A flooded kitchen can be a nightmare if there’s enough water to do serious damage. Water mains break, faucets get left on, and sometimes ceilings collapse from the weight.
Water damage can cost you thousands of dollars to replace everything if you don’t have insurance. Even if you have the best insurance coverage, you’ll still have to deal with the clean-up and restoration process.
The best thing you can do is prevent water damage in your kitchen, but if you’re already experiencing a problem, your next best course of action is to mitigate the damage.
Here are several things you can do.
1. Get the water extracted quickly
When you’re dealing with a flood, you need to have the water extracted as fast as possible. If the source is still flowing, shut it off and then call a professional plumber to handle the situation. Not all plumbers offer water extraction services, so find one who does. They’ll have all the right equipment to get water out of hard-to-reach places, which is what most people need in the kitchen.
The longer you allow standing water to sit in your kitchen, the more damage it will do to your home. It will seep into the cracks under your baseboards, soak through the floor, and ruin your carpet and the padding underneath.
If your kitchen floods, be aware that the water will be toxic. There’s also a possibility of asbestos contamination if the water ruins any building materials that contain asbestos, like floor tiles and insulation. Keep all children and pets away from the damaged area until it’s restored.
2. Start the drying process immediately
The more airflow you can get through your kitchen, the easier it will be to dry things out. Open all the windows and doors you can to move the air naturally. Be sure to open cabinets and drawers that have been affected.
You should also get some commercial drying fans to aid in the process. You can typically rent them for a small daily fee. Some fans are made to circulate the air, and others are designed to go underneath the carpet. Which fans you use will depend on what you need to dry.
3. Use a shop vac on your carpets and area rugs
Drying your rugs will take a long time, and there’s no guarantee you won’t have to toss them all out anyway. If you can suck most of the water out first, you’ll have a better chance at saving your rugs.
A decent shop vac rated for wet conditions won’t cost you more than $100 and will be powerful enough to suck out a good portion of moisture from your wall-to-wall carpeting and area rugs.
If your rugs are absolutely soaked, quickly shop vac out as much moisture as possible to make them lighter, and then carry them outside to reduce the level of moisture inside.
4. Use desiccants
Desiccants will help you remove moisture from personal belongings. You’ve seen them in small sachets in food packaging, but you can also get them in larger sizes and in a reusable form.
If possible, put your belongings into an airtight container with some desiccants or put them around the soaked items you want the moisture removed from. You’ll know they’re saturated when they change color, but the process could take weeks.
5. Put soaked paper and photos in the freezer
As strange as it sounds, you can prevent further damage to soaked paper and personal photos by storing it all in the freezer until you’re ready to dry it out. Freezing wet paper will prevent the growth of mold and mildew and allow you to dry it at your own pace.
6. Run a dehumidifier
After a kitchen flood, you’ll have water vapor lingering in the air. After you’ve aired out the room, shut the doors and windows and run a dehumidifier to extract the moisture from the air. The bigger, the better unless you don’t mind emptying the water tank frequently.
7. Fix recurring issues at the root
If you experience small floods on a regular basis for any reason, have the problem fixed at the root. Until then, you may want to consider keeping a sump pump on hand to remove all the water you can before a professional arrives with commercial extraction equipment.
Professional restoration services are helpful
When you’re ready to restore your kitchen, consider hiring a professional for the job. You’ll get an amazing job, and you won’t have to worry about possibly breathing in asbestos from damaged floor tiles.
Don’t add to your stress – leave the situation to a pro for the best results.