Dealing with water damage in your Orlando home

If you’re an Orlando homeowner who has recently experienced water damage in your home, you know how stressful and overwhelming it can be. From burst pipes to hurricane flooding to overflowing appliances, water damage wreaks havoc on a home. Acting quickly to address the water damage is key to limiting its effects and restoring your home.

Assess and address safety risks

Look for potential issues like exposed wires, mold growth, or compromised structural integrity that could put your safety at risk. If there are any concerns, evacuate the home and contact emergency services. Once assured the space is safe to work in, you proceed with addressing the water source and starting the cleanup process. Take immediate action to halt any ongoing water damage through Damage Control 911 of Orlando. If there’s a burst pipe or appliance leak, turn off the water valve and cut power to appliances. Remove saturated items like rugs and move furnishings out of the way so standing water evaporates. Opening windows and doors helps ventilation during this drying-out period as well. Stopping the flow prevents more water from damaging walls, floors, and belongings.

Document the damage 

Before starting your cleanup, thoroughly document the damage for insurance claims. Take dated photographs and videos of all affected areas, making note of damage like soaked drywall, warped wood floors, stained ceilings, and condensation on walls and windows. Document any belongings that have been damaged as well. Also keep receipts for supplies, equipment rentals, hotel stays, and any services required for proper documentation. With the water source stopped and damage documented, it’s time to extract excess water. Use a wet/dry vacuum for standing water or a water extraction machine for carpets and fabrics. Place bowls to catch dripping water, empty dehumidifiers frequently, and place waterlogged furniture outside to dry if possible. Extracting this initial excess water inhibits microbial growth that leads to mold, mildew, and bacteria.

Tear out and discard waterlogged materials 

To fully remove moisture that leads to mold growth, water-damaged drywall, insulation, carpeting, and paneling need to be removed and discarded. Pull up drenched carpet and underpadding and pry off waterlogged drywall to at least 1 foot past the standing water line. Seal off doorways with plastic sheeting during the demo to keep spores contained. Be sure to wear proper safety equipment like goggles, masks, and gloves during this process. The goal is to remove all porous materials that have absorbed the moisture.

With damaged materials cleared out, use equipment like blowers, dehumidifiers, and drying chemicals to fully dry out the underlying surfaces. This includes surfaces behind walls exposed during the demo. Fans need to run continuously throughout damping areas during this drying period. The optimal relative humidity target is at or under 50 percent before reconstruction begins. This drying-out period generally takes 2-4 days depending on humidity levels and the extent of initial water saturation. Pay close attention so condensation does not re-dampen surfaces during the process.

Sanitize surfaces

Once fully dry, surfaces need to be sanitized to inhibit mold growth. Combine 1 cup bleach per gallon of water and apply liberally over surfaces. Let the solution sit for 10 minutes before rinsing and allowing it to dry completely again. Doing a final inspection and moisture test ensures surfaces reach safe acceptable moisture levels. Pay special attention to hidden areas behind appliances, baseboards, and cabinets ensuring they’re fully dry as well before moving forward. Reconstruction begins once underlying surfaces test below acceptable moisture thresholds. If you removed drywall, install new sheets once the framing has properly dried. Prime surfaces with mold-resistant paint. Replace damaged flooring, subflooring, trim, and cabinetry. Your restoration efforts aim to bring the restored areas as close to pre-damage condition as possible. Take time refining details so repairs blend seamlessly into their surroundings.

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