We usually don’t like to think about bad stuff that could happen to us in the future, but being prepared is important for emergencies so that we can respond in the best way possible, and minimize any water damage caused by the flood to our home, office or business place. If not taken care of properly, a flood can have exponential harmful consequences that can only extend the financial cost and even possibly our own health and others. Mold can form on untreated surfaces, sometimes underneath the floor or behind walls where it is not visible to the eyes which could cause further structural damage. Mold is also hazardous to our health as we can breathe it while it goes unnoticed for many days and even years.
So if you, unfortunately, find yourself in a water damage emergency the most important thing is to stay calm during the whole process while the situation is properly assessed.
Find the source of the leak
It’s important to know first what type or category of water is leaking, to make sure we don’t put ourselves on unnecessary risks by being in contact with hazardous water. Category 1 Water is clean water that is not hazardous and does not pose a substantial threat to humans, like those from broken water supply lines, tub or appliances overflow, etc. Category 2 Water is water that contains a significant degree of chemicals, biological or physical contaminants and can cause illness or discomfort when consumed or even become in contact with, this type of water is also called “grey water”, examples are toilet water with urine, sump pump failures and water discharge from dishwashers or washing machines. Category 3 Water also know was “black water” and is all unsanitary water that may contain harmful bacteria and fungi, possible of causing severe discomfort or illness, this is usually contaminated water from sources such as sewage, seawater, rising water from rivers or streams, ground surface water or standing water. Category 2 water that has been left standing stagnant may be to revalued as Category 3.
Once we have an idea on the type of water that we’re dealing with it’s time for us to decide whether we would like to proceed to try to find the source or if we need to call a water damage restoration expert right away. If possible we must try to slow down or shut off the water leak while the restoration team arrives.
Look for other hazardous conditions
We might not become aware right away, but a water emergency might lead to other types of emergencies, electronic devices or wiring could be in contact with the water creating an electrocution hazard, do not come in contact with electronic devices, wiring and the water if you suspect there has been any contact, it’s best to clear the area and wait for the professionals to arrive. Make sure you wear appropriate footwear if you plan on stepping into the water and walk extra careful to make sure we don’t slip and fall, access to the flooded area should be restricted to everyone.
Call a water damage restoration company
For homeowners and property management teams it’s always best to call a water damage restoration company that is trained and certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and is often regarded as the cleanest and safest way to ensure a thorough clean-up and restoration of the water damaged property.