Water Damage

It is important to know what you can do when facing water damage at your home, office, or facility. Determine the source of the water and seal it off, even if just temporarily, to prevent further damage. It may be necessary to call a licensed plumber for repairs to the water source. While waiting for AFTERDISASTER® to arrive, there are several things that can be done to help contain the damage and prevent further loss. These emergency steps are intended for situations involving clear water, that is, from a clean water source. If the damage involves gray water or raw sewage, there are bio-hazardous conditions present and you should always wait for a professional to arrive. Also, never assume that the problem is corrected simply because the carpet and padding have been dried. Moisture in wall cavities and sub-flooring can result in dangerous mold and fungus problems and should be avoided. Before doing anything, make sure there is no imminent danger from either structural or electrical problems. If you are unsure, don’t attempt to do anything until help arrives.

3 Types of Water Damage

Clean Water - Water that originates from a source that does not pose substantial harm to humans.

  • Broken water supply lines
  • Tub or sink overflows - with no contaminants
  • Appliance malfunctions involving water supply lines; ice maker line
  • Melting ice or snow
  • Falling rainwater
  • Broken toilet tanks and toilet bowls that do not contain contaminants or additives

Gray Water - Water that may contain chemicals, biocontaminants (fungal, bacterial, viral alge) and other forms of contamination including physical hazards.

  • Discharge from dishwashers or washing machines
  • Overflows from washing machines
  • Overflows from toilet bowls with some urine (no feces)
  • Sump pump failures
  • Seepage due to hydrostatic pressure
  • Broken aquariums
  • Punctured water beds

Black Water - Water that contains pathogenic agents and is extremely unsanitary. If not handled in a timely manner, clean water or gray water can become black water.

  • Sewage and other contaminated water sources entering or affecting the indoor environment
  • Toilet backflows that originate from beyond the toilet trap.

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DO these Tasks

  • SHUT OFF THE WATER SOURCE WHEN POSSIBLE.
  • Turn off the circuit breakers supplying electricity to wet areas.
  • Unplug and remove any small electrical devices currently located on wet carpet.
  • Watch slipping hazards when walking from wet carpet onto vinyl or hardwood floors.
  • Remove valuable paintings and art objects to a safe place.
  • Remove Oriental or colored area rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Carefully remove miscellaneous items from wood furniture and wipe it down.
  • Remove books, magazines and other color staining items from wet floors.
  • Place aluminum foil or saucers between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Remove and prop up wet cushions to facilitate drying. Check them for any color bleeding.
  • Separate wet clothing to prevent moisture build-up and color transfer.
  • Punch small holes in sagging ceilings to help trapped water escape. If unsure about the danger
  • of the ceiling collapsing, don’t attempt to punch these holes!
  • Begin to remove as much standing water as possible by mopping and blotting with dry white
  • towels.
  • Open wet cabinet doors and drawers. If swollen, do not force open.
  • Circulate air for maximum drying by opening windows in cool weather or turning on the air
  • conditioning in warm weather.

Do NOT do These

  • Do not turn ceiling fans on when the ceiling is wet.
  • Do not use a household vacuum to remove standing water.
  • Do not leave wet fabrics in place. Dry as soon as possible.
  • Do not leave books, magazines or other color staining items from wet floors.
  • Do not leave furniture directly on wet carpeting.
  • Do not attempt to clean upholstery, oriental rugs or other potentially color staining
  • fibers with ordinary household cleaners.
  • Do not leave colored rugs on wet wall-to-wall carpeting. Remove them until
  • carpeting is completely dry.
  • Do not begin to repair or repaint any damage surfaces until they are completely
  • dry.

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