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Water Damage to Your Home? How to Move Forward

February 1, 2022

Water damage is, unfortunately, not an uncommon problem. 14,000 homes in the U.S. are affected by water damage every day, and the average insurance claim for water damage is $11,098. If you wake up to a water emergency one day, don’t panic! You are not alone, and there are clear steps you can follow to minimize the damage, clean up, and move on without fear of further complications. What you shouldn’t do is just mop up the water and keep going; mold can grow in places you don’t expect, causing more problems later on. Read on to learn how to move forward after water damage.

Safety First: Before you do anything else, take inventory of the electrical outlets. Water damage can be at its most dangerous when it comes into contact with electricity. Be sure to shut off your water main, and the power to your home. This way, the danger of electrocution is eliminated and the water won’t spread. If you come home to water damage, make sure to inspect your house for structural damage and determine if it’s safe to go inside.

Proper Protection: If you’re dealing with flood damage, or a flooded basement, do not go wading into the water without protective gear. Wear thick boots and gloves to avoid potential hazards like sharp objects or rusty metal.

Contact Your Insurance: After you contact your adjustor, do not wait for them to show up. Begin clean up immediately (with your protective gear!) and start salvaging what you can. Take lots of pictures, and try to clear the room so the adjustor can see the damage.

Dry It All Out: Once you’ve salvaged what you can, taken pictures, and had the adjustor come over to get the insurance claim started, get everything dry as soon as possible. Pump or sluice water out, and bring in fans to dry the floors and walls. If possible, hire a mediation company that specializes in water damage to handle your belongings and dry them out. They’ll have enough industrial fans to get everything dry quickly, but they can book out longer than you’re willing to wait.

Clean, Clean, Clean: Depending on the extent of the damage, you may need to start boiling water in order to consume it. Additionally, any fresh food that came in contact with the water must be thrown out. Water comes with a lot of bacteria, so any surface that looks clean probably isn’t. Disinfect it all! If you think you’ve missed a spot, just go ahead and do it again. If any furniture got wet, take it outside to dry it out and disinfect it. And bad news: if your carpet got wet, you’re probably going to have to throw it out if you can’t get it to a restoration company in time.

Inspect: Many people miss this crucial step. Bring in an expert to look at your floors and walls, especially if you have wood. Even though wood may look dry, mold and dry rot can set in over time and weaken the structural integrity. By hiring an expert, you can save countless hours and countless bills later on.

And that was six steps on moving on from water damage! A home disaster is no joke, and water damage can creep back later and cause countless problems, so stay safe and follow these tips to minimize your costs. If you have any questions, concerns, or interest in repairs or remodels, don’t hesitate to reach out to a team member.

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