A couple of inches of water may not sound like much, but it is devastating if it is inside your home. Water damage is immediate and, if you don't act quickly, mold can begin growing within 24 hours. Water damage must always be treated as an emergency.
1. Pull Out the Furniture
Furniture can sometimes be saved if it is pulled out to a dry place quickly, before the wood swells and the fibers become damaged. Remove all furniture from the flooded home. You can place it on a tarp in the garage, or out in the yard if the weather is dry and sunny. All items should be emptied out of storage pieces like dressers, and either disposed of or spread out to dry.
2. Rip Out Flooring
Chances are your carpeting can't be saved after a flood. In most cases, it is best to immediately pull out all the carpeting and pads since these are difficult to dry quickly enough to avoid mold growth. Rugs can sometimes be saved if you dry them or take them to a dry cleaner immediately. Hard flooring is salvageable if it is dried completely and doesn't warp or curl due to water exposure.
3. Remove Drywall
Drywall acts like a sponge, and it can harbor mold inside the walls if you don't act quickly. You don't have to cut out all the drywall, though. Just cut it out from just above the moisture line down. This saves both the expense and labor of replacing entire drywall sheets. New drywall can be cut to fit and then mudded into place so that the seams don't show.
4. Dry Out
Once the main items that hold water are removed, the drying process needs to immediately commence. Large industrial fans can speed the process. You can also rent a water extractor to help pull moisture quickly out of floorboards and upholstery. The key is to make sure that any place that is damp is dried quickly, preferably in two days or less.
5. Mold Treatment
Even with a quick response, some mold spores are likely to begin growing. Once everything is dry, the home needs to be treated with either a bleach solution or a mold killer. All surfaces, including the studs inside of any walls where drywall was removed, must be treated. This way there won't be hidden mold once the repairs are done.
If you have more questions or need help, contact a local company that offers emergency restoration services.