I know how frustrating can water damage become when you have no clue how to go about fixing it and what is the right thing to do to avoid maximal damage to your house. I used to panic all the time when living in my old apartment that had water leaking issues every week or so. So, let’s cut the chit-chat and get to the actual tips that help me to fix the water damage before the professionals arrive.
Minor Water Damage
If there is a slow leak that caused a small amount of damage, like a dripping pipe under a sink, insurance may not cover it because it was a gradual damage. If they won’t, you’ll need to consider your DIY skills. If you feel confident enough that you can fix a small problem on your own, feel free to because you won’t have to worry about insurance denying your claim. However, you’ll have to live with the repair if it goes awry. If you don’t want to deal with fixing it yourself, get a professional.
Major Water Damage
When you first find water damage, your first urge may be to fix it immediately. However, if you plan on filing an insurance claim, you must first take photos and contact the insurance company for further instructions. In an emergency situation, you can take steps to prevent further damage, but you should not try to fix the current damage until you’ve talked with them. Otherwise, your compensation amounts could be affected. Also, your insurance company may require you to hire someone to ensure a proper repair is done. Going against their advice could threaten your claim.
If you have home goods that are threatened by water, they should be removed to a dry place as soon as possible. Except in extreme flooding situations, moving your goods out of harm’s way shouldn’t affect your claim. If the flood waters are deep enough to touch your outlets or you have electrical problems, call a professional. The water could be electrified.
Professionals may fix up your home, but your goods will often have to be salvaged by you. Here are some things to keep in mind when examining flooded goods.
- If there was sewage involved, consider all wet items contaminated. Use gloves and other protective gear. Anything porous will need to be thrown away, including paper, photos, and cloth covers on furniture. Hard non-porous items can be sterilized using a bleach solution.
- If there is no sewage, the first goal is to get everything dry in a safe way. Putting goods in a garage with fans and a dehumidifier is a good technique. If you have dry towels, you can try drying the non-porous items. Don’t be tempted to use a heater. That can cause more harm than good due to the temperature change, especially for furniture finishes. Separate your items out and give them good airflow (e.g. separate papers, remove drawers and cabinet doors, etc.)
- If there’s a leaking roof, your goods are in an immediate danger, you should fix the roof damage as soon as possible. You could cover the damaged area with a waterproof material and call appropriate specialists immediately. In this case tarps could be a great option since they can cover large areas.
- If cloth furniture hasn’t dried within 2 days, there is a possibility that mold or mildew growth can happen inside the furniture. Speak with a furniture restoration professional to see whether it is worth reupholstering.
- Wood finishes can be affected by water submersion. If you start to see discoloration or cracking of your finish from the water, you’ll need to decide whether to refinish. As long as the underlying wood doesn’t look black or rotten, you can get it refinished.
Good luck on getting your water damage repaired. It can be a tough and long process, but it can be done!