Water is necessary for the day-to-day functioning of your home. Water can also cause major damage. Flooding may occur due to blocked drains, clogged gutters, leaking pipes, and severe weather conditions. If you experience water intrusion in your home, it’s important that you deal with it properly to reduce residential water damage.
Turn Off the Water Supply
As soon as you realize there is a problem, turn off the water. In every home, there’s a main shut-off valve that controls the water supply to the house. In the case of a plumbing issue, turn off the water supply immediately to minimize the risk of damage.
In the case of heavy rains and flooding, you’ll have to wait until the rain stops and the floodwaters recede to begin the recovery process.
Residential Water Damage: File an Insurance Claim
If a leak or flooding occurs, document the damage with photographs and contact your homeowners insurance company. Some policies may cover water damage, so check your insurance documents to learn about the types of coverage that your underwriter offers. In some areas, flood damage is not covered but water damage due to plumbing problems may be. File an insurance claim as soon as possible.
Clean up the affected areas immediately after taking photos for your insurance company. If there is a possibility the water affected the electrical system, shut down power to the flooded areas. Wearing protective equipment, including gloves and a mask, move anything that can be recovered to a safe place. Use fans to help dry the area. Some materials like furniture, drywall, and electronics may not be salvageable.
Eliminate Mold and Mildew
Residential water issues create a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Mold and mildew reduce indoor air quality and cause health issues, particularly in the long term. Use fans and dehumidifiers to completely dry the area. Launder any fabrics immediately and dry them thoroughly. Remove materials that are especially susceptible to mold growth and then clean the water-damaged areas with disinfectant products.
Preventing Residential Water Damage
Homeowners who live in a flood-prone area should consider water- and mold-resistant materials when rebuilding. These help to minimize the damage in the future. If the water damage was a result of leaking pipes, order an inspection of your home’s plumbing. Replace aging pipes and components to reduce the likelihood of recurring water damage.