Having your house flood can be a traumatic and often times expensive disaster. The problem is that many people — even those who live in flood-prone areas — don’t know what to do in case water starts getting into their house.
But flooding doesn’t just occur from storms and broken water mains. Sometimes, a leak within your home can grow to disastrous proportions if left unchecked. However water may get into your home, don’t let it cause more damage than it needs to. Plumbers in Perth can help you look for possible leaks, but if you find water getting into your home, remember these important things:
Find and Stop the Leak
Your first priority when there’s water getting into your home should be to stop it. If the flooding is caused by a natural disaster, then you may not be able to stop the rising waters, but if a pipe bursts then you should be able to locate the problem very quickly.
Never risk your personal safety, however. If an area is filled with water or there are potential problems with electricity, call a professional and stay as far away from the area as possible. If it’s safe, locate the shut off valve that will stop the water. There is a valve located near the front of most homes that will shut of water to the entire house, so if you can’t find the localized valves, find that one quickly.
If the valves have round handles, then turn them anticlockwise to stop the flow. If the handle is a lever, then push it so it is perpendicular to the pipe. Once the water has stopped, you can asses the damage more closely. Just be careful of slippery surfaces.
Look at the Damage
Hopefully you can stop the leak before it causes too much damage. If it was a natural flood, you may have a lot of damage to look for, like cracks in your foundation or other structural damage, so you should call a professional to help you.
A localized flood like a burst pipe can cause a lot of damage too, but typically not structural damage. In this case, you are likely to have floors that will need replacing — especially if the water sits on it for an extended period of time. If the water is not naturally receding, use absorbent cloths around the edges of the flood to begin sopping up as much as you can. Mops and buckets can also move a good amount of water out of the area.
If at anytime you suspect that there could be danger, stop what you are doing and leave. Slips, cuts and even electrical shocks can happen after a flood, so be careful.
What Color is the Water?
Once you’ve stopped the leak, make sure to look closely at the water, because depending on the source of the flooding, the water can be very harmful.
If the water is clear then you are probably safe, especially if the source of flooding came from within your home. This is all fresh water and there should be no cause for alarm.
During a storm or a broken water main, however, the flood waters can be dangerous to you and your family. Ranging from brown dark black, flood waters of this nature should be avoided at all costs. It is highly contaminated with harmful agents from sewers and untreated water supplies that can make you very sick. Under no circumstances should you attempt to handle this situation on your own: call a professional immediately.
Cleaning up after a flood can be a daunting task, but it is necessary that you clean everything as thoroughly as possible. Water can get into places through the smallest openings, so if you aren’t careful, you could find water weeks or even months later.
Once the flood waters recede, mold will start growing fairly quickly, especially on materials like carpeting and carpeting pads. Do your best to sop up all of the water from these places and use fans to dry them. Mold can make people very sick, especially after long exposure that can result from unchecked growth after flooding.
Water can also damage wood, so check out any dry-walled areas that cover up wooden beams that may have gotten wet. Water damage can cause mold and structural problems.
Hopefully, you’ll never have to deal with flood damage, but if you find the waters rising in or around your house, remember these important things.
Olly and his team at WA Asset Plumbing and Gas as a professional, experienced team that cares about the quality of their work and taking care of their customers!