From torrential flooding to minor household leaks and heavy rains, an excess of water can do a lot of damage to your home and possessions when untreated. If you experience water damage in your home, here are some water damage control tips to help reduce damages and increase your chances of bouncing back.
Water damage describes various possible losses caused by water intruding where it will enable attack of a material or system by destructive processes such as rotting of wood, mold growth, bacteria growth, rusting of steel, swelling of composite woods, de-laminating of materials such as plywood, and many others.
The damage may be imperceptibly slow and minor such as water spots that could eventually mar a surface, or it may be instantaneous and catastrophic such as burst pipes and flooding. However fast it occurs, water damage is a major contributor to loss of property.
An insurance policy may or may not cover the costs associated with water damage and the process of water damage restoration. While a common cause of residential water damage is often the failure of a sump pump, many homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover the associated costs without an addendum which adds to the monthly premium of the policy. Often the verbiage of this addendum is similar to “Sewer and Drain Coverage”.
In the United States, those individuals who are affected by wide-scale flooding may have the ability to apply for government and FEMA grants through the Individual Assistance program. On a larger level, businesses, cities, and communities can apply to the FEMA Public Assistance program for funds to assist after a large flood. For example, the city of Fond du Lac Wisconsin received $1.2 million FEMA grant after flooding in June 2008. The program allows the city to purchase the water damaged properties, demolish the structures, and turn the former land into public green space.
Find the water source and cut it off
The first thing you should do in the event of running water or a leak is to shut off the source of water. The less water you have to deal with the easier it will be to manage.
Also, many insurance companies won’t cover damage done if a leak continues for too long. Any claims made may be rejected due to “negligence”, so be as proactive as you can. Cleaning up water leaks early can save you lots of time and effort later.
Disconnect the power
Active electronics can be extremely dangerous next to large bodies of water. Disconnect the power and unplug any electronics that are at risk ONLY if you are safe to do so. Move any furniture away from the water if you are able to, which mitigates water damage done. If you are concerned about your carpet, pull it up and roll up your rugs to keep them as dry as possible. You may be able to save your carpet, but it will be much harder to save the underpadding. If you need emergency carpet cleaning and repair services, contact a professional.
Remove the water
Now that you’ve stopped the water flow and cleared the area, it’s time to get rid of the water. If you don’t have a source of power, then you’ll need to rely on towels, buckets, sponges and mops to soak up all the water. You can dispose of this water in your lawn or local sewer drain. If you do have power, a wet/dry vacuum can work wonders. If there is a lot of water around, be very careful of where you plug it in, and don’t use an extension cord if you want to avoid possible short outs. DO NOT use a regular vacuum cleaner, they are not designed for liquids and you’ll likely damage it.
Dry the area & disinfect
Now that you’ve removed as much water as you can, it’s time to dry up the area. Open windows for better air circulation and use fans and dehumidifiers to help speed up the drying process. Getting your surfaces dry will help reduce potential mould and bacteria buildup. Once everything is dry, use a quality disinfectant to remove bacteria and wipe all affected surfaces to help remove and prevent mould buildup.
Recovering from water damage is always easier when you react as soon as you spot trouble. For emergency water removal and water damage restoration services, contact a professional water removalist today.
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