If you’ve encountered water in your home, in a place that is not your sink, bathtub, or pool, you’re well aware that a problem is going on.

The seriousness of having water in your home cannot be emphasized enough.

Indoor pipes that burst are the number one cause of interior water damage– but causes like extreme weather and flooding also cause many homeowners to develop headaches.

Hero Response is a Toronto-based company that understands the importance of waterproofing your home and taking care of water problems before the problem becomes dire.

Since 2008, taking care of homes has been our business and we understand the hassle that can occur when trying to coordinate different companies, each with a different task, to repair the damage inside of your home.

But before you call a company, we wanted to help you narrow down when water damage absolutely requires outside help and which ones can be fixed with a “DIY.”

For many people, experiencing an indoor flood and tackling water damage cleanup is a completely new experience. Contacting a company well versed in the safety and requirements of water damage cleanup is always an option for you, as is cleaning up on your own!

Getting a professional opinion, however, can help you determine whether or not those DIY options are a good fit for your specific circumstance, especially in a surprise flood situation.

Grades of water damage

Before we get into our cleanup hacks, it’s important for you to understand exactly what’s going on inside of your home. Knowing which “category” your water damage falls into is important when deciding whether to tackle the issue on your own or call in a professional.

Category 1: Clean Water

This type of water damage refers to the flooding you encounter from burst pipes. It is not a threat to your health inherently, though

It is not a threat to your health inherently, though mould and other consequences of the flood can be hazardous.

Category 2: Grey Water

Category 2 water damage begins to become a hazard because it is water deemed unsafe to consume.

This type of water will make you sick by proximity or consumption because it contains bacteria, chemicals, and microorganisms unnatural to the human body. Expelled toilet water with urine and water expelled from your washing machine are both examples of “grey water.”

Category 3: Black Water

This type of water is very hazardous as it directly contains human or animal feces and fungus. Sewage, ground or standing water, and flooding from a nearby body of water all fall into the category of “black water.”

Sewage, ground or standing water, and flooding from a nearby body of water all fall into the category of “black water.”

Starting the DIY Cleanup

Once you’ve sorted out that your problem can be helped with a DIY fix, or even before your professional company comes out, you can get a headstart by doing the following:

Remove the damaged items

Once the active flooding is under control, take the time to sort through your items and remove everything that has been damaged.

Completing this step is important as it not only allows you a better path during your water damage cleanup, but it also prevents bacteria from growing on those items.

Move other items to higher ground

Items that weren’t damaged by water, but were in a close proximity to the damage, should be moved to higher ground or elsewhere whenever possible.

Moving these items not only protects them from future damage, but it also removes the possibility for mould growth to spread to these items.

Get as much water out as possible

Removing as much water as possible from the interior of your home is a must before any large cleanup efforts can occur.

To accomplish this in your home, you can rent professional grade cleaners that are safe to use with water. Remember, your regular vacuum cleaner cannot safely remove water! Instead, try a shop vac that is capable of powerful suction and containment to properly remove water from your home.

Circulate the air

One of the biggest concerns when it comes to having water your home is the possibility of mould developing.

Whether you have allergies or not, mould inside of your home is a dangerous health situation that should be avoided at all costs.

Growth can begin to occur just 24-72 hours after water is introduced into the environment, so time is absolutely of the essence in these situations.

Circulating the air inside of your home with fans, dehumidifiers, and your central air unit can all help beat bacterial growth.

Demolish what needs to be demolished

We are all keen to save what we’re able to, and this is a good thing, but when something in your home is extremely damaged by water, you will be saving yourself money and future cleanup time by replacing it as necessary.

As long as the areas you are removing do not contain electrical components or asbestos, you can attempt a DIY fix. Remember, you may save money by calling a company if you have no experience with demolition.

Check your windows and doors

Make sure that your windows and doors are tightly sealed, with any gaps or cracks leading to the outdoors. Doing a quick DIY fix of these items can help protect your home from future leaks and further damage.

Get out of the gutter

One of a home’s first defenses against water damage is a functioning gutter system to drain water away from your home– and not into it!

Working on your gutters at home is a good DIY fix for problems associated with water backing up and not properly draining from your roof or the foundation of your home.

Keep in mind that water damage cleanup can be a stressful and confusing experience when you tackle it alone– don’t be afraid of reaching out to us for a professional opinion. With over 8 years of experience, Hero Response will be able to guide you throughout your cleanup process– reach out to us whenever you need some help.

Hero Rescue offers services in flood prevention, sewage cleanup, foundation repair, fire clean-up, mould and asbestos containment and cleanup, and restoration. When it comes to water damage cleanup, an investment in your future means making those DIYs count, and calling in the pros when needed!