How To Clean Up Water Damage After A Pipe Bursts

Posted by Gary Bell

Editor’s note: So, you had a water accident in your home and you’re wondering how to dry it? Glad you asked. In this post, experts from NuBilt Restoration & Construction will provide tips on drying your property after the plumbers have left. NuBilt Restoration & Construction has been drying and repairing properties in the Greater Denver Area since 1994.

How To Clean Up Water Damage After A Pipe Bursts
Plumbing accidents, such as burst pipes, often leave a big mess. Skilled plumbers will perform necessary repairs to get plumbing working well again, however it will be up to you to clean up after the water leak and dry things out. Water can cause serious damage, and so your cleanup efforts should start as soon as possible after the event.

For flooded areas with small exposure, usually limited to one room, performing the clean up yourself may be the best option.  If a water leak has affected multiple rooms, traveled from an upper level to a lower level of the home, or has been left unnoticed for more than 8 hours, professional water mitigation and specialized drying equipment may be necessary.

Step One
Safety must come first. If the leak happened near any electrical appliances, make sure power to the home is shut off while you clean.

Step Two
Remove soaked carpets, furniture and other removable items from the area that was flooded. These items may not be salvageable, depending on how much water they absorbed.

Step Three
If water remains on the floor, use towels and a mop to dry the floor. Alternatively, you can use a wet-dry shop vac to remove the water. If you don’t own one, you might be able to rent one at your local hardware and home improvement store.

Step Four
If weather permits, open doors and windows in the home to bring in fresh, dry air. Bring fans into the area and turn them on to their highest setting.

Our last two steps are more advanced methods for drying your property. If you do not feel confident in your ability to fully dry the water damaged areas, contact a professional restoration company.

Step Five (Advanced level)
Purchase, rent or borrow a portable dehumidifier. Place it in the area most affected by the plumbing disaster. It will remove moisture from the air and dry things out more quickly than fans alone. You will need to keep an eye on the unit and empty the water collected, usually located in the back, as soon as it is full.

Step Six (Advanced level)
In addition to using dehumidifiers and fans, purchase a desiccant product from a home improvement or hardware store. There are different versions, but the most readily available are tubs or sachets of silica gel. Place these near walls or flooring that have taken in moisture.

As a rule of thumb, if you see that water has seeped into the sub flooring or the drywall, the safest step would be to contact a professional restoration company. They can help remove or restore items that would otherwise develop mold. Another thing to keep in mind is the amount of time in which porous materials in your home have been exposed to water saturation.  The more time that passes without treatment, the more likely those materials will continue to deteriorate – the efficiency and quality may not be salvageable especially with carpet backing, insulation and adhesives.

Using thermal imaging technology, moisture readers and professional-grade drying equipment, the restoration company can prevent secondary damages from becoming an issue, thus protecting your health and the longevity of your property’s structural integrity.

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