What Does the Cleanup Process Look Like from Water Damage?

Water damage can happen in any room at any time of year.  Bursting pipes, leaks from pipes or the roof, or just leaving a faucet on can lead to heartbreaking destruction of floors, walls, furniture and other personal items. Water damage can also occur from natural disasters such as hurricanes.

Taking care of water damage involves multiple steps, from cleanup to putting preventive measures in place for the future. It’s important to address each one of these areas properly. Stopping further damage and the formation of mold can save money, time and more frustration. The priority is to safeguard your family’s health.  Mold is a serious health risk that can become an issue if water damage isn’t handled correctly. 

Water Damage Cleanup

There are several areas to address to complete full water damage treatment in your home.  Limited damage can be taken care of by the homeowner with a few tools such as a wet/dry vac, clean water, dish soap, a dehumidifier and fans. Other jobs might need more equipment or include hiring professionals to help with the cleanup and repairs.

Water removal

Any area with standing water will need to be pumped or vacuumed out, slowly and steadily so as not to disrupt the outside area. Small amounts of water can be dried out, salvaging carpet and other valuables. Wood that has been treated may be saved if washed with clean water and detergent.  All areas will need to be completely dried out with dehumidifiers and fans before cleaning takes place.

Floors, walls & ceilings

Serious water damage will require floor materials such as carpet and vinyl to be thrown out. There is a 24-hour window to dry out materials, including drywall and wood, or these areas will need to be gutted. Mold will certainly grow after that period and once developed, it will spread. Everything must be completely dry before replacing drywall or floor coverings. Drywall that has swelled or has damaged seams will need to be replaced. Water damaged ceiling panels frequently lead to mold and are not usually worth the effort to salvage.

Electrical Wiring

Your number one priority should be to keep yourself and your family safe. Water and electricity are a dangerous mix. Shut off your home’s electrical system until an electrician can complete a damage assessment. Don’t try to do electrical home repairs that should be left to professional electricians.

 Furniture and Valuables

Assess the damage to personal items and furniture.  Anything already growing mold might need to be tossed, but rare or sentimental items could benefit from a quick trip to a deep freezer. Consult with professionals regarding further salvage of those items. Upholstered furniture goes by the same 24-hour rule when it comes to being dried out.


It’s possible that some of your drywall, wood, even flooring might be salvageable, but in most circumstances, you’ll still need to clean, prime and paint wood surfaces. Carpets and upholstery that you choose not to replace should be steam-cleaned. Preventing buildup of bacteria as well as mold is important, and steam is a good disinfectant.


Heavy flooding in your home is hard to address safely without professional help. It typically takes over 24 hours to remove water or wait for it to recede, so the need to gut the space in order to remove mold hazards is common. Don’t take on dealing with serious flood damage by yourself. Call a restoration company, like Home Angels, that specializes in flood damage.

Prevent Water Damage from Plumbing Leaks

Plumbing leaks, when addressed early, can prevent costly water damage to your home. If you notice water leaking from pipes or fixtures, or an unexplained increase in your water usage, call us to request a plumbing leak inspection and repair.