Water Damage Restoration Tips for Homeowners
Did you know that about 40 percent of home insurance claims are due to water damage? This unfortunate event can result from plumbing leaks, natural disasters, and old appliances. Water damage is costly and inconvenient. Preventing it is much cheaper than paying for repairs.
Simple things, such as cleaning your gutters, repairing leaking pipes, and checking the roof, could save you a fortune. Water damage restoration costs thousands of dollars, so it’s better to prevent these problems in the first place. It’s your responsibility as a homeowner to protect your assets.
How Does Water Damage Occur?
Water damage is often caused by old or poorly maintained appliances, leaking pipes, and sewer backup. Most times, it occurs because homeowners fail to check the connection between their washing machine and the water line. Snow on the roof, flooding, and rain can cause water damage too. Fortunately, this problem is completely preventable.
The best way to avoid water damage is to check any sources of leaks in your home regularly. These include hot water tanks, washing machine hoses, dishwasher hoses, frozen pipes, broken or burst pipes, and home appliances. Sewer and sump backups, water escape, and water seepage are common causes of flooding. Even a small leak can cause major problems.
If you believe your home is at risk for water damage, check the plumbing system yourself or call an expert. The detection of water into structural cavities can only be discovered with special equipment. A professional water damage restoration firm can assess the situation, clean up the mess, and fix burst pipes. Some companies provide emergency building services to prevent additional damage. They can fix your roof, repair the floor, and rebuild the affected areas.
What to Do after Water Damage
When your house is flooded, the water can ruin its structure and your personal assets. It’s essential that you clean up the area immediately in order to prevent mold and minimize losses. The danger is not over when the water goes down. Your electrical system could be severely affected, and the home’s foundation may have been damaged. Furniture, carpets, wallpaper and other items in your home will hold mud and contaminants forever, so it’s better to replace them.
As soon as you enter the house, unplug any electronics and remove furnishings. Turn off the gas and check the foundation for cracks. Do not use candles before or after a flood. Report any gas leaks or downed power lines. Look carefully at the ceiling before going inside the building. Look for signs of sagging.
Use buckets, mops, and towels to get rid of the water. Pour it down the drain if the sewers in the area are not backed up. Consider using a wet/dry vacuum. Clean and disinfect every surface, remove the mud, and dry out the affected areas. Throw away tree limbs and other trash. Call a water damage restoration expert if needed.
Once these steps are complete, contact your insurance agent to tell him about the damage. Check your insurance policy so that you will know what’s covered. Take photos of the building as you clean up. Get organized and create a recovery plan. Do not move back into the house until restoration is complete.