Four Tips When Dealing With Water Damage

Damage to your home can be an extremely overwhelming situation for any homeowner.  Knowing what to do to properly handle the situation can also be very difficult.  Water damages are one of the most common homeowner’s claims, so it’s a good idea to keep a few common tips in the back of your mind in case you find yourself with unwanted water in your home. 

  • 1. Locate the source of the water.

    The very first thing you should do in the event of water damage is to locate the source of the water and ensure that the flow of water has been stopped.  Cleanup can’t happen if water is still actively pouring into the home. If either of these tasks puts you at risk, wait for a professional.  Finally, as long as it’s safe, take as many pictures as possible before starting any potential DIY cleanup.  You’ll want to start cleaning right away if possible, but you’ll also want your insurance company to be able to see the initial extent of the damage before any cleaning occurred.
  • 2. Consider the volume and source of water.

    If you’re thinking about doing the cleanup on your own, you’ll want to consider the volume and the water source.  A tiny patch of clean water is usually something that can be handled in-house, but a basement flooded with sewage needs to be handled by a professional.  It’s important to remember, though, that even small amounts of water can hide in cracks and crevices and within porous materials creating the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew if not dried completely.  As far as the source of water, if the water is grey or black, it should never be handled on your own.  These waters contain contaminants that need to be properly cleaned to ensure the safety of the home and everyone in it.  
  • 3. Call Insurance

    If you’ve determined that the issue is beyond the scope of your ability to handle it, it’s time to contact your insurance company.  You’ll want to find out what kind of coverage you have for the loss and what your deductible is.  If you decide to file a claim, you’ll be assigned an adjuster to handle it.
  • 4. Contact Restoration Service

    A restoration professional will be able to work directly with your insurance company and you to ensure the job is done properly.  A project manager or technician will assess the damage and help determine the most appropriate course of action.  Standing water will be extracted, and drying equipment will be set right away, so the damage doesn’t become worse.  Once everything is dry, unsalvageable materials will be removed, and everything else will be cleaned and sanitized to prepare for reconstruction.  

Five Things Not to Do After a Water Damage

  1. Safety First!  Do not enter areas that pose a threat to your health due to electricity or contaminated water. 

  2. Do not use a household vacuum to suck up the water.  These are not created to work with water and cause a risk of electrical shock as well as damage to the vacuum. 

  3. Avoid walking on wet surfaces as much as possible.  Walking through wet areas runs the risk of spreading possibly contaminants through the rest of the property. 

  4. If water has made its way into the HVAC system, do not activate the system.  This can also spread any possible contamination. 

  5. Do not stay in the home if there is structural damage or extensive black water damage.