Steps to Recover From Water Damage in Home
Almost half of the homeowners in the U.S. have incurred losses caused by water damage. Many of these problems can be caused by leaks in the ceiling or even faulty equipment, broken washers, and water heaters. Believe it or not, there are three types of water. The first type is "clean" water from rain, condensation, leaky pipes, and so on. It's relatively harmless to clean it up yourself. But if you decide to seek outside help, it costs around $3.75 per square foot for basic water damage cleanup (replacements not included). The second type is gray water, slightly dirty water from dishwashers, washing machines, clean toilets, and so on. And it may have some contaminants. But you can clean it up yourself if you remove it carefully and with proper safety gear to protect yourself. Professional water damage cleanup cost rises to $4.50 per square foot. The third type is black water, such as sewage or serious flooding from nearby rivers, etc
I know what you might be thinking, “ Does my home insurance cover water damage”, does water damage decrease home value?” It can feel frustrating and helpless after the water damage occurs in your home, that’s why it’s important to stay calm and know the steps to succeed in such an unfortunate case.
The first step may be the most important, do not panic. Keep calm and figure out where to begin. Here is a short step by step of simple steps to guide you to a successful home recovery after water damage.
Your Safety Must Come First
In regards to your home water damage, the very first concern should be the safety of you and your family, nothing else comes first. If there is stagnant water, begin by switching off electrical power to the entire house or the flooded area. Live electricity and water are a dangerous combination. After that, close the main water inlet valve to prevent any possibility of contaminating the water system. In a large flood, you may also need to cut off the gas supply. Identify and dispose of any damaged food; this will prevent food poisoning by accidental consumption. Don’t wade through a flooded floor without proper protection, especially in murky water. Sharp objects may be lurking at the bottom of the water. Wear sturdy waterproof boots when walking on a flooded floor.
Dry Your House
The next step is to get rid of the moisture. In a heavy flooding situation, wait till the floods dissipate before you can start drying out your house. Use electric, gas or hand pumps to remove stagnant water. Locate the lowest part of the flooded floor and place the pumps there. Be careful with electric-powered pumps to avoid electric shock. You could dump the excess water into the sewage system, a tanker truck, or the backyard where it won’t cause any harm.
Pick Up Debris
Clear out any debris brought in by the water. Flood water is especially messy; there may be sediments, leaves, tree branches, and even garbage. Identify anything that can be salvaged. This could be your precious heirlooms, rugs, furniture, or drapes. Any salvageable valuables should be kept in a separate dry room if possible, or away from the house altogether.
Assess the Home Water Damage
With everything out of the way and mostly dry, you can now assess the level of damage. You may need to call in an inspector with a keen eye to examine the property. Check for damage or mold on the floor, walls, and plumbing system. Get a clear picture of the extent of damage, what needs to be done, and find out how much it should cost to fix both in terms of time and money.
Call the Insurance Company
Now may be the time to speak with an adjuster to know how extensive the damages and if you may be able to be reimbursed. After a detailed assessment of the damage, call your insurance company to find out how much of the damage they will cover. Your insurer will probably send a claims adjuster who will document all the steps you have taken so far and the valuation of damages. According to your insurance policy, the insurer could chip in a large part of the repair and restoration costs. Contact other insurers covering assets like your car or other valuables damaged along with the house.
Finally, it’s time to begin repairs. If only some rooms of the house are damaged, your family could still live in the safe parts of the house. However, if the house needs extensive repairs, you may have to find a temporary shelter. Get a reputable contractor with experience in water damage to carry out the repairs. Ensure you get a reasonable quote on the service, and that the contractor sticks to a strict time budget. Most water damage repairs include floor, walls, and doors repairs or replacements. Check with the authorities whether certain repairs are allowed or require a city permit.
You’re Finally Ready to Settle in
After all the repairs are done, the house is finally ready for you to move in. Bring in your furniture and belongings and prepare to resume your normal living. However, you may want to have a house inspector examine the house at least once shortly after the repairs. This is just to make sure that the house has been restored to its former glory and that there are no red flags to worry about.
If you have had the misfortune of home water damage, relax and follow a series of decisions that see to quick home restoration. Don’t make any snappy judgments or assumptions. You will count some losses, but at least the house is salvageable and that’s what matters.
Are you having trouble figuring out how to restore your house after water damage? Altieri Transco and our reliable agents are hear to help. Schedule a meeting today to speak with an adjuster and figure out the next steps in your home water damage needs.
As a property insurance claims professional since 1980, Mr. Altieri leads the firm at Altieri Insurance Consultants in all matters of property claim adjusting and community outreach. His decades of property claim adjusting experience assure the firm’s clients they are well represented, whether they have suffered a multi-million-dollar commercial loss or have lost their home. View Bio