How to dry out your home after water damage

Updated: Feb 22, 2021

Drying out a building after a flood or other water damage is a time-consuming effort. We’ve put together a few tips to help you through the task.

Always Be safe

In any water clean-up situation, safety should be your top priority. Prepare for work by ensuring power has been completely turned off in any flooded spaces. Don’t operate any electrical equipment in rooms with standing water. Protect your hands, eyes, and mouth as floodwater might have harmful substances.

Next, find out the type of water damage. It’s always been suggested that homeowners can address damage from clean water (from rain, leaky pipes, and so on) and gray water (slightly dirty water from washing machines, clean toilets, etc.). However, they state that damage from black water (sewage leaks or flooding from nearby rivers, etc.) is too dangerous and should be handled by trained professionals. Call in a professional with specialized water remediation equipment if you are at all unsure about your situation.

Before you start

Take plenty of photographs of the damage before beginning work. This will help with insurance claims and adjustments. Be sure to include photos of damaged structures, as well as items from the affected areas.

Repair any locations where water can reenter the building, including roof damage. Repairs can be temporary but plan on them needing to last several weeks. Use tarps or plywood covered with tar paper to patch a roof, for example.

Air it Out

Drying and circulating air is crucial in dealing with water damage. Open the windows once conditions outside are suitable. If it’s safe to use electricity, set up fans to help circulate air throughout the space. Pedestal fans can be directed to dry higher areas, circulator and blower fans can move air lower to floor level, and window fans can bring in and circulate fresh air from outside.

Now, open cabinet and closet doors, take out drawers in furniture or cabinetry to allow air to move and dry out impacted areas. Avoid using a central air or heating system with any ductwork that has been submerged, as that could blow mold, dirt, or other contaminants into the living space.

Take out the moisture sources

Once the air is flowing, it’s time to start dealing with the items in your rooms. For larger jobs, you might need a portable dehumidifier to remove excess water vapor from the air. Be sure to empty the water drawer to ensure it can work at the largest capacity, or attach to a hose that drains outside of the home.

Remove any soaked items and place them outdoors in sunlight, to dry or for disposal. It’s important to focus on larger water-soaked items first, like rugs and upholstered furniture. If these soft items have been affected by dirty water, they should be thrown away to avoid harmful bacteria and other contaminants.

In case your walls or ceiling have gotten wet then it's time to hire a certified professional. At APD Roofing, IICRC certified professionals will work to clean and dry out your property.

Clean and prevent mold

If recovering from a significant flood, it’s important that all surfaces that could have been in contact with bacteria that came up through sewers, etc. are disinfected by professionals. If dealing with a clean leak from rainwater or pipes, disinfection isn’t as high of a priority, but always a safe choice. Check out this article that gives simple ways to clean green and reduce mold in your home.

Using one of these mixtures or other mold preventative solutions, address any surface area that was exposed to the water leak or flood. Apply specialty mold preventatives according to manufacturer directions, or spray and wipe down your surface area with your green mixture to ensure no mold spores survive.

Once you’ve gone through the process of drying out your space which can take days depending on the equipment used, then it's time to start the repair and rebuilding phase. Contact us at APD Roofing, your top-rated quality service roofing company and IICRC certified professional for water damage mitigation and drying.


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