Eight Tips for Preparing for Water Damage Restoration in Vancouver

If you’ve experienced some form of emergency flooding or other major water damage event, time truly is of the essence.  Every hour that passes will cause more damage to your property and increase the difficulty – and costs – of the cleanup process.  Water damage restoration experts in Vancouver can work wonders when it comes to repairing your property, but the job will be easier the faster you move.

So, in this guide, we want to talk about what you can do to make everything go more smoothly.  Attempting water damage cleanup by yourself is not a good idea, but there’s still a lot you can do to help the pros get the job done quickly.

How To Make Your Water Damage Restoration Go As Smoothly As Possible

  1. Call your insurance company ASAP.

Generally speaking, if you discover your property has been seriously flooded, your first call should be to your property insurance company.  Because emergency water disaster cleanup can be quite expensive, you want to do everything “by the book” to help guarantee your insurance company covers your claim.

However, if the insurance office is closed, you need to jump into action yourself and if it is not a minor flooding issue, call in a professional immediately. Ensure first that they are able to work with your insurance provider.

There will also undoubtedly be a visit from an insurance adjuster, which is something else you want to happen sooner, rather than later.  The longer the delay between the disaster and the insurance investigation, the more chance they’ll find an excuse to deny your claim.

  1. Shut off your utilities.

If your property has serious water damage, cleanup will be unsafe as long as your electrical and (if applicable) gas services are still running.  So, shut them down at the outside box, or by contacting the provider.  This is especially true of your electricity.  Flood water within a home or office can be deadly if it’s coming into contact with a live electrical outlet or another power source.  It should be shut off for the sake of safety before anyone so much as touches the flooded areas.

Turning off your water is also a good idea, even if the flood isn’t being caused by a broken pipe.  This is more of a “better safe than sorry” situation – the last thing you want is an accidental pipe burst adding to your troubles.

  1. Start taking pictures/videos of the damage.

You want to start documenting the damage done to your property as soon as you can.  This will also help your insurance claim go more smoothly, as well as simply making it easier to keep track of everything that needs to be repaired.  Since digital media is cheap, you should be taking pictures or video of pretty much everything that’s been touched by the water.

  1. Know when it is or isn’t safe to wade into the flooded areas.

As mentioned above, a flooded building can be extremely dangerous as long as the power is on.  Never ever go into floodwaters unless you know for certain there’s no chance of electrocution.

In addition, think about where the water came from.  If it’s from a burst main pipe or a natural storm, it’s probably pretty safe.  However, if the water is from a tainted source – or worst of all, from a sewer pipe – it will simply not be safe for you to wade into.  Raw sewage is incredibly toxic; getting even a little on your skin could lead to serious disease.  In these situations, the Vancouver water damage cleanup crew will be wearing serious protection like full-body hazmat suits.

If you don’t know where the water came from, it’s usually best not to risk touching it.

  1. Understand the dangers of mold.

While any immediate damage done to your property will be due to the water itself, there’s a bigger threat on the horizon: mold.  A flooded building creates the perfect environment for mold to grow in, and this includes highly toxic variations like black mold.  Worse, mold can begin to grow in as little as 24 hours.

This is one of the big reasons that you need to act fast if your building as been flooded.  At the point 48 hours have passed, almost everything will be unrecoverable due to the very real danger of mold growth.

  1. If it’s safe,start removing waterlogged items.

The flooded areas of the building will need to be stripped as much as possible, to facilitate cleaning.  Also, if there’s any hope of recovering saturated items, they need to be moved into the fresh air and sunshine as quickly as possible.  So, if it’s safe to do so, you can help your cleanup crew by beginning to move saturated things outside.

However, be aware that many of these things will likely be unrecoverable, either due to direct damage or from the threat of mold.  In particular, accept that you’ll probably need to dispose of:

  • Books, magazines, other paper goods
  • Stuffed toys
  • Clothes
  • Upholstered furniture
  • Carpeting
  • Anything else that can be saturated 

If you’ve acted quickly, and less than 24 hours have passed since the flooding, it may be safe to let these things dry out, and then reuse them.  However, this is another situation where it might be better to play it safe.  Do you want your family wearing clothes that even might have mold in them?

  1. Make sure there are easy routes through your yard

This can be tricky if you’re in the process of moving things out of your house, but keep in mind that your Vancouver water damage restoration crew is going to need unobstructed access.  They’ll have some heavy equipment to haul around, particularly industrial-strength blowers and vacuums.

So, be sure to leave one or more clear paths to and from the affected parts of your building.  The driveway/parking area should be left clear, and there should be as little risk as possible of the cleanup crew tripping over anything.

  1. If possible, send away children and pets

If there are children or pets in the picture, you probably want to keep them far away from the cleanup.  The entire situation is inherently dangerous, and there’s a lot they could potentially do to make things worse.  Nor will children be in any position to help; you genuinely don’t want them to be anywhere near the cleanup work.

So, try to find someplace safe to send your kids and pets, to keep them away from the cleanup until the majority of the work is handled.  That will be best for everyone involved.

If You Need Water Damage Cleanup Experts in Vancouver, You Need Malkin!

With nearly a full century in business, Malkin Cleaners have been Vancouver’s go-to choice for fire and water damage cleanup for generations.  We have extensive experience repairing water damage in every type of building, utilizing the latest in innovations to make the process go smoothly.  We’ll do everything we can to protect your property, and rescue as many of your possessions as possible.

Time matters when there’s a flood, so don’t wait.  Contact Malkin Cleaners to begin cleanup as soon as possible.