So many homeowners come to the Internet in search of answers just like this one. Water damage is serious and it can become dangerous if not handled properly, so there’s a lot to consider before determining whether or not you can do it yourself.
An article on Redfin notes “Once it’s deemed safe to return to your home, taking on the cleanup on your own can be dangerous, so it’s best to contact restoration and remediation professionals. Fire damage restoration addresses the damage caused by fire, smoke, and water, and you’ll want professional help to prevent any lasting damage to your home.” See the full article on the Redfin blog.
So generally speaking, it’s not a good idea to attempt water damage restoration on your own. However, if you’ve taken the time to make safety your first priority, you may be able to do some things while waiting on help to arrive.
Power It Down
If you have standing water in your home, whether it’s half an inch or two feet of water, you need to disconnect the power or shut off the main circuit breaker. Otherwise, you’re going to run into a serious risk of electrical shock. If accessing the circuit breaker or other power supply requires walking through the water or standing in it, do NOT do it. Wait for restoration professionals and a proper electrician.
If you can’t turn the power off and there is water still present, you should stay out of the home until the situation is resolved.
If the water has cleared, you can attempt to get valuables or move items out of the areas affected by water damage. However, you’ll want to first make sure that you have gloves, boots, and proper face protection if there is a risk of mold or other airborne risks. Safety is always your priority, even if that means staying out of the damaged area and calling professional restoration experts.
Once you have taken the appropriate safety precautions and determined it is not a risk to do so, you may be able to move on to some cleanup while waiting for the restoration team to arrive.
Start Cleanup and Repairs Immediately
If it’s safe to do so, you’ll want to start collecting your valuables and items that may be in or near the area suffering from water damage that have not been completely destroyed. Remove rugs that are laying on floors that have been damaged to prevent mold growth and other damage, and throw away anything that is too damaged or unsafe to use.
What can be salvaged depends on the extent of the damage. You may have to throw out furniture, remove drywall and flooring, and perform other major repairs. While you’re assessing what you can do yourself, you should also call a water restoration and damage cleanup expert so that they can assist you in the next best steps. While there is a lot you can do on your own, your health and safety depend on having water damage resolved properly so it’s best to call in the pros to at least get an assessment.
If you are dealing with water damage, don’t panic. Put your safety first and remember that while you can DIY with some water damage cleanup, it’s not always the best option for your health and safety. Call the pros and don’t put yourself in danger if you can help it.