Emergency Water Removal Tips

By David Touchton
http://www.servprobartowlakelandhighlands.com
www.nationaldisasterrecovery.org

After a flooding, you may be perplexed as to what to do. It’s a difficult task of removing all the water, complicated by all the moisture trapped inside the walls and crevices. If you approach it in a logical step by step manner, you can, and will, successfully remove all the water and moisture problems.

Once the source of the water leak and the electricity has been shut off, the first step is getting the major water out. You may have to rent a sump or well pump, or call a professional to remove the major water. This is particularly true of a basement, since water cannot flow uphill. You have to size up the pump to the amount of water. Pumps are rated in gallons-per-minute of flow (GPM). A small pump will remove most of the water just as a large pump will. However, a small pump will take a lot longer.

You may have to rent a sump or well pump, or call a professional to remove the major water.
You may have to rent a sump or well pump, or call a professional to remove the major water.

After the major water is removed, you have to start thinking about removing the dampness and residual moisture. In this case, wet vacuums do the job effectively. After wet vacuuming, you may have to get out an old-fashioned mop, and remove the rest of the water and moisture manually. Mopping is a very labor intensive process, but it has to be done.

After mopping and wet vacuuming, consider using fans and heaters to evaporate the remaining residual moisture. You may have to open windows and doors to allow for good air circulation. A complete evaporation may take some time, perhaps even days, but it’s worth the effort to completely dry out an area.

Another aspect, often overlooked, is the trapped moisture inside walls and crevices. Mold loves still air and moisture, and the problem of mold growth is a serious one. If moisture is not completely removed, mold will grow. You may have to tear out the drywall to allow for a complete drying of all the internal wall components. This is a big job, particularly if the whole house was flooded. If you are not comfortable removing wall coverings, refer this job to a qualified contractor, who has the tools and experience for covering removal and remediation. 

True, complete water removal is a large and daunting task. You have to approach it with a “can-do” attitude, and perform the procedure as quickly as you can. The longer the water is allowed to sit, the more the danger of mold growth and wood decay. After all the moisture is removed, comes rebuilding. You have to replace the damaged wall covering with clean dry coverings. The quicker you can do things, the quicker you can return to your normal life, and not worry about your home. 

For more information on water removal tips contact your local SERVPRO.

David Touchton

Mr. Touchton is the President and owner of ServPro of Bartow/Lakeland Highlands. He has 4 years of experience in the field and holds Water Damage Restoration Certification from IICRC. His office is certified in applied structural drying, water damage restoration, and lead-based paint activities and restoration. His favorite part of the job is helping people who have experienced a stressful event and our ServPro team can make it “Like it never even happened”.