Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Water Damage and How to Avoid Common Mistakes
If you're a homeowner looking at a house filled with water damage, you have two options. One, you can try to restore the place yourself. This is going to be difficult, as you have no experience working with what can be a very delicate situation. Your other option is to call in a professional. The benefits of doing this are numerous, but it can be expensive. Then again, losing most of your belongings (and potentially your entire house) is expensive as well. Whichever path your choose (or if you decide to go somewhere in the middle, doing what you can and then calling professionals for the rest), here are some common mistakes you'll want to avoid.
The Vacuum Cleaner
There are two important reasons to avoid using a vacuum cleaner to remove flooding from your home. One, you need to be very careful about using electricity of any kind when your floors are wet. Water damage experts advise turning off the electricity to any rooms that are affected by the flooding. You should also wear thick rubber boots to insulate yourself from any potential shocks. But the main reason you don't want to do this is that it simply won't work. Vacuums aren't meant to work in this kind of situation. You need a specialty tool, such as a Shop-Vac, to pick up moisture.
When people think of water damage, they usually think about ruined furniture and books that have been waterlogged beyond salvation. These are real problems and you'll almost certainly have to deal with them. But a far more insidious issue involves the weakening of your home's structural integrity. Be very careful that you don't put yourself in danger. Look for signs of ceiling sag. If there are any, stay out of the room where it is an issue. You'll want to do the same for your flooring. If things have reached the point where the house is simply unsafe, stay out and call in the professionals.
If you intend to save your carpeting, don't start lifting it up yourself. Many a homeowner has found that this is not easy to do once water damage has set in. With the help of a professional team, your carpet may be salvageable. But if you start pulling it up without the right experience, you risk tearing it and subjecting it to shrinkage. Leaving it as it is and simply hoping it dries out will almost certainly lead to mold growth and other assorted problems. Make sure you get the help you need.
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