Water emergencies are scary. Dealing with a flood cleanup after a nasty storm or a burst pipe at the wrong time can utterly destroy precious belongings in seconds. It’s everyone’s worst nightmare. However, what’s really important is getting your carpets, upholstery and rugs clean and dry as soon as possible so that you limit any chance of staining or mould setting in. This is when the health of your family becomes and very real concern.
Let’s look at a few ways that you can help mitigate the damage before and after a flood.
Periodically check all shut-off valves
These taps that are underneath your sinks and toilets are usually left in place until an emergency or during replacement of a faucet or sink. They stay in the open position for years at a time and could seize closed. The rubber bushings inside the taps can also deteriorate and may only start dripping after it’s closed for the first time since it was installed. By periodically cycling the taps off and on, you are able to see whether any leaking occurs in the valve. It keeps them in working condition and if there is a drip, you’re able to get it repaired before it becomes catastrophic.
Check the perimeter grading of your house
This is a landscape issue that can get overlooked or perhaps it wasn’t performed up to code when the house was built. My most building codes, the ground around the perimeter of your home must slope ‘away’ from the foundation. This draws water away from the walls and into perimeter and storm drains when there is heavy rain. If your home is fairly old, you may need to double-check what the code was when it was built. You may not even have a perimeter drain. This is a trench of drain rock lined with a perforated pipe that draws in groundwater and funnels it away from the house into the storm drains.
Install or test your basement sump pumps
A lot of homes are subject to potential flooding each year, and so are fitted with sump pumps that move water out of the basement in the event of a flood. Be sure to test the pump annually to ensure that everything is running as it should. The last thing you need is to discover that the motor has died and you are stuck watching the water level rise in your basement nipping at the electrical outlets. Don’t forget to also check the outlet to ensure nothing is blocking it or any bush or shrub is obstructing the outflow.
Place valuables in water-tight lock boxes
Because you just ‘never know’, it’s a very good idea to protect your most precious papery things by keeping them safe in a waterproof lockbox. There are all kinds of sizes to choose from. You can find them all over Amazon or check your local hardware store. Passports, birth certificates, photos, legal documents, etc. all can be placed in these boxes which will survive floods and earthquakes.
What if it’s already flooded. Acting fast is key.
If you’ve just experienced a burst pipe and are dealing with the damage speed and efficiency could save your carpets and floor.
- Turn off the water! Hopefully, the burst in the pipe is located after a shut-off valve that you have access to. Remember, you’ve been testing them periodically for proper function and checking for leaks. Close those valves.
- Turn on your pump. If your home is equipped with a sump pump, get that going. In all the excitement, it’s easy to miss these simple steps.
- Put your wet/dry shop vac into rescue duty. This is the quickest way to pull water from your carpets and floors. Keep at it until you can pull another drop. Hopefully, there’s a Chem-Dry tech on site now and you’ve done an excellent job limiting the damage.
- Pull up any loose rugs and runners. Get these off the floor as soon as possible and hang them outside.
- If you can safely kill the power in the house, this is a good idea. Flip the master breaker, or at least to the hot water tank as it might drain and burn out the heating elements.
Call Chem-Dry Super City
We are pros. There’s no one who can clean and dry a carpet or rug like we can. If you’re caught in a flood we are your best hope of recovering your rugs and carpets. If you’re able, sorting out a few of the tips listed above will really help. But we’re more than happy and capable of taking care of everything!