Water damage in a home setting can be devastating. Not only are the walls, floors, and furniture in your home damaged, but you may also lose valuable personal possessions like photo albums and estate documents.

Cleanup costs for water damage set American homeowners back anywhere from $4 a square foot for a burst water pipe to $7.25 per square foot for sewage or black water. Water damage restoration mistakes can exacerbate that figure, ballooning it to an unnecessarily large portion of your home repair budget.

Read on to learn what to do right when facing damage from floods or other water crises in your home.

1. You Waited Too Long

Uncontained water spreads rapidly through a home, penetrating your carpet, drywall, cupboards, and furniture. If you wait too long to address the broken pipe or hole in the roof causing the water infiltration, the damage will be extensive—and the restoration will be expensive.

Homeowners that attempt to DIY the cleanup may think their efforts have worked. But typically, they only address the issues that can be seen; they miss the hidden water damage on structural features.

2. Not Identifying and Dealing With the Cause

If you simply mop up the water and call it a day, you’re doing yourself a dire disservice.

For example, you might think an overflowing toilet is simply blocked. You plunge it, get it working again, clean up the mess, and call it a day. In fact, an underlying issue further down the pipeline is causing your sewage to back up, and a far bigger disaster’s waiting to happen.

If you have any concerns that you haven’t addressed the root cause of your water problem, get a professional assessment done by a restoration company.

3. Using the Wrong Water Damage Restoration Equipment

Water damage restoration requires some serious equipment that’s typically expensive to buy.

Most homeowners don’t own any restoration tools outside of a mop and bucket, some bleach, and maybe a fan or dehumidifier. If you attempt to clean up by yourself without the right tools, you’re likely not going to address the mold and health hazards that arise as water (or worse, sewage) infiltrates your home.

Give yourself the gift of peace of mind by hiring a company with professional-grade equipment.

4. Failing to Disinfect Your Possessions

Your first instinct may be to gather up all your possessions to protect them from the water. 

However, if you’re not prepared to disinfect them immediately, you might open yourself up to infection or disease. Sewer overflow, in particular, harbors everything from bacteria to intestinal worms.

In some cases, it might be better to throw your items away.

Don’t forget, too, to spend some time documenting water damage—both the extent of the damage to your home and your damaged personal property. Photos or video evidence will help bolster your insurance claim.

Water Damage Restoration Mistakes to Avoid

Water damage in homes is already a stressful, costly situation. But water damage restoration mistakes can make it so much worse. Keep this list handy so if you’re facing a water crisis—an overflowing washing machine, a burst pipe, or a backed-up toilet—you know exactly what to do before calling the professionals.

If you’re dealing with water damage you can’t handle, it’s best to leave the cleanup to the pros. Get a quote from Hometown Restoration today.