Tips on How to Handle Water Damage
The old adage goes “April showers bring May flowers,” but nothing ruins a sunny, spring day faster than realizing that those April showers caused water damage in your home. If left untreated, water damage can cause even more problems, such as mold or loss of structural integrity, and could haunt you long into the summer months. So, if you find yourself a victim of minor water damage, take the following steps to address the problem:
Eliminate Other Hazards
Eliminate the possibility of further problems that could be caused by water leaks, such as electrical fires or additional property loss, by removing cords and furniture from the affected area. Turn-off power to any areas that were exposed to the water damage before handling electronics.
Call your Insurance Company
Before you begin fixing anything, be sure to file a claim with your insurance company. Keep track of any repairs you make and receipts for all materials purchased. Keep in mind that flood insurance is not included in many homeowner’s policies, so be sure to speak with your independent agent about the perimeters of your coverage before you need it.
Dry the Damaged Area
While it may seem obvious to remove any collected water, drying the affected area completely is one of the most important yet overlooked parts of the process. Use mops, rags, and a dry/wet vacuum to remove any water that may have collected, and then use fans and dehumidifiers to remove any remaining moisture. Remember, water leaks in a warm house create the perfect, humid environment needed for mold to reproduce, and leaving the damage unaddressed may increase the likelihood that your future claims could be denied. Whenever necessary, call a professional to dry-out the water damages.
Clean and Treat Affected Areas
Even after you’ve ensured that all materials affected by the water damage are dry, it’s best to clean and treat those items to prevent any sort of mold or bacterial growth. A simple mixture of bleach and water can help prevent future outbreaks, and many paints now include antimicrobial properties to inhibit future mold growth.
When addressing water damage, the most important thing to remember is to do so quickly and efficiently to reduce the risk of mold growth and structural issues. However, if your home suffered a large amount of water damage due to flooding or a major leak, it’s best to contact a professional to ensure a thorough clean-up. For more homeowner’s tips, information, and coverage options, log-on to www.preferredmutual.com. At Preferred, we’re dedicated to giving you the resources you need to live assured.