Colorado Cleanup Services

24/7 Emergency Response

Avoid These Water Damage Mistakes – What Not to Do

-- Serving Colorado Since 2004 --

Licensed • Insured

Water damage can be a stressful and costly experience. Whether it’s a burst pipe, a leaky roof, or a flooded basement, taking immediate action is crucial. However, it’s equally important to know what not to do during a water damage emergency. Making the wrong decisions can exacerbate the damage and lead to long-term problems.

In this article, we will explore the common mistakes to avoid when dealing with water damage. By understanding what not to do, you can protect your property and minimize the impact of water damage.

Avoid These Water Damage Mistakes – What Not to Do

Key Takeaways:

  • Delaying water damage cleanup can result in further damage and mold growth.
  • Ignoring safety precautions can jeopardize your health and well-being.
  • Shutting off the water source is crucial to prevent additional water damage.
  • Attempting DIY repairs without professional assistance can lead to inadequate restoration.
  • Proper drying techniques are essential to prevent mold growth and structural issues.

Delaying Water Damage Cleanup

When faced with water damage in your home, it may be tempting to delay the cleanup process. However, the consequences of delaying water damage cleanup can be severe and lead to further issues down the line. Immediate action is crucial in order to mitigate the damaging effects and prevent additional complications.

One of the primary consequences of delaying cleanup is the increased risk of mold growth. Moisture left untreated can create an ideal environment for mold spores to thrive, resulting in extensive mold infestations throughout your property. Not only can mold cause structural damage, but it can also pose serious health risks for you and your family.

Another consequence is the potential for secondary water damage. Water spreads quickly, seeping into porous materials such as drywall, flooring, and furniture. The longer the water is left untreated, the more extensive the damage becomes. This can lead to costly repairs and restoration efforts.

Additionally, delaying cleanup can prolong the disruption to your daily life. Water damage often requires the temporary relocation of residents and can disrupt normal household activities. By promptly addressing the issue, you can minimize the period of inconvenience and restore your home to its pre-damage condition more quickly.

To illustrate the consequences of delaying water damage cleanup, here is a comparison table:

Consequences of Delaying Cleanup Immediate Action and Timely Cleanup
Mold growth Mitigated and minimized
Structural damage Prevented or minimized
Health risks Reduced or eliminated
Costly repairs Potentially minimized
Disruption to daily life Shortened or avoided

As you can see, delaying water damage cleanup can have significant and far-reaching implications. It is crucial to take immediate action to mitigate the damage and protect your home and loved ones.

Ignoring Safety Precautions

When dealing with water damage, it is crucial to prioritize safety precautions to protect yourself and others. Ignoring these precautions can lead to potential dangers and further complications. Here are some essential safety measures to consider during the cleanup process:

  1. Turn Off the Power: Before entering any water-damaged area, ensure that the electricity is turned off to prevent the risk of electric shock. If you are unable to access the power source safely, contact a qualified electrician for assistance.
  2. Use Protective Gear: Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, goggles, and respirators to shield yourself from harmful substances and contaminants that may be present in the water or affected materials.
  3. Be Aware of Structural Instability: Water damage can weaken structures, leading to potential collapses. Avoid entering areas with visibly compromised structures and consult a professional to assess the structural integrity before proceeding with cleanup efforts.
  4. Beware of Slip and Fall Hazards: Wet surfaces can become slippery, increasing the risk of falls. Take caution when walking on wet floors or stairs and consider using non-slip footwear to improve traction.
  5. Avoid Contact with Contaminated Water: Water damage caused by sewage backups or flooding from external sources may contain hazardous contaminants. Refrain from direct contact with the water and seek professional assistance for proper cleanup and disinfection.
  6. Ensure Adequate Ventilation: Open windows, use fans, or run dehumidifiers to promote airflow and prevent the buildup of excess moisture and potentially harmful mold growth.
  7. Handle Cleaning Products Safely: If you choose to use cleaning products during the cleanup process, follow the instructions carefully, wear appropriate PPE, and keep the area well-ventilated to minimize the risk of chemical exposure.

By recognizing the potential dangers of water damage and implementing these safety precautions, you can minimize risks and protect yourself and others throughout the cleanup process.

Safety Precaution Description
Turn Off the Power Disconnect electrical power to prevent electric shock.
Use Protective Gear Wear gloves, goggles, and respirators to protect yourself from contaminants.
Be Aware of Structural Instability Avoid areas with compromised structures and assess structural integrity before proceeding.
Beware of Slip and Fall Hazards Take caution on wet surfaces and wear non-slip footwear to prevent falls.
Avoid Contact with Contaminated Water Avoid direct contact with water that may contain hazardous contaminants.
Ensure Adequate Ventilation Promote airflow and prevent mold growth by opening windows or using fans.
Handle Cleaning Products Safely Follow instructions, wear PPE, and ensure proper ventilation when using cleaning products.

Neglecting to Shut Off the Water Source

When dealing with water damage, one of the most crucial steps to prevent further damage is shutting off the water source as soon as possible. Failing to do so can lead to continuous water flow, exacerbating the situation and causing more harm to your property.

Identifying the water source is the first step in effectively shutting it off. Common sources include burst pipes, malfunctioning appliances, or plumbing issues. Once you have located the source, it’s important to act swiftly to turn off the water.

  • For burst pipes or plumbing issues, find the main water shut-off valve for your property. It is usually located near the water meter or in the basement.
  • If the water damage is a result of a malfunctioning appliance, such as a broken washing machine or dishwasher, turn off the water supply valve connected to the appliance.

By shutting off the water source, you can prevent further water from entering your property and causing additional damage. This crucial step buys you time to assess the situation and take appropriate action to mitigate the effects of water damage.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Shutting off the water source is essential to prevent further water damage.
  2. Identify the water source, such as burst pipes or malfunctioning appliances.
  3. Take immediate action to turn off the main water shut-off valve or the water supply valve connected to the affected appliance.

Attempting DIY Repairs Without Professional Assistance

When faced with water damage, it may be tempting to take matters into your own hands and attempt DIY repairs. While this may seem like a cost-effective solution, it is important to understand the risks involved and the benefits of seeking professional assistance.

DIY water damage repairs can be challenging and time-consuming, especially if you lack the necessary experience and knowledge. Without the proper expertise, you run the risk of overlooking critical areas of damage or performing repairs incorrectly, which can lead to further issues down the line.

By relying on professionals, you gain access to their specialized skills and equipment. Trained professionals have the expertise to assess the extent of the water damage accurately and implement appropriate restoration techniques. They can address hidden water damage, mitigate the risk of mold growth, and restore your property to its pre-damaged condition more effectively.

Seeking professional assistance for water damage repairs offers several benefits:

  • Expertise: Professionals have the knowledge and experience to handle various types of water damage effectively, ensuring thorough restoration.
  • Efficiency: Professional water damage restoration companies have access to state-of-the-art equipment and techniques, enabling them to expedite the repair process.
  • Prevention of Further Damage: Professionals can identify underlying issues that may have caused the water damage and address them appropriately, preventing future recurrence.
  • Insurance Assistance: If you have insurance coverage for water damage, professionals can help navigate the claims process and provide the necessary documentation.

When it comes to water damage, it is wise to prioritize your property’s long-term well-being and reach out to professionals for assistance. Their expertise and resources will ensure a thorough, efficient, and ultimately successful restoration process.

Neglecting Proper Drying Techniques

When it comes to dealing with water damage, it’s crucial to prioritize proper drying techniques. Neglecting this important step can lead to long-term consequences, including the growth of mold and further damage to your property.

To prevent mold growth and mitigate the risk of additional harm, follow these essential tips for effectively drying affected areas:

  1. Remove standing water: Begin by eliminating any standing water using a wet/dry vacuum or a pump. Be sure to take safety precautions and wear protective gear, such as gloves and boots, when handling water from potentially contaminated sources.
  2. Extract excess moisture: After removing the standing water, use dehumidifiers and fans to extract excess moisture from walls, floors, and other surfaces. This will help accelerate the drying process and prevent the growth of mold.
  3. Focus on hidden areas: Don’t overlook hidden areas that may be prone to retaining moisture, such as crawl spaces, attics, and wall cavities. Make sure to thoroughly dry these spaces to avoid potential mold growth and structural issues.
  4. Utilize professional-grade equipment: Consider utilizing professional-grade drying equipment, such as air movers and dehumidifiers, to ensure efficient and thorough drying. These tools are specifically designed for water damage restoration and can help expedite the drying process.
  5. Monitor humidity levels: Regularly monitor the humidity levels in the affected areas using a moisture meter. Aim for a humidity level below 45% to prevent mold growth. If the humidity remains high, continue the drying process until the desired level is achieved.

By following these proper drying techniques, you can effectively prevent mold growth and mitigate further damage to your property. Remember, if the water damage is extensive or you’re unsure about the drying process, it’s always advisable to seek professional help for comprehensive restoration.

Take a look at the image below to visualize the importance of proper drying techniques:

Overlooking Hidden Water Damage

Identifying hidden water damage is crucial to preventing structural issues in your home. Water can seep into hidden areas, such as walls, ceilings, and floors, causing long-term damage if left untreated. By learning how to spot signs of hidden water damage and taking prompt action, you can protect your home from potential structural problems.

Signs of Hidden Water Damage

Hidden water damage may not be immediately visible, but there are subtle signs that can alert you to its presence. Keep an eye out for the following indicators:

  • Musty odors: A persistent musty smell could indicate hidden moisture and mold growth.
  • Discoloration: Stains, yellowing, or dark patches on walls, ceilings, or floors may be a sign of water damage.
  • Peeling or bubbling paint: Excess moisture can cause paint to peel or bubble, especially in areas prone to water exposure.
  • Warped or sagging surfaces: Water damage can cause walls, ceilings, and floors to become distorted or sag.
  • Visible mold: The presence of mold, particularly in hidden areas, indicates a moisture issue.

Steps for Prompt Remediation

If you suspect hidden water damage in your home, it’s important to take immediate action to prevent further problems:

  1. Track the source: Investigate the possible source of the water damage, such as leaking pipes, roof leaks, or foundation cracks.
  2. Document the damage: Take photos or videos of the affected areas to provide evidence for insurance claims or professional assessments.
  3. Contact a professional: Seek the assistance of a licensed water damage restoration specialist who can identify the extent of the damage and recommend appropriate remediation steps.
  4. Address the underlying issue: Repair the source of the water damage to prevent future occurrences.
  5. Remove moisture and dry the area: Use dehumidifiers, fans, and proper ventilation to eliminate excess moisture and aid in the drying process.
  6. Repair and restore: Repair any damaged materials and restore the affected area to its pre-damage condition.

By being vigilant and proactive in identifying hidden water damage, you can safeguard your home from structural issues and costly repairs in the future.


In conclusion, when it comes to dealing with water damage, it is crucial to avoid certain mistakes that can exacerbate the situation. By taking immediate action and prioritizing safety precautions, you can minimize the potential risks and prevent further damage to your property.

One of the key mistakes to avoid is delaying water damage cleanup. The longer you wait, the greater the chances of structural issues, mold growth, and other complications. Swiftly addressing the problem can save you time, money, and stress in the long run.

Additionally, shutting off the water source is paramount to prevent further damage. Identifying the source and taking the necessary steps to turn it off can significantly minimize the extent of the water damage and facilitate the restoration process.

While it may be tempting to attempt DIY repairs, it is best to seek professional assistance. Trained professionals have the knowledge, expertise, and proper equipment to handle water damage effectively. Relying on their expertise ensures thorough restoration and reduces the risk of future problems.


What are some common water damage mistakes to avoid?

Some common water damage mistakes to avoid include delaying cleanup, ignoring safety precautions, neglecting to shut off the water source, attempting DIY repairs without professional assistance, neglecting proper drying techniques, and overlooking hidden water damage.

What are the consequences of delaying water damage cleanup?

Delaying water damage cleanup can lead to further damage, including mold growth, structural issues, and increased restoration costs. It is crucial to take immediate action to mitigate the damage.

What safety precautions should be taken when dealing with water damage?

When dealing with water damage, it is essential to prioritize safety precautions. This includes wearing protective gear such as gloves and boots, shutting off the electrical power, and being cautious of potential hazards like slippery surfaces and contaminated water.

How do I shut off the water source during water damage?

To shut off the water source during water damage, locate the main water shut-off valve in your home. It is usually located near the water meter or where the main water line enters the house. Turn the valve clockwise to shut off the water supply.

Why should I seek professional assistance for water damage repairs?

Attempting DIY repairs without professional assistance can be risky and may not address the underlying issues effectively. Professional water damage restoration experts have the knowledge, experience, and specialized equipment to ensure thorough and efficient repairs, reducing the risk of further damage and complications.

What are the proper drying techniques for water damage?

Proper drying techniques for water damage include removing standing water, using dehumidifiers and fans to promote air circulation, and monitoring moisture levels. It is also crucial to utilize professional-grade equipment and follow industry best practices to prevent mold growth and further damage.

How can I identify hidden water damage?

To identify hidden water damage, look for signs such as musty odors, discoloration on walls or ceilings, warped or discolored flooring, or the presence of mold. Pay attention to areas that are not easily visible, such as behind furniture, inside cabinets, or within wall cavities.

What should I do if I discover hidden water damage?

If you discover hidden water damage, it is crucial to take immediate action. Contact a professional water damage restoration company to assess the extent of the damage and develop a comprehensive remediation plan. Prompt treatment can help prevent further structural issues and restore the affected areas effectively.

Denver Clean-up & Restoration Services

With over 150 years of combined experience, the Colorado Cleanup Services, Inc. team has the knowledge, skill, and commitment necessary to handle any emergency cleanup services you may require. From flood and fire damage restoration to sewage backup, and coronavirus cleanup services in Denver, CO, you can always turn to us when you need deep, disinfecting cleaning for your home or business.

Family-owned and operated, our cleaning company is proud to provide the services of trained and certified technicians to all our clients. Our impressive team knows what it takes to return damaged properties to their original condition with the highest level of professionalism. Don’t settle for anything less when you require high-quality disaster recovery services. Our team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure you receive the help you need when you need it give us a call: 303-237-4406.

Share this post!