Water is essential in our daily lives. We use water every day for bathing, cooking, and cleaning.  As much as we need water, damages caused by water can be devastating. Natural disasters, faulty plumbing, broken appliances, and backed-up sewers can contribute to major problems in a home. Let’s take a look at how to deal with residential water damage.

Stop the Water from the Source

If you notice water coming from a crack in the wall, the ceiling, or the pipe under your kitchen sink, immediately turn off the main valve nearest to that area or the main water line running into your home. It is important to stop the flow of water to begin salvaging your property. If you can’t find the source of the leak, contact a plumber. In the case of a natural disaster and flooding, you will have to wait until the rain stops to begin your recovery process.

When water damage has occurred, turn off the main breaker to cut the power supply to your home. If the damage is in an isolated area, turn off the electricity to that one area. This will help you avoid electrocution during clean-up.

Check for Residential Water Damage

After stopping the flow of water, assess the water damage. Wear protective gear like rubber boots, rubber gloves, and a mask when you go into the house, especially if there may be contamination from the flooding. Make notes, take pictures of the damage, and call your insurance company to see if repairs will be covered by your policy.

Remove Valuables

Remove your belongings from the water. Furniture, rugs, and anything that is already damp or water damaged should be removed. Take valuables like jewelry, personal items, family heirlooms, pictures, and expensive appliances to an area where they can dry.

Dry the Area

The longer the water is in the area, the more damage it does. Water can cause wood to rot, drywall to crumble, and excess moisture increases the risk of mildew and mold growth. You may need a pump or siphon to pull water out of your home. In the case of minor flooding, a shop vac may be enough to clean up the water. Open windows and use fans to increase airflow and ventilation.

Initiate Repairs after Residential Water Damage

After the home is clean and dry, it’s time to begin making repairs. For significant damage, hire a professional contractor to do the work. If materials like flooring and drywall are damaged, they will need to be removed and replaced. As you make repairs, look into using water-resistant building materials, especially if you live in an area with heavy rains or frequent flooding.

20/20 Home Inspection provides home inspections in Rhode Island. If you’re buying a home, contact us to request an appointment.