In the aftermath of water damage, you’re left putting the pieces back together. Knowing what can be saved and what needs to go can be difficult to determine. Water affects items in different ways so there are some things to consider. Here is our list to guide in your efforts.
FLOORING & FURNITURE
- Carpets and padding are very pourous and will most likely have to be torn up and replaced.
- Any type of pourous or semi-porous wood may suffer from the effects of heavy water damage. Water easily seeps underneath or behind flooring. If materials can not be dried our properly, mold will grow. A water damage professional will be able to best determine the extent of damage beneath wood floors, and what may need to be torn up and replaced.
- Laminate flooring comes in various types and grades that differ in water resistance. Some laminate floors have wax and oils that are beneficial in water absorption. However, most laminate floors are prone to deterioration with heavy amounts of water. Most likely, they will have to be removed.
- Furniture restoration from water damage depends on the type of materials and quality of the items. Any furniture made from particle board will most likely have to be thrown out. Metal or solid wood are more likely to hold up after contact with water.
WIRING & APPLIANCES
- Wiring can be easily damaged when in contact with water. This can lead to damaged electrical appliances, blown fuses, or even fire or electrocution in worst case scenarios. Turn off the power if water damage is near any wiring and wait for professional help to avoid further damage or injury.
- All perishables that have come in contact with water should be thrown away. Sealed or canned items can most likely be saved, but should be cleaned off thoroughly before use and consumption.
- Items that are soft or padded will most likely have to be tossed. These types of materials are difficult to dry out and susceptible to mold. Items may include mattresses, box springs, stuffed toys, soft decorative items, sofas, and seat covers.
- Clothes can often be saved from water damage. It’s important to remember that some flood waters contain hazardous materials so proper precautions will need to be taken when handling dirty clothing.
- Rinsing off dirt and debris will be the first step. Clothes should then be washed in clean, hot water with heavy-duty detergent and a disinfectant. If clothing cannot be cleaned right away, at least get it hanging on a line and drying out to avoid mold growth.
- It may take a few cycles to get out all stains, smells, and health hazards. If problems persist, clothes may have to be discarded.
ANY ITEMS DAMAGED BY HAZARDOUS WASTE
- Hazardous waste, like raw sewage, can contain harmful viruses, fungi, parasites, and bacteria. Items that have come in contact with this type of water will most likely have to be thrown out due to potential health problems.
Cleaning and going through items affected by water damage can be difficult, but it’s a necessary part of getting your home safely back to pre-loss condition.
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