Although flooding from a burst pipe that simply spills clean water can be one of the less threatening types of water damage, there's still plenty that can go wrong, especially if the cleanup isn't completed promptly. And especially if you're doing the cleanup on your own rather than hiring a team, you'll need to be aware of the possible hazards so that you can take the necessary precautions. Here are three hazards that might occur while you're cleaning up this type of damage and strategies to avoid them.
Standing water is a great electrical conductor. While electrical wiring standards are in place to reduce the likelihood of water-related shocks (such as the requirement of using GFCI outlets in areas with frequent water use), a burst pipe is an unforeseen problem and may bypass safety precautions. Unexpected electrical sources such as submerged electrical cords can deliver life-threatening electrical shocks. Be sure to turn off the electricity to the entire house from the circuit box before you approach standing water. If you're worried that the water has compromised the safety or your wiring or one or more electrical outlets, don't turn the electricity back on until you've had an electrician inspect the damage.
Although this health hazard usually takes weeks to develop on the food you forgot in the back of your refrigerator, it can actually appear within one or two days of a water damage incident. This is partly because your house is warmer than the fridge and partly because damp surfaces provide an ideal area for mold to sprout, while the added humidity from evaporation makes the surrounding air humid enough for mold to thrive. In order to prevent mold, you'll need to get the entire area dried out within twenty-four hours. You can also use dehumidifiers and fans to keep the air moving and dry it out so mold won't try to sprout towards the end of the cleanup process.
3. Structural damage
Like mold, structural damage is more likely to develop if you don't get the mess cleaned up right away. Water can seep into the floorboards, warping them, or cause linoleum to separate. From there it can continue seeping down to attack even more important structural elements. Immediately lifting any carpets or rugs from the floor can help you stop this before it starts by drying out the top of the floor before it absorbs water.
These three hazards are partially preventable, but if you have so much water damage that you can't get it dried up within a few hours, you may not be able to prevent mold or structural damage. If you suspect this may happen to you, don't risk it; call in a professional damage remediation team, such as Service King.Share
3 March 2016
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