7 Tips for Cleaning Up Water Damage

Posted on September 26, 2020.

water nearly covers a road sign
Water can damage a home very quickly.  

Here are 7 tips for cleaning up water damage. After your home has experienced water damage, you will find yourself cleaning up a watery mess. Whether it is ripping up carpet or tiles, tearing down drywall, and/or replacing furnishings, you’ve got a lot of work ahead of you to get your home back in order.

When taking on the work yourself, follow these 7 tips for cleaning up after water damage affects your home.

Disconnect the Power and Gas Before Entering the Home’s Premises:

Before anything can be done, you need to shut down the electrical supply and shut off the gas. Turning off power leading into the affected area, especially if water rises above electrical outlets, will help reduce the risk of electrical shock. Turning off the gas will prevent harmful fumes from building up and seeping into your home.

7 Tips for Cleaning Up After Water Damage

  1. Remove Important Items

Remove electronics, furniture, and any other important items immediately. The quicker you can get items out of the water, the better chance you will have of saving them. You can also try pulling up your carpets and underpadding or even some sticky back tiles to see what you can salvage.

  1. Prepare for Water Damage Insurance Claims

Many homeowner’s insurance policies cover unexpected water damage. Contact your insurance adjuster immediately and take the following steps to prepare for the claim. It is important to note, water damage to your home is generally covered by a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. If the damage is considered sudden internal water damage, your policy usually protects you. However, it usually does not cover damage done by lack of maintenance or neglect, nor damage resulting from a flood.

To prepare for your insurance claim, take the following steps:

  • Take photos to keep track of household items and home conditions.
  • Keep damaged materials for proof of loss.
  • Be present if an adjuster needs to visit your home.
  • The adjuster will assess the damage to the house, providing you with a proof of loss statement to sign.
  • Additional damages can be added when properly identified.
  1. Remove Excess Water

Removing excess water is the most challenging part. If there is enough water that you need to turn off power, you will have to take the manual approach: gather buckets, towels and mops to try and get rid of as much water as possible. This can be physically taxing, so take breaks when necessary. If you have a way to supply power, or a backup generator, you can hook up an automatic pump or a wet vac to remove the water. Either way, it is essential to remove the excess water at the earliest possible time.

  1. Dry Out the Damaged Area

When you have finished removing excess water, move on to the drying stage as soon as possible. Use fans, a dehumidifier and open any windows (as long as it is not raining, of course) to improve air circulation and help dry out the damaged area. Continue to circulate dry air. If it is humid and in the middle of the summer months, consider running the air conditioning to avoid a muggy interior to your home.

  1. Clean and Disinfect the Damaged Area

After the damaged area has had time to dry, use a good disinfectant to remove any bacteria that might have come up through sewers, plumbing, or from outside, depending on your water source. Various affordable and accessible cleaning solutions can help clean the area, including bleach, ammonia, borax, vinegar, and baking soda.

  1. Take Steps to Stop Mold Growth

Once the damaged area has been dried and cleaned, it is time to take preventative steps to stop mold from growing. Apply a mold control spray, like Concrobium, over the affected area according to directions on the bottle. Once the spray dries overnight, it will destroy any mold spores and provide continued blockage.

  1. Dispose of Damaged Items in a Responsible Way

You will undoubtedly have damaged material or furnishings to get rid of – make sure to do it in the most responsible way you are able. You may be tempted to just throw everything into a dumpster or the trash and send it off, but many water-damaged materials can be sorted out and recycled. This way, you will do your part to prevent unnecessary waste and protect the environment. It is an additional step to recycle items, but it is well worth it.

In conclusion,

Once you have water damage in your home, you will want to follow these 7 tips to clean up after water damage.  You must stop the water from entering and dry up as much as possible.  Contact your insurance agent and prevent mold from growing.  Remove and discard damaged items in the most responsible way that you can.

Contact ServiceMaster Today for All of Your Water Cleanup Needs

For the best water cleanup services in the greater Twin Cities metro area, get in touch with the expert technicians at ServiceMaster. We do everything we can to help you get your home back to normal as quickly as possible, offering 24/7 availability every single day of the year.

When we partner with you, we apply our expertise, training, and equipment to fix any water damage your home is facing. Whether you need help with water cleanup, mold removal, and remediation, or fire damage and cleanup, ServiceMaster will help get your property back to the normal form and function, and your life back on track.

Get in Touch! Contact ServiceMaster of Minneapolis today by calling (612) 263-8543 or filling out a form on our contact page. We are here whenever disaster strikes – contact us now!


This is an updated blog.  You will find the original blog published on August 19, 2018 Here.

Mold Removal and Remediation Tips-Try This

Posted on September 22, 2020.

Mold Removal and Remediation Tips include removing the source of water, drying up the area completely, and calling the insurance company. When you spot mold in your place, you will want to identify the source of water.


mold growing on a wall with dirty floors

Identify the Source:

Mold needs moisture to grow, and if it’s growing in your shower, you may just need to add ventilation to the room, but if it is growing under the sink cabinet, you could have a leaky pipe that needs to be fixed. If you find yourself with mold in a corner of the basement, look at whether or not your downspouts are working correctly. If you see mold in corners or crevices of your home, you may need a dehumidifier. The very first thing you must do is identify the source of moisture and prevent it from continuing.

Call In Professionals:

One additional mold removal and remediation tip would be to call a professional like ServiceMaster. They are certified mold remediation experts and will walk you through the problem, step by step. The EPA suggests you not try to clean an area larger than 3 feet by yourself. If you find yourself with an area larger than 3 feet with mold, consider calling the professionals.

Call Your Insurance Company:

Once you have dried up the mold after water damage, you will want to call your insurance company. When you’ve had some sort of water damage event, and you’re afraid that mold is growing from it, you should check with your insurance agency to see if there is a line item maximum on your homeowner’s policy. Sometimes there are maximum limits with insurance companies, and it is understood that mold growing after a water event is the only type of mold mitigation that will be covered by insurance.


If you have found mold in your home, you will have needed to have a water damage claim in place and paid to explore an insurance claim. If there is mold in your house that you believe has been caused by the first event of water damage, you can contact your insurance company. The largest problem with water damage is what you cannot see.

Mold Removal and Remediation Tips will help you Clear up a Growing Mold Problem:

Calling in the experts for mold and water damage will help mitigate the problems. There are over 200 kinds of mold and some are extremely hard to kill. Experts will also have the correct equipment to help with the job at hand. There is a moisture meter that they can read, giving them a red, yellow, or green light to indicate the moisture present behind sheetrock or other forms of paneling. The problems that lie with water damage are often what you cannot see.

In Conclusion:

You need to identify the source of moisture with a mold problem. Then you need to clear up the water and dry out the area. You may need to call in experts like Service Master, and then you will want to call your insurance company.

Its Winter Again

Posted on September 14, 2020.

snowflake or winter

With the frost warning this morning, and the fog in the lowlands, we can sense that winter is coming. I know we do not want to think about it, but winter is right around the corner.  Many people look to the Farmer’s Almanac to see how badly the snow and cold will affect us. Everyone should think about preparing their home for snow and freezing temps.

For most of us, we do not think to prepare our home for winter.  There are a few simple things we can do to ensure our homes will be safe from water damage.  During the winter months, ServiceMaster gets a large volume of claims due to frozen pipes.  Below are some tips to avoid having ServiceMaster come to your home this winter.

Disconnect your hose and shut off your water:

Make sure before the outside temps reach 32 degrees or below you remove your hose from the outside spigot.  Also if accessible shut off the water to the outside spigot.  This will prevent water from freezing in the pipe over the winter months. If the pipe does freeze you will not know until spring.  The water stays frozen in the pipe until temperatures reach above freezing.

Foam Insulation around Piping:

Another way to protect your pipes from freezing, wrap each pipe in foam insulation.  Most hardware stores have the foam tubes designed specifically for plumbing pipes.  Installation is easy and takes no time compared to the cost and time it takes to dry out your home from water damage. This is an easy and low-cost option to protect your home.

Maintain your home’s heat if you are going away:

If you are going on vacation like many of us do over the cold winter months, make sure you have someone checking on your home.  Having a neighbor or a friend check on your home every couple of days can be the difference between small or large water damage.  Set your thermoset for 60 degrees.  Your home’s heat should be maintained while you are away.  Have your furnace inspected before you leave, especially if you are leaving for an extended time.  If your heat goes out during the winter months the results can be devastating.  Many times people go out of town and come home to large water damage and are in need of ServiceMaster’s services.

In conclusion,

Just a few steps of preparation in the fall can save you loads of trouble in the spring.  Disconnect your hoses and shut off the water.  Insulate your pipes outside, and have someone check on your home if you leave town.  Maintain your heat in your dwelling over the winter.  These are just a few tips to help protect your home this winter.  Check back for more recommendations from the experienced team at ServiceMaster.


This is an updated blog.  This was originally posted on November 1, 2013. The original version can be found here.

Disaster Restoration and Recovery

Posted on September 4, 2020.

servicemaster restore yellow work van

Disaster Restoration and Recovery is a specialized field. We are known for many things here at ServiceMaster, but none makes us as proud as the work we do with Disaster Restoration and Recovery. Our experts are trained to recognize what needs to be done first to mitigate more damage. We work with our customers to provide the quickest recovery possible.


When Disaster Strikes

Whether it is your business location or your home, Disaster Restoration and Recovery are important at all times of the day. Disasters can happen at any time of the day, which is why our phones are answered 24/7. We are on call 365 days of the year because we recognize that disaster does not adhere to our holiday schedule in America. Knowing that you may need us on a major holiday, we work hard to be available to you. We will be present in your time of need.

Natural Disasters

Tornadoes, straight-line winds, and water damage happen frequently during April through September here in the Midwest. Ice storms and damage from ice dams can happen all winter. We are aware of what types of damage these natural occurrences can have with your home. Water seeps through a leaking roof, and you have a much bigger problem. You can call us any time to assess the damage from a storm, and we work with your insurance company adjuster as well.

Mold and BioHazard

Mold can seem like a natural disaster has struck your home if the mold is found to be behind sheetrock or paneling. Often, it feels like everything is ruined in your home when you find mold. We are mold remediation specialists and we are adept at saving what we can. The same is true when there are biohazards present.

Fire Damage and Hoarding Cleaning

Fires of any can wreak havoc. Smoke damage and water damage are present anytime there is a fire on your premise. Hoarding Cleaning is also a recovery effort. We work with the sensitive nature of the situation to recover your valuables and search out what can be saved.

Trauma Scene Services

There are times when the unforeseeable happens in your home or your place of work. We work quietly and quickly to get things back to normal as fast as possible. We are sensitive to the nature of trauma scenes and cleanup work. As disaster restoration and recovery experts, we know the best route for cleanup and mitigation.


Have A Plan

September is National Preparedness Month, and FEMA and others suggest you have a plan in place, whether for business or home.  Know that you can always look to the yellow ServiceMaster van as a friend during rough times. Our van and the presence of our Disaster Restoration and Recovery experts bring a sense of calm to the chaos. We pride ourselves on our professionalism and meeting your needs. Recognizing the yellow van from ServiceMaster gives peace of mind that order will be restored.


Disaster can strike at any time but knowing that you can call ServiceMaster to help with any Disaster Restoration and Recovery needs you might have brings peace of mind. We staff our phones 24/7/365 as we know disaster has no timeline. Recognize our yellow vans and ask for us by name. We will work with your insurance adjusters as well.

Get in touch