toilet leak

The following tips and recommendations represent a brief summary of the different steps needed during a water mitigation process. This material has been prepared to help you minimize or eliminate any future problems related to a minor water damage.

First we need to define what “minor water damage” could be. Please refer to our Water Damage Guidelines page, where we cover in detail the different scenarios we find or could find during the mitigation or drying process.

There are different questions you should answer first in order to determine if the water damage is something you can handle yourself.

  1. Did you find and fix the source of the water intrusion?
  2. Does the water contain any contaminant or health hazard? (examples: sewage or rain with soil water)
  3. Do you know how many areas are affected?
  4. Do you know exactly how extensive the damage is?
  5. Is there any hazard or Risk around affected areas? (Example: an electrical outlet?
  6. Are the wet materials salvageable?
  7. Do you have the tools or equipment needed to perform the water mitigation

Window leak

For Instance:  you forgot to close a window on the bottom floor during a storm, now the carpet around the window is wet. Most likely the drywall in between the floor and the window is also wet. In this case we know the following:

  • Source of water ? = Rain 
  • Any health hazard? = No
  • How many affected areas? = 1
  • How extensive the damage is? = Drywall, baseboard (trim), carpet, and carpet pad.
  • Any hazard or Risk? = No
  • Can we salvage the wet materials? = carpet (yes), drywall (maybe), baseboard (maybe)
  • What tools do I need? = A wet back (or few towels), carpet or utility knife, pry bar, pliers, hammer, and 1 small fan.




  1. Remove the excess water from the carpet using the wet back or towels. Minimum tools
  2. Using the pliers, lift the carpet and check how wet the carpet pad is. If the padding is not too wet, use the wet vac or towels to dry it out as much as you can. If the padding is too wet, cut it out.
  3. You may use any anti-microbial or disinfectant (from any grocerystore's cleaning department) (Just make sure, the product will not stain the carpet.) Spray it on the back of the carpet and on top of carpet pad.  If the damage just happened, you could skip this step.
  4. If drywall is not too wet, you can either: (if drywall is too wet, just remove it all)   4.1 Remove the baseboard using the hammer and prier bar, then cut a small piece of drywall to improve air circulation, or    4.2 Remove a piece of drywall above the baseboard and underneath the window to improve air circulation.
  5. If the insulation behind is wet, we highly recommend removing it.
  6. Apply some of the antimicrobial to drywall along the baseboard.
  7. Set the small fan and let it run for a couple of days on top of the padding and then another couple of days on top of the carpet. 
  8. Set back the carpet and fix the wall. (You might need to re-stretch it using a knee kicker)
  9. Congratulations! You just performed a water mitigation.


Note: Since you are using just a small fan, it could take between 3 to 5 days to dry completely. Also, you will need someone to fix the drywall and baseboard. Carpet cleaning may be needed as well. Sometimes the soil trapped in the carpet creates a yellowish brown stain.

Possible complications:

The type of sub-flooring underneath is an important factor, if there is a crawl space or another floor below. You need to make sure there is nothing wet that might create a mold problem in the future.

If you have any question, please give us a call (703) 986-3434. We will be happy to assist you. We offer FREE water damage inspections during business hours.


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