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Common Causes of Home Water Damage in Richmond And How to Deal with Them

September 04, 2019

One thing is true of any type of home water damage that might occur in Richmond: it needs to be taken care of ASAP!  Water damage can’t be left alone – if it isn’t properly handled, it will cause significant damage to your property.  In worst-case scenarios, it could even lead to the growth of toxic mildews or molds, such as black mold.  That won’t merely harm your property – it creates a genuine health hazard for your family!

So, it’s a good idea to know what the most common causes of water damage are, and how to handle them.  Sometimes you can handle the repair and cleanup on your own, but other times you will need to call in Richmond water damage repair and restoration experts to help out.

Let’s start with a general how-to on minor water damage cleanup.

How To Handle Minor Water Damage Repair In Richmond

  1. Find the source of the water and stop it.

Obviously, you can’t clean up the water damage until all leaking or flooding has stopped.

  1. Remove any easily relocated items from the affected area

The faster you can get items out of the water, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to dry them out and recover them.  This includes both smaller items, as well as objects such as pieces of furniture.

  1. Start the cleanup by removing the standing water

Once you’ve cleared the area, you should start cleanup by handling all the obvious water.  For small spills, you should be able to simply mop or towel up the water.  For larger amounts of water, you may need a wet-vac or a sump pump for basement flooding.

  1. Dry out the affected area

Just because the standing water is gone doesn’t mean the job is done.  The water has undoubtedly soaked into the wall, floors, carpet, etc.  These must be dried out thoroughly or else you risk mold and mildew growth.

For small areas, a hairdryer on high heat will work well.  You can also use a space heater to dry out larger sections, particularly if you’re trying to preserve your carpeting.  A dehumidifier will help in this process.

  1. Carefully monitor the area

After drying everything out, you’ll want to keep a close eye on the affected area for the next couple weeks.  If you smell mold or mildew or see any signs of rot, that means it’s time to call in water damage cleanup services to take over.  Do not try to clean up mold on your own.

Common Types of Richmond Water Damage, And What to Do

  1. Broken pipes

Pipe breaks generally come in two varieties.  They will either have small fractures which cause slow but steady leaks or else the pipe bursts and causes major flooding.

In the case of a burst pipe and severe flooding, you won’t be able to contain the damage on your own.  You’ll want to immediately shut off your water main at the outdoor valve, then call in emergency water damage services to deal with the cleanup.

Leaky pipes, on the other hand, aren’t as critical.  If you can see the leak, and it hasn’t caused too much damage, you can usually clean it up on your own.

The bigger problem is that leaky pipes are often out of sight, or even hidden within walls.  You’ll have to be on the lookout for signs of leaks, such as water or damp spots appearing where there shouldn’t be any water – like along the baseboards of your wall.  If the leak is within the walls, that’s not something you can fix yourself.  You’ll need to call in a plumber to handle the pipes, and then assess the damage done.

  1. Broken appliances

Pipes carry the most water around your home, but many home appliances can also hold substantial amounts of water – particularly your dishwasher, clothes washer, and water heater.  If any of these fail, they can cause a lot of flood damage in a hurry!

With appliance failures, the important thing to remember is that there is now also a danger from their electrical systems!  Do not attempt any kind of repair or cleanup before first shutting off power to the appliance at the breaker.  The level of voltage going to these appliances can do serious damage, or even kill.

If you aren’t certain how to make sure that power has been cut to the appliance, you should play it safe and call in water damage services to handle it for you.

  1. Clogged sinks or toilets

It’s relatively rare for a clogged fixture to cause major water damage, not unless the problem goes unfixed for a very long time.  Generally speaking, you should be able to just clear out the clog using traditional methods (either a plunger or liquid de-clogging products) and then clean up any water which has gotten onto the floor.

The only exception would be if you have a septic tank.  Sometimes a clogged or slow draining sink or toilet is a sign that your septic tank is full.  If you suspect this is the case, do not attempt to fix it yourself!  Septic system issues require professional help.

  1. Rainwater flooding

A home flood caused by a severe storm or another weather-related event will almost certainly be beyond your ability to clean up by yourself.  You’ll want to call in emergency water damage cleanup services as soon as you possibly can.  The longer you wait to call for help, the more damage will be done.

Additionally, don’t forget to call your home insurance company at the same time.  You’ll want them and your water damage company to be in communication early on, to help ensure your damage claim is honored.

  1. Sewer or storm drain backup

Backed up sewage is extremely dangerous and could be deadly even with only very minor skin contact.  Under no circumstances should you ever attempt to clean up water if you suspect it is sewage or otherwise contaminated.  

Basically, if you cannot directly identify the source of the flooding, you should call in the experts to handle it for you.  Even water that looks clean, or smells all right, might still be contaminated if you don’t know where it comes from.  This is one of those “better safe than sorry” situations.

If You’ve Experienced Flooding in Richmond, Call in The Pros!

For nearly a century, Malkin Cleaners has been the trusted source for flood damage cleanup and restoration in Richmond, Vancouver, and surrounding areas.  We have the tools and the expertise to handle any job, large or small, including both residential and commercial properties.

Remember: water damage will only get worse the longer you wait.  So when a flood hits, your first move should be to contact Malkin Cleaners.