Repairing Your Home After Water Damage

Repairing Your Home After Water Damage

What is water damage?

Water damage is any kind of possible loss caused due to the unwanted intrusion of water into public or private property. It causes severe acute damages like rotting and swelling of wood, mold/bacteria growth, delamination of plywood, rusting of steel, etc. It is one of the most common and potentially destructive problems a homeowner faces at least once in their lifetime. But taking quick and efficient action at the right time can make the problem much more manageable than it appears to be.

Causes of water damage

The leading causes of water damage are plumbing faults, broken domestic pipelines, unwanted moisture behind walls, blocked drains, clogged/leaking sewage systems, leaking roofs, foundation cracks, natural disasters like floods or tsunamis, and HVAC condensation.

Steps for repairing your home after water damage

1. Identifying the cause of damage

Find out the source of damage. Once the source of damage is caught, turn off the main electrical supply of the building as it might invoke further damage by causing a short circuit. Then stop the leak at the water source by patching it temporarily. In case of floods, close the doors and windows that facilitate entry of floodwater as long the water level is high.

2. Removing water

Open the doors and windows to move out water. Choose the way of water removal depending on the amount of water accumulation in your house. Use a bucket to remove water. However, if the quantity of water is large enough, wet or, dry professional vacuum cleaners should be used to pump water out and away from your building. Remove the basement of the wall and cut a small hole. If water spills out from the spot, then drill a giant hole to let it drain.  

You need to dry up your home faster to prevent chances of further damage. Use a mop or carpet to clean the floor. Avoid using fans as they may contaminate your house further by spreading molds. 

3. Fixation of damaged materials

Remove and dry out carpets and other heavy clothes that were probably soaked in water. Move all the valuable assets like photos, paintings, and other art objects to a safe and dry place. All the canned, sterilized, and packed food items should be immediately shifted to a dry place. Wash them with clean water and sanitize them thoroughly to store them for later use.

4. Rebuilding/renovation of home

a) Call for professional help

  • Contact the government helpline number to take out debris and other wastes from your house in case of a flood.

  • Hire a water restoration company to help in restoration.

b) Contact your home insurance agency

Take pictures of the damage caused to your property and show these as proof to your insurance company to claim the home insurance. It saves an ample amount of money.

c)  Insulation

  • Remove the wall's insulation temporarily to check if it can be reused. 
  • In case of severe and irreparable damage, replace the wall insulation with professional help. You should take the electric insulation of the house into account. 
  • In case of small-scale water damage, the insulation can be repaired. However, it is always safe to change and rebuild the total wiring system of the house. Replace potentially affected switches and outlets.

d) Rebuilding of pipes and sewage system

  • Hire a water damage restoration company.
  • Faulty pipes and sewage systems are the primary cause of residential and public water damage worldwide.

e) Indoor Furniture

  • Clean molds and bacteria growth properly to prevent further damage.
  • Heating and air conditioning systems that may have mud and other contaminants should be thoroughly cleaned and replaced if necessary.

f) Waterproofing

  • Inexpensive floodproofing during repairs is always a good option.  
  • Invest in water-resistant home paints and other waterproof home appliances.
  • Preventive measures like basement waterproofing is an excellent thing to invest in. Further, the basement should be inspected regularly to ensure dry and doesn't get damp again.

g) Elevating your home

  • While discussing your renovation design with a building specialist, find out whether elevating your home is an option or not, as it could prevent a significant amount of water damage.

h) Flood Level

  • Let the building specialist predict the flood level of your area. Accordingly, renovate the levels of your windows, gas entry points, electrical installations, and power outlets. A thorough analysis will help you find out the areas of your home that need to be particularly watertight.


Image source:nationaldisasterrecovery.org

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Jacky Chou
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