Water is such a normal part of our daily lives that we don’t tend to think about it very much. However, when a pipe bursts or an appliance springs a leak, it suddenly becomes a very different story. Water can be very destructive when it is flowing freely into your home, and knowing how to respond quickly can help limit the damage to your home and belongings.

We recommend taking the following actions as soon as possible to help minimize water damage:

Stop the source of the water – Shut of the main water valve for the house. This is often located in the basement or by the utility room. Note: you should not risk your health and safety by going into an area that is flooded. Circuit breakers supplying electricity to damaged areas should also be shut off if it is safe to do so to prevent electrical shock.

Get the air circulating – Open the windows, doors, closets, drawers and cupboards to increase air circulation and hasten drying. To avoid risk of electrical shock, only use fans and dehumidifiers in areas not likely to have water damaged circuits.

Remove area rugs, cushions and fabrics – Remove to a safe area and allow to dry separately, hanging if possible. Some fabrics are not color fast and can bleed and permanently stain carpets and other fabrics.

Remove furniture to a dry area – If it is not possible to remove furniture, place aluminum foil or plastic under wooden legs to prevent water absorption.

Raise draperies and pin up upholstery skirts – Get fabrics off the floor to prevent further damage. Leather items should be allowed to dry at room temperature.

Mop up areas – Towel dry cabinets and wood flooring to remove as much moisture as possible to minimize continuing damage.

In most cases, a professional cleaning service is needed to dry all areas of your home. It is especially important to identify hidden areas where water is not easily detected. Moisture left in these areas will continue to deteriorate materials and cause mold and mildew to grow.

When you experience a water damage problem, ServiceMaster by the Border has water damage and cleanup specialists with the training and experience to restore your home, and help get your life back to normal quickly.