Dealing with Water Damage in the Home
Residential water damage can be devastating to your home and expensive to fix. Severe water damage may ruin a home and moderate water damage can cause health and safety hazards. However, there are ways to deal with, repair, and prevent water damage in the home. The faster you take care of the problem, the less damage to your property.
Take Action Quickly
If you ignore water damage, it will be a lot more expensive to fix in the future. A leaky pipe or roof has to be fixed quickly or the long-term effects will be far more damaging.
Sometimes, you can fix leaks and make repairs yourself. In other instances, you will need to contact a professional to correct these problems.
Fix Roof Leaks ASAP
Roof repairs are not always cheap, but they are more cost-effective than letting a roof leak persist. If there is water seeping through the ceiling or the walls, materials will start to rot and mold will grow. Regardless of the cost, it’s critical to make any needed repairs. Severe water damage lowers the value of your home.
Health Problems from Water Damage
Moisture in the home invites mold to grow. Mold and mildew create an unhealthy living environment. Exposure to mold has been attributed to:
- Sore throats
- Difficulty breathing
- Irritated eyes
Mold can easily spread through your whole house once it is present, and the more it spreads, the harder it is to eliminate.
What to Do About Water Damage
First, if the leak is due to a plumbing issue, shut off the main water line right away. The quicker you shut down the water main, the less expensive the repairs will be.
If you are dealing with a flood, turn off the power. Water and electricity are a dangerous combination. Standing in the water to turn off the power could cause electrocution. Talk to an electrician who knows how to do this safely.
Remove the Water
If the situation is not very severe, you might try to fix the problem yourself. If the flooded area is small, a wet/dry vac and fans may suffice to remove the water. For more serious floods, or floods involving grey or black water, call a professional.
Clean up as thoroughly as possible. Sanitize the area and your belongings once they are completely dry.
Preventing Future Water Damage in the Home
If your home has persistent problems with leaks or flooding, consult a professional. Perhaps the basement needs to be waterproofed or some plumbing pipes need to be replaced. Schedule yearly roof inspections to identify any weak spots of the roof that could leak.
Use Your Homeowners Insurance
Repairs can be expensive. Find out if your homeowners insurance covers water damage and what the terms are. If you experience water damage, take photos for insurance purposes before starting to clean it up. Keep a record of the money you spend cleaning up the damage and save receipts and invoices.
Take photos of valuables and store them in a safe place so if they are damaged by water you can ask for compensation.