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  • Writer's pictureBrady Grewe

Restoring Harmony: Tips for Drying Out a Water-Damaged Home

Updated: Jul 7

A water-damaged home is a scenario that can affect anyone, transcending age and experience. Whether you're in the early stages of homeownership or have spent decades creating memories within your four walls, the threat of water damage is an unwelcome disruption that requires immediate attention. I have heard from many homeowners young and old tell me I did not know what to do when they encountered water-damage in their home. 

In this article, tailored to meet the concerns of homeowners across generations, we delve into practical tips for drying out a water-damaged home. We understand that the concept of water damage can evoke a sense of urgency and, at times, even overwhelm. That's why we're here—to provide you with clear, actionable insights that resonate with your unique experiences and concerns.

As we navigate the waters of home restoration together, Renew by Grewe stands ready to be your guiding compass, offering expertise and support every step of the way.


Safety First

1. Turn Off Electricity and Gas Supply:

One of the initial and crucial steps in the aftermath of water damage is to ensure your safety by cutting off the electricity and gas supply to the affected areas. Water and live electrical currents don't mix well, and gas leaks can pose a severe threat. If it's safe to do so, turn off the main power supply and gas valves. If unsure or if water levels are high, wait for professionals to handle this task. 

2. Wear Protective Gear:

Before entering the water-damaged areas, safeguard yourself by wearing appropriate protective gear. This includes rubber boots, gloves, and, if necessary, a mask to minimize exposure to potentially contaminated water. The priority is to protect against physical hazards and potential health risks. Don't underestimate the importance of proper attire in preventing injuries and minimizing health concerns during the initial assessment and cleanup. Wearing the appropriate protective gear is extremely important when there may be sewage or other hazardous materials in the water. 

By taking these immediate steps, you lay the foundation for a safer environment and set the stage for effective water damage restoration. Remember, safety is paramount, and professional assistance is just a call away.


Assessing the Damage

The aftermath of water damage often requires a detective's approach to unveil the full extent of the impact. One invaluable tool in this investigative process is a moisture meter, a gadget that can significantly aid homeowners in understanding what areas are wet and how deeply the moisture has penetrated. 

1. Understanding Moisture Levels:

A moisture meter provides instant feedback on the moisture content of various materials in your home, including walls, floors, and ceilings. This understanding is critical because visible signs of water damage may not always reveal the full picture. By gauging moisture levels accurately, you can identify hidden problem areas that may require specialized attention. If you do not have a moisture meter you can buy an inexpensive version at most home improvement stores such as Home Depot. Or call a professional restoration company who will have even more ways to determine which parts of your home have moisture concerns. 

2. Spotting Potential Mold Growth:

Mold thrives in damp environments, and its growth can be swift. Utilizing a moisture meter helps you pinpoint areas with elevated moisture levels, signaling potential breeding grounds for mold. Early detection allows for targeted remediation efforts, preventing the development of a more significant mold issue down the line. A common call that I receive from customers is that they had a water issue a month ago and cleaned it up themselves but that now it smells musty and has what looks like mold growing on some of the sheet rock. They did not realize that the water had wicked up into the sheet rock and sat wet for many days and allowed mold to start growing causing all sorts of problems. 

3. Document

It might sound silly to take a bunch of pictures of the water and the damage it has caused but this is not for Instagram or Facebook. These pictures are important in case you want or need to file a claim with your insurance. The insurance company will need them as proof of the damage caused by the water issue. 


Removing Standing Water

Now that you've assessed the water-damaged areas and prioritized safety, it's time to take decisive steps in removing standing water. Two highly effective tools for this task are wet vacuums and pumps, designed to efficiently extract water and restore your home to a drier state.

1. Wet Vacuums:

Equipped with specialized suction mechanisms, wet vacuums are ideal for extracting standing water from various surfaces, including carpets, floors, and upholstery. Start by using the vacuum on surfaces where water is more superficial, adjusting settings as needed. Remember to empty the vacuum regularly to ensure optimal performance (also important because the vacuum will get heavy very quickly). Wet vacuums are particularly useful for smaller, localized water damage incidents.

2. Submersible Pumps:

For larger-scale water removal, especially in cases of flooding or substantial water accumulation, submersible pumps prove invaluable. These pumps are designed to handle higher volumes of water efficiently. Place the pump in the deepest part of the flooded area, connect hoses for water discharge, and let the pump work its magic. Submersible pumps are a powerful solution for expeditiously removing significant quantities of water from your home.

Tips for Efficient Use:

  • Begin water removal as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

  • Prioritize safety by ensuring that electricity is turned off in the affected areas.

  • Use appropriate extension cords if needed, keeping safety a top priority.

  • If the water damage is extensive, consider seeking professional assistance for optimal results.

By employing wet vacuums and pumps strategically, you're actively taking control of the restoration process. However, if the scale of water damage surpasses your comfort level or expertise, Renew by Grewe Restoration is ready to step in with professional-grade equipment and expertise to ensure thorough water removal and a swift return to a dry, safe home.


Ventilation and Dehumidification

With standing water addressed, the next crucial step in restoring your home is creating an environment conducive to rapid drying. Dehumidifiers and fans play pivotal roles in achieving this goal, expediting the evaporation process and minimizing the risk of secondary damage. This is important because if secondary damage occurs due to not taking appropriate action your insurance company may not cover those damages. 

1. Dehumidifiers:

Dehumidifiers are unsung heroes in the battle against water damage. These devices extract excess moisture from the air, preventing the development of mold and mildew. Place dehumidifiers strategically in the affected areas, prioritizing enclosed spaces with poor ventilation. Set the humidity levels to around 30-50% for optimal drying conditions. Regularly empty the collected water to maintain efficiency. 

2. Fans for Air Circulation:

Strategic air circulation is essential for speeding up the drying process. Position fans strategically to promote the flow of air across wet surfaces. This helps moisture evaporate more quickly and ensures that damp air doesn't linger. If the humidity is lower outside than inside you can open windows and doors to facilitate cross-ventilation and enhance the efficiency of the fans. For ceiling fans, set them to rotate counterclockwise for better air circulation. 

Tips for Optimal Drying:

  • Rotate furniture and belongings to expose all sides to the drying airflow.

  • Regularly check and clean air filters in both dehumidifiers and fans for optimal performance.

  • Be patient; thorough drying may take time, and the vigilance in monitoring progress pays off.

By integrating dehumidifiers and fans into your restoration strategy, you create an environment primed for efficient drying. Getting your home dry may be difficult with small household fans and dehumidifiers. Another option is to rent large drying equipment from a professional or rental center. Of course calling a professional anytime you are unsure of the process is a smart move.


Salvaging Belongings and Materials

As the drying process unfolds, it's time to turn attention to salvaging belongings and materials affected by water damage. Swift action in rescuing items that hold sentimental or monetary value can significantly minimize losses. Here's a quick guide on how to navigate this crucial phase:

1. Prioritize Valuables:

Identify and prioritize items with sentimental or financial value. Start with personal documents, family heirlooms, and valuable electronics. Move these items to a dry and safe location.

2. Remove Waterlogged Items:

Dispose of waterlogged materials that are beyond salvageable or pose health risks. Carpets, mattresses, and heavily damaged furniture may need to be discarded. Consult with restoration professionals for advice on salvageability. 

3. Consult Restoration Experts:

For delicate or valuable items, seek the expertise of restoration professionals. They possess the knowledge and tools to assess, clean, and restore items such as artwork, photographs, and specialty belongings.

Tips for Successful Salvage:

  • Act swiftly to prevent further damage.

  • Handle wet items with care to avoid additional harm.

  • Consult with professionals for items requiring specialized restoration.

  • Document the damage for insurance claims, including photographs and itemized lists.

By salvaging belongings promptly, you not only preserve cherished memories but also mitigate potential secondary issues like mold growth.


Monitoring and Prevention

As your home progresses on the path to recovery, it's crucial to remain vigilant in monitoring the drying process and implementing preventive measures against future water damage.

1. Continuous Humidity Monitoring:

Regularly check humidity levels in the affected areas using a hygrometer. This ensures that the drying process is on track, and humidity remains within the recommended range to discourage mold growth.

2. Inspect for Mold and Mildew:

Even with effective drying measures, monitor for any signs of mold or mildew. If detected, address it promptly to prevent its spread. Professional inspection can identify hidden mold and ensure thorough remediation.

3. Implement Long-Term Prevention:

Learn from the experience and implement long-term preventive measures. Address issues that led to the water damage, such as roof leaks or plumbing issues. Consider protective measures like waterproofing basements and installing proper drainage systems.

Tips for Ongoing Vigilance:

  • Conduct periodic checks on vulnerable areas prone to water damage.

  • Ensure proper maintenance of the roof, gutters, and plumbing systems.

  • Educate family members on preventive measures and early signs of water damage.

  • Consider professional home inspections for comprehensive assessments.

By actively monitoring the post-restoration environment and embracing preventive measures, you create a resilient home that stands prepared against future water-related challenges.


Renewing Your Space with Expertise

In the aftermath of water damage, the journey to restore your home is both a challenge and an opportunity for renewal. By prioritizing safety, employing effective tools, and embracing vigilant monitoring, you've taken significant steps towards reclaiming your space.

As you navigate the restoration process, remember that Renew by Grewe is here not just as a service but as a dedicated partner. Our expertise, coupled with your proactive efforts, ensures a thorough and swift return to a dry, safe, and comfortable home.

Let this experience be a testament to your resilience, and may your renewed space be a canvas for countless new memories. If you ever need additional guidance or support, know that Renew by Grewe Restoration is just a call away.

In restoring your home, you've not only preserved its physical structure but also safeguarded the moments and stories that make it uniquely yours. Here's to a brighter, drier future in the home you love.


Dehumidifiers to help dry out a home after water damage
Commercial Dehumidifier

Warm regards,

Brady Grewe

Owner

Renew by Grewe Restoration

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