Water Damage - Protect Yourself
A water leak or flood in your home can be overwhelming. It is at these times we tend to act without thinking, which can lead to bigger problems and even serious injury. Here are some things to keep in mind when you first discover water damage in your home or office.
Electric, Oil and Gas Risk
Water damage often creates a risk of electrical shock. If you see any standing water, then there is a chance that circuit breaker boxes, electric outlets or live wires are submerged, posing serious risks. If this is a possibility, DO NOT enter the building!!
Since your first call will be to SERVPRO, if you have standing water with the risk of having wires submerged, your second call should then be to your utility company to turn off the power to your home. You can, of course, turn off the power yourself, but it is a good idea to have the professionals check out the situation as well to be absolutely sure there is no risk of electric shock.
Similarly, turn off the fuel oil, natural gas, or propane lines including individual lines to appliances. This is important, as the water may have shifted appliances or loosened connection lines, creating potential leaks. Once you have determined that it is safe to be in the building check the rest of the building for damage including other appliances as well as the water heater.
Signs of structural damage include buckling floors, bulging ceilings or any evidence of weakness in weight bearing components of the building. Check that the foundation walls are not damaged, especially if a lot of water is standing in the basement or bottom floor of a large building.
If you notice the slightest sign of structural damage, have the professionals at SERVPRO of East Riverside City assess the damage and determine whether or not it is safe to occupy the building.
Water can easily become contaminated. Therefore, protect yourself from bacteria and infection by wearing watertight gloves, clothing and boots. This can be determined by the height of the water level within a given structure or area.