8 Steps to Take After a Water Damage Emergency

8 Steps to Take After a Water Damage Emergency

Because water damage can happen quickly and unexpectedly, it is helpful to know what steps to take right away to minimize the loss to your property. Whether you experience flooding, a burst pipe, a sewage backup, or another type of water damage, here are some steps you can take to address these kinds of emergencies.

1. Cut off the Flow of Water

The first and most important step to take is to stop the influx of water into your property. 

For broken pipes, broken sprinkler heads, or domestic water issues, you can often stop the flow of water with a shut-off valve. Take the precaution of knowing where your building’s shut-off valves are located to be prepared for a water damage emergency.

For sewage or sanitary system backups, you will want to stop the use of water from sinks, toilets, showers, etc. to prevent water from flowing into the blocked area and worsening the backup.

If you notice a slow plumbing leak or a roof leak, you should still treat it as an emergency because these leaks can quickly cause mold, structural damage, and other serious and costly issues.

Sometimes you may only be able to identify water damage because of a musty smell, indoor humidity issues, mold, or deteriorating building materials, but you should still follow these steps to address water damage.

2. Protect Yourself & Your Family

The safety of you and your family is also of utmost importance during a water damage emergency. Here are some things you should do to keep everyone protected:

  • Turn off the power: Unplug appliances, and with a flashlight handy if necessary, turn off the main breaker on your service panel to cut power to your home. However, if either of these tasks requires you to enter or stand in wet areas, do not do them. Wait for a professional to assess the situation. Do not enter water-damaged areas or re-enter your water-damaged home until the electricity is off.
  • Wear protective gear: Rubber boots and gloves can help protect you against injuries and cuts that could become infected from contaminated water.
  • Protect your valuables: If possible, lift wood furniture off wet carpeting and place aluminum foil under the feet to prevent staining. Remove any rugs on wet or damp flooring.
  • Don’t disturb visible mold: This will release more mold spores into the air and increase the likelihood of further mold growth.

3. Call Your Insurance Company

Homeowner’s insurance varies depending on the policies you have. The insurance company will send an adjuster to assess the damage and determine if it is a covered loss.


To prepare, make a list of your personal possessions and their values. When you identify water damage, take photos of the area to monitor the progression of the damage, and keep photos of the area before the damage if you have them. You should also take photos before, during, and after the cleanup and repair process.

4. Call Water Removal & Water Damage Restoration Company

Water Damage Kansas City | Water Damage Restoration & Removal

To minimize damage to your property and prevent further damage down the line, you should contact a trusted water damage and restoration company as soon as you can.

Power Dry has been providing top-notch water removal, sewage cleanup, mold remediation, drying services, and more for 34 years. Our team is available 24/7 and ready to help you address your water damage emergency and restore your property to its pre-loss condition.

5. Clean Up Standing Water

Standing water needs to be cleaned up before property damage can be assessed and repaired. Water removal specialists may be required to clean up large amounts of water. The team at Power Dry can provide this service with professional-grade wet vacuums.

You should also keep in mind the type of water that has entered your property. It can be Category 1, 2, or 3 Water.

Category 1 Water originates from a sanitary water source and does not pose a substantial risk to human health. 

Category 1 Water can include:

  • Broken water supply lines
  • Tub or sink overflows with no contaminants
  • Melting ice or snow
  • Falling rainwater
  • Toilet supply tank overflows or cracks
  • Toilet bowls that do not contain contaminants or chemicals

Category 2 Water is contaminated with chemical or biological matter, and coming into contact with it can cause health issues.

Category 2 Water can include:

  • Discharge from dishwashers or washing machines
  • Overflows from washing machines
  • Overflows from toilet bowls on the room side of the trap with some urine but no feces
  • Seepage due to hydrostatic pressure
  • Broken aquariums
  • Punctured water beds
  • Wind-driven rain from hurricanes
  • Tropical Storms

Category 3 Water is highly contaminated and can contain harmful pathogens, toxins, and other substances.

Category 3 Water can include:

  • Sewage
  • Toilet backflows that originate from beyond the toilet trap, regardless of visible color or content
  • All forms of flooding from seawater
  • Ground surface water and rising from rivers and streams
  • Above sources carrying silt, organic matter, pesticides, heavy metals, regulated materials, or toxic organic substances

If not treated promptly, Category 1 or 2 Water can deteriorate into Category 3 Water. If you believe that your property has been affected by contaminated water or you are unsure, you should protect yourself from the water and contact qualified professionals who can remove the water safely and clean and sanitize all affected areas.

6. Start Water Damage Repair Immediately

Remember to document all the damage to your property before starting your water damage repair process, as this will help with future insurance claims.

If possible, water damage restoration should begin 24-48 hours after it is safe to re-enter your home in order to minimize damage. You may need to remove flooring, drywall, and insulation to prevent the spread of mold and mildew, and furniture, carpeting, and hardwood floors need to be dried quickly.

A full-service water damage restoration and repair company can help you tackle this process.

7. Check for Mold


Mold only takes about 24 hours to grow, and it can pose serious health risks to people and pets, which is why prompt action to address water damage is so important. You should thoroughly inspect your property for mold, including in carpets, walls, drywall, flooring, and more. Mold remediation specialists can help you identify unseen mold, remove it, and completely dry all building materials to prevent regrowth.

8. Decide What Needs To Be Restored After Water Damage

The restoration process after water damage is typically what takes the longest amount of time. Flooring and walls may need to be replaced, personal items and appliances may need to be repaired, etc. For major reconstruction, you will likely need to hire a full-service water damage restoration and repair company that serves both residential and commercial properties.

Contact Power Dry for Water Damage Repair Services

If you have experienced a water damage emergency, you can rely on the team at Power Dry to restore your property to its pre-loss condition and get your life back to normal. We provide comprehensive water removal, drying services, sewage cleanup, mold remediation, and more 24/7, so we are available right when you need us. Contact Power Dry today for a free onsite estimate.

What Our Water Damage Customers Are Saying...

Deb K
Deb K
Gardener, KS
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This is the team to get when you have water damage! They showed up within an hour of initial call to analyze and provide plan. They immediately started service after our approval. Every day they called and checked on the drying equipment they set up. They even called Saturday to see if they could stop in on Sunday! Amazing! If you need water removal, this place should be your professionals!
Sharla S
Sharla S
Kansas City
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Power Dry came out within an hour after me calling (it was not an emergency) and provided excellent service. I was very impressed with their professionalism. Highly recommend!
David L.
David L.
Olathe, KS
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I just had a great experience with Power Dry! Their response time was incredibly fast! The work was completed much faster than I expected. Everyone I dealt with was very professional and friendly. The price for their services was more than fair. The quality of their work is great! I highly recommend using Power Dry.
Pat C
Pat C
Kansas City
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Very professional and kind during a stressful time for our family. I hope we don’t need to use their services again, but if we do we will not hesitate to have them help us out again.