evaporated into the air, it should be removed by commercial dehumidifiers to minimize secondary damage and possible health risks. The humidity should be reduced as quickly as possible to 30-50%.
Here are some recommendations:
Make a detailed list of everything and take several photos or film the damage
Don’t throw anything away. Store damaged items in a reasonably safe place for the adjuster to see when they arrive. If your floor covering and sub-floor are wet, it is recommended to remove them to facilitate the drying process. In extreme cases where it must be discarded, keep a sample of 1 square foot of each for your adjuster
- Clean as soon as possible. Seek professional advice on how to clean up and take all reasonable steps to minimize the extent of the incident
- Do not touch electrical systems or panels until you are sure it is safe to do so, especially in damp or wet conditions
- Move damaged items to a dry, well-ventilated place
- Have all appliances (including furnaces) that have come into contact with water checked by a qualified electrician, repairer, or technician before using them
- Disinfect all objects that come into contact with flood or sewage water
- Allow parts to dry thoroughly before cleaning or repainting
- Use a stiff broom or brush to remove dirt from carpets and rugs. Then clean with a good carpet shampoo based on a disinfectant
- Remove the drawers from the furniture before the wood swells. Dry furniture slowly and do not expose it to direct heat or sunlight, to prevent it from warping
- Move upholstered furniture outside to the open air. When dry, vacuum thoroughly and then use a good shampoo for upholstered furniture with disinfectant
- Dry all books and papers slowly, away from direct heat or sunlight
- Wash clothes several times, adding bleach or disinfectant to the wash cycle, if the fabric allows.
Prevention and cleaning measures after water damage
The following steps can be taken to help prevent water damage or sewer backup in your home:
- Keep sewer plugs on all basement sewer outlets (including floor drain, washer duct, sump hole, etc.) during thunderstorms
- Install a sump pump and drain drain on your lawn or in your driveway
- Have a 4-inch automatic check valve installed by a professional. It should stay open most of the time
- Disconnect all downspouts from your underground sewer system and close the disconnected standpipes
- Extend all downspouts away from the foundation of your home
- Make sure your gutters and downspouts are not obstructed by debris
- Make sure your land is leveled so that water does not cause problems on your neighbors’ property
- Install well-drained air vents and window coverings
- Reduce the use of water in your home during heavy rain
- Have cracks in the walls, foundations and floors of your basement repaired by professionals
- Fill any empty spaces in the walls of your basement, especially around windows, doors and entry points for pipes and cables
- Keep storm sewer grates free of debris
- Objects stored in your basement should not rest directly on the floor, waterproof plastic containers would help protect your objects from water damage
- Do not store irreplaceable or valuables in your basement
- Devices that can prevent water from entering your home
- Sump pumps
- Another preventative measure you can consider is a sump pump, which is an effective way to pump water from the foundation drain away from your home. There are many types of sump pumps on the market. So buy one that meets your needs.
- Automatic check valves
- A device designed to prevent wastewater from flowing back into your basement.
- Sealing systems
- A device that automatically seals your sanitary and storm sewers.
Water damage worsens over time. The more immediate the intervention and the faster the removal and cleaning of water damage begins, the less the final damage and the faster the return to normal. Costly problems can occur within 72 hours if not treated properly. Only certified technicians can take care of the restoration of water damage, since the return to balance of your property is a cutting-edge science that requires time, equipment and judicious monitoring, all supported by state-of-the-art documentation. Organic materials are used from the start to stabilize the environment and minimize any impact on the occupants of your home. Therefore, contact someone with the expertise and experience necessary to carry out the initial, continuous and final stabilization of the humidity of your property and of the mold contained in the materials it contains. It is important to do a good cleaning after water damage, in order to create mold in your home.