Your home is defined by the comfort it provides and space in three dimensions to kick back and relax after a hectic day at work. You live to create and cherish memories with your loved ones and you do everything in your powers to keep it an abode of love and care.
There are a plethora of reasons that can contribute to your loss, but there is no point in crying over split milk. Once the unfortunate has happened, you can still mitigate the loss by acting quickly.
Water damage is an emergency situation and you need to be quick on your feet to keep your family safe and keep the damages at bay. Luckily, just like any other life-threatening situation, water damage or flooding has its own set of protocols. You can follow them to make sure you get the help in time and save yourself from incurring losses of both personal and financial nature.
So, here is the ultimate guide to saving your skin in times of water damage crises.
Notify The Insurance Company
The extent and scope of your homeowner’s insurance can vary and depends on which type of insurance you secured for your place. When you are done notifying the insurance company, take as many photos of the valuables and the scale of damage as possible. This should be done before, during, and after the cleanup.
This “evidence” will help the insurance adjuster evaluate the damage and recommend a claim for your loss. Keep in mind to stay safe while documenting the house.
Personal Safety Is A Must
In every home emergency situation, you must think about your safety and that of your loved ones. This applies while you are collecting the valuables or keeping them from damage by unleashed water.
The key here is to keep everyone in a safe place. There were cases when homeowners got carried away by the panic and worsened the situation. You cannot afford to do that. Take the hold of the situation and tread wisely.
Make Sure Lights Are Out
Water and power are often used in one sentence but they don’t mix well. By letting them loose in your house, it is a perfect recipe for disaster.
The best way of doing the restructuring is to turn off the power. This will cut the electricity to the worst-hit parts of the house. Still, if it is not in your reach or you think you are safe with the power on, stay where you are and call professional electricians for help. In all cases, do not enter the premises if you leave before without killing the lights in there.
Put On Protective Gear
No matter how conscious you are about your surroundings, you are prone to tripping and falling if you are not prepared fully for the situation, both literally and figuratively.
While moving around the house, taking care of valuable goods, killing electricity, or collecting supporting evidence for your insurance case, it is best to use protective gear.
Rubber boots and gloves are a good start. Anyways, you must not come in contact with the contaminated water to keep yourself from catching harmful bacteria, mold, mildew, or whatever lurking in the unbridled water.
Take Care Of Your Valuables
In case of severe damage, you may need to leave the premises and take shelter in a motel. But, you cannot retire yourself from taking care of your house and what it contains. If the structure is compromised, make sure you keep the wet carpet, rugs, and other fixtures in the open to remain dry or get dried. Similarly, other stuff that is on the way to advancing water damage should be placed somewhere up, somewhere safe.
For the furniture, it is best to elevate the feet of pieces in standing water by putting bricks or metal pedestals underneath them. This way, water will not crawl up on wood and ply and damage the goods.
Commence Water Damage Repair ASAP
It takes around a day or two to get a house cleared for re-entering, so you need to be at it as soon as possible. It is best to call on the cavalry. A professional water damage repair company is much more suitable for the job than an average Joe like you.
But if you have to do it yourself, wear the protective gear all the time and make a judgment call about what can be saved.
Depending on the damage, you may have to remove the floor or drywall to prevent the infestation of mold or mildew.
Dry Your House Out
There is no such thing as early relief in case of water damage, especially if you live in a humid area. Once the electricity to your place is back on, use as many fans and air conditioners as possible and let the air pass through your house to dry the dampened items.
You can run down the risks of getting mold and mildew infection if you start the drying out within a day of damage and get it completely dry in 72 to 96 hours.
Inspect Mold Colonies
Mold does not wait for you to come to save your house if you are too late. In most cases, it starts colonizing the house in a day. Once it is there, it could be dangerous to remove it on your own.
Without proper knowledge and prior experience in clearing things out, you could unintentionally facilitate the growth of mold in your place. The best course of action is to have a professional mold inspector in your corner. He or she will have the tools and the training to examine the building and take the necessary steps to get rid of it.
During a water damage, a lot of things get worse at the same time. This calls for quick prevention and then restoration. There are mostly three areas that need immediate restoration.
- Floors may need replacement
- Broken items like furniture and appliances need a solid tune-up
- The foundation of the house must be examined to see if there is any damage done to them
Drying out the house takes more time than the removal of water or removal of fixtures and appliances. Either you have enough helping hands, you are always better off with a water damage restoration company to help you with the move.
Deal With The Authorities
In the meantime, the insurance company will be done with the investigation and examination of the site. Before moving back into your house, you need to have a clear go-ahead from the insurance guys to make sure they have collected everything they needed and made a decision about the coverage. Also, you need to be on the same page with your construction company. In case of a natural disaster, you must have a clear “go ahead” from your city government before moving in.
Fortify The Defenses
Now that you are back in your house, all safe and sound, it is best to go through the causes and reasons for the water damage incident. It could be a compromised appliance, fixture, or piping system in your house. Now, it is fixed, but keep an eye out for the monopolies and take care of them before they get to you, again.
These were some of the steps that will set you in the right direction when you face water damage. The task leading to drying out and restoration could be daunting. But, once you get a hold of the situation, you can take over the scene and rebuild your place.