4 Steps to Clean-Up After a Water Leak in Your Home

Water leaks in your home can cause catastrophic damage, but that doesn’t mean you will always notice a small leak right away. Some water leaks often go unnoticed, and by the time you discover them — without the help of any leak detection system in your house — it’s too late and the damage to your home has happened.

Less Obvious Signs of a Water Leak
Some less obvious signs of water leak damage in your home are:

  • Unexpected increases in your water bill
  • Stains on walls, floors or ceilings
  • Damaged or warped flooring
  • Warped bottom panels in under-sink cabinets
  • Peeling paint or wallpaper
  • Corrosion on plumbing valves and fittings

Some of your success depends on how long the water’s been around, there might be pieces of furniture that can be saved. Sometimes you might be able to save the carpet. Any electronics hit by water are likely (and unfortunately) ruined.

Four Steps to Clean Up After You’ve Spotted a Leak
First thing’s first, we want your home clean and that includes air quality, too. Water leaks are no joke. Even an inch of water can lead to mold. Mold can lead to ruined walls and belongings. Mold can lead to poor air quality — which can ruin the air that you breathe! After immediately calling your insurance company — here is a list of what to do.

  1. Disconnect the power — remove any electronics from the area. The longer the belongings stay in the exposed areas the less likely it is to save them. You would hate to lose valuable like old family albums etc. Get rid of all electrical devices right away. The next step is to turn off power that leads to the exposed areas — especially if you see water above them! Remove carpets and other similar furnishings as well.
  1. Remove as much water as you can. None of this is fun, but especially this part. Make your ancestors proud going old school — mops, buckets, and towels are your new best buddy. Take all the water you gather and pour it into the sewer system. Once you’re done, use a vacuum to finish it off. But don’t plug in close-by! Use an extension cord. If none of this is helpful, get your hands on a sump pump. They are available at most hardware stores. In the end, get the area as clean as possible.
  1. Dry it Out. First thing’s first. Once you have completed the grunt work of mopping and cleaning here comes the fun part: drying. If drywall in the basement gets damaged – best to get rid of affected areas. Some wooden areas are considered salvageable. 
  1. After disconnecting and drying comes disinfectant. Disinfecting the affected areas is really important. This will make sure the areas hurt by leak or flood waters can’t hurt you with bacteria/germs in the future.

Lastly, getting rid of the last infected and damaged materials is a good thing to do.

And of course, now’s the time that you realize the importance of a leak detection and automatic water shut-off system like leakSMART™. It will ensure you never have to go through this again.

Sources
http://www.concrobium.com/Tips-for-cleaning-your-home-after-water-damage/
http://www.lowes.com/projects/repair-and-maintain/prevent-mold-water-damage/project
http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,219190-3,00.html
https://www.servpro.com/water-damage-restoration
http://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/tips-resources-cleaning-up-after-a-flood-or-water-leak/