Water damage is a nightmare for any home or property owner. Whether caused by burst or backed up pipes, flooding, leaky plumbing or a faulty appliance, water can cause major problems for flooring, walls and furniture. Cleaning up after a water leak or flood is often messy and laborious, not to mention time consuming and costly.

The two cardinal rules of cleaning up after a water-based incident are to get rid of the water as quickly as possible, and then to dry out the affected area thoroughly. The longer you leave standing water in your home or property, the more damage it will do. A common mistake then is, once the visible water has all been removed, to assume it is dry enough to do the repair work.

Unless floors, walls etc are completely dried out, you risk locking in damp by laying new surfaces over the top, creating even bigger problems further down the line.

So how do you go about drying a floor properly after a water leak?

Clear, Air, Replace

The first stage is to remove as much excess water as possible, whether that is by pumping, mopping, draining or any other approach. Getting the bulk of the standing water out is important both to minimise damage and speed up the drying process. If there are still puddles of water lying about, it will take much longer to get your floor properly dry and you risk more extensive damage being caused.

Second, get as much air circulating around the affected spaces as possible. Leaving windows open will help to remove moisture from the air in a room, which will then make the natural drying process more efficient. This can be sped up using fans and/or dehumidifiers. However, in the case of the worst flooding, you should make sure the electricity is certified safe before plugging any appliances in, or else use an external power supply.

Once you are set up to increase the airflow around the affected spaces, it is time to tackle the flooring itself. Unless the leak is relatively minor and you are confident of being able to dry out the flooring material quickly , the likelihood is that you will have to pull up carpets, wooden floors and even linoleum or vinyl.

There are two reasons for this. One, if a significant amount of water has soaked into your flooring material, it is probably easier (and faster) to replace it than to wait for it to dry. But just as importantly, you need to expose the subfloor to let that dry properly, otherwise you risk long term issues with damp and mould. The only exception to this is stone or tiled floors, where the surface material itself acts as a hard barrier.

Of course, none of this clean-up and drying-out process comes cheap and easy, especially once you have to start replacing flooring materials. Don’t take a risk on a big financial hit -’s Home Emergency insurance cover protects you for flood and water leak damage, giving you valuable peace of mind when dealing with a tricky situation.

*The information in this blog is designed to provide helpful information on the subjects discussed. Please seek a professional for expert advice as we can not be held responsible for any damages or negative consequences upon following this information.

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