Water damage in your home can cause serious financial and emotional distress. While grieving the loss of certain belongings that may have been destroyed, you can’t help but think so the cost of repairs.
But the longer water stays, the more damage it can cause. Accumulated moisture may deteriorate a structure and promote the growth of mold and mildew, which can mar your health.
So it makes sense to take action as soon as you notice water damage in your home.
While navigating the nuances of your home insurance may feel overwhelming, here are steps to take to ensure you recover any loss you may have sustained while preventing further damage.
1. Identify and control the source, if possible
The source of the water damage may be a broken pipe, excessive humidity, flooding, or even fire. Try to control the damage from progressing if it’s within your power.
Even though the problem seems minor, taking immediate action can help you secure the full rights to your insurance claim.
A leaking pipe may expose your belongings to irreparable damage. So you want to take as many photos as possible of the source and effect of the damage, documenting the values of each item. Photos of the source may also help monitor the damage’s progression.
If you have pictures of the property before the damage, keep those as well.
This documentation will help the adjuster assess the damage and determine your compensation.
If you can’t locate the source, consider getting help from a professional. An expert can also help you document what repairs would be required and their cost estimates.
2. Call your insurance carrier
Your homeowners’ insurance will vary depending on the coverage offered. Notwithstanding, when you make contact, the company will send an adjuster to assess the damage to see if it’s covered.
The documentation and photos you took will be most useful for the adjuster to determine how much reimbursement you deserve.
3. Prioritize safety
One of the most important steps to take after water damage is to ensure your family is safe. Obtain protective gear from the neighbors and turn off the power to prevent electrocution. If it’s too risky to get to the power switch, do not venture there at all.
Take out as many valuables as you can, including your carpet and furniture.
However, you may have to abandon the home for some time if the damage is too extensive.
4. Start the restoration process ASAP
You don’t have to wait for the insurance company to approve your claims before commencing repairs. Just ensure you document every bit of the damage and restoration to support your claim. If possible, begin repairs about 24 hours after you’ve been cleared to go into your home.
The damage may be too extensive for you to handle, so it becomes important to hire a water damage restoration expert. Such professionals may apply moisture detection, extraction, and dehumidification to ensure your home becomes dry again and free from mold growth.
The earlier the restoration process begins, the easier and more cost-effective it would be to return your home to its healthy state.
When your home is confirmed dry, you can then proceed with other structural repairs.
You may need to replace walls and broken possessions. Some of these things may be covered by your insurance. Whatever the case, ensure an expert is handling every repair.
Once you’re cleared by your insurance company, the restoration expert, and the government, it’s time to return to your clean, mold-free home.