Owning a home comes with plenty of benefits, but there are also many risks. Since there is no landlord or property management company involved, the full burden of the property’s condition rests on your shoulders. That means it is your money at stake if it is not taken care of and maintained.
One of the most common issues that property owners face in Nashville, TN is water damage. Water damage can be the result of many scenarios, including heavy rainfall, a sewage backup, frozen pipes, leaking fixtures, broken appliances, and more. When water is exposed to structural materials or possessions, it can ruin them completely. Not addressing water damage will likely lead to even more dire circumstances that can really cost you.
When you discover water damage in your home, it is important to understand how to respond. The quicker you act, the more likely you will be able to save your property and possessions from extensive damage.
Locate and Stop the Source if Possible
The most important step in fixing water damage is stopping it from spreading. When you notice a sign of water damage, such as discolorations on the walls, flaking paint, or sagging ceilings, then you need to start searching for the cause immediately. If you cannot find it right away, consider shutting off the main water valve in your home to stop the flow of water. Then you can inspect the areas around the damage to see what caused it. You cannot even begin to plan a restoration project until you have stopped the source of the leak.
Focus on Safety Precautions
Not all water damage is clean or in an accessible location. It could contain contaminants that are harmful if you breathe them in or they come into contact with your skin. If you have to move through or clean up dirty water, make sure that you wear protective gear like rubber gloves and eyewear. Also, water does not react well with electricity. Try to shut off electricity from the circuit breaker in the damaged areas to prevent dangerous shocks. If the water is near the circuit breaker, you might want to call in some professionals to do it safely.
Open Up the Home
Whether you own a luxury home that has been affected by water damage or live in a small studio apartment where a leak has occurred, drying out the area is the top priority. The best first step to take is to open up the home to allow for ventilation and airflow. This will help evaporate the moisture out of the affected surfaces so that it can be blown out of the home or pulled into a dehumidifier.
Extract the Standing Water
The next step is to drain the affected areas of standing water. This can be done in several ways. You could manually fill buckets and dump them down a drain or outside. If you have a sump pump, make sure it starts doing its job. You may also need to use towels or rags to soak up a lot of this water, or a wet vacuum. Getting the standing water out of the house as soon as possible is crucial for a thorough restoration.
Dry the Area
With the extractable water removed, it is time to move on to the drying process. Plug in all the large fans or air movers that you have in the affected space to get that air circulation going. Turn on dehumidifiers if you have them. At this point, you should have also removed all wet items and brought them outside to dry in the sun so that there is less moisture in the room.
The water is gone and the area has been dried. Unfortunately, the water may have left behind a lot of damage and contaminants on the surfaces in your home. Use a cleaning solution with bleach to scrub the walls, floors, and ceilings. Consider contacting a service for upholstery cleaning in Nashville, TN to restore any furniture in the affected rooms. Have your carpets cleaned/replaced and get in touch with a contractor if structural materials need to be removed and restored. Cleaning and sanitizing the whole area and all the affected possessions will ensure that no bacteria develops that will become harmful to your family.
When In Doubt, Rely on Professionals
There is no rule saying that you cannot perform water damage restoration yourself. However, professional services have access to better equipment and lots of experience that most homeowners in Nashville simply do not. This makes them far more equipped to handle a serious water damage issue. Though you may hope to save some money by doing it yourself, the cost of a poorly done restoration could come back to haunt you if further damage occurs in the future. Play it safe by contacting professionals if the job is too big for you to handle.