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A flooded property is bad enough. The last thing you need is to increase the stress and destruction by making blunders in the cleanup process. While you may be able to fix a small mess effectively and quickly without requiring professional assistance, more severe water damage could be something you’re not ready to handle. And remember, second-rate cleanups in Utah or anywhere else are a recipe for future disaster. Below are the water damage cleanup mistakes that homeowners commonly make.

1. Waiting Too Long Before Performing Cleanup

If the water damage or flooding doesn’t seem too serious at first, homeowners may be tempted to put off dealing with it straight away (especially when you’ve got too much on your hands). However, adequate cleaning after a flood should be your first priority – and this is what many individuals fail to understand. Water can seep into your floor and walls really quickly, which often results in mold growth and structural damage. The longer that mold is allowed to sit in those areas, the higher the chances are that it’s going to spread, making proper restoration even more challenging. It’s definitely not worth the risk to postpone cleanup until a more “convenient” time.

2. Using Improper Equipment

It’s tempting for homeowners to try and manage water damage on their own with a wet/dry vacuum, a couple of buckets, and some mops. The problem with this kind of equipment is that it isn’t suitable for the type of damage caused by a flood or significant leak. Simply put, the things present in your home are not capable of removing all of the moisture and water or drying the place completely without assistance from the right equipment. Investing in drying and water extraction devices is key to restoring a water-damaged home. Commercial-grade fans and dehumidifiers are some of the things you’ll need to remove water from drywall, insulation, and upholstery.

3. Missing Out on Details

It’s also common for homeowners to neglect details when they’re slogging through water damage. Keepsakes, toys, apparel, or things that were stored in cabinets or closets or stashed inside of storage bins can be easily skipped. These items can grow mold, retain water, and can cause a bigger problem down the road. That’s why professional flood clean up companies are recommended for water-related disasters. They can detect water damage under floors and inside of walls, which is often missed in casual inspections. Because neglected areas could lead to more issues in the future, it’s best to remedy them now to save financial losses over time.

4. Assuming Cleanup Is Done Once the Water Is Gone

It’s also worth mentioning that even when the water has been removed, the cleanup may not be complete yet. Flood damage can remain long after the water is out of the picture, so it’s crucial to get an inspection done to identify any areas where the structural foundation might be weakened. Also, it’s important to quickly identify any mold that may have set in. In the “ideal” environment, mold can begin growing in as little as 24 hours. Make sure to dry all material areas, disinfect potential risk spots, and eliminate sources of food for the mold.

5. Not Using Safety Protection

After a flood, the first thing most homeowners will do is take a quick tour of their entire property. After all, you want to analyze how much damage was caused. However, inspecting your home without any safety equipment can be hazardous to your health. If you go into a flooded basement and some poisonous animal that made his/her way into your home along with the floodwater is there, your life could be at risk. Also, there’s the possibility of experiencing a slip and fall injury if you attempt to walk in standing water. Moreover, you could experience an electric shock because of wiring damage, or there could be a sharp object on the floor that could injure you. The only way to reduce these risks is to purchase and wear/use proper safety equipment.

With the growing popularity of DIY cleanups, a common sight after water damage is property owners trying to mitigate the damage on their own. Unfortunately, this does not always end well. Not only is water damage restoration more time consuming than it looks, it also requires more experience, gear, and equipment than most people have at their disposal.

So, if the flood was of great intensity, do not commit the mistake of being late in asking for professional assistance. At The Disaster Company, our team of experts is available 24/7 to respond quickly, appropriately, and thoroughly to emergencies.