How to Fix Water Damage

how to fix water damage - maxis services

Water damage is an issue many people in flood-prone areas or locations with heavy rain struggle with. After 24 hours, wet and waterlogged objects can begin to develop serious problems like mold. Because of the health risks that are associated with water damaged material, it’s important to know how to fix water damage.

Disable Power to the Affected Area

This is the most important step to learning how to fix water damage. Most forms of water conduct electricity, and contact with electrified water can cause serious injury or even death. Before beginning any kind of work in a water damaged area, you should disable electricity in the room or building.

If you are unable to locate the circuit breakers for the room or building, contact a professional service or your local power company for assistance.

Learn the Different Types of Water

When learning how to fix water damage, it’s important to know that there are three types of water. Each of these have different risk factors and it’s important to be able to distinguish each type of water before doing your repairs.

The first type is clean or clear water. This type of water usually comes from rain, leaky pipes, condensation, or other similar sources and is relatively safe and contaminant free. This type of water is safe to clean on your own, but if you do decide to enlist professional help it can cost upwards of $3.75 per square foot for basic water damage.

The second type is called gray water. This type of water usually comes from clean toilets, washing machines, dishwashers, or other appliances and may contain some contaminants. You can clean this type of water up yourself if you have the proper safety equipment.

The third type is referred to as black water, and this is the most dangerous to your health. Black water comes from flooding rivers or sewage and contains harmful bacteria and other contaminants. If you are dealing with this kind of water damage, it’s best to contact a professional service for cleanup.

Identify the Source of the Damage

When learning how to fix water damage, the next step is to identify the source of the water damage. If you find water damage from a leak in a ceiling, you’ll want to repair that as quickly as possible.

Condensation and leaky pipes are common household causes of water damage, but you should also check your roof for any cracks or leaks as well. If leaky pipes are the problem, be sure to shut off water flow to the affected area before continuing.

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Inspect for Serious Issues

When learning how to fix water damage, it’s also important to investigate the affected area for serious health hazards like mold or mildew.

Mold and mildew can take hold in as little as 24 hours under the right conditions, so it’s important to know how to look for these hazards when learning how to fix water damage. If you’re experiencing condensations issues in your attic or basement, then the mold may have been present for far longer.

When inspecting the water damaged areas, be sure to bring the appropriate safety gear. Some types of mold can be toxic to humans, so bring a mask or respirator to minimize the risk of inhaling spores. You should also be cautious with the materials the mold or mildew is present on, as they may be weakened or structurally unsound.

If you find mold or mildew in the damaged area, you can remove it yourself if the area is small and you are careful. Simply remove the molded material, secure in a bag, and dispose of it. For more serious or widespread mold issues, contact a professional service. Mold can also appear in hidden or hard to reach areas such as inside walls or under floors, so be prepared for this to be an ongoing process.

Dry the Affected Area and Remove Damaged Materials

The next step in learning how to fix water damage is to dry the affected area and remove any damaged materials.

It’s important to dry the affected area as quickly as possible, otherwise the damage may get worse. You can use fans to help air circulate through the damaged area if you’re experiencing a small leak, but for flooding or more serious issues consider renting equipment such as a large-capacity dehumidifier or contacting a professional service.

After drying the affected area, the next step is to remove any damaged porous materials like carpet, insulation, or fabric. These materials can become warped or permanently damaged and if they are completely soaked then you may have to discard them. Unsealed cement and wood are other examples of porous materials you may have to dry out or discard.

After you’ve removed the damaged materials, the next step in learning how to fix water damage is to disinfect any remaining materials and thoroughly clean the damaged area. The most common option for disinfecting is a bleach solution, which will help remove any lingering mold spores.

How to Fix Water Damage in Wood

Any wood in the affected area that has become severely warped, molded, or otherwise damaged will need to be removed and replaced.

You may be able to save some wooden materials if you acquire the right equipment, such as air movers or dehumidifiers, but you’ll need to act fast before the wood becomes warped or begins to rot.

Be sure to thoroughly clean and dry the area underneath any boards that you’re replacing as part of this process in order to minimize future damages. If the affected materials are part of the structural support for your home or building, be sure to provide additional support structures when replacing the damaged material or contact a professional service for assistance.

Wood damage is fortunately easy to spot as most types of wood become discolored or swell when damaged by water.

After removing the damaged material the next step is to replace the material with sealed, waterproof materials in the affected area. Flooring such as ceramic tile or vinyl is a good choice for mitigating future water damage, and certain types of wood materials can also be waterproofed as well.

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How to Fix Water Damage in Drywall and External Siding

If the water damaged has affected any drywall, you’ll need to know how to determine if it needs replaced.

Generally, if the drywall has sagged more than 3/8 of an inch from the baseline then you’ll need to replace the entire sheet. Otherwise, you can simply cut out and replace the damaged section without replacing the entire wall. Either way, you’ll need to check the insulation and any wooden supports for moisture and water damage as well.

If the water damage is on the outside of your home, then you’ll need to inspect the siding. You’ll want to be thorough with your inspections, as the biggest risk of water buildup behind the siding for your home or building is damage to the vulnerable materials underneath. Faux stone and other material is susceptible to water damage as well.

How to Fix Water Damage in Your Foundation

The foundation to your home or building is one of the most important aspects to take care of, and learning how to fix water damage in your foundation can save you from disaster.

Some signs to look out for when inspecting your home’s foundation for water damage are:

  • Walls that seem damp or cold to the tough
  • Warped flooring or ceilings
  • Trouble with heat moderation inside the home
  • Signs of mold or mildew
  • Sounds of water moving or dripping

If the damage is extensive then you’ll need to contact a professional service for repairs. Otherwise you can dry the affected area and replace the damaged material yourself. The next thing you’ll want to do after fixing any damage is take some preventative measures to reduce the risk of future water damage. Plug any holes or cracks in your foundation, install drainage, or use landscaping techniques to direct water away from the home.

Repaint and Apply Caulk

After you’ve repaired the damage, the next step is to repaint the affected areas and apply sealing caulk.

The key to learning how to fix water damage is also learning how to prevent future damage, so this step is just as important as any other. You’ll want to use waterproof paints when repainting the affected areas. Be sure to seal any gaps, crack, or holes with sealing caulk to ensure that your home is properly protected from future damage.

Check your Insurance and Call Professionals

If you experience serious damage to your home, then knowing how to fix water damage may not be enough.

If the damage to your home is too severe for you to fix on your own and too extensive to be repaired by a professional service at a reasonable rate, then contact your insurance provider for assistance. Depending on your policy, you may be able to reduce the repair cost or eliminate it entirely. Sudden events like a flood or severe storm are more likely to be covered than small leaks, but it’s worth checking.

If the damage to your home is beyond your ability to confidently repair, then you should also contact a professional service. Learning how to fix water damage on your own is great for small repair jobs, but for extensive damages you should contact a professional service like Maxis Services, Inc. They know how to fix water damage and more. Even better, they lead the industry in home automated services, so if you’ve been considering converting to a smart home set up, Maxis Services, Inc. has you covered.

Rather than Googling “how to fix water damage”, why not let a professional handle your repairs? Click here to contact Maxis Services, Inc. today and rest assured that your home repair needs will be met.

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