What do you do if you discover you have had a leak from a dishwasher, water heater, plumbing fixture or other source? First, you may be insured! It's best to let your agent know of the event as soon as possible. Many times they can advise on water mitigation measures to help limit the damage.
The next step is to make sure you are not left with a halfway job. We have inspected many homes and buildings that had trapped moisture inside wall cavities, behind baseboards or under floor coverings that allowed mold and bacteria to grow. This can happen in just a few hours! Drying these hidden areas is important and some mitigation companies fail to open these areas to rapidly dry them. Weeks or months, even years later there can still be reservoirs of molds affecting the health of the home and it's occupants.
Another factor to consider is the source of the water leak. Is it drain water? If so, it could be "black" water or considered "pathogenic", able to infect humans or animals with disease. Also, ANY water leak source is considered" black" if it came from the exterior, or if it has been in contact with indoor surfaces longer than 24 hours. Drying alone does not remove the hazardous germs. If "black" water is involved you must get the right protocols set for cleaning and/or removal of affected areas and contents.
Make sure you are getting the appropriate full drying or clean up and take action immediately when you discover a leak! Ask questions and don't become a victim!