Salvaging (When You Can)
Unwanted water in your home has left a lot of damage in its wake. As you begin to clean up from water damage, the source of the water will determine what can be salvaged. A broken pipe that spews clean water is much different than a backed-up sewer pipe that floods the basement with waste. Floods from external water like storms and rivers will leave behind debris and contaminants in your home.
Porous items that have held contaminated floodwaters for days will have absorbed toxins and will likely be trash. However, things salvaged quickly from rainwater may be worth a second look. For example mattresses–throw them out. It’s probably cheaper to buy new mattresses rather than cleaning and renovating them.
Carpets And Rugs
Some are worth cleaning and restoring, some are worth repurposing and others simply can’t be saved. If all that came in was rainwater and that was minimal, they may be salvageable. Rug materials matter, too. Silk damages more easily, wool less so. Synthetic rugs are the easiest to save.
If exposed to floodwater, get rid of all floor coverings. That water likely had contaminants from gas and oil, possibly even sewage. Get it out of your home and throw away any wet padding.
Floors soaked for days will probably have to be replaced. If the water receded quickly, you may be able to replace some solid-wood boards and refinish the rest, if you get it dried out quickly. Composite flooring, though, is made of wood, filler, and glue and will become pulpy. It likely is ruined.
Think of upholstered furniture as a sponge; if the water was polluted, then the piece is unsalvageable. If the water was clean, discard the outer fabric and inner padding. If you plan to have it reupholstered, clean the frame to avoid mold. Before you make a decision, estimate the cost of recovering versus buying new.
Solid-wood furniture that was removed from water quickly may be able to be saved. To save the wood:
- remove drawers
- take out any wet fabrics
- remove any knobs or drawer pulls
- dry out of direct sunlight for several weeks
- any furniture made with particle board, even expensive veneered pieces, will not be usable.
If your devices were flooded with impure water, chances are that the internal delicate connections have been compromised. Even if the water was clean, rust and corrosion can begin after a short time. If the water damaged electronics are ruined, Although there are some exceptions, most common computers, and monitors are manufactured with harmful levels of mercury, lead, arsenic, and other dangerous metals that can hurt the environment.
If your appliances have been ruined, contact an appliance repair business and offer yours as a source of spare parts. Repair shops with large volume might be able to pick up your trash for their treasure.
If not, you will need to make plans for proper disposal. Similar to small electronics, household appliances including refrigerators, freezers, air-conditioning units, washers, and dryers are filled with valuable metals. However, many of these items also contain dangerous materials, such as Freon and ozone-depleting chemicals, including chlorofluorocarbons or hydrochlorofluorocarbons.
Rely On The Experts
When disposing of water soaked household appliances and furniture, contact your local sanitation department. Ask how to request a hazardous waste collection and arrange for a pick-up to the designated site. Check your municipalities’ website for available resources, schedules, and any extra costs.
Then plan the staging and transportation needed to get your ruined materials to the local landfill. (Do not hire a random guy with a truck to haul your trash; insist on a receipt from the country landfill to prove that your waste was properly disposed of. )
Usually, extra large objects require a special pick up schedule: couch, refrigerator, water heater, washer/dryer, mattress/box springs.
Go to your city or town’s waste management website to find out where to recycle old paints, stains, adhesives, and other toxic liquids.
Be On Guard Against Mold
Mold growth not only ruins walls, furniture, carpets, flooring, etc., but it can also lead to poor indoor air quality causing respiratory problems including asthma and can lead to severe illness. Mold contaminated material is not regulated and can be disposed of as regular waste. In order to prevent the spread of mold to non-affected areas in your home, contaminated material should be removed from the work area in a sealed disposal bag or wrapped in plastic.
Stover’s Restoration Serves South Central Kansas
After water damage, the clean up can be exhausting, emotional and even dangerous. Offload some of the stress to professionals. Stover’s can evaluate water damage, assess the extent of needed repairs, prepare an accurate estimate and provide cleanup. For over 30 years, Stover’s Restoration has been one of the most trusted and respected names in water damage restoration in Wichita.