Did your water bill suddenly skyrocket over the past few days or weeks? Were there any leaks? Perhaps the area is just prone to flooding. Whatever the case is, water damage is a big problem and can be stressful, but it can be managed. Time is of the essence in this situation, and action should be done immediately and accordingly.

It is vital to identify what caused the water damage in this case. Some of the most common causes are as follows:

  • Extreme weather conditions can lead to flooding.
  • Clogged gutters; thus, it’s important to clean regularly.
  • Leaking pipes from kitchen sinks or bathrooms ruining your bathroom lamps. You can use a sealant to stop water from coming in temporarily.
  • Water from the air-conditioner. The pail used to collect the water drippings may be already full; thus, there is a leak.
  • Hair or grease buildup block drains in the restroom.

Take note of the following types of water should there be any leaks outside your home:

  • Clean Water is from the pipes, rain, and faucet; it comes from a sanitary source. This is safe and doesn’t risk your health in any way; so, you can clean this up yourself.
  • Gray Water is from the washing machine, dishwasher, and toilet. This can have contaminants like bacteria, viruses, and molds. Remember to wear safety gear should you wish to clean this up yourself.
  • Black Water is from the sewers or rivers in the area. This is not safe for inexperienced people to handle as it’s contaminated with bacteria, toxins, and waste. It’s best to call for professionals to help you. Get in touch with Summit Cleaning & Restoration; they can do the work for you.

After that, you can start restoring your home from water damage by doing the following steps:

1. Protect Yourself

Before going inside the house, inspect for any signs of damages on the house’s exterior. If you can’t see one, take precautionary measures before entering your home. Your family’s safety should be your top priority.

  • Flood Insurance – Before moving things around, take photos, make a list of the damages and file a claim immediately to receive your cash benefits from your insurance provider.
  • Turn Of All Source Of Power – Turn off circuit breakers, unplug appliances or electronic devices, and should any electric cables be lying around where the water is, call for an electrician.
  • Wear Safety Gear – Before going back in, wear boots, goggles, protective clothing, respirator, and gloves.

Assess which items you may still salvage and repair. The next step is crucial as you need to do damage repair within 24 to 40 hours to avoid mold from spreading. Mold can develop in less than 24 hours, which could be toxic to humans. Leave immediately when the mold infestation is severe.

2. Take The Water Out

Get your buckets ready and scoop the water out of the way first. Open all the doors and windows for ventilation. Likewise, if you can repair and salvage some of the appliances or pieces of furniture, take them out and dry them. If carpets, fabrics, sofas, and the like have been soaked in water for too long, they might have been damaged and probably have molds and mildew on them. If they can no longer be saved, throw them out. Dry the area affected by using a fan or a dehumidifier. It would be best to control the moisture to avoid more molds from appearing.

Tip: Remember the old shoe boxes that come with silica gels? You can use those. Put them inside closets, cupboards, and cabinet drawers to absorb moisture.

Besides, make sure your home has a good drainage system, so you can easily get rid of the water.

3. Check The Foundation And Ceiling

Check the walls and ceilings for any signs of moisture. Open up parts of the walls to drain out water. Dry them out using a heater or dehumidifier. Wash the wood using soapy water and disinfect and rinse. Remove the damaged ceilings or walls if they are starting to come off. Further, you need to replace wood that has mold or mildew. You may also need to repair your floorboards; if possible, replace them with tiles instead. If the damage is unmanageable, ask for help or call your contractor so that your house won’t go tumbling down.

4. Clean Up What Is Left

Continue to do some cleaning. Be on the lookout for possible traces of floodwater after removing appliances and furniture out of the way, drying them out, and checking the ceilings and the walls. Be on the lookout for possible traces of floodwater. Check where the source is coming from, if any.

If there is mud, wipe it with a mop and floor disinfectants. Start disinfecting the affected areas. Depending on the material, you can use soapy water and then spray and wipe these surfaces with bleach infused in water.

Tip: You can put documents in a resealable storage bag and freeze them; when you need them most, you can thaw them.

5. Repair What You Can

Despite the damage, you can still do a few things to save the items you isolated.

  • Food In Cans – Remove the labels, then wash the cans. Rinse and disinfect them after. You can relabel them using a marker.
  • Utensils – These include wooden cutting boards, spatulas, and plastic containers. Dispose of them carefully, as they’re not safe for use anymore. For ceramic and tin utensils, clean them thoroughly, and after rinsing, sterilize them in clean water. You can submerge them into a water chlorine solution for 15 minutes.
  • Rugs And Carpet – Wash them with shampoo and a brush, and rinse with a water color-safe chlorine solution. Dry them out in the backyard.

For your family’s safety, throw away anything with mold or mildew and those made of plastic.

6. Get Rid Of Mold

The best way to prevent mold is to manage the source of moisture, aside from keeping your house clean and ventilated. Wipe the surfaces with soap and water, or use a water chlorine solution. After doing so, if mold continues to reappear, dispose of the item.

Most common molds found in homes include the following:

  • Cladosporium. This can be found in fabrics and wood.
  • Aspergillus. This can be found in powder food, drywall, and dust.
  • Penicillium. This can be found in the water damage; it is usually blue or green.
  • Alternaria. This can be found in the showers and sinks.

Molds can look slightly different, and they can be blue, green, yellow, and even white. They can be flat, and look like a caterpillar and a little fuzzy; this all depends on where it grows. Don’t forget to wash your hands thoroughly after cleaning up.

7. Relocate Temporarily

The reason why you need to relocate temporarily is that molds have side effects on health. You can develop allergies from inhalation of mold spores. You can get a runny nose, eye irritation, skin rash, sore throat, headache, and lung irritation, among others. Should you experience any of these, it’s best to consult with a physician.

Furthermore, the repairs can take at least 72 hours. This will also depend on the extent and severity of the damage. If you are only dealing with one room, it will take less than a month to repair and restore everything in the house fully. If untreated, it could lead to bacteria, molds, and viruses, which could result in leaks of chemicals and gases.

Additionally, the worst thing is the damage done to your home. You spent months, perhaps even years, curating what to put into your house so it would feel homey and a good place to stay and have a rest. All that is gone the moment it got soaked in so much water. Therefore, it’s critical to address the issue before it gets worst.

8. Return Home

After all the repairs, damage control, and being away from your home for over a month or two, you can finally move back in. The house is free of water damages, and everything has been fixed. You can now bring your pieces of furniture and appliances back in. Live out your days in the comfort of your home, knowing that all the damages you know so far have been taken care of.


The best way to deal with the problem is to immediately find the water source and fix it before it starts causing any more damage. At the same time, your life is worth more than any damages to your home. You and your family’s safety should be the first thing you need to think about. Should the situation become unmanageable, you can always ask for help if needed.

Today, water damage restoration is less tricky as carpets have now been designed to withstand water and slow the growth of molds. You can now also trap moisture using vinyl wall covers.

No one wants water damage to ruin their homes, but this shall serve as a reminder and a lesson. In the future, at least, should anything similar happen, you know exactly what to do.


Author: Christine J. Fauver is an architect who spends most of her time designing homes. She is fond of tiny homes and would love to design one someday.

Jackson Martin

Jackson Martin, holding a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas, has been a prominent figure in the home improvement sector for over 18 years. He joined our team in 2020, sharing his expertise in renovation techniques, sustainable building practices, and DIY projects. Jackson's previous experience includes working in residential construction management and as a home renovation consultant. He is an advocate for energy-efficient homes and enjoys participating in local marathon events.

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