When a water leak happens in your home, it can quickly become a mess. Although plumbers are great at water leak detection and repairs, cleaning up afterward is a responsibility that falls to you, the homeowner. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help with your water leak clean up.
1. Unplug all electronic devices
Before doing anything else, carefully unplug any electronics and turn off appliances. This will make the cleaning process safer.
2. Remove any furniture to a dry area
If there’s any furniture affected by the leak, move it to a dry area with good ventilation. Unfortunately, mattresses that have gotten wet are usually unsalvageable and must be thrown away.
3. Remove water using a shop vacuum
Soak up as much water as possible using a wet/dry vacuum, or shop vacuum. If you don’t already have one, you can rent one at most hardware stores. Run the vacuum over your floors and any other area with water damage, including the walls.
4. Steam clean the affected carpet
While it may seem counterproductive to steam clean a carpet that has already been wet, doing this will clean the carpet and help remove moisture. Like a shop vacuum, a steamer can be rented. You may also consider having the carpet professionally cleaned if the carpet is severely damaged.
5. Disinfect and clean all affected surfaces and appliances
Put simply, you’ll want to disinfect every surface you can. Begin by cleaning off any mold or mildew, then scrub your floors, walls and any furniture and appliances that were affected. After cleaning everything apply a product that keeps mold from growing as an extra precaution.
6. Remove the rest of the moisture
It’s important to ensure that everything in the affected area dries completely, or lingering moisture can continue to cause damage and promote mold growth. Use a dehumidifier (if you have one) and fans to dry the floor and walls for at least 24 hours. Consider using desiccants (materials that absorb moisture) to help remove moisture from the furniture.
If you’re unsure of this process, we recommend that you consider hiring professional cleaners, as the most important thing is to properly clean up the water damage. You should also photograph the damage before cleaning and contact your insurance provider to see if the damage is covered.