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What To Do When You Discover Water Damage in Your Home

by Lily Morgen
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Water Damage in Your Home

Water damage is one of the most common problems faced by homeowners. If not dealt with immediately, it can lead to other problems, including mold growth, structural damage, and even health complications. So it’s important to address the issue as soon as possible.

Here are some steps you can do when you discover water damage in your home.

1. Figure Out the Cause of the Damage

The first step is to discover the cause of the damage. Is it a broken pipe? A leaky roof? A faulty appliance? A construction-related defect? Once you know the source, you can take steps to repair it and prevent future damage.

What looks to be a minor leak could be the first indication of a much larger issue. Even though the damage appears little, it is vital to respond as quickly as possible. 

2. Stop the Water at Its Source if Possible

Once you know where the water from, take steps to stop it at its source. If it’s a broken pipe, for example, shut off the main water valve to your home. If it’s a leaky roof, try to patch the leak temporarily until you can get a permanent repair done.

3. Assess the Extent of the Damage

If you can assess the extent of the damage, it will help you determine what your loss is and what steps need to be taken next.

Here are a few tips for assessing the extent of water damage in your home:

  • Inspect all walls, ceilings, and floors for signs of water damage. Look for staining, warping, or other visible damage.
  • Check all electrical outlets, switches, and fixtures for signs of water damage. If any are present, turn off the power to that area of the house immediately, and do not attempt to use any electrical equipment in that area until it has been checked by a professional.
  • Inspect all plumbing fixtures, such as toilets, sinks, and showers, for indications of water damage. 
  • Check all appliances, such as washing machines, dishwashers, and water heaters. 
  • Use a moisture meter to check for hidden water damage. Moisture meters are available at most hardware stores and can be used to check for hidden moisture in walls, ceilings, and floors.

After you have assessed the extent of the water damage, you can begin taking steps to clean up and repair the damage. If the damage is extensive, or if you are not comfortable taking on the project yourself, it’s important to call in a professional. 

4. Call Your Insurance Company

Your homeowners’ insurance may cover water damage, but it’s always best to check with your insurer before taking any action. Your insurance company will likely send an adjuster to assess the damage and give you an estimate of the costs to repair it.

If your policy covers water damage, the insurance company will likely pay for a professional cleanup and restoration company to come in and repair the damage.

5. Protecting Yourself, Valuables, and Appliances

You need to make sure you and your family are safe in a water-damage situation. As you know, water and electricity don’t mix. So, if you have standing water in your home, make sure to turn off the power at the breaker box.

You should also unplug any appliances or electronics that may be in the affected area. These items can be damaged by water, even if they’re not directly in the water. 

If you have valuables in the affected area, try to move them to a dry place, if possible. Water damage can ruin many different types of items, including electronics, clothing, furniture, and more.

It is recommended to wear protective gear, such as gloves and a mask, when handling any items that have been damaged by water. This will help protect you from injuries, and any harmful bacteria or mold that may be present.

6. Start the Cleanup Process

Once you’ve taken steps to protect yourself and your belongings, it’s time to start the cleanup process. If the affected area is small, and the water is clean, you may be able to handle the cleanup yourself.

It is better to leave it to the professionals if the damage is significant. A professional cleanup and restoration company will have the experience and equipment necessary to get the job done right.

In some cases, you may need to have the affected area professionally cleaned and dehumidified before repairs can begin. This is often the case with mold growth.

7. Repairing the Damage

When the area is clean and dry, you can start repairing the damage. If the damage is minor, such as water stains on walls or ceiling, you may be able to handle it yourself.

However, if the damage is more significant, such as warping floors or walls, you will likely need to hire a professional contractor to make the repairs.

Your insurance company may require you to use a specific contractor, or they may give you a list of approved contractors to choose from.

Your insurance company may pay for the repairs directly, while in other cases they may reimburse you after the repairs are made.

8. Preventing Future Damage

Preventing future damage may include fixing leaks and repairing any damaged gutters or downspouts.

You may also want to consider waterproofing your basement, or installing a sump pump to help manage any future water issues.

Taking these steps will help protect your home from future water damage, and will give you peace of mind knowing that you’re prepared in the event of another water emergency.

If you have any questions, or need assistance with the cleanup and repair process, contact a professional water damage restoration company. They will be able to help you through every step of the process, and ensure that your home is restored to its original condition.

9. Identify Mold and Prevent Them After Water Damage

Mold can start to grow in as little as 48 hours after a water damage event. It is important to act quickly to prevent mold growth.

There are a few ways to identify mold:

  • Visible mold growth
  • Musty odors
  • Excessive humidity
  • Stained or peeling walls

If you see any of these signs, you need to take action immediately. There are a few things you can do to prevent mold growth:

  • Immediately remove any wet or damp items from the affected area.
  • Open windows and doors to allow for proper ventilation.
  • Use a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the air.
  • Clean and dry any wet or damp areas completely.
  • Monitor the affected area for signs of mold growth.

Mold can be cleaned with a variety of household cleaners or by using a professional service. If you have a lot of mold growth, it is best to call a professional. They will be able to safely remove the mold and help prevent it from coming back.

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