Water damage is the most common form of property damage in homes and commercial buildings. If you own a home, it is only a matter of time before you must deal with some type of water damage issue. Dealing with excess water is tricky because you can never tell just how deep the damage has gone. Many furnishings and building materials absorb water and moisture which can lead to serious property damage and mold growth. By knowing the most common causes and effects of water damage, as well as how to respond to the issue, you can prevent significant damage in your home. The following are the most common questions concerning water damage.
What are the common causes of water damage?
There are many potential causes of water damage which is why it is so common. Natural disasters such as flooding, heavy rain, and high humidity can lead to water damage in a home or building. There are also many internal causes including leaks in the roof or foundation, burst pipes, leaking appliances, overflows, and sewage backups. It is important to be aware of these causes so you can take steps to prevent water damage and react quickly when it occurs.
Is water damage an emergency?
The short answer is yes. Excess water can cause very serious structural damage because building materials like wood and drywall absorb the water and allow it to spread. The longer you ignore water damage, the further it will spread which will make the damage worse. Even small leaks can lead to major structural damage over time. The presence of water also creates ideal conditions for mold growth which can affect your health and your property. If the water comes from an outside flood or sewage backup, it likely contains contaminants that can spread infection or disease. You must react to water damage within 24-48 hours to help prevent major structural damage or mold growth.
What steps should I take after experiencing flood damage or excess water?
As soon as you notice a water damage problem, you must call a trusted water damage restoration company. These professionals will immediately stop the spread of the water to prevent further damage. The next step is to call your insurance company to file a claim for the damage. Shut off the utilities in your home if possible, especially the water and electricity. You should avoid walking through a flooded room if the electricity is still on or if the water may be contaminated by sewage. Stay out of your home if there is structural damage.
What will a water damage restoration company do?
Water damage professionals start by addressing the source of the excess water. These professionals cannot complete the restoration effectively without first stopping the water at its source. They will then remove materials affected by the water which may include furniture, carpeting, drywall, woodwork, insulation and much more. These materials will either be dried and restored or disposed of depending on the severity of the damage. The technicians then set up specialized drying and dehumidification equipment to dry the affected area of the home or building. They will also clean and disinfect the area as well as address any resulting mold growth.
Is water damage covered by my insurance?
Typical homeowner’s insurance policies only cover water damage that is considered sudden or accidental. This includes burst pipes or malfunctioning appliances. Standard homeowner’s insurance does not cover any type of flood damage. This includes flooding caused by rain, natural floods, and sewer backups. Homeowners must consider purchasing a separate flood insurance policy to cover the damage caused by natural floods.
All home and property owners must be aware of the possibility of water damage and what to do to prevent major damage that can lead to expensive repairs. Prevention is the best defense against water damage, but it is impossible to completely prevent it in all its forms. The best course of action is to call a trusted water damage professional at the first sign. These professionals have the right equipment to remove the water from your property and restore the damage to the affected furnishings and structural elements.