24 Hour Emergency Water Damage
It’s three in the morning, and you’re awoken by a loud banging noise from downstairs. A pipe has burst, and your home is filling up with water. Being jolted awake from a sound sleep to handle a surprising emergency is not an ideal situation, but you’ll still need to spring into action. You don’t have time to put on a pot of coffee – you need to get the ball rolling right away.
What to Do Immediately
Emergency water damage has a lot more implications than you may think. A flood can quickly become dangerous if the water levels rise to reach your electrical outlets, or if water seeps into a wall full of wiring. If the water contains sewage, a whole lot of seriously dangerous bacteria that threatens the health of your family is filling your home. This issue can become out of control very quickly, and it’s better to prepare for a full scale emergency rather than taking your chances and hoping things don’t turn out that way.
If you can safely turn the water off, do so immediately. If you can’t, you may need to reorder your priorities to insure maximum safety. If you have a lockbox full of important documents or a safe nearby, you may be able to quickly retrieve the contents along the way. This is especially important if these documents are located in an area that may be exposed to water.
Alert Your Family
Get your family out of the house immediately. If it’s the middle of the night, wake them up. You may have no way of knowing how quickly an electrical fire can start, making their exit even more difficult. Get them out of their beds before they’ll have to make the dangerous wade out of the house. If the water may contain sewage, take careful precautions when escorting children or the elderly out to the front lawn.
Gather Your Pets
Get your dogs out in the back yard where they’ll be safe. Smaller pets can be carried out in their cages, and cats who aren’t allowed outdoors can be carried out in crates. In an emergency situation, pets without cages who aren’t allowed outside can safely be placed in sheds or held by other family members.
Call for Emergency Help
Start by calling your electric company and have them send out an emergency technician to disconnect your electricity. This will prevent an electrical fire. It may be too dangerous to attempt to disconnect the electricity yourself, especially if your fuse box is near the affected area. Explain your situation to the power company. They may be able to let you know whether or not it’s safe for you to shut the water off, if you were previously unsure. If it isn’t safe for you to turn your water off or you don’t know how, contact the water company and have them handle it.
It’s important that you do not attempt to re-enter your home until professionals have given you the okay to do so. Doing so may pose a great risk to your personal safety. No material possession is worth risking severe injury.
When It’s Safe to Enter
After the electricity has been shut off and the water has been stopped, professionals may give you the green light to enter. If the flood contains sewage, it’s never safe to enter these areas. You’ll need more than rain boots and household gloves to safely enter areas affected by the flood. If this is the case, it’s best to avoid these areas completely.
If this was a clean water flood, the professional may give you the okay to unplug and move electronics, such as home computers, that were not affected by the flood waters. You may be able to salvage most of these things. If you have other material possessions you’d like to gather, now would be the time to do so. You may also want to have each family member pack an overnight bag, and consider sleeping somewhere else for the evening. The next step, which is one of the most important steps, may be a bit noisy.
Stopping the Damage
Once all the safety threats have been removed, you’ll need to call a water damage restoration specialist. The longer water sits, the greater the damage will become. As the water is absorbed by the structure of your home, the damage will continue to spiral. Walls are very absorbent, as are ceilings and most types of flooring. The water will collect within them, and travel to other areas of your home.
The longer this water sits, the greater the potential for mold growth becomes. It only takes a day for mold to start growing, and mold can cause catastrophic damage within the structure of your home. Once the water hits the ground, every minute counts. Damage repair will become increasingly expensive and more complex the longer the water is allowed to remain in your home.
Our 24 Hour Emergency Assistance
Restoration Local provides 24 hour emergency assistance to homeowners who are in need of a damage restoration specialist. If the damage is tended to immediately, your home will be back to normal as soon as possible. We understand that emergencies can and do occur outside of normal business hours, and we know how quickly untreated water damage can turn into a much larger issue.
Emergency water damage is stressful, but there’s always a qualified professional willing to help you protect the home your family lives in. Give us a call at 1-888-443-3110 any time, and we’ll be able to help you get your home dry and safe again.