No one prays for a situation where water damage hits without any signs. However, you cannot write off the possibility of finding yourself in an emergency water damage situation. While emergencies take us by surprise, there are pro tips that help us to handle them better.
In the case of a water damage emergency, there are possible ways to handle the situation better to reduce damages.
Here, you'll learn from our water damage experts at The Construction Group about what to do when you have a water damage emergency.
Water Damage Emergency Situations
Be aware that water damage can originate from several places or occurrences. The level of water intrusion in a water damage event is measured by the amount of water, the materials affected, and the level of absorption, with Class 1 of water intrusion being the least dangerous and Class 4 the worst.
Damaged or Burst Pipes
If the emergency is due to a plumbing issue such as a burst pipe, it’s vital to stop the flow immediately to prevent more damage. Burst pipes can happen in the winter, but broken pipes can occur year round.
Turn off the water main, power, and even the gas if your home has it.
When a pipe is damaged and begins to leak, you can have a water emergency within minutes. If you do not fix the issue or turn off the main water line in time, you can expect extensive damage to your home.
Heavy Storm Damage
Weather related water damage costs insurance companies millions making it the most expensive of all water emergencies. It’s not like you can turn off the main valve this time – If possible, elevate expensive items or family heirlooms off the ground.
Your walls, furniture, flooring can all be destroyed in a matter of days if the water is not pumped out or able to be pumped. Within weeks, it becomes an environmental hazard and the most costly to repair.
A leading cause of water damage emergencies (and often the most dangerous) is sewage backup emerging from the plumbing causing horrendous damage to the lower floors and basements. This can occur during periods of heavy rainfall when a city’s sewer system can no longer handle the excess water.
It can also happen when something foreign accidentally gets flushed down the toilet and the sewage system becomes backed up. You must treat quickly if this happens as well as turning off the water main.
Appliances such as your washer – or even your dishwasher – have the ability to wreak havoc on your home if they malfunction.
This being said, be sure you are proactive and do some preventive maintenance if you sense your appliance is on the verge of a breakdown.
7 Steps to Tackle a Water Damage Emergency
Do not go into panic mode when confronted with a water leak or other water emergency.
Best advice: Become proactive and keep the following steps in mind as soon as you begin seeing unforeseen water pooling up.
1. Cut Off the Flow of Water
Waterline leaks or water heater damage are the most common causes of household water damage, so if you don't know where your water shutoff valves are, try to find them.
In addition, outside floods can also cause water damage, so if you're aware of an oncoming storm, take the necessary precautions to safeguard your property against water incursion.
2. Apply Safety Measures
The next step is to disconnect all sources of electricity in the affected locations as soon as the water supply is cut off. Water is a strong conductor of electricity.
Leaving electrical flow during water damage will put you and your loved ones in grave danger. The best way to disarm it is to access your circuit breaker and turn it off.
Also, go ahead and unplug all electrical equipment in all the affected rooms as soon as possible.
3. Protect Your Most Valuable Properties
If it's safe to stay inside, elevate your belongings away from flooded or water-soaked areas to safeguard them from further harm. Certain water-soaked goods can quickly develop mold.
So, if you have high-end furniture, remove them from the area as soon as possible to avoid future deterioration. Also, remove any precious gadgets and any other high-value or irreplaceable objects that could be damaged.
4. Don’t Use Fans
Don’t use fans or other heating devices to dry out wet areas, which will cause further damage, especially when moisture seeps into walls and ceilings. Water needs to be removed by a professional using industrial-sized pumps and proper dehumidifying equipment.
These water damage experts also know how long an area must remain free of any moisture before the wood, plaster, or concrete is safe for foot traffic.
5. Use Caution on Wet Floors
Don’t walk on wet floors or carpets, even if they seem dry. Many people mistakenly think that the floor is solid and safe to walk on when it’s actually holding several gallons of liquid underneath.
Carpets will also need to be professionally cleaned and restored after any flood or other water emergency.
6. Call Your Insurance Carrier
When you have secured your precious properties, get in touch with your insurance company to report the water damage. Also, try to find out how they plan to approach the water damage repairs and other home restoration needs.
Be aware that some problems may be covered by your home insurance policy, while others are not. You should always look through your insurance policy, including any flood policies before calling your agent or company.
If in doubt of the insurance jargon, go over your homeowner’s policy with your agent if you’re unsure what type of coverage you have. For example, does it cover plumbing accidents, storm flooding, contractor accidents? Do you have flood insurance?
Familiarize yourself with your policy before an accident happens.
7. Invite a Water Damage Expert
For proper valuation of damages, you should work with a building contractor who has a track record of handling water damage and building projects. Their experience will help you ascertain the value of damage and a possible road plan for your home restoration.
Call Your Twin Cities Water Damage Restoration Experts
Dealing with water damage alone can prove daunting. That is why we have experts in place to deal with water damage emergencies, storm damage issues, ice dam removal, and other home remodeling services.
For emergency water damage help in your Twin Cities home, you can reach out to us at 651-731-5857 or use our online contact form to schedule an appointment. You can also get a free estimate from the comfort of your home.