Who do I call after my house has water damage?
Your home is your sanctuary, and any damage or destruction can be very distressing for homeowners. Water damage is one of the most common issues and can occur in many situations outside of your control.
If you find yourself the victim of water damage, it can be hard to prioritize and follow the best course of action. To help, we have put together the ultimate guide: if your house is affected by water damage, follow these steps for a successful resolution.
Even better, get someone else to take on the challenge in your place.
What Causes Water Damage?
There can be several causes of water damage to your home. These include:
- A burst pipe, or leaking pipes
- Problems with the plumbing system, such as detached or incorrectly fitted joints
- Malfunctioning or broken household appliances – washing machines, dishwashers, and water heaters are the usual culprits
- HVAC issues – usually caused by neglecting maintenance and servicing
- Build-up of water in crawl spaces, attics, and basements – this can lead to significant mold problems
- Natural disasters and extreme weather – from major storms to floods, sometimes weather causes severe water damage
What Can I Do?
The good news is that there are ways to salvage the situation, even if everything seems lost. By following a simple plan, you can get things moving, and help get your house repaired and restored in no time.
● Stay safe
The number one priority is to ensure that all inhabitants are safe – and this includes furry friends. If the water damage is due to a storm or natural disaster, seek shelter somewhere dry and secure.
Make sure that the house is empty of people and pets, and that everyone is accounted for until the immediate emergency has passed. Incidents such as burst pipes can also cause water levels to rise very quickly. Make it a priority to ensure that everyone is on higher ground and out of harm’s way.
Large volumes of water can cause debris and other heavy objects to become loose. This risk has the potential to be very dangerous for anyone caught in their path.
Leave the house as soon as possible; massive floods can cause significant structural damage. This risk can even threaten your life if floors or ceilings collapse. Damage to electrical wiring is also a very real and substantial possibility. Keep everyone away from power points, and never, under any circumstances, touch any wires or electronic components. Make sure you are on dry ground, away from water, as fast as possible.
Staying safe also involves ensuring that your drinking water is safe and not contaminated. Again, this is particularly important if a storm has hit, as this could have polluted the main water supply.
As a precaution, it is a good idea not to drink any tap water until you can verify that it is safe to do so. Survival experts may be able to decontaminate water using iodine tablets and other solutions. Otherwise, stick to bottled water for drinking and washing until you are sure your water is uncontaminated.
● Check the structure
Before you do anything else, you will need to call in an expert to assess the structural integrity of the house. An inspection must always be carried out by a trained, qualified professional.
The check must be completed and signed off before anyone re-enters the house.
● Dry it out
Once you have the green light to re-enter, the first task is drying out the house. All-purpose vacuums work to remove any excess water which remains, and this is priority number one.
Following a thorough vacuuming, dehumidifiers should be placed in every room. Fans will also help speed up the drying process as much as possible. It is crucial that all moisture is totally removed from the property.
Any lingering residue will lead to mold and mildew, which could, in turn, lead to further structural issues down the line, as well as illness for residents or occupants. Make sure that every part of the property is bone dry before you move onto the next step.
● Clean up and redecorate
Once the house is totally dried out, it is time to clean up and restore it. Floodwaters, in particular, tend to bring with them a great deal of dirt and debris.
You are likely to find that carpets and soft furnishings are beyond hope. Paintwork may also have to be reapplied and restored, and wood can become warped and damaged.
Clean up, and restoration can be a lengthy, extensive process. This task can also cost a lot of money when nothing but a total renovation will do.
How Can A Restoration Company Help?
In many cases, a professional water damage restoration company can help to make the process easier. These teams will have access to top-quality, professional equipment, which can vastly speed up the drying process.
In addition, they will be able to assist with the cleanup process. The right team can also be invaluable when it comes to helping with insurance claims.
Homeowner insurance is an essential part of purchasing property, but many policies will view water damage as a grey area. Talk with your agent when you purchase homeowner’s insurance to see how they define water damage and what is covered.
A restoration company will be able to offer you an independent report, as well as an estimated account of costs.
This quote can be invaluable when you go to your insurance company, especially if their quote is wildly different. Alternatively, a restoration quote may be cheaper, making it a better alternative to get your house back in shape.
While it is possible to restore your home using a DIY method, the truth is that this is likely to take longer. It will also be an added stress in an already nightmarish situation and leaves you to pick up all the pieces.
A flood damage restoration team has the equipment, experience, and expertise to give you peace of mind in a tragic time. They also have the ability to fight in your corner when it comes to insurance.
This support can be crucial for taking the weight off your shoulders. They can also help to keep everyone safe, motivated, and secure while moving through the emotional and physical toll of clean up and restoration.
Make sure a disaster restoration company is your very first call if your home is in need of water damage restoration. Let someone else help, and lighten the load for your family.