Water damage is a serious emergency for every household. It can degrade your property within a few hours and all you are left with is soaked carpets, wet wood, and damaged appliances. There is a lot more to water emergencies than the apparent damages as it can also lead to mold growth in your house.
Whether it is due to natural flooding, broken or burst pipes, overflowing appliances, or sewage overflow, the threats and challenges are many. It is imperative to act quickly and implement solutions to address the issue on hand.
A smart homeowner works hard to prevent water damages in the first place but there are times of emergency when you are bound to deal with them. Here is a brief guide for you with five immediate steps to handle a water damage emergency.
Minimize Long Term Water Damage By Immediate Action
In most cases, property owners find it too overwhelming to see their property flooded with water. The golden rule for handling water damage is to stay calm and act immediately. The property disasters can get worse the longer you wait to do something.
Quick action becomes easy and effective when you have a complete plan already in place. Think about possible water damages before they occur and set down a plan for it. Talk about these plans with your house members or people working in the commercial property.
Let us look at the 5 important steps of handling water damage.
1. Protect Yourself And Possessions
Water damage not only causes property damages but it can risk your health. Your safety is compromised due to the potential threat of water contaminations, floor damages, and mold growth. If you have kids or elders in your home, the risks are greater.
Beware of the slippery floors and electric current. Shut off the electricity in your house to protect yourself against electrical hazards. Use the circuit breakers and unplugging devices.
If you are residing in an area that is under threat of flooding, evacuate the area as soon as possible. Rescue the most valuable items such as documents and electronics. When the authorities deem the area safe to return, always wear personal protective equipment such as gloves and shoes to protect yourself.
2. Shut The Water Source
As you are ready to enter the property, the first step is to identify the water source. If possible, shut the main water source of the house. If the damages are due to burst pipes you can stop the water influx by using the shut-off valves instead of the main water supply.
When floods are predicted and you are warned against them, prepare your house by sandbagging and ditching.
In the case of roof leaks, identifying the cause and securing it can be pretty challenging. Hire a professional for fast actions. If the water has been standing for more than 24 hours, look for signs of mold growth in your property.
3. Call Your Insurance Company
Navigating a water emergency gets a bit easier when you have an insurance company to contact. Once you have prevented further water influx, it is time to call your insurance company.
Inform them about the emergency and ask about the steps they require you to take. The steps can vary from one company to the other.
Get a claim adjuster on your property. They can provide you estimates of repair costs and document the damages. You can also take pictures and video proofs on your own. Keep the photos and the receipts safe.
4. Start Drying Out
Drying out should begin as early as possible. If the excesses water is removed in the first 24 hours and property is completely dried out in 3 to 4 days, you can virtually eliminate all chances of mold growth.
If possible take out the wet furniture and let it dry. When there is no room to take the furniture away from wet carpets, place aluminum foil under the furniture legs. It prevents carpet stains and water uptake by the wood.
Use fans and dehumidifiers.
5.Restore Your Property
Complete water damage restoration can take days. You can always hire professional help. They have the expertise to handle water damage repairs. The heavy-duty equipment is effective in removing moisture.