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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Here are some water tips!

3/28/2022 (Permalink)

As professionals working in the business of water damage mitigation, we are often asked for advice about what to do when there's a water intrusion at a home or business. The first priority must always be safety. A flooded basement, for instance, poses a risk for electrical hazards from electrical devices that are plugged into outlets. If you have any doubts, call a professional right away. If it is sparking, smoking, or a suspected electrical fire, get out and call 911.

Another concern is the type of water. For example, grossly contaminated water from a sewage backup must be treated differently than clean water from a burst supply pipe. Turn off the water at the source, if possible. And please remember that a burst pipe is not a plumbing emergency: it is a drying emergency. Once the water has been shut off, the plumbing can be repaired at any time. However, the structure needs to be dried ASAP to minimize damage and prevent mould growth; mould fungi can begin to form in as little as 48 hours, so time is of the essence.

Here are a few more DOs & DON'Ts.

  • DO: Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage,
  • DO: Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with contaminated items,
  • DO: Seek medical attention if exposed to harmful waste,
  • DO: Shut off the source of water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water,
  • DO: Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if it is safe to do so,
  • DO: Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping & blotting,
  • DO: Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items,
  • DO: Remove and prop up wet cushions for even drying,
  • DO: Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting,
  • DO: Relocate paintings, art objects, computers, documents, and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture,
  • DO: Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors,
  • DO: Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors,
  • DO: Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature,
  • DON'T: Walk in areas with grossly contaminated water in order to minimize the spread of contaminants,
  • DON'T: Turn on the HVAC system in areas with grossly contaminated water,
  • DON'T: Use household fans in areas with grossly contaminated water,
  • DON'T: Use products for personal hygiene in areas with grossly contaminated water,
  • DON'T: Enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist,
  • DON'T: Enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards,
  • DON'T: Leave books, newspapers, magazines, or other coloured items on wet carpeting or floors in order to prevent staining,
  • DON'T: Leave Oriental rugs or other coloured rugs on wet carpeting,
  • DON'T: Use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water in order to avoid electrical shocks and prevent damage to the vacuum,
  • DON'T: Use TVs or other appliances while standing on wet carpeting or floors, including wet concrete floors,
  • DON'T: Turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

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