When it comes to major leaks, early detection is key. That’s why, here in Omaha, we install an HVAC leak detection system for free every time we replace a customer’s HVAC unit. And for at-risk plumbing and appliances (like washing machines and ice makers) we always recommend customers place a small leak alarm in hard-to-see leak zones.

The benefit of these leak alarms is that you’re alerted the moment your leak detector senses moisture before water floods your floors or seeps into the walls. And instead of noticing damp walls and a moldy odor hours or days after a slow leak starts, you can shut off your water supply and dial your trusty plumber in under five minutes flat.

Fixing a leak at the first sign of a problem is easy (at least, for our plumbing pros!). But cleaning up the mess left behind by a busted pipe, flooded basement, or corroded drain pan? Especially if the leak has slowly spread for weeks or months? That takes some real effort.

If our early leak detection tips are too little, too late, try these five steps for restoring your space after major moisture:

  1. Clean up any standing water

While your plumbing repair service team will likely clean up the water from a bathroom or kitchen leak, if you’re dealing with a flooded basement or significant moisture, you may need to run your sump pump or rent a wet/dry vacuum to remove the extra water.

  1. Ventilate the area

When your home surfaces are exposed to dirty water, mold can start to grow in as little as 24 hours. That means if your leak is more than a day or two old, there’s a more-than-likely chance dangerous spores can spread across your floors, walls, and insulation.

To stop mold and mildew from taking over your post-leak zone, use fans and dehumidifiers to quickly dry out the area. Open windows and doors to improve ventilation, and allow fresh air to circulate through your space for several hours.

If you notice discolored patches, a musty, earthy smell, or visible mold growth, call in a professional mold remediation service as soon as possible—especially if you or your family have breathing sensitivities.

  1. Sanitize your spaces

To further reduce the risk of mold growth and freshen up your area, use a mild cleaning solution to disinfect your walls, floors, baseboards, and other surfaces that came into contact with the leak. Wash your rugs or lay them out in the sun to kill any lingering bacteria. Don’t forget to wipe down your furniture, too!

  1. Look for structural damage

If a major leak flooded your floors or walls, or traveled from an upstairs bathroom into downstairs rooms, we recommend having a qualified professional inspect the damage before you repair the cosmetic issues. Rotting floors, warped walls, and compromised structural elements can put your safety at risk, if not repaired quickly.

  1. Restore, repaint, and refinish

Once your post-leak area is dry, clean, mold-free, and structurally sound, you can begin making cosmetic repairs. Depending on the leak area, you may need to repair your floors, replace your baseboards, patch your sheetrock, or repaint. Now’s also a good time to install a leak detector or two, just in case!

Dealing with the aftermath of a plumbing leak can feel overwhelming. But Burton can help.

For homeowners here in Omaha, our plumbing repair service team is at-the-ready 24/7/365. At the first sign of a drip, overflow, or puddle, turn off your water and pick up the phone. We’ll be by in no time—with a fully-stocked truck and up-front pricing—to solve your plumbing problems fast. Contact us at (402) 343-0011 or send us a message to learn more and schedule your service.