Water DamageWater damage, whether from small drips, burst pipes or big storms, can wreak havoc on homes and homeowners. Without proper drying and cleaning, homes that retain extra moisture can develop mold and mildew, which can lead to serious health problems. The faster you call in professionals, the more likely it is that your home and furniture can be restored.

When you notice paint discoloration or hear dripping, your first concern should be finding and repairing the leak. There’s no sense in cleaning up if water continues to find its way into your home. The source of the leak may be tricky to find, as water travels down the path of least resistance, often winding around before dripping or pooling into a conspicuous area. A licensed plumber can help you address water leaks. While the repair is underway, block the continued destruction by placing buckets or tarps in position to catch the leaking water.

Once the leak is fixed, cleanup can begin. Again, it’s best to hire a professional to assist in the process. Furniture and carpeting will need to be thoroughly dried. A shop-vac or wet-dry vacuum will remove excess water, while industrial strength dehumidifiers will remove moisture from the air (as much as 50 gallons per day in highly humid environments). Avoid using heaters, as heating wet wood can permanently damage it.

A big part of cleanup is determining what can be restored and what must be replaced. Some cleanup measures are simple, such as small leaks in basements with concrete floors. In such cases, you’ll need to dry the area, clean and treat the floor with an antimicrobial wash and possibly touch up the paint on baseboards. Carpeted areas present bigger woes. Small areas may be able to be treated with commercial carpet cleaner with deodorizer and antimicrobial soap. However, large amounts of saturation will likely result in the need to completely replace damaged carpeting. Drywall and baseboards may also face similar fates, depending on the amount of damage.

Upholstered furniture is a big concern when cleaning up water damage. If the water only touches the wooden feet, then you may be able to remove the water marks with wood soap and polish. Saturated furniture will need to be inspected by a water restoration specialist to ensure that molds and odors aren’t lingering.

Because mold and mildew can cause respiratory illness and infection, always use waterproof gloves and dust masks when handling water damaged homes. If you notice any signs of mold buildup, immediately contact a professional to handle the potentially dangerous cleanup.

In covered incidents, filing a claim can save you hundreds to thousands of dollars. Call Magill Insurance Agency at (580) 772-7101 for more information on Weatherford home insurance.

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