How to Handle Water Damage
In many ways, water damage can be worse than other types of property disasters. Water can come from a variety of sources: flooding, excess groundwater, storm or other weather event, a home system malfunction, a damaged roof, the after-effects of a fire or a burst pipe from severe winter weather.
In addition to the immediately visible damage, water permeates so many areas that you can’t see that it’s hard to feel like it will ever be completely gone. Proper water mitigation is essential from the start to ensure water damage problems won’t come back to haunt you later.
What is water remediation?
When an unexpected water disaster occurs, you just want to get things back to the way they were as quickly as possible, but simply spreading things out and putting a few fans around the area won’t be sufficient. Mold and mildew can grow in places you can’t see.
Choose a property restoration expert
Remember that an inch of standing water can do as much water damage as several feet of standing water. Once your building and its contents get wet, you need a plan to remove the water and a team of experts using highly specialized processes and equipment.
Notify your insurance company
Your property restoration company should work in tandem with your insurance agent to ensure that all of the necessary work is covered and there won’t be any surprises down the line as you work to repair the water damage. One of the best ways you can be sure that all your treasured possessions are covered is to create a home inventory and keep it in a safe place so you’re prepared in the unfortunate event that a water disaster resulting in water damage strikes. As you add valuables, update your inventory.
Get expert help
You need a team of certified and trained water restoration professionals who can bring in the specialized equipment necessary to make sure that every drop of moisture is gone. Make sure you check references to be sure they’ve got the experience necessary to do your job right. Stick with a locally owned company over a large, national company that might be subcontracting out your job.
I have a flooded basement! Now what?
Spring showers may bring flowers, but they can also bring unwanted water into your basement. Heading down the stairs to find a flooded basement or flooded crawl space gives you the sinking feeling that you’ll never get the mess cleaned up and some of your treasured possessions might be beyond repair from the water damage that’s occurred. Don’t despair. Here’s some helpful information:
An ounce of prevention goes a long way
Stop water disasters before they start by taking steps to waterproof your basement. Regularly maintaining your gutters and downspouts and make sure to seal cracks in your basement walls. Consider installing a sump pump if water continually finds its way in. For areas that are simply damp, a dehumidifier may help dry out condensation.
If water does come in, first stop the flow and secure the area
The obvious first step with a water issue is to stop the source of water, if possible. If the water is coming from a frozen, burst pipe, find the water main and shut it off. If you can’t find the main, or if the water source is external, your best bet is to contact a property restoration expert. They should have a 24/7 response team and be able to get someone to your home quickly to assess the water damage situation. It’s also important to take immediate action. Don’t make the mistake of waiting to get help or underestimating the potential for lasting water damage. Also, take steps to ensure your family is safe and dry.
The Ultimate How-To Guide for a Flooded Basement
What does the water restoration process look like?
Here are the steps in the water restoration process:
- Document the damage. Your water restoration company will photograph and document the affected area, including your personal possessions that have been damaged.
- Make a plan. Your water restoration company will create an effective and comprehensive drying plan.
- Remove the water. Next, your water restoration experts will use specialized water extraction equipment and industry-best practices to remove the water from the affected areas.
- Dry the area. Your water restoration company will then ensure that the area is well-ventilated and set up high-tech drying equipment that will run 24/7 as long as they’re needed.
- Inspect the progress. Lastly, your water restoration experts will perform routine inspections as the water mitigation process moves forward and continue to monitor the area of your water damage until every trace of moisture is gone.
How do I keep my family safe in a water disaster?
Water disasters can take a heavy toll on your family’s physical and emotional wellbeing. With an ounce of prevention, many water disasters can be avoided. Stay on top of regular maintenance like changing the batteries in your smoke detectors, preventing ice and snow from building up on your roof in the winter, taking good care of your pipes in cold weather and maintaining a sump pump if you live in an area with lots of heavy rain. All of these things can help you avoid water damage and keep your family safe. Above all, have a plan that the whole family is familiar with so that everyone knows what to do when disaster strikes.
About Hays + Sons
For more than 38 years, Hays + Sons has been the property restoration company that families, businesses and schools trust. We’re committed to helping you be prepared when the unexpected strikes, and whether you just want tips for water damage prevention and mitigation or currently have water damage, Hays + Sons has the capacity and expertise to help you get back to normal ASAP.
The compassionate, experienced, and trusted residential restoration experts at Hays + Sons are just a phone call away, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
If you’re in need of water damage restoration, get in touch with us at one of our offices across Indiana or in Cincinnati, Ohio.
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