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No matter how they occur, floods are not a property damage emergency that should be taken lightly. And although we are lucky in that we do not often have flooding due to natural disasters in Northern California, there are still plenty of ways for a home to flood. In this post we will outline 4 of the most common mistakes homeowners make when cleaning up floods in their homes.

Mistake #1: Not Getting Started Soon Enough

When it comes to residential or commerical property flooding the first 36-48 hours are absolutely crucial. Depending on the severity of the flooding, the first 48 hours is when the permanent damage is done.

In the first 12-24 hours bacteria will begin to form in standing water or onporous, water soaked surfaces.  This is also when irreversible damage is done to other surfaces and belongings. As another day rolls by mold begins to set in to improperly dried areas. Mold is the #1 greatest threat to a property. It spreads easily, causes allergies in occupants, & is downright dangerous. Once mold spores begin to develop you are dealing with an entirely new set of circumstances.

To put it simply, the longer water is allowed to sit, the worse the situation will become. The clock is ticking on your response to water damage, the first 48 hours require proper water extraction, drying, & dehumidfiying. These tasks take specialized equipment and qualified professionals to oversee the drying. Even a small leak from a washing machine or dishwasher can cause irreversible damage to laminate & wood flooring and personal items.

Mistake #2: Lack of Proper Tools & Water Damage Remediation Protocol

When property owners attempt to tackle moderate to severe flooding with common househould items such as push brooms, handheld mops, & towels; they tend to exacerbate the situation. Pushing standing water from one area to another can increase that potential risk for mold growth, spread bacteria, & cause addtional damage to previously unaffected areas. A common approach that many do it yourself-ers take is to use towels and rags to absorb water. They take the water soaked towels and wring them out in sinks or tubs and repeat. While this is a good option for small leaks on hard surfaces, it is a terrible approach for water that has found its way onto carpeting. This “technique” will push water further into carpet pads and drastically increase the potential for mold growth.

When you call on a professional water damage restoration company to address the flooding in your home they will arrive on-site with specialized equipment that is meant to extract water from all types of different surfaces. They can help you make determinations on whether items or areas need to disinfected and provide you with the assurance you need that the drying process is completed correctly.

Our team here at H&L Restoration has wet vacs, water pumps, dehumidifiers, drying fans, and cleaning tools that can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

Mistake #3: Not Paying Attention To The Details

Whether it’s water damage restoration, chess, or computer programming, one thing is for sure, you don’t know what you don’t know. When examing water damage in their property, home & business owners alike tend to look at the surface. They rarely know that they need to think about the details that lie underneath it. Water is free form and does an amazing job at finding itself into the smallest of spaces. When you focus only on the large details that the eye can see, you put your home at great risk of further damage.

Let’s look at an all-to-common scenario. One that is potentially fatal and can be completely avoided with the consultation of a professional.

Your home has suffered a small flood from the kitchen sink. The flood is small enough that you spend only about an 90 minutes to remove all of the water from counter tops and flooring in your kitchen before you deem the area dry. A few hours go by and begin cooking dinner. You pull out the food processor from the cabinet and plug it into the socket on the kitchen counter. Sparks fly everywhere and you have now been electrocuted! What happened? You double and triple checked that the counter tops were dry. However, you forgot to check to make sure no water seeped into or behind cabinets & electrical outlets.

The fact of the matter is that unless you deal with specific situations over and over again, you don’t know how to best respond to them. Water damage is no different. In fact, sometimes flooding occurs, property owners clean it up immediately, and all seems ok. Then 3-4 days later they wake up to notice black mold has spread seemingly overnight across the walls.

Hiring a qualified water damage restoration company will ensure that every detail is given the attention it needs to ensure the process is remedied appropriately. Instead of just thinking about the carpets, they will examine the pad and remove water logged sections. Instead of wiping down the baseboards, they’re mind is already focused on harmlessly removing the baseboard to ensure water has not penetrated them and gotten into the drywall. A good water damage company will overlook zero details and leave nothing to chance. After all, improperly cleaning up flooding yourself will only delay the inevitable and make matters worse.

Mistake #5: Waiting Too Long To Call In The Pro’s

After attempting to cleanup a flood in their home, homeowners typically try to facilitate the drying process by opening up windows, turning on the air conditioner, and turning on ceiling fans. This approach to drying out a home will provide you with a false sense of security. It will make you believe that you’ve handled the situation appropriately. It will make you belive that you are in the clear. It will give you a false sense of security.  What it will not do is solve the future problems you have created for yourself.

Simply put, the odds of you or your family effectively cleaning and drying your home properly after a flood are very, very low. The odds that you have the equipment necessary to be effective are lower still. Finally, the idea that you have the expertise to salvage wet property & clean the affected areas thoroughly enough to prevent mold and bacteria growth are about the same as predicting the final score of the Super Bowl.

The number one reason homeowners don’t call a water damage restoration company, is money. They assume that cleaning up the flood themselves will be cheaper. 8 times out of 10 it is not.

If you are looking for a water damage cleanup company in San Jose or any city in Santa Clara County, then contact H&L Restoration Today! We provide free estimates and provide fast & affordable emergency service 7 days a week! Give us a call at (408) 645-5958 we are standing by ready to help.