Most of the manual labor that will go into clean up after water damage will be removing the flooring, preventing mildew, and disinfecting the home. The hardest part of clean up won't be the manual labor. The difficult part of cleaning up a home that has suffered water damage is the homeowner not being able to save or have access to their memories. If you are in charge of cleaning up a home after water damage has destroyed the property, here are some ways that you can help families save or let go of their belongings.
Find and aid in picture recovery
Some of the memories that are hardest to get back are photographs. If the pictures are in print, instead of digital format, water is likely to cause these pictures to fade, develop mold, or otherwise disintegrate. If there are photo books that are waterlogged, attempt to dry these out by hanging them before you bring the fans inside of the house. This can help to dry out the photos and possibly save some priceless family memories.
Do a walk through of the furniture
If your clients are insistent about keeping as much as possible, you should help them with this project. After cleaning up the home, let them know which items can be saved and what type of servicing it would take to save the items. For instance, if a dresser will need to be sanded and refinished in order to clear up the water damage to the outer layer, give them an overview of how long the furniture will take. Take any furniture that cannot be saved to the yard or the garage so that it is easy to load these items on a moving truck or call in the garbage to take the items away. Labeling what can still be saved and what needs to be dumped takes the pain of going throw and trashing items out of your clients hands.
Provide an aftercare inspection
Once the overall water damage cleanup is done, there may still be issues for the clients. There could be water spots that are newly discovered or problems with flooring after it has been replaced. Offer an aftercare inspection to go over the house several weeks after the water damage cleanup is complete. In the inspection, go over any new issues that have cropped up and let the homeowner know the remedy for the problem. Understanding that their house is now okay is one of the best things that you can do for a homeowner who has lost a lot after a traumatic event.