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water leak damaged homes - the restoration

Leaky roofing and leaky pipes can cause a lot of damage to a house. If you don't act quickly, these two problems can result in major repairs that can get quite costly and complicated. My blog will show you how to identify these problem areas and how to judge the severity of the damage sustained. Having restored a few homes over the years before selling them, I have a lot of experience working with water damaged homes. I hope that all of the information that I have included here in this blog will help you get through the process with fewer issues.


water leak damaged homes - the restoration

Knowing What Can Be Salvaged And What Cannot After A Flood

by Paul Burton

When flooding occurs, the items submerged in water will need to be evaluated to determine what to keep and what to toss. Anything touched by flood water needs disinfecting to remove bacteria. This step can be skipped on items that are too far beyond saving, as they will just be thrown away. Here is a summary of items that may be able to be saved and some to throw away immediately, along with the correct disinfecting process.

Items To Save

When you first walk into a flooded room, you will want to immediately remove items that have a chance at being revived. Anything made from cloth material besides carpeting has a chance for revival. This includes any clothing, draperies, curtains, or linens. Bring them outdoors to dry in the sunlight before placing them inside a washing machine to remove bacteria. Rugs can be removed and salvaged as well. Bring it to a professional cleaning service to remove bacteria. Carpeting can sometimes be saved with the help of a water damage restoration company.

Items made from concrete, plaster, or linoleum should be able to be cleaned up. Leave them in place until the water has been removed from the room. Use high-powered oscillating fans to dry. Disinfect by wiping each surface with a mixture of water and mild detergent. After the areas are dry again, wipe with a solution made from bleach and water. Use one cup of bleach for each gallon of water. This will kill any mold spores on the items.

Things To Toss

Any paperwork will most likely be a pulp, needing to be thrown away. If you are able to save any important documents, they will be bacteria-ridden, making them unsafe to keep around. If possible, take photographs of these items and reprint. Remove all drywall and the insulation underneath. These materials will hold moisture, leading to possible black mold in the future. Throw carpet padding away for the same reason. 

Any consumable items, including medication, should be tossed. It is unsafe to eat food touched by flood water. Even if the packaging appears to have kept water out of the food, it is better to throw it out to reduce the risk of illness. Any items used to prepare or contain food should be thrown away as well. This would include utensils, dinnerware, and cookware. 

Electronics, furniture made with particle board, and toys are all items that will most likely be ruined. If the item cannot be disinfected properly, it will be a hazard if skin comes into contact with bacteria. Because of the small components on electronics, they are a risk. Particle board items will disintegrate and the bacteria will embed itself into the layers of the material, making it a hazard as well. It is also not a good idea to save toys as they can easily cause illness if not disinfected in their entirety.