Water damage is one of the most common homeowner’s insurance claims made. Burst pipes, appliance malfunctions, and plumbing leaks are just some of the causes that can bring water damage. Experiencing a water loss can be frightening and overwhelming, you may not know where to begin.
What NOT to Do After Water Damage Occurs
DON’T Wait to Call A Professional
It is imperative that you call a professional right away. Do not wait to make that phone call. You want to protect your home from further damage. You may be saying to yourself, that’s great but who do I call? There are two phone calls that need to be made very quickly.
The first call you want to make is to your insurance company. Your insurance agent will guide you in the process. They will be able to confirm your coverage and make recommendations on mitigation companies who can repair your home. The second phone call that you must make is to a qualified mitigation company. These are the people who will restore your home and take care of your water damage.
You may be tempted to let your water damage sit. Maybe you are too busy or don’t want to spend the money or time dealing with it. After all, it can’t be that bad, can it? Unfortunately, it is, there can be serious consequences to not repairing water damage in your home.
DON’T Let Water Damage Sit
Water damage that is not handled in a timely manner will lead to secondary damage. In some cases, your insurance company can even refuse payment for secondary damages caused by a delay to properly mitigate your loss.
If left untreated, the water will continue to spread to dry materials, sometimes in areas that you cannot even see. While the water is sitting and spreading, it can lead to every homeowner’s worst nightmare, mold. It only takes 24-48 hours for mold to grow once something becomes wet. Unfortunately mold spores are everywhere, however, the only way for them to grow is a wet environment. This is exactly what you are creating by letting a water loss sit. Mold in your home is dangerous and can cause sickness to you and your loved ones. Once you have mold the work needed and costs will increase greatly, most likely including mold remediation services.
DON’T slow down the process
As the homeowner, there are certain things you can do to help the water mitigation process go smoothly. You, your water mitigation company and your insurance adjuster are a team. As a team, you are working together to accomplish the goal of restoring your home to its pre-water loss condition. Of course, you want this to be done as quickly as possible and without any glitches, so what are some ways you can help this happen?
Keep all drying equipment running that your mitigation company has placed. Make sure to keep them on for the period they have specified. The machines may be loud or a nuisance, but it is critical to keep them on for your home to dry in a timely manner.
Go through your contents, make a list and record damaged items. By making an inventory of your damaged items you may be able to speed things up. Take pictures so that you have a record of the items.
Be home at the time your mitigation company has scheduled. It is important that the technicians have access to your home as much as possible. Try to be flexible with the times you are available. Some companies may give you a lock box option. By placing a lock box on your home, this will allow work to be performed when you are not able to be there.
Keep all paperwork and receipts organized. You may need to stay in a hotel while the work is being done on your house. Keep your receipts of money spent during the water loss for insurance purposes. Make sure to keep all important paperwork together and in a safe place.
Most importantly, take the advice from the professionals you are working with. They are on your side and have experience dealing with water losses. Trusting what they say and complying will only make things easier. Remember that ServiceMaster Restoration is available should you need any of our services. We offer 24/7 Emergency Fire, Water Damage and Mold Remediation services. No mess is too big for us to handle.