Water Damage Emergency Tips

What you can do until help arrives

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Is it black, clean, or gray water?

Once floodwaters invade your home or office, you’re probably wondering how safe it is to wade around in it and if you’ll have to disinfect your possessions that were affected by flooding.

To answer this question, you must first identify the water source. If the water was a result of snow melt, a broken air conditioning unit, or a toilet holding tank, you’re in luck. As long as it hasn’t been sitting for over 48 hours, as it turns into a gray water problem by that point, the water can be identified as clean.

If the water in your home or office originated from a washing machine, shower, or aquarium, mark it as gray water (again, keep the 48 hour rule in mind). This water may pose some health risk as it contains some chemical or biological contaminates.

However, if the water came from a toilet or floodwater, stay away from it! It contains contaminates which could be viruses, and you will need to hire a professional for both water damage and biohazard cleanup.

Once you have identified the water type, you’ll know if it’s safe to begin collecting items from the floodwaters. Regardless of water type, be sure to call professionals immediately to prevent further water damage to your furnishings, walls, accessories, etc. and to prevent mold growth.

Have A  Water Damage Emergency? Call (301) 340-1313

What To Do After Flooding

  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from floors.

What NOT To Do After Flooding

  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don't use television or other household appliances.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.