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Do it yourself home water clean up and water damage repair DIY.

Updated on April 13, 2010

Stop the water!

This article contains some real how to information! not just a bunch of text to get you to click on links. I will give you some real practical advice on how to clean up and repair water damage whether it be from a flood, plumbing leak, or roof leak. First off you need to stop the water! If it is a leak in your plumbing you will probably have to shut the water main off at the street (or pressure tank if you are on a well). If the water is coming from roof damage a tarp will normally work for a quick fix. If it's from a flood you will need sandbags to try to divert the water away from the house. This will only work for small flooding areas. In a big flood you will just have to wait it out.

Ok, Now that the water is stopped let’s make sure the power is turned off to the room or rooms that are affected. You can usually just go to your breaker box and find the breakers that need to be turned off. If you cannot get to the breaker box without going through water you should call an emergency water damage professional.

Do it yourself home water clean up and water damage repair DIY.
Do it yourself home water clean up and water damage repair DIY.

Get the water up.

The first thing you need to do is get the water out of the house. The longer the water sits the more damage you will have to your home. If you have a lot of standing water and you are in the basement or any room that you cannot open the door and sweep the water out you can use a shop vac for smaller job or you can use a pump for bigger jobs (you can get a small pump for a garden hose that attaches to your drill at most hardware/plumbing stores for cheap). If the room has carpet you will need to use a shop vac to suck as much water out of the carpet as possible to avoid carpet water damage. If you cannot get the water up in a timely manner call a local water damage service.

Salvage what you can.

Move all furniture and appliances out of the room and dry them off the best you can. Then collect any papers and pictures that are not totally destroyed and lay them out to dry. If your cloths got wet the most important thing to remember is to get your clothes dry as quickly as possible. If you can, wash them ASAP. If not hang them up to dry. If your clothes have fire water damage you will most likely have to toss them. Or call a water restoration service.

Get the air circulating.

Ok, now we need to get the air circulating to dry the room out. If it is not raining open the windows up all the way. If it is raining you will still need to open some of the windows just make sure that rainwater is not coming through the open window. Next, if you have ceiling fans turn them on high. You will also need to place floor fans, box fans, or air movers in each room. You may also need to use a dehumidifier or two. The dehumidifier has a tank that fills with water as it is extracted from the air. You will need to empty it often. If you have carpet that got soaked you will need to lift it up and get air moving under it. Otherwise the carpet pad will not dry which will lead to nasty smells and mold. Just pull the carpet loose from that tack strips and stuff some 2x4’s or something under it to create an air space between the carpet and the pad. Then stuff an air mover or fan under the edge of the carpet.

Start Cleaning.

Now, if the water was not really nasty you can just mop the floors and clean the walls with all purpose cleaner. But if it was sewer water or other “black water” you will need a sewage cleanup professional.

Accessing and fixing Damage.

Now let’s take a look at that water damaged carpet. If it was clean water you may be able to salvage it. Depending on the type of carpet that became soaked and how long it remained wet. If it was saturated by “black water” (sewer ect.) it is definitely not salvageable and should be replaced at once.


Hardwood floors will most likely be stained. In this case they will need to be refinished. If they don’t look to bad you can just give them a good mop and call it good.


Drywall water damage repair. Check for ceiling water damage and wall waterdamage. If the drywall is just stained, you can fix it with a stain blocking primer and new paint.


For small bubbles and minor damage (3 or 4 inches) you will need to scrape them off and fill with drywall mud (20 minute hot mud works good for this). Now let the mud set up. If the hole went all the way through the drywall you will need to cover the entire hole with ether mesh tape or paper tape. If you are using mesh tape just stick it to the drywall make sure it overlaps its self and the hole by at least ½ inch. Then just cover it with all purpose drywall mud. If you are using paper tape put a thin layer of mud over the area then stick the paper tape to the mud overlapping the hole. Let dry after smoothing the paper out with your trowel. Then cover the paper tape with a coat of mud. After it’s all dry you can sand it smooth at this point or you may need to put another skim coat of mud over the patch to smooth it out better. Sand smooth then prime all patches with drywall primer. Next you will need to retexture the patches to match the existing wall. The easiest way to texture is to use the stuff in the can (you are limited to orange peel or knock down). You can find it at most hardware store.


If your drywall is bowed or has any other major damage you will need to replace the affected are. First you will need to locate the nearest stud on either side of the damage. Use a nail to poke some holes through the drywall. Keep making holes in a line horizontally across the wall until you locate the studs (you will need to cut down the middle of the studs). Cut a rectangle out of the drywall with a utility knife. Next, replace the area with new drywall. Then mud and tape the joints using the method explained above. If the damage is more sever you will need to call a fire and water damage restoration company.

Feel free to ask me questions.

I would be happy to answer any questions about water damage home or any other topic. Just ask it in the comment box below.

I just started a new website! The Whole Armor of God. It's a christian forum and blog.


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    • profile image


      2 years ago

      I had a temporary U-Haul storage container that I used for 2+ years. I opened it up to clean it out 3 days ago & discovered that it had been leaking & there is water damage & a very foul smell. I am getting rid of most of the items in there but some papers & photos I need to keep. What is the best way to dry & deodorize the things I need to keep? Someone suggested putting them in a container of dry rice?

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Great hub. thanks a lot for sharing this useful information on water damage repair. Your post is quite helpful. I once tried repairing the water damage in my home but failed to repair the problem and finally called for an expert water damage repair service. I found these services on Great hub. thanks a lot for sharing this useful information on water damage repair. Your post is quite helpful. I once tried repairing the water damage in my home but failed to repair the problem and finally called for an expert water damage repair service. I found these services on

      Water damage is really a serious problem indeed. I would like to share

    • Joe Mundae profile image

      Joe Mundae 

      4 years ago

      Recently we had a pipe lick in our kitchen. I am looking for some cleaning services online to get the for water damage services who could help me remove the stains and clean the kitchen with proper disinfectants.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Recently we had a pipe lick in our kitchen. I am looking for some cleaning services online to get the for water damage services who could help me remove the stains and clean the kitchen with proper disinfectants.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      water heater flood! we have the carpets and pads out and all the floors dried out. Now realizing that the insulation could be wet under the floor! we have a manufactured home. Should we puncture the membrain that seals the home on the bottom?

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      A water damage restoration company said they would spray anti-microbials in our attic after removing the wet this something we could do ourselves?

    • WaterDamageCincy profile image

      AAA Emergency Services Inc. 

      5 years ago from Cincinnati, Ohio

      Water Damage to your home or business can create unseen damage to your home or business if not properly dried and treated by professionals who specialize in water damage. It is advisable to contact a Restoration Company who is certified for water damage cleanup and mold remediation. If you face water damage to your home or business in the Greater Cincinnati Metro area, Call on a Certified Restoration Specialist for a free water damage consultation. 513-769-0555

    • profile image

      Jonathan smith 

      5 years ago

      Hi 'jakewen', very informative post. Water damage is really a serious problem indeed. sometimes, we do not get the professional services to restore the damage. At that time, your tips can be helpful for the people.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Am just wondering if you know of any product you can place around a hot water heater, for example, to seriously soak up water in case of a major leak in the tank? I know there are some supersoaker things, but don't know where to get them.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Very helpful. Had a water leak and just wanted to make sure I was doing all I should to help it dry properly.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great hub. I once tried repairing the water damage but failed. Thanks for you information about DIY the repairing. I think it is certainly very helpful. Days ago I found a team that offers water damage repairing service. They are very professional. See

    • profile image

      Floor fans 

      8 years ago

      Great hub. I once had to deal with a geyser breaking and our entire home was flooded, we managed to get a floor fan that worked a charm. Some of the furniture was a little water damaged, but at least the floor recovered well.

      If we hadn't acted so fast, I'm sure the damage would have been worse, so make sure that the fan you get can work quickly and effectively.


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