Floods are catastrophic disasters. But floods aren't the only disasters that can ruin your home with water damage. A busted pipe, a ruptured water line, or a leak in your roof wreak havoc on your home.
Here's a quick guide to helping you assess and deal with water damage.
Safety and Documentation
Before you can deal with water damage, you must ensure your safety. Take the following steps before attempting to deal with water damage:
- Shut it Off: shutting off your power and water are basic safety precautions. If you don't know where your main water shut off valve is located, consider calling a plumber or water damage restoration specialist. To shut off your power, call your electrical company. Do not enter your home until you've complete these steps.
Once your home is safe, you should document the water damage your home has sustained. This documentation can be important when filing insurance claims and/or assessing the extent of the water damage.
- Call: call your insurance company to make sure that you gather all the information they require if you decide to file a claim. Also, you may want to call a water damage restoration professional for an assessment your water damage. These professionals can help you strategize the most cost-effective way to deal with your water damage.
Unfortunately, water damage normally gets worse before it gets better. When water enters your home, it soaks into every porous layer and surface. This means that the water damage will continue to manifest as these layers and surfaces begin to dry. The most important factor to consider when assessing water damage is the structural damage your home may have sustained.
- Framing and Loading Bearing: your home's studs and load bearing walls can become dangerously unstable when exposed to water. You will need to have a license water restoration professional or remodeling contractor assess the level of damage the fundamental structural features have sustained.
What people want most after a major disaster has occurred is for things to go back to normal. This desire, although understandable, can cause them to focus on aesthetic details prematurely.
- Flooring and Drywall: water damage almost always means replacing flooring and drywall. You should consider pricing the labor and materials for these aesthetic features separately from your water restoration budget. The labor and processes needed to complete these finishing tasks are far different than what's likely to be required for the bulk of the water restoration work.