We’ve all had those situations when water splashes out of the tub, and we have to throw down a couple of towels to take care of the spill before it causes damage. Along with that, most of us have also dealt with water spilling out of the kitchen sink and onto the floor. But while taking care of such small mishaps can be annoying, it’s nowhere near the same as dealing with real water damage that threatens to take over your entire home.
When we talk about water damage, we’re not talking about having a few splashes of water on the bathroom floor. No, instead, we’re discussing a serious situation where water damage is occurring in multiple rooms around the house, and you need to come up with a plan of what to do next.
Now, it’s true that such situations don’t happen every day or every week. Typically, they occur either when the piping system malfunctions, a roof develops a leak, or when your home gets hit by a natural disaster. But just because it doesn’t happen every other day, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared. That’s why in this article, we will talk all about what steps you need to take if and when water threatens to damage your home and what you can do to prevent it from causing serious damage.
Let’s get going.
The 10 Steps You Need to Take To Deal With Water Damage
When your house is getting flooded, figuring out what to do may seem a bit like mission impossible. If you’ve never had to deal with such disasters before, the problem might look overwhelming and impossible to handle. That’s where most people tend to panic and wonder what’s the first step they need to take.
But don’t worry. We’ve got you covered, and below we will introduce you to the ten steps you need to take if water damage suddenly threatens to take over your home.
Try to Locate the Problem
If your house is flooding due to an issue with the piping system, the first thing you should try to do is locate where exactly the problem comes from. If you find that it’s a faulty line behind the toilet or under the sink, try to close the supply line valve. If you’re unable to locate the problem, you should immediately turn off your home’s main water supply and get in contact with a local, licensed plumber.
Of course, if your home is getting damaged because of a natural disaster, the main thing you can do is try to locate where the water is coming from and do your best to stop it.
Get In Contact With Your Insurance Company
In most cases, water damage caused by infrastructural malfunctions is covered by your homeowners’ insurance. If you want to verify your coverage, Ask An Adjuster will provide a free no obligation policy review to make sure you’re covered. One of the first things you should do is get in contact with your agent and inform them of the damage and losses that you’ve suffered. Here, it’s also vital to get in touch with a certified water damage restoration business if needed for help with repairs and the entire cleanup process. A public adjuster such as Ask An Adjuster can handle the entire process of inspection, filing a claim with your insurance, contracting a licensed and reputable restoration business in your area, getting you the repair funds for a full recovery, and getting your home fully restored.
It’s vital to note that if flooding occurs in your home due to a natural disaster, that kind of damage may not be covered by your standard homeowners’ insurance. For flooding events, you often need to have a flood insurance policy to receive coverage. If you are unsure about your coverages and would like an independent opinion, request a free policy review from a licensed public adjuster.
Document the Water Damage
It’s crucial that you have proof of the damage that has occurred in your home. That’s why you should take pictures and videos of everything that was affected – your furniture, clothing, electronics, appliances, walls, etc. Make sure you save all the proof you’ve gotten in a folder on your computer so that you can share the files with your insurer later on.
Remove All Excess Water
Getting rid of the excess water in your home is one task you should take on with utmost urgency. The longer the water remains in your home, the more damage the water will do. If you’re facing large-scale flooding, you will likely have to hire a restoration or dryout crew. For cases where there’s a smaller amount of water, you can opt for using a wet-dry vacuum.
Start the Drying Process
After a flood, mold and mildew will start to develop after 24-48 hours. And so, starting the drying-out process as soon as you can is one of the keys to limiting water damage. The first step here is to let all your sockets and appliances air dry and to remove all wet furniture and carpets from the rooms. Maintaining a low humidity level is also crucial. You should also take a good look at your walls – if you have drywall or another material that is affected, you will most likely have to remove and replace it. In order to make this process as swift as possible, you should consider renting a dehumidifier to get all the moisture out of the room.
Assess the Damage
After doing all that, it’s a good idea to start assessing the damage you’ve suffered. Take a good look at your personal belongings and try to clean up some of the mess so that you get a real sense of how bad things are. Here, you should also contact a public adjuster. They will be able to help you evaluate the damage you’ve suffered while also taking a look at your insurance policy and helping you with navigating the entire process of registering your claim. A public adjuster will also help you determine how bad things are and what kind of repairs have to be done.
Clean Up, Repair, and Restore
If you can, start the cleaning process right away. However, if the damage is too big and you cannot do the cleanup on your own, look for a company that specializes in such services and can help you out. After that, try to determine what repairs you will need to take on. Here’s where your public adjuster can help you find a professional company to work with that will quickly help you fix the damages and restore your property back to its previous condition.
Be Aware of Mold Hazards
When it comes to water damage restoration activities, mold mitigation is among the most critical ones. It should be one of your primary missions to treat all affected areas with a product specifically made to kill mold. Alternatively, if you don’t want to spend money on specific products, you can use a solution of water and vinegar on non-porous materials. But the safer option will also be to go to a store and just get an anti-fungal cleaning product. You want to do this as soon as possible, as getting rid of mold is an extremely long and frankly annoying process that you want to avoid dealing with. Along with that, the presence of mold in the rooms where you spend a lot of time is not great for your overall health and for the health of your family members, which is why you should do your best to prevent it. It’s not the water you can see that’s the problem, it’s the water you can’t see that’s in the walls and behind cabinets.
Protect Against Future Leaks
Once all the repairs and the cleaning up are complete, you will want to make sure your home is protected in case such events occur in the future. If you live in an area that reaches freezing temperatures in the winter, one of the first measures you should implement is regularly checking your pipes and taking extra measures during the colder months of the year. That includes keeping your house properly heated and ensuring that there are no frozen pipes anywhere. That’s because the process of water freezing and then melting is what leads to many cases of burst pipes, and in reality, it’s an incident you can easily prevent from happening.
To further protect their homes, some people choose to invest in a water security system. Such systems will give you peace of mind as they monitor the humidity levels in your home and can pinpoint the source of leaks. A water detection system not only gives you a signal when a leak occurs, but it also enables you to shut off water remotely, giving you a chance to stop the leakage before it causes any major damage.
Most people don’t realize that they’re not ready to face disaster when it strikes. And so, when something happens that we didn’t expect, we panic, and we tend to make rash decisions, which are often the wrong ones. That’s why learning how you should act in all sorts of unforeseen situations is the key to living a lower-stress life.
With this article, we hope to have given you a good idea of the steps you need to take in case your home gets flooded. As you can see, dealing with serious water damage is a long and sometimes tedious process – some of the tasks surrounding it you can deal with on your own, while with others, you will need help from licensed professionals. However, knowing what steps you need to take will make it that much easier for you.