What to Do When You Have Water Damage in Sandusky

When water invades your home or business in Sandusky, it can feel overwhelming. The instinct to immediately start cleaning and salvaging what you can is natural, but it’s crucial to understand the best steps to take to minimize damage and ensure your safety. Water damage can be deceptive, often hiding in wallboards, baseboards, and other unseen areas. Improper or incomplete drying can lead to more damage over time and promote the growth of potentially harmful mold. Here’s what you need to know to handle water damage effectively.

Immediate Steps to Take

1. Turn Off the Water Source: If possible, locate and turn off the source of the water. If you’re unsure how to do this, contact a plumber or the Water Department.

2. Stay Calm: Panic can lead to hasty decisions that might cause more harm. Take a deep breath and assess the situation calmly.

3. Safety First: Before unplugging or removing any electrical devices, turn off the breaker in the affected areas to prevent electrical shock.

4. Protect Furniture: Place aluminum foil or plastic bowls under the legs of furniture on wet carpets to prevent stains and water damage to the furniture.

5. Remove Stainable Items: Lift draperies, pin up upholstered furniture skirts, and remove books, shoes, fabrics, potted plants, and other items that could stain the carpet or absorb moisture.

6. Use Your A/C Wisely: In the summer or in high humidity areas, turn on the air conditioner (set to no lower than 72 degrees) to help with drying. If the a/c unit is in a wet area, do not turn it on.

7. Relieve Water Pressure: Carefully punch holes in a sagging ceiling to let trapped water out and reduce strain on the ceiling. Use a non-metal container to catch the water. NEVER turn on ceiling lights or fans if the ceiling is wet.

8. Remove Area Rugs: Take away area rugs from wet flooring or carpet to prevent further water absorption and staining.

9. Move Fabric Items: Move clothing and other fabric items to a dry place. Empty drawers to help them dry out more easily.

10. Remove Wall Decor: If the walls are wet, take down any decorative items to prevent further damage.

11. Contact Your Insurance Agent: Report the damage to your insurance agent as soon as possible. If you need to stay elsewhere during the restoration, make sure your agent and the restoration company know how to reach you.

What Not to Do

1. Avoid Using a Home Vacuum: Using your home vacuum could result in electrical shock and damage the equipment. Instead, use a mop or squeegee to remove standing water.

2. Don’t Use Newspaper on Wet Carpets: Newspaper ink can transfer to the wet carpet fibers, causing permanent staining.

Prioritize Health and Safety

You don’t have to be completely powerless when your home or business suffers water damage. By taking the right steps immediately, you can reduce damage and speed up the cleanup process. Always prioritize your health and safety. If your home is damaged by contaminated waters, leave the cleanup to a professional to avoid health risks.

Water damage can be a devastating experience, but knowing how to respond can make a significant difference. Stay informed and prepared to protect your home and belongings in Sandusky.