DIY Water Damage Cleanup: Don’t Make These 3 Mistakes

In any water damage situation, speed is key. If you choose to perform DIY water damage cleanup, the first thing you need to do is move quickly. The longer you wait to begin the cleanup process, the more likely it is that deeper damage is being done to your property. If you choose to go the DIY route, make sure you don’t make these 3 major mistakes.

Mistake #1: Not Recognizing a Dangerous Situation

Even if the damage doesn’t look extensive, water damage situations can be extremely dangerous. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is failing to protect yourself when you attempt to clean up the damage on your own. Beware of things like hidden structural damage, mold, and contaminants like chemicals or sewage. Of course you want to get your property back to normal as quickly as possible, but if you jump right in without fully assessing the situation, you could be putting yourself at risk for bodily harm or illness.

Mistake #2: Using the Wrong Equipment

For initial water cleanup, common DIY techniques include towels and mops for smaller damage and wet-dry shop vacs or sump pumps for more extensive damage. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that the cleanup is done just because you don’t see any more water.

The most critical part of the remediation process is drying out the area completely. Hidden water can be trapped inside the structure and may only be found with moisture detection equipment. This kind of hidden damage can cause mold problems that will cause more damage in the long run. If you’re going to attempt to dry the structure yourself, it’s important to rent commercial dehumidifiers and fans—household versions simply won’t get the job done fast enough to reduce the risk of later damage.

Mistake #3: Ignoring the Details

In your effort to get the water damage cleaned up as quickly as possible, don’t make the mistake of overlooking important details. This could include things knowing which doors and drawers to keep open or closed, removing carpet padding, keeping furniture and other important objects safe, completely decontaminating everything in the damaged area, or stopping the drying process too soon.

Another thing to keep in mind is to make sure that you’ve checked every place where the damage may have occurred. Moisture can hide in drywall and subflooring that you may not be aware of. Again, this may only be detectable by special equipment, so don’t ignore the possibility that there may be hidden damage.

DIY water damage cleanup can be really challenging, especially if you’re on your own. The most important things are to keep yourself safe and move quickly. If you’re in any doubt that you can handle the cleanup process yourself, make sure you call a professional restoration company. They have the right tools, training and experience to get the job done quickly, efficiently and safely.