Should I Clean My Flooded Basement Myself?
Water can be one of the most devastating forces on earth. One of the most common things people don’t realize in a time of distress is that water can cause more damage than first meets the eye. It is not always the water you see that is the most concerning – it’s the water that you don’t see that can cause the most problems.
- Water can come from above, traveling down through walls that may contain insulation and electrical wiring.
- Water that isn’t cleaned up can quickly begin to evaporate into the air. With nowhere to go, this water can soak into your floors, walls, and ceiling, and within days can begin peeling your paint, rotting the wood studs behind your walls and even causing mold growth.
- Water that has been trapped under cabinets or the stairs – places that you might not even be able to see – can quickly cause these same issues. You likely wouldn’t even realize it until you smell a foul odor, but by then you’ll probably already have mold or mildew growing.
Water trapped inside your walls or in similar hard-to-reach areas will require a FLIR or other infrared camera. Using an infrared camera, you can find the water trapped in places invisible to the naked eye. As a bonus, you’ll also be able to find energy leaks – areas in your walls and around windows where hot air escapes in the winter and cold air in the summer.
Minimizing The Damage
In most cases you can minimize the damage done by getting the water cleaned up immediately. If you can see the water and it’s a small amount, such as a puddle on the floor, you can often clean it with a towel and a good cleanser. However, if it’s more than a small puddle, or you believe there may be water where you can’t see it, then it’s best to call a professional company to send a trained water damage restoration technician to your home or business to perform moisture testing.
Specialized Drying Equipment
They’ll use specialized equipment to test the air, floors, walls, and ceilings throughout your property, and give you a detailed report regarding unwanted water in your home. This isn’t necessarily a long process – most residential homes can be tested in less than an hour. If you do require water cleanup, drying, and mitigation services, it’s likely covered under your insurance policy. Beware though: If your insurer finds out that you knew water was there but failed to act quickly to prevent additional damage (i.e. rotting building materials, mold growth, etc.), they may deny your claim.
The Science of Drying
There really is extensive science behind water cleanup, and anything more than a small puddle should usually be addressed only by trained professionals. A quick or insufficient cleanup can rapidly lead to mold and other health and safety hazards. A good water damage remediation company will protect your property and limit any demolition procedures such as drywall and flooring removal by performing a few noninvasive tests. This will determine where the water has traveled and allow them to create a “drying plan” to determine what needs to be done to get your structural drying underway.
Should I Clean It or Call It In?
So, can you clean up that water yourself? If it’s small enough, and you take care to handle it correctly (clean, disinfect, etc.), then sure. But if it’s large, contains sewage or other contaminants, or is perhaps in an area that you can’t see or clean, then it’s time to call in a professional restoration company.
Do you need help with water damage in your home, or just additional information? Call Constructeam today at (866) 372 – 1272 and a trained professional will help you.