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Flood Damage Restoration & Cleanup

Homeowners often think a flood emergency can only occur during the spring when the snow melts rapidly or during heavy rain. But a flood emergency can happen at any time. A flooded basement can be caused by oversaturated ground around your home, an overflowing river or stream, a broken sump pump, storm sewer backup, a burst pipe, faulty appliance or plumbing fixture and even seepage through the foundation floor or walls. Whether you’ve had a septic tank backup, an unfortunate visit from Mother Nature, or both, there are many steps a homeowner can take to begin the flood cleanup process.

If flood water inside your home is not addressed promptly, your walls, as well as your carpet, flooring, ceiling and personal property can quickly become damaged, creating an unsafe environment ripe for breeding bacteria, rot and mold growth. The flood restoration process consists of two major phases: flood water removal, and flood cleanup.

To begin flood restoration and minimize water damage, there are a few basic steps that any homeowner should take.

  1. If necessary, turn off the water to your home.
  2. Disconnect the power to affected areas.
  3. Unplug and remove electronics and electric appliances from the affected area.
  4. Remove furniture and other portable items.
  5. Document the damage and personal losses.

If there is only a relatively small amount of water, you may be able to mitigate some of the flood damage by beginning the drying process on your own. Remove as much flood water as possible with wet-dry vacuums and pumps. If you don’t own water removal equipment, you can typically rent a pump from a local hardware store. (Remember, diesel and gasoline engines create deadly carbon monoxide exhaust fumes. Don’t use diesel or gasoline-powered pumps indoors.)

After water removal, dry out the affected area with fans and dehumidifiers to prevent mold and mildew from forming. If possible, open doors and windows to help maximize air circulation.

Remember, water removal is just the first step. Simple drying techniques are often not enough when removing water after a flood. The approach you take to water damage restoration will depend heavily on the types of rooms and belongings affected.

Upholstery, carpets, walls and floor coverings are porous which means a basic cleaning will not suffice and more extensive disinfection, deodorizing and flood restoration is required. Surface cleaning only removes visible contamination. Microorganisms are often left behind, which can potentially cause health problems and unpleasant odors. All surfaces affected by water damage must be thoroughly cleaned, disinfected and deodorized in order to properly eliminate mold, bacteria, fungi and other viruses.

In many cases, carpet and padding often cannot be cleaned well enough to prevent the growth of mold and mildew. The same goes for subflooring made of plywood or particle board. If your basement is finished, you may need to cut out and throw away the affected drywall and remove any affected insulation. You may also need to remove baseboard trim. (Pressboard will likely be ruined, but solid wood trim may be salvageable.)

In addition to drying out the affected areas, cleaning and disinfecting is critical for preventing mold and mildew. You don’t need to purchase anything special. Most household cleaners will be effective for minor flood cleanup. After cleaning walls and nonporous surfaces with a household cleaner or detergent, follow up with a disinfectant to prevent future mold or mildew growth. A diluted bleach solution can work for this as well.

While it can be tempting to move past the flood damage by rebuilding and replacing quickly, rushing to through the flood restoration process before everything fully dries can lead to more problems. In moderate to severe flood situations, it can take a week or more for visible moisture to disappear. It can take two weeks or more for unseen moisture (such as in walls or air ducts) to fully evaporate.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the flood restoration process, call a professional water cleanup service like Roto-Rooter, to begin the water cleanup and drying process with professional grade drying and dehumidifying equipment, which does a more thorough job, and does it more quickly than ordinary household fans.

Call your insurance company. Remember that Roto-Rooter will work directly with your insurance company to make this difficult time a little bit easier on you.

Roto-Rooter’s water restoration technicians are IICRC certified. They will perform water extraction; remove unsalvageable contents, such as carpet and other flooring, drywall, paneling, shelving, cabinets; and clean the affected areas before apply disinfecting and deodorizing agents. Roto-Rooter will thoroughly dry the structure and haul away harmful and water-damaged debris.

The water damage restoration professionals at Roto-Rooter are experienced at getting your home or business back to normal as quickly as possible and Roto-Rooter is available when you need service most, 24/7/365.

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How to Locate a Water Shut-off Valve 1:24
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Water and Flood Damage Restoration 4:08
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