There’s not a cloud in the sky yet you’ve come home to a flood disaster!
What do you do when faced with water cascading down stairs, reminiscent of Niagara Falls, or carpets submerged in an inside sea?
Burst pipe malfunctions from washing machines, hot water systems and dishwashers are the commonest cause for emergency flood call-outs that Elite Carpet Dry Cleaning professionals receive.
Then there’s the tap dripping into a bath with the plug in place, creating overflow.
After bursting into tears – or swearing, or both – you need to know what to do and we couldn’t think of anyone better than veteran carpet cleaner Phil Gunns, one of the calmest professionals in the business, for the lowdown.
First of all, make some phone calls
Phil says there are 4 phone calls you must make before calling your partner, best mate, whoever and wailing:
- Your insurance company
- Elite Carpet Dry Cleaning – 131580.
If your home is a rental, you need to immediately call your leasing agent who will have a preferred plumber and electrician.
The plumber will turn off the water. The flood may have caused your electricals to short-circuit or you could have some live wires in the water: you need the scene to be safe for everyone.
Take a breath
Phil Gunns says it’s important for shocked clients to gain perspective and realise that without loss of life, everything is replaceable.
Take photos of water damage
Phil recommends taking photos of the water damage before any work starts, as a record for the insurance claim.
Organise somewhere else to sleep
Arrange to stay elsewhere for at least a couple of days.
This is a safety precaution and it will depend on the extent of your flooding.
The safety issue primarily relates to mould and mildew spores which can cause breathing problems.
How Elite Carpet Dry Cleaning rescues flood-damaged carpets
A carpet dry cleaning professional like Phil Gunns, our Gosford franchisee, makes a full assessment first: where has the water gone and what has been damaged. In a recent job that saw 600 litres of water extracted from a top floor apartment ‘flood’, Phil found five other residence, below, has also sustained water damage.
The bottom of doors, skirting boards, between walls, under floating floors and inside cabinetry – these are all potential places for water-damage.
Once assessed, and with an all-clear from the electrician, your Elite carpet cleaner brings in the heavy machinery: extraction hoses to suck out as much water as possible followed by giant blowers and dehumidifiers to evaporate and dry out remaining water. During both phases, antibacterial chemicals will be applied to carpets to minimise the risk of mould and mildew growing.
Professionals will also check under carpet corners for evidence of prior presence of mould or mildew.
Depending on the scale of the flood, carpet recovery, which will include sanitisation and deodorising, may take hours or days.
Action within hours of the ‘flood’ may enable carpets to be salvaged.
Left for more than two days and, he says, it’s a case of pull the carpet up and throw it out: damage and health risks are just too great.
If your ‘disaster’ is of a smaller scale—for example, the bath overflowed but water damage was contained to the bathroom and a small part of a carpeted hall—that’s a relatively quick and easy rescue – known as ‘top down drying’ .