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What a shock! You find water running across the carpet and floors and lapping at the legs of furniture as the sofa and chairs try to soak it up.

CAUTION: Be sure the electrical power source is off before you walk in standing water.

If it is a broken pipe know where you water shut off is and use it. Turn off the water and look for the source of the leak. It could be the toilet, if could be the washing machine hoses, or it could be a broken pipe. First thing, call a repair person. Then size up the damage and precede with the advice below, depending on the severity of the problem.

FLOODING – Storms have brought flooding to your area and your house is taking on water. All you can do now is get things out or at least up on higher ground. Wait until the water is receding to start deciding what to do.

If you have insurance for water damage and/or flooding, call your insurance agent NOW. Your agent will act quickly to help you, because by the time an adjuster receives the information it is often too late to reverse some of the damage that has taken place. Remember 100’s of other people will be calling too so do this right away.

Wet carpet and pad IS restorable if it is taken care of as soon as possible after the damage. A professional company that deals in water damage of all kinds can stop further damage from occurring. They can also save the carpet and pad depending on whether water is fresh or filled with contaminates. Large area rugs can be removed and taken to a facility for speed drying and treatment.

First they will extract water from the pad and the carpet and treat both with an EPA registered disinfectant. They will then install drying equipment which consists of high power carpet blowers that are slipped between the carpet and the pad to loft the carpet away from the pad and accelerate the drying process of both the pad and the carpet. They will also install dehumidification equipment to implement drying. They will advise you to keep your home interior temperature at 70 degrees of higher for ideal drying conditions.

This drying equipment will also facilitate drying of furniture and walls as it dries the carpet.

Upholstered furniture will need to have water extracted from it too and be treated with an EPA registered disinfectant also. Wood furniture will need to be wiped down and allowed to dry. It will then need restoration in worst cases, washing and polishing in less severe situations.

The water damage restoration firm will check, usually every 24 hours, to see how the drying process is coming and to move equipment to continue the drying process.

In addition to all of this, if walls are wet or the water damage is severe some things will not be salvageable. That is why it is important to have a professional water damage specialist working with you. The biggest fear after water damage is mold, mildew, and bacteria.

Dry wall may need to be removed up to a dry area, insulation may need to be removed. There is also the issue of sewage actually being part of the water.

If you are contemplating walking through the water and damage wear rubber-type boots, old clothes, long sleeves and heavy rubber or chemical gloves. Protect yourself.

After the water is removed, things have been dried, things that couldn’t be saved have been removed, everything that came in contact with the water will need cleaning and disinfecting including carpet, upholstery furniture, and all the contents that has been wet.

Most water damage experts will treat areas with an antimicrobial product that is meant to prohibit the growth of mold, mildew and bacterial spores.

For a water damage expert look in the yellow pages under “water damage” or under “cleaning companies”. Be sure you hire a company that has experience in water damage, not just a cleaning company or someone using a rentable carpet cleaning machine. The first response is the most important to saving things. You need an expert.

DO YOU HAVE A SMALL DAMAGE? This means small amounts of water on carpet and floors, walls that are not saturated.

You can extract this yourself with a rental machine. Go slowly over the wet surfaces and extract, extract, extract. Set up as many fans as you can to blow ever the area, drying it. Clean thoroughly once everything is totally dry.

Mother Nature storm damage can be severe. Take a breath, step back and call the pros. They know what to do and in what order. They will provide estimates to insurance companies that will speed the process. The longer the water sits on areas after it is receding, the worse the damage.

I hope this will give you a place to start.

Thanks for Talking Dirty with the Queen of Clean!