Water damage from excess rain, leaking appliances, a broken pipe or other emergencies can wreak havoc in your home. Water can cause severe damage and mold can develop in as little as 24 hours. Safety hazards and structural problems may also occur if the moisture from the water isn’t taken care of right away. Follow these steps so you know how to handle home water damage and keep your dwelling intact.
Contact Your Insurance Company
If your home has suffered water damage, Take several photos before and throughout the clean-up process. Document the value of every single item. This will help the insurance company when they send an adjuster to survey the scene and determine what flood damage is covered. Keep in mind that not all home insurance policies cover flood damage.
Filing an Insurance Claim
If you have flood insurance, contact your local insurance agent. They will start the claims process and schedule an adjuster to come to your home.
Be sure to document all of the damage, both inside and outside the house. Take plenty of pictures and do a video walkthrough. Keep records and make copies of all the paperwork to give to your adjuster. Keep a record of your contacts with the insurance company including dates, times and details of what was discussed.
The adjuster will survey the damage, provide you with a flood certification number, and give you a suggested proof of loss. Sign and submit the document within 60 days after the damage.
If you believe the adjuster’s estimate doesn’t cover your loss, file a claim for additional damages. Also, keep track of where your claim is in the process.
If a pipe bursts, it’s likely your homeowner’s insurance will cover the cost of repairing the damage. However, damages caused by flooding are usually not included in a standard homeowner’s policy. If you live in a flood-prone area, you may need to purchase a separate flood policy. Make sure you understand what type of damage and property your insurance covers.
Open Your Eyes
Regularly inspect areas of your home that are prone to water damage. Check window and door openings, washing machine and dishwasher hoses, plumbing systems, under carpet and flooring, bathrooms and crawl spaces. Look around the house for leaks and water stains at least a few times a year, and right after storms.
Get Rid of Mold
Eliminate any mold that results from the water in your home. It is commonly found in closets, the basement and showers. Sanitizeeverything. Scrub and disinfect flooring, appliances and kitchen surfaces. Inspect damaged materials and call in a professional to check for mold in hidden areas like inside walls or under floors.
Water Damage Clean Up Tips
If there is standing water in your home, here are some safety guidelines to follow. Always wear protective gear, including rubber boots, waterproof gloves, long pants and sleeves when you re-enter your home. Never go into wet areas to access the main power switch. Have an electrician turn it off for you. Remove as much water as you can. Tear down wet wallpaper and paneling, and get rid of wet carpet and rugs. Use fans and dehumidifiers to speed up the drying process. Toss out items damaged beyond repair.
Let Us Clean it Up
When it comes to water, flood or fire damage, Flood Department is here to help. We provide water damage repair and clean-up services for homeowners and businesses in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. We are dedicated to helping reverse the damage done by water, mold, sewage, smoke and more. Contact us at 301-829-2600 or visit us online.