Being a homeowner is a huge privilege, especially when one considers how difficult it can be to climb the property ladder these days. However, owning a home also comes with a lot of responsibility. Regardless of how responsible you are, disasters can happen to the best of us. Water damage, for example, is a common problem experienced by property owners, and in many instances it can escalate into a pretty serious emergency if it isn’t dealt with in a timely manner.
Whether it’s a result of bad weather such as a storm, flooding or structural issues like a weak roof, burst pipes or sewage blockages, water damage can be highly problematic and can result in the safety of your home being compromised and its value dwindling. If you find yourself having to deal with water damage to your home, here are some useful tips that can help you take charge and handle the problem effectively:
Have a Plan That Allows You to Act Fast
Preparing for the worst and having a plan in place is one of the best ways to ensure you are ready to tackle any emergency head-on. The longer one takes to handle an issue, the worse the problem will get, especially where water is concerned. Simple steps like having the phone number of a good plumber on hand can save you a little time, which makes all the difference during a water damage incident.
Stop the Problem At the Source
Whenever possible, you need to halt the problem at its source. If your issue is linked to a burst pipe or a leak in your hot water tank, you’ll need to locate the shut-off valve to stop the problem from getting any worse.
If there is a flood warning for your area, you can take a few preventative measures such as using sandbags and moving items to higher parts of the home in an attempt to save them from being damaged. With ceiling leaks, it is always best to get a professional roofer, as they’ll be best placed to pinpoint the source of the leak. Finally, keep your eyes peeled for signs of mold, including foul odors and discoloration on the ceiling.
Protect Yourself and Your Possessions
Water damage can be a potential health and safety danger, especially when you consider the dangers posed by contaminated water and flooding as a result of a storm. Simple measures can be taken to prevent some of the problems. These include switching off the electricity and unplugging all your electrical devices to eliminate the risk of electrocution.
In the event of flooding, evacuate the building and don’t return until the authorities have given you the all-clear. Upon returning to your home, be sure to wear rubber gloves, waterproof shoes and other types of protective gear when surveying the damage. Be sure to be strategic when rescuing valuable items such as documents, electrical items and any sentimental objects.
Have Adequate Insurance and Emergency Contacts
It is important to have household insurance that protects you in the event of an emergency. Be sure to study the terms and conditions carefully to ensure you are covered in all eventualities. When disaster strikes, it is also important to know how to make an effective claim.
First and foremost, the key is to act quickly in informing the insurance company and finding out what steps you need to take to file a claim. You should try to get a claims agent to your home as soon as possible so they can get the ball rolling by having them document the damages and estimate the cost of your repairs.
If you can’t get an adjuster on site as soon as you’d like, take photos of the damaged areas and the affected personal items for your records. Finally, you’ll need to keep a record of expenses you’ve incurred as a result of the damage caused. This includes everything from calling in a professional water damage restoration service such as one at ifloodedrestoration.com, to replacing items destroyed by the event.
Dry Out the Property
Drying out your property is a key element of damage control in the aftermath of a water-related incident. Try and get the process started within 24 hours, as doing this early can help eliminate mold growth. To dry out your property, start by moving wet furniture outside where the wind can speed up the drying process.
Remove any rugs and put those outside to dry too. You can use fans or dehumidifiers to help speed up the drying process of items that can’t be moved outdoors. Furthermore, the air conditioning can help remove humidity. If you can do so, hire professional equipment to aid with the process.
Seek Professional Help
Sometimes it is better to admit defeat, realize you don’t have the necessary tools, time or skills to fix the damage and call in the professionals. Using a professional restoration service can be more effective as they have the experience to deal with certain complications that may arise from the damage.
Some things to bear in mind include determining what is salvageable, and throwing away any items that are no longer safe to use. Realize that insulation, carpets and flooring may be deemed a future hazard and may need to be replaced to prevent mold growth. Another benefit of bringing in the professionals is that they’ll have special equipment such as moisture detectors which can be utilized to find residual water that is stuck in hard-to-reach places.
Having to deal with a water damage incident is something that nobody wants to go through. However, having particular measures in place and knowing the process to follow in the event of a water-related emergency in your home can help salvage the situation and stop the problems from being exacerbated.
Developing the ability and having the knowledge to spot an issue before it gets out of hand is another key factor here. Remember that prevention is always better than cure. When it comes to property ownership, be sure to plan efficiently so that you’re well-positioned to take it in stride in a worst-case scenario.