First Steps To Recovering From Water Damage
As with every topic, there is good news and bad news. The same is true when discussing water damage and the recovery steps to follow afterward.
There isn’t an easy way to sugarcoat it, so we’ll start with the bad news first. Water damage is often an awful experience with a lengthy recovery time that includes the possibility of losing several possessions along the way.
There is also good news! You don’t have to walk the path to restoration or tread those unfriendly waters, by yourself. Professionals are available to help you but first, follow the steps below within the first 24 hours to prevent the water from spreading and the damage from becoming worse.
Locate the Leak and Stop the Flow
If possible, discover where the leak is coming from to see if there’s a way to stop it at the source. If no luck or the water seems to be rapidly spreading into surrounding areas, turn off the water supply entirely. Find your home’s main water shut-off valve and turn it toward the off position. If you’re not familiar where the water shut-off valve is located, make a point to discover its location as soon as possible. In the event you need to access it quickly, you don’t want to waste time playing hide-n-seek when you could save crucial time in preventing water from spreading into surrounding rooms within your home.
In some homes, the water shut-off valve may be located in the basement while others could be located outside under the water meter grate. Some shut-off valves may require the use of a water key, a special long-handled tool, to successfully turn the valve toward the off position. While you’re taking necessary precautions and discovering where your shut-off valve is located in your home, take note if you need the tool and get one sooner rather than later at your local hardware store. Additionally, give the valve a turn to prevent it from sticking and add lubrication, if necessary. Should you need to turn it off quickly, these issues could stand in your way.
Electrical Safety is a Priority
If the water has started to inch close to electrical wires and outlets, your immediate concern should be the electrical safety of your home. The reaction should mirror the extent of the damage. For example, if the leak is smaller and limited to a single room then turning the power off to that specific room should suffice in preventing an electrical issue. If the water has started to spread into surrounding rooms, shutting down the entire circuit panel and cutting power to your entire home is the safest choice.
In the worst-case scenario that you are unable to access your circuit breaker, or the water appears to be standing, the wisest decision would be to leave the home and contact a licensed electrician or your local utility company to address all electrical safety issues. No one wants to add electrical damage on top of the unfortunate water damage they’ve already received. Be cautious and make electrical safety a priority before proceeding.
Document the Water Damage to Cover Your Assets
Once the flow of water has been stopped and the threat of electrical issues have been eliminated, report the damage by contacting your homeowner’s insurance company. Inform them of the situation and that you’re currently assessing the damage. They will walk you through the next steps necessary to file a successful claim. In the interim, document the water damage by taking pictures before, during, and after the entire recovery process. Doing so could be the difference in the insurance company assisting further or contesting the claim entirely, resulting in expensive out-of-pocket costs.
Depending on the cause of the flood, your homeowner’s insurance policy may not cover the water damage. Certain companies or policies only cover accidents within the home itself, such as a burst pipe within the walls or a bottomed-out water heater. Any damage caused by natural events, like a storm that leads to flooding, could be excluded; additional coverage may be sold separately from your typical insurance policy and often by a different carrier entirely. Explore options now before any potential water damage occurs.
Call in the Professionals
While many homeowners will attempt to clean up the mess left behind by extensive water damage, they don’t realize how time-consuming the task is, or the mold risk that lurks around every cut corner. Consequently, most will turn toward the professionals for their help in returning their home back into a livable state.
If you’re in or around Mesa, AZ, contact Mason Mechanical for all your water damage needs. Water damage isn’t friendly and shows up at the most inopportune times. With a 24/7 emergency service number, 602-680-5086, we will be available whenever you call. Rain or shine. Guaranteed.