Discovering water damage in your home can be frightening for many homeowners, no matter how large or small an area. If it’s your first time dealing with this kind of event, you might not even know how to proceed safely. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn what you should do after finding water damage in your home. Follow the steps below to find out how to keep your family safe and start your home on the path to recovery.
Secure Your Home
After discovering water damage in your home, the first thing to do is secure the area and keep your family safe. If you’ve just experienced a flood, wear protective clothing and avoid the flooded areas. If your water damage occurred on a smaller scale, you should still use caution, as water damage can weaken the structural stability of your home. Additionally, be sure to keep pets and children away from the affected areas.
Notify Your Insurance Company
After you secure a safe space in your home, you should call your insurance company. Your insurance company will often cover water damage from floods, broken pipes, leaks, and other accidents. The coverage will be different for everyone based on their insurance plan and company, which is why it’s important to contact your insurance company right away and see what services they offer. Insurance may be able to help pay for repairs, supplemental housing, and other charges that you’ll need to manage during the recovery process.
Assess the Damages
Your insurance company will recommend that you document all the water damage your home has sustained. Keep track of items you might need to replace, such as electronics, furniture, and more. Taking photos of the damage and documenting changes will help speed up the process if you choose to file a claim. Your insurance company may also send someone to assess the damage, though it never hurts to have documentation for your own reference in case there are discrepancies. Assessing the damage yourself will also help you get an idea of what type of remediation and restoration services you may need along the way. This will help you start to get an idea of how large an issue you have on your hands.
Try To Find the Source
Water damage that appears small can sometimes be a sign of larger issues behind the scenes. Some weather events such as flooding or torrential rainstorms are more obvious causes of water damage. However, smaller issues such as leaks, faulty plumbing, clogged gutters, and more can be harder to identify, especially in hard-to-reach areas of your home. If you notice water spots on your ceiling or drywall, consider calling a professional contractor to inspect the pipes around your walls. An opening in your roof or siding could also allow water to enter and collect in your home. Your home’s foundation is another area where water issues can arise. Water damage in this area can be especially dangerous because it can jeopardize the structural security of your home. This is why it’s important to track down and address the source of the damage as soon as possible.
Protect Yourself and Your Home
Depending on the scale of the water damage, there are some steps you can take to stay safe and minimize further damage. If you’ve experienced flood-related water damage and have standing water in your home, turn off your home’s electrical system to prevent electrocution and fire hazards. You may also need to shut off water and gas if your pipes have been damaged in the flood. If your home has more minimal levels of water damage from a leak or plumbing issue, you should still take caution around the damaged area. Avoid the area in case of grey- or blackwater exposure or mold growth, all of which can cause health risks.
Prevent Mold Growth
Even small amounts of water damage can put your home at risk of mold growth. Mold thrives in moisture-rich areas, which is why you’ll often find mold at the site of floods and plumbing leaks. If you discover water damage early enough, you can minimize the chances of mold growth through a few key steps.
Start by ventilating the area as much as possible with natural air or air conditioning. Mold thrives in stagnant air. Keeping the air moving throughout your home can also help circulate and minimize moisture. Inspect the area with a humidity monitor (also called a hygrometer) and use a dehumidifier to pull excess moisture from the air. These steps can help prevent mold growth, though you’ll also need to target the source of the water damage.
Call a Remediation Service
Finally, once you have assessed the damage and completed your basic preventative measures, it’s time to call in the professionals. Unless you’re working with an exceedingly small area of water damage, it’s always better to call a professional water remediation service than to try to DIY the repairs. A water remediation service will be able to inspect the severity of the water damage, remove any excess water, and repair any structural damage. Because mold and water damage go hand in hand, many professional services are trained in mold removal as well. If mold has started to spread due to the wet conditions, a professional remediation team can help address your mold problems too.
For example, at Aloha Restoration Co., we specialize in water remediation and the mold removal process that often comes with it. If you’re in need of water damage restoration in Lake Zurich, IL, and surrounding areas, contact our team today.
The next time you discover water damage in your home, remember these steps. Finding any type of water damage in your home can be daunting, but once you know what to do and how to proceed, you can feel confident that you’re on track to a safe and dry abode. And if you’re located in the Chicagoland area, Aloha Restoration Co. is here to help with water and mold restoration projects of any size.