What To Do Until Help Arrives
With the lowered temperatures from last week and the resulting frozen and broken water pipes, it seems appropriate to really talk about that to do until professionals can reach you to fix and/or dry your property. SERVPRO® teams are doing their best to get every job done quickly and completely so they can move on to the next site, but there were a great deal of homes and businesses affected by the cold. Because of this, we want to make sure that you know what to do to stop whatever the cause of the damage is and slow the damage process so that when we come in to restore your property, we can move quicker.
There are a few things you need to ask yourself as soon as water damage occurs.
- “Is it safe to stay in the house?”
- “Are there any electrical or ‘slip and fall’ hazards?”
- “Can I perform the tasks at hand safely? Or should the whole process be left to professionals?”
- “Will I be able to move wet objects? Are there objects that are too heavy to move away from the damage?”
Once these questions have been answered, you can proceed to do whatever you can do on your own.
You can remove excess water by mopping and blotting; but remember that the water is likely not just on the floor. Wiping excess water from wood furniture is especially important. Wood is particularly susceptible to water damage. It’s best to remove lamps and other tabletop items and promptly soak up as much water from the wood as is possible. While the damage will be different than that of a wood surface, other furniture materials and household items can be affected by water as well. It is best to prop wet upholstery and cushions and place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting. Never leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods out of the way of the moisture. Above all, just remember that removing excess water will prevent it from spreading to other items or other locations.
Never use a household vacuum to suck up water. There are other ways to dry out your floor, carpeting, and walls. If it were summer, turning the air conditioning on would help with drying. In winter however, running the AC is not always an acceptable solution (especially in Illinois right now with temperatures near freezing). Rather than turn down the heat, it’s better to use a dehumidifier to dry the air in the building. The only exception to this option is if there is an electrical issue present with the water damage. In that case, don’t use any electrical devices; televisions, microwaves, etc.
It’s easy to overlook this next task, but it is imperative to remove colored rugs from wet carpeting. The same goes for books, magazines or other colored items. The colors in these items could bleed into carpeting, leaving stains that will require special equipment to remove. Just as well, moving art objects to a safe, dry place can reduce damages to walls, floors, and the art itself.
By gathering loose items and keeping the water damage contained to as small of a place as possible, it is likely that the restoration of the property will be easy and much less expensive.
Winter weather is tough on buildings, and broken pipes can cause some of the worst damage. Just be prepared and hold on to your patience knowing that the teams at SERVPRO® will get to you as soon as they possibly can. We will always do our best to make it “Like it never even happened.” ®
If you experience water damage from broken pipes, roof leaks, or anything else be sure to get a hold of the professionals at SERVPRO® of Muskogee/McIntosh Counties & Tahlequah for your cleaning and restoration needs. 918-913-4490