The statistics are staggering – more than 14,000 people a day in the U.S. experience water damage in their home or office according to industry standards. Water damage costs Americans more than $2.5 billion a year, with insurance claims averaging $6,965. When left untreated, the situation can even be made worse by mold infestation. Here’s how to get out from under a water damage event and protect yourself moving forward.
After a plumbing emergency or flooding event invades your home, the most important thing to remember is to be careful when entering your home or business. Ensure the electricity is off and the structure is stable enough to handle people entering and moving things around. While you are in the structure, wear protective gear and ventilate the area until help has arrived.
When sorting through damage, be sure to throw away anything porous that absorbed contaminated flood water. Other common items that should be discarded include drywall, carpeting, pillows, box springs, particle board, and mattresses. Clothing and household fabrics that are wet may be salvageable.
While your home or business may be free from water on the surface, water damage can be sneaky. Because there are so many structural cavities to consider, it’s frequently recommended to bring in the professionals. Water damage restoration professionals have sophisticated instruments that can detect moisture that would otherwise cause further harm to your home, including deterioration and odors.
In addition to water detection, water damage restoration professionals have the equipment and knowhow to dry a home or business back to it’s pre-loss condition. Time is of the essence when water damage strikes, as further damage and mold are preventable through swift action.
Once the home has been treated with water detection and removal equipment, it should be aggressively cleaned and ventilated. Before rebuilding, your structure should be completely dry. If you live in an area prone to flooding, a sump pump is recommended. Industry figures reveal that 98% of basements experience water damage at some point in their lifetime.
Water Damage Prevention
While not all water damage can be prevented, it helps to ensure all appliances with water connections are in working order and properly maintenanced. In addition, make sure any new appliances are properly installed – this isn’t the time to try to DIY unless you’re absolutely sure it can be done correctly. Lastly, a solid roof is your first line of defense in an inclement weather event. Make sure you have a proper roof inspection annually and take care of any repairs and maintenance that are recommended. Check out these additional tips to prevent water damage.
Guest post by Sarah Snyder.