Ten Steps Handymen Take to Address Water Damage
Just a few inches of water are sufficient to cause serious damage, such as mold. And, this damage sets in after just twenty-four hours. So, time is of the essence.
Freezing weather is not the only cause of burst pipes and water damage. Over time, wear and corrosion erode pipes and fixtures until they finally give way. Or, a heavy rain might cause a gutter to collapse.
A Los Angeles property damage attorney can help you deal with the insurance company. So, you can focus on minimizing the damage in your home and the disruption to your family.
Assess the Problem
There are three types of water: clear water, grey water, and black water. Clear water, from rain or a leaking pipe, is usually safe to clean yourself. Grey water, perhaps from an overflowed toilet, usually contains some harmful bacteria. It’s safe to clean if you take some precautions and have no pre-existing medical conditions. Then, there is black water, such as sewage back-up or flood water. Most black water is heavily contaminated. Do not go near it.
Dry the Area
If the problem is grey or clear water, yu might be able to clean it yourself. If nothing else, these subsequent steps should limit the damage. Start by drying the area. Fans and air conditioners work well. You might also want to use a large-capacity dehumidifier. There is no such thing as too dry.
Remove All Damaged Porous Materials
These objects include insulation, carpet, fabric, and anything else that holds water. Throw them out straightaway. They are already hopelessly damaged. Water warps porous material, and mold or mildew damages them even further. It might be possible to dry an heirloom or favorite chair if it is not too wet, but don’t count on it.
Disinfect the Area
Most people use a 50-50 bleach-water solution to disinfect floors and walls. Alternatively, you could try a vinegar and baking soda mixture. Whatever you use, thoroughly wipe down the affected area. Then, wait for at least a few minutes. If there are any lingering mold spores in the air, you could get seriously ill.
Start with Ceilings
Gravity pulls down weak ceilings, so focus on them before you work on floors, walls, or baseboards. It’s also important to find the source of the leak. The source might not be near the water stain. As you work, take a close look at rafters and beams.
Replaced Damaged Wood
Much like the aforementioned porous material, once wood gets wet, it is usually a total loss. No matter how dry it is now, it is weaker and more prone to further damage. When replacing wood, make sure there is adequate support to hold things up during the project.
Upgrade Your Floors
Water damage might be an opportunity. Carpet usually must go, even if there is no visible damage on the top. Padding and underlays soak up water almost like sponges. Certain vinal and other tiles have some waterproof properties.
Replace the Drywall
As a rule of thumb, if the drywall has moved more than ⅜ of an inch, the sheet must be replaced. Otherwise, it’s normally possible to cut out and replace only the damaged portion. Take some time to inspect the insulation for water damage. Remember that it is a porous substance as well.
Inspect External Siding
When roofs or gutters are damaged, water often seeps behind siding, causing permanent damage to vulnerable areas of your home. This siding must be removed or replaced before it rots. The same process applies to faux stone and other materials.
Paint and Caulk
This part of your project does not just make the wall look prettier. It also helps prevent further water damage.
Homeowners can safely address some flood damage themselves. For a free consultation with an experienced property damage attorney in Los Angeles, contact the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim. We routinely handle matters through Southern California.
Sharona Eslamboly Hakim, Esq. is a successful personal injury attorney and the principal of the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim firm in Beverly Hills, California.